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Did George Takei Just Turn Into a Cyberbully?

I love the internet for a hundred million reasons, but one of the reasons I love the internet most is because people who are kind of weird (me) can find their own kind and stop feeling weird and alone.

I know I’m weird, the internet will not change that fact, but the internet will allow me to find people who are weird like me. So strange, yes. Lonely, no.

This fall the media finally started reporting about some of our most at risk kids, and how vulnerable they are to bullying, cyberbullying, and bullycide. There has been a lot of discussion about how homosexual teens and young adults are alienated, tormented and at an extremely elevated risk for suicide.

This is everyone’s problem.

We do not know who is gay, straight, transgender, bisexual, or just confused. We do not know which child was told their souls are in peril because of the way G-d made them. We do not know who is at risk, therefore we are obligated to be kind.

I cannot imagine what Geoge Takei’s life has been like. He was raised in a Internment Camp for Japanese Americans, and lived with his partner for a full twenty years before they were allowed to legally wed. Just as quickly as the state recognized his union, they took it away with Prop 8.

George Takei has had a lifetime of discrimination in ways that most Americans will never endure.

I simply cannot, will not believe that this is the best he could do. I don’t believe that the folks at the Trevor Project needed him to¬† use his considerable influence to call anyone a douchebag or a closet gay. I worry, because the It Gets Better videos are the most wonderful thing to come to the web in a very long time.

I would say that this is not wonderful.

8 thoughts on “Did George Takei Just Turn Into a Cyberbully?”

  1. I agree with you — he could have done much better than this. The video has the feel of a letter written in anger and sent immediately; if he’d slept on it he might have reworked it to be more benign.

  2. The video was meant to be humorous and the answer to your question is No. He is not a cyberbully. And you’re right, you have no idea what he has endured and how much of a threat someone like Clint McClance can be to gay people. I do. I’ve endured all kinds of prejudice and some of it was very threatening. My daughter has endured hateful prejudice because I am gay. She’s had a friend’s parent say to her, “So your Dad’s a faggot.” She was 8.

    Your post neglected to say that McClance was a school board member who suggested that gay teens should kill themselves. In my book, that does make him a douchebag. A very dangerous douchebag.

    1. I really do understand that it was meant to be funny, and I wanted it to be funny, but it felt “off” for me. I’m still not sure I have the words for it.

      Preston I can’t imagine having someone speak to my child that way, and I know it’s just dumb luck that I fall mostly in the middle of suburban white America. So, with my lens it’s impossible for me to really know what it is to be a visible minority.

      All that being said. I totally agree with Takei. I think the guy is just horrible. However… and this is a big however. Takei has a massive national audience (perhaps international) and I worry that he missed an opportunity to make everyone sympathetic to him.

      So I guess I’m still in a place where I’m asking if this video would be perceived as bullying (perhaps the most overused word of 2010).

      And no, I don’t really have an answer myself. I only have questions.

      1. Point taken. It’s just such a strong issue with me and sometimes it just feels good to see a gay person of prominence lash back out at these idiots. (Even if there may have been a better way of doing it.)

  3. Point of clarification: If like me and 36,000 other Californians, George was married before Prop 8 was passed (which he was), his marriage is still valid.

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