Monday, 10 March 2014

Gay Identity in Contemporary USA: George Takei

George Takei, famous for his role in Star Trek, is among the most famous openly gay celebrities, and a prominent activist for gay rights including marriage equality on various social media. In his old age he has become famous for his flamboyance and willingness to say things considered offensive or raunchy (giving rise to his catchphrase, "Oh myyy"). This video is a promotion of the gay identity by way of an attack on its opponents, in this case Arkansas school board member Clint McCance. George Takei's use of his fame to openly shame him and his statements, and by extension the entire opposition to the gay rights movement, is an important signifier of the progress of the movement to the mainstream and the steadily increasing acceptance of gay rights in mainstream US society. His promotion of the help line at the end likewise shows that homosexuality is now more accepted as normal, and that the focus should be on helping gay people to survive the bullying and discrimination they face rather than to "cure" them.

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