George Takei and Zachary Quinto Take On Gay Bullying

Since coming out, George Takei, Star Trek’s original Sulu, has been an outspoken proponent for gay rights and issues. And this week has made a new video to take on the issue of gay bullying and quite emphatically taking on an Arkansas school board official who made news last week for comments he made about gay teens. Watch the video below, plus another video from Star Trek’s Zachary Quinto.   

 

Takei takes on bullying

Over the last month there has been a campaign in response to recent suicides of a number of bullied gay teenagers. The “It Gets Better” campaign tries to help reach teens considering suicide to get them help. The campaign has had the support of many celebrities (including Zachary Quinto), but the vice-president of a School Board in Arkansas named Clint McCance made news when he took to his Facebook page to complain about the campaign and to go as far as to say he hoped all gay teens killed themselves. He has since resigned but the whole thing just didn’t sit well with George Takei, who put out this video which has already gone viral (note video contains harsh language).

Another Star Trek celebrity who has made a video in support of the It Get’s Better campaign is the new Spock, Zachary Quinto. Here is his video from last month.

Regardless of your views, I hope that everyone, and certainly every Trekkie, can agree that preventing teen suicides is a good thing.

 

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Douglas

Thank you to both George Takei and Zachary Quinto for your compassion, courage and intelligence in participating in these public service announcements.

Adama

Well said, George.

Thanks to both George and Zachary. This is what Star Trek is about. IDIC it up, y’allz.

Mike Walsh

It was hell for me growing up bi in the ’80’s, wish I’d had George and ZQ in my day as role models but it’s encouraging that at least things are getting better since then.

Let’s hope that this progress continues and these terrible tragedies eventually become a thing of the past…

Good on you George and ZQ, true trail-blazers for the LGBT Community.

Sebastian

While I agreed 110% with the messages, I thought that Quinto’s was more heartfelt, and was the classier of the two. While I think that Takei is a great guy, I found the schoolyard, name-calling style of his video to be a bit juvenile. He could do so much better. Instead, his video just substitutes bullying with name-calling and innuendo (by implying that the bully in question is, in fact, closeted himself). It was a cheap shot; and Takei already had the moral high ground on the issue; he didn’t need to go that route.

But it’s good to see this issue get the recognition/attention that the victims so desperately need. This is precisely the sort of issue Star Trek fans (embracers of IDIC) should support, and I think it’s wonderful that we live in an age where actors/celebrities can go pubic with their support of this issue with no fear of ridicule; that is encouraging progress, but there is still a long way to go, I’m afraid.

CmdrR

5 – Well put.

Kudos for the sentiments. “Stay classy, Trekkies!”

Zip

Just because we don’t see it daily we like to think we have moved past all this, In my corner of the woods, we thought all this was behind us, we coundn’t have been more wrong.
Thank you George, and Thank you Zachary.
Star Trek needs a main Gay Charactor, it’s time !

Robert H.

Clint McCance needs to take his own advice.

Tyrone Alfonso

Awesome. Great words by ZQ, but I especially appreciate George’s input. I think his humorous response would appeal to many teens, and that’s what matters most.

People have already stated that he is resorting to childish name calling. I think the humor is being missed by those people.

Gorn Fishin'

i don’t agree with the gay lifestyle. But i do agree that McCance is a d-bag…

fred

robert h are you saying he should get aids and die well thats not very inlighten is it however if i got your meaning wrong im sorry. i to also agree with 5 comments. i am not gey myself but there is nothing wrong with loving another person caring, i find it hard to understand the hate out there for what amount to a basic human need to love and be loved

Chadwick

My sister is gay and even if she wasn’t I have sympathy for all. People have a right to be gay or straight. I am just happy I live in Canada where bigotry and hate is not as common as in some other countries.

11. fred – November 3, 2010 well said, that is a very enlightened view and I wish all shared it.

VOODOO

Hats off to George Takei and Zack Quinto.

In no way is this a funny matter, but I must admit that I did a spit take on my computer screen at George Takei’s comments at the 41 second mark and they only got better from there.

George if you are out there…Good for you. I was thinking exactly what you said, but I wouldn’t say it here in fear of getting banned.

How anybody could think like that Arkansas school board official in this day and age is beyond me…Pure ignorance.

Daniel Shock

George, Zach – I’m with you.

AJ

Kudos to both for such hard-hitting messages.

One thing I am NOT getting from these short films (perhaps because I have not seen all of them) is whether or not there are messages to parents.

I would think that many LGBT kids grow up in hostile-to-gay family environments, and then go to school, sharing space with others who have grown up in similar situations. If dad “hates the gays” and drags you to church every Sunday to hear how they must be hated from some local priest or minister, there usually, indeed, is nowhere to turn. Parents need to be ‘OK’ with it, discuss it at PTA meetings, and insist that schools are vigilant in protecting all who are bullied (a consistent failure in the US).

Some LGBT kids grow up in these environments so filled with self-loathing that they lash out as adults at the LGBT community. Look at the politicians and high profile clergymen with severely anti-gay agendas that have been outed by their own actions, or by others seeking to prove the point (the last being that mega-church preacher in Atlanta).

It will continue to happen until parents can be a real resource for their own children instead of an 800 number. And right now, I hope that 800 number is getting out to those kids who need it.

I think George’s anger just took over. And is justified to an extent. However any type of bullying is horendous!! Live and let live, who are you bullys to dictate to others how to live@believe. Mind your business and keep your own house in order. Messages are good and encouraging. But bozos like that board member.are suppose to be for all students interests not just The favored ones with the right addresses for residents. I’ve seen bullying ignoed and evan condomned by corrupt teachers and principals. Gays are beaten teased threatened ect. Nothing is done. These bullys that push others around to make themselvies look and feel good about themselvies.need to be dealt with severely from criminal charges on to juvy. Kids are also being murdered by so called bullys. Suicides are on the rise. Ta

rocketscientist

I think it’s great that George Takei and Zachary Quinto made these messages. One thing, though, is that I hope the energy behind this campaign is not exclusively directed at gay teens. As anyone who has been reading the news over these past few years knows, bullying has led to the suicides of many straight teens as well.

Bullying should be condemended, no matter if the victims are gay or straight.

Joe Lazlo

I’ve posted before but I say again…
So George chimes in again on a gay issue.
It is all well and good to address the remarks made by the public official, and to condemn those remarks. Admirable.

But to throw in the cheap shot about “South American rent boys”, well… now he’s reducing the exchange to catty name-calling and petty bickering.

Takei’s attempt to condemn McCance and take a higher moral standing is negated by his backhanded insult.

It is almost as if Takei is taunting and deliberating provoking McCance for a comeback remark–
which would of course feed the flames and establish another public rivalry for Takei to exploit, garnering him the type of publicity he seems to thrive upon.
Why stoop to this level?

Steve-o

hah i am glad to see this message board still open. in the years i have been on this site, usually gay subjects end in tons of anger and confusion, and finally anthony closing the the discussion.
perhaps progress IS being made after all in the world :)

Gorn Fishin'

15 –

before you paint with such a broad brush, it should be pointed out that there are preachers spreading the message of love the sinner, hate the sin.

Not trying to open a can of worms because there are tons of people who think homosexuality is not a sin. My point is simply please do not imply the message coming from churches is hate.

(Before anyone brings up the ‘God Hates F**s’ guy – there are idiots in every size, shape, color. He does not reflect the opinion of mainstream Christianity…)

Steve-o

p.s. george i think was simply trying to get a message across. douche bag is the perfect word for the redneck school board member.

anyone see him on Anderson cooper? the guy clearly wasnt sorry for what he said, but rather that he was caught and made the example. i strongly suggest you go to cnn and watch the 5 minute video.
sometimes i am amazed at the type of people which actually exsist in the real world.

startrek4life

George Takei has meant so much to me ever since I came out as gay. In fact, he was the reason I decided to finally come out. 2 days after he publicly came out, I came out. I have grown up watching him on Star Trek and to find out that one of my heroes is gay inspired me to do the same. George has been an inspiration to all Trekkies, regardless if they are gay or not. He has been the voice for us all, and he is truly one of the greatest activists of this century. Thanks George!

I'm Dead Jim!

@18

While I understand your point, I think George showed plenty of restraint. There are plenty more harsher and appropriate words that could be directed towards scum like Clit McCance that McCance probably dishes out to others on an hourly basis.

devonp

As a gay Trekker & human being, I’d like to thank George & Zach for these very important PSA’s as the statistics on gay youth suicide are alarming and disturbing in this day & age. I think that the message is hilarious with George calling him a douche bag because even though 2 wrongs don’t make a right, gays have been the butt of jokes forever, so it’s nice to see that the humor can be reclaimed and repositioned on the source rather than the target! Whether his homophobia is internalized (self-loathing, ego-dystonic homosexual tendencies ) or not, only time will tell, but it matters not… homophobia whether internal or external is a learned process, a social conditioning , and is WRONG… and the thoughts that this man is/was an Educator is frightening, and is reason why the cycle of hatred is perpetuated!

Katie G.

I’m glad George spoke up but I wish he would have stopped before he said something about the school board member getting caught with, well you know…

My heart aches for LGBT’s who are under attack. I had a friend who was horrified that he was attracted to men because of way gays have been treated. He didn’t talk about it much but I knew that he was terrifed of the way he may be treated if straight people ever found out he was gay. I am sad to say that we lost touch as young adults and I found out a few years later that he had taken his own life. Don’t know whether it was because of losing a lover he cherished or the hatred he experienced at the hands of other “human” beings.

And let me clarify something…

There are preachers out there who attack “sinners’. The only problem is, they are still one of them. Only ONE man was sinless. Just because someone goes to church or says they’re a “Christian” or has a degree enabling them to be ministers/pastors DOESN’T mean they are a REAL CHRISTIAN. Christianity is not a religion. It is a relationship with the living God through Jesus the Christ. And the Word of God says “by their fruit you shall know that they are [children] of God”. So if someone is consistently awful yet says they’re a Christian, please don’t judge the whole group by those types because they’re not one of us. I mess up a lot but I strive to please my Heavenly Father by allowing Him to change me.

Yes, God hates sin. But He loves US. That’s why Jesus died for OUR SIN. Not just murder, hatred, dishonesty… etc. ALL SIN. One of the things Jesus said was “let he that is WITHOUT SIN cast the first stone”.

I am straight. I don’t really understand the LGBT but it happens. BUT I WOULD NEVER WISH DEATH OR PAIN ON ANOTHER HUMAN BEING.

I was the victim of bullying for years. For no reason! Just because someone was angry and wanted to cause another person pain, I guess. My youth was a very tormented one and I live with the memories and pain of those years. Please, everyone, let’s NOT be the CAUSE OF PAIN for ANYONE.

Thanks.

ktg

(Sorry for the CAPS Anthony. I don’t know how to underline in this forum.)

Bulling in General,even if it isn’t regarding gay or straight should be stopped, I got bullied once for being a Trekkie? (Those were the days) Only the bulling is getting center stage because of the recent deaths of Gay for being bullied to a breaking point. I do say kuddos for going out there and trying this informational campaign but bulling in General should be the number 1 priorities, nothing will be solved unless school administrators stop looking the other way and not solving t he issues, many of times students that are being bullied tell a teacher or administrators just to be ignored or told to toughen up.

Katie G.

Wow… missed some typos.

Oh well. Nobody’s perfect…

;-)

ktg

I'm Dead Jim!

@ 25

God bless you and thanks for the kind words. You need to look up the definition of religion. Christianity is a religion. Nothing wrong with that.

A couple of people here have said that they don’t understand the gay lifestyle. You don’t have to understand it, just accept and respect it as you would any other lifestyle different from your own.

#25 very well said! I’m a christian. And I too am horrified by these hate-mongers trying to where a christian label. What’s worst those doing the finger pointing are guilty of doing the same thing congressman Foley exp. Folks walk the walk.also bullying of any kind should be a felony!. Its serious business. Kid are dying emotionaly and physicaly. We as adults have a responsibility to educate our kids about IDIC and right and wrong. Tolerance is vital to civilized behavior the parents can be the problem in examples we set. Often parents can be bullys in the workplace or other aspects in their sad lives. You can educate on Gays but charity has to be shon. And practiced as well as love and tolerance. I’m happy to see george and quinto stand up and be a source of straight. As for you bullys! Get a life!! Stay out of other peoples. Learn others have a right to live too! And christians be sincere judge not lest ye be judged and love one another.

Areli

Being pro-LGBT rights, I find what George Takei and Zachary Quinto did to be great. There needs to be people out there who say these things. With the amount of hate that comes out when people mention anything referring to LGBT, LGBT kids (and even adults) need the support now more than ever.

You would think that being in the 21st century would make people learn how to accept those don’t fall exactly under the status quo.

I hardly understand what people mean when they say the “gay lifestyle”. How different are they living from other people around the world? Why is so much effort put into hating LGBTs when there are things out there that are truly evil that need to be hated?

Perpetuating hate and ignorance like that is why we, as human beings, will never be able to fully advance ourselves above what we have become.

And this is why I believe Star Trek needs to address LGBT rights sometime in the near future. It would serve as a great moral issue, and they wouldn’t even have to be direct about it if they were afraid of people opposing it, but wasn’t ST all about pushing the boundaries and opening the minds of people?

And not just Star Trek, but other movies and tv shows (besides Glee, which is one of the few current shows talking about LGBT issues. Also why I look forward to next weeks episode because it is supposed to make reference to the suicides.)

Dr. Cheis

Is “douchebag” really “harsh language”?

Areli

@31

I thought when he said “douchebag”, it was funny. (not that I should have been laughing, but Takei’s delivery was humorous) Not harsh at all considering the guy was being a douche.

patrick

love this site and all the outstanding work Mr. Pascale accomplishes here.

however, concluding his article with the phrase “regardless of your views”?

Khan was Framed!

Excellently said gentlemen!

I am proud to be a Canadian, largely due to my country’s policies towards gay marriage & cultural diversity.

I want everyone out there to know that not every straight guy is a homophobe & that when enough of you stand up & speak out together, gay or straight, you can create change.

Push your politicians for gay freedoms & tougher anti-homophobe laws, like any other segment of your society they are people with rights!

I hate the fact that tolerance is always one way. How many people will be intolerant of you because they think you are intolerant? In my mind, I’m very tolerant. I don’t approve of the gay lifestyle but I respect the gay individual. So often, people act as if you are intolerant if you don’t approve of others making bad decisions.

I’m not saying I’m right, but I act upon the conviction based in my understanding which is the only thing I can do. Based upon my understanding, we are all sinners, deserving of eternal damnation, but for those confess their sins and trust in Jesus Christ, they are saved. It is God who dictates the standard and as I understand the Bible, it teaches that homosexuality is a sin.

But so is lying, pride, any form of sexual behavior outside of marriage, getting drunk, losing ones temper, coveting what others have, etc, etc.

While I’ve never committed the sin of homosexuality, I HAVE committed the sin of lying, lust, I’ve been drunk, I have lost my temper, I have been arrogant and proud.

So, I can’t judge a homosexual any different then I can judge any other including myself. But I can look at myself, see that I am a great sinner in need of salvation, and I can also, as opportunity allows, call others who are also in sin, to repent from the sins that they are trapped in and turn to a gracious, forgiving God.

So unless someone shows me that I’m wrong in my understanding of what God teaches through the Bible concerning homosexuality, I will never call it good. I will not approve of it. I will make it clear my opposition to it. BUT I will respect the individual who practices it. After all, I am a sinner myself and I have my own weaknesses and sins to deal with and they are more than enough for me to deal with, repent of, and work to not commit again to worry about what sins others are committing.

That to me is what true tolerance is about. Accepting others not because I think they are right, but because I have just as many warts as they do and am no better. Just different warts.

patrick

#35

appreciate your tolerant message, although i question anyone’s understanding of gay-issues when they utilize the word “lifestyle”. however, would you TRULY put your 1st-century “conclusions” aside and stand against others in YOUR religious-circles that DO wish to use their religious-standards to oppose the freedoms of others in the USA & abroad??

so, in conclusion – no, i do not think that intolerant-bigotry can be acceptable. it leads to discrimination and violence. and it’s hardly something i think Roddenberry would have approved on (since this Is a TREK-comment board).

bugs nixon

A future as depicted in Star Trek is dependent upon ending hatred and bigotry.

Polticians should be the first to take note.

People really shouldn’t confuse the “love the sinner, hate the sin” as anything other than a message of hate. It is just sugarcoated, glossed over to look “tolerant”. To me a sin is something terrible that is only forgivable by God.

When I was younger I was taught that God was love and loving another person and/or sharing that love should not be a sin. Violence and hate should be sins and not love.

Saying something is a sin is as much saying that it is wrong but you can be cured of it and forgiven for the thing you’ve done that is oh so wrong.

Khan was Framed!

#35

You are correct in one aspect; being tolerant of ALL people means we even have to show respect to those like yourself.

Sadly.

In the future, may I ask that you leave your quaint superstition out of the discussion?

There are those of us who feel such matters are inappropriate on this board, as they only serve to inflame the debate & steer it from the true nature of the issue.

Thanks for your understanding.

Glad to see George is not afraid of using a douchebag now and then.

Hey, you get what you pay for.

denny cranium

It seems like anyone who opposes the gay lifestyle is a “homophobe” or they hate the gay person.
This is disturbing to me.
I have a gay sibling and when I hang out with his friends they refer to straight people as “breeders” Women as “fish” and so forth. I don’t hear anybody accusing gay people of being intolerant of the straight lifestyle.
Its like if someone is opposed to people who smoke then they “hate” everyone who smokes.
I think its okay if you don’t agree with lifestyle choices we make or don’t make.
Bullying on any level is unacceptable and should be dealt with as bullying
not homophobia or anti semitism- whatever

Steve-o

hmm.. messages are becoming a bit more emotional. it’s great watching the progression (or decline) of the thread from calm and mature, to inevitably hostile and child like.
we haven’t quite gotten to “child like” arguments but the day is still young.

anyone wanna take bets on what time the thread will be closed?

patrick

#41

ah, so you’ve hung out with some gay people and you know all about the gay “lifestyle”?

and use the word “choices” in reference to the topic.

please simply admit that you don’t feel you have anything in common with gays and don’t understand them. the skip making the profound conclusions about a something about which you are transparently ignorant.

DAK23

For cripes sake, a “lifestyle” or “lifestyle choice” is what you do when you pick out paint or new furniture – it’s NOT a choice in that we’re choosing to be ostracized & outright killed. We simply choose the person we want to be with. Does anyone ever use those phrases to describe straight relationships?

The straight lifestyle – see how silly it looks? You do know we’re human beings the EXACT same as you, the only difference is who we are attracted to.

The First Son of Krypton

George!!!!!!!!!!!!

When I next see you (if ever) I must shake your hand. I applaud you Sir, you have become perhaps my second favourite person (behind my girlfriend, dont want her to see me confess to my undying love for Sulu :p)

It depresses me to think in this day and age, that people still cannot come to accept one another based on lifestyle choice. I myself wouldnt class my self as any particular sexuality as I love loving, regarless of gender – and Im damn proud of it!

Mr. Delicious

Hey George…he who is without sin can cast the first stone.

denny cranium

41-
I’m not sure f I know “all about” the gay lifestyle. Does anybody?

I do know this: I have a twin brother who is gay. I know it wasn’t a “lifestyle choice” for him. Thats the way God made him.
I made an effort to get to know him and his friends and how he lived his life. I went to the gay clubs with him. I went to restaurants with him where I was the only straight person there. I discovered that gay people (for the most part) want what everybody wants. To be loved, accepted resepected etc.
I was the “buffer” between him and the rest of my family.
I “championed” his life to our parents. I was supportive of him when he wanted to bring boyfriends home. I invited him and his then partner to my wedding. It was against my parents wishes. I’m not ashamed of him or his lifestyle.
When I went with him to the gay clubs I watched the straight people being ridiculed and made fun of in conversation.
When I referred to lifestyle choices in my last post I wasnt referring to just homosexuality exclusively. I meant no negative connotation to it.
Were my conclusions profound? To you- obviously not.
Transparently ignorant? No but your statement to me suggesting I was? Absolutely.

denny cranium

I was replying my above post to #44 Patrick

I don’t understand the Civil rights argument. I thought we ALL have Constitutional Civil Rights protections these days.

#45. That’s a good point. I’d never thought about the term “lifestyle” before. You are right, I would never say I am apart of the straight lifestyle. I ask you to forgive me on that point. And I think that’s probably what #36 was trying to say. So I offer my apologies to him as well.

The problem really comes down to this: I believe homosexuality is wrong. I respect the people who are homosexual. I believe that often, a homosexual is hardwired that way and it’s not always a behavioral decision. I’ve used the term lifestyle because I haven’t known any other term to use but you are right, it isn’t right. I never thought about it even as I have tried to be respectful.

At the same time, I also have behaviors which I was born with, which I believe I’ve been hardwired with. I struggle with anger. I can lose my temper over very silly and little things. If I were to let it go, I’d be constantly losing my temper and probably in jail for some sort of violent crime.

I don’t think anyone would condone my behavior simply because I was born that way (which I was). I would be told I need to fight that behavior. I control my temper, and work to stay calm and collected. Hopefully people will respect me and befriend me but will not approve of me when I lapse and lose my temper.

And it’s something I’ll probably have to fight my entire life. But I will get better at it just as I am much better at controlling my temper then when I was 15 years old. Because of I have been born with certain dispositions which are very hard for me to fight, I have a TON of compassion with those who struggle in their own areas.

The difference is this. If a segment of the population said that losing your temper was not wrong and another segment of the population said it was inappropriate- would you call those who say losing your temper is wrong intolerant and hateful?

We may disagree on this topic, but just as I don’t hate people who struggle with bad tempers, I don’t hate people who are gay. It’s one and the same. Both are sins, which people struggle with and instead of being hated, should be sympathized with. That is tolerance.

Thanks for the clarity though that “lifestyle” is not the right word to use. I would never think to say someone has a “anger lifestyle.” That would be equally mislabeled.