George Takei Sets Phasers On Boy Scouts’ Anti-Gay Ban

George Takei, former Star Trek star and current king of the Internet, will be beaming into Manhattan on Sunday for New York Pride, where he’ll stand in solidarity with Jennifer Tyrrell, the Ohio mom ousted as a Boy Scout leader because she is a lesbian.

Takei, a former member of the Boy Scouts himself, will riding with Tyrrell and their respective spouses in GLAAD’s car at the parade, while local troops who also oppose the discriminatory policy march alongside.

In a statement, the out actor explained:

“Some of my best memories from my boyhood are of my scouting days. I played bass bugle in our troop’s drum and bugle corps. We marched in Fourth of July parades. We learned teamwork and brotherhood from camping together. The Boy Scouts built my character. As an adult, I was shocked and deeply disappointed to learn that the Scouts discriminate against LGBT people. This is contrary to the ideals of equality and fair play that I hold dear. The Boy Scouts must change.”

Takei has previously served as a spokesperson for the Scouts and received BSA awards in recognition of his leadership, but he says the youth group is in the wrong here. Both he and Tyrrell will be wearing their Boy Scout uniforms, while volunteers will don American Apparel’s equality tees, produced for LGBT Pride month.

Takei said riding in the parade is “going to be much more merry” with Tyrell and her wife, Alicia,  joking, “I shouldn’t say merrier; I should say gayer! And much more balanced in orientation.”

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  • Hyhybt

    There appears to be a bottle of soap covering the first three paragraphs. I know some people might think this site is filthy, but still…

  • Hyhybt

    @Hyhybt: …and, with the reload after posting, it’s gone.

  • B

    I can guarantee that George Takei will not use a phaser – I saw him once in a Star Trek outfit while on a float at a San Francisco gay pride parade. There were some Christian protesters nearby (“all going to hell” signs and bullhorns that could not compete with the music from the floats), and we were hoping that he’d vaporize them or at least have them “beamed” to Venus, where the temperatures are a much better match to the traditional notions of Hell than here. Alas, he was too preoccupied waving to the crowd and generally having a good time! He didn’t even point a prop in the Christians’ general direction!

  • KyleW

    Takei has been my hero ever since he made that video against the hmophobic schoolboard member whowished gays dead! Let’s hope that his support helps to raise the profile of this digraceful issue, and spurs ordinary Americans to raise their voices. The trouble is, most average Americans think that homosexuality is something that happens to someone else’s kids…

  • Steve

    A very large number of good, honest, gay men are former scouts. A very large number of former scouts are, gay men. That should not be a surprise.

    Straight boys mostly drop out of Boy Scouts, right after they realize that there are no girls in Boy Scouts. Starting right after they discover girls, they prefer to spend their weekends in places where there are girls.

    Gay boys mostly stay in Boy Scouts, after they realize that there are no girls in Boy Scouts. Starting right after they discover boys, they prefer to spend their weekends in places where they get to share a tent with other boys at night.

  • KyleW

    @Steve: Didn’t you make this case on the original post on this subject? I didn’t agree with it then, and I don’t now. I was a boy scout. I joined for the adventure years before I knew I was gay, and that was always the reason I continued. I only went on a couple of camps as a teenager, and none of them had any sexual context. At most, I enjoyed the company of other boys in a comradely way.

    The way you paint it, boys are in scouts and it’s a continuous hotbed of sexual atmosphere, but that’s just not the case. There are only a couple of camps a year for those that can afford them, and most of the time is simply spent on outdoors skills and self-improvement in the scout base. For me, the Scouts, particularly Venture Scouts (14-18) was a teenage version of the Roughriders or Pioneers.

  • Hyhybt

    @KyleW: Besides, the whole notion that boys (whether gay or straight) would *discover* that there are no girls in the Boy Scouts is more than a little insulting to their intelligence. It’s like discovering that the milk carton doesn’t contain bagels.

  • KyleW

    @Hyhybt: That’s a good point actually! I suppose you could argue that if you started as Boy Scout, you might “discover” the significance of that as you hit puberty.

  • Hyhybt

    @KyleW: Certainly your priorities might change. But then again, a lot of straight guys like doing “guy stuff” with, well, guys. (“Guy stuff” NOT, in this case, being code for any sort of sexual activity).

    I for one pretty well lost interest in the program while still in Cub Scouts, but it had nothing to do with puberty. I just didn’t care for things like different kinds of knots, and worrying about the weight of a Pinewood Derby car.

  • Rob

    Steve-That’s nice. Out of all the guys I was ever in scouts with I’m the only one who turned out to be bisexual or not heterosexual, or an LGBT person while every other guy was heterosexual. I stayed in the BSA from cub scouts until I was 15. I dropped out when I was in highschool and I wanted to concentrate more on school. I also love camping, have straight male friends who I go camping with, and when I was in the BSA nothing sexual ever went on.

  • KyleW

    @Rob: Yes Rob, that’s a good point. Same here. Whether you are gay or straight, males love male bonding. It may even be genetic. I still love guy stuff now. I just find all the female stuff so utterly, utterly vacuous.

  • Carl 1

    Takei isn’t king of the Internet, he’s the freaking God of the Internet. Loved him as a kid (Sulu was always one of my favourite Star Trek characters) and when he came out I was amazed. And since he came out publicly he’s been a very, very vocal and proactive supporter of LGBT rights. A far better gay role model than many other queer celebrities I can think of. Go team George!

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