Grand Divisions

Tennessee Equality Project seeks to advance and protect the civil rights of our State’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families in each Grand Division.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Is George Takei plotting a course for equality?

I've had enough. Has anyone bothered to ask if the proceeds from It's okay to be Takei sales of t-shirts and other merchandise are being used to fight against the Don't Say Gay and other anti-LGBT bills in Tennessee?

I wrote Takei's organization on January 12, 2012 before the above video was released:  
Dear Mr. Takei, I am a lifelong fan of your work. As a gay man, I was inspired by the ideals expressed in the Star Trek series. When I learned you were gay, it enriched that experience to Warp 10 for me. I am serving my third year on the board of the Tennessee Equality Project. My organization has fought against the Don't Say Gay bill for six LONG years. It's the bill that seems to never die. TEP is the boots on the ground here in Tennessee fighting this onerous bill. I am thrilled to hear that you've lent your name to fighting against this bill, but I am curious: to which charities are you forwarding the proceeds of your sales? Are you reinvesting those donations in TN to fight the anti-LGBT legislature in Tennessee? Since Tennessee Equality Project is the lead organization in fighting the Don't Say Gay bill in Tennessee, I've wondered when we might hear from you or your organization. We at TEP would love to help you put proceeds of your work to good use at the source of the problem --- right here in Tennessee. I'd love to talk more about this with you. Perhaps, we can both plot a course for equality here in Tennessee. Best regards, Jonathan Cole, President and Chair | Tennessee Equality Project | | | 615-669-8057 
As a fan of Star Trek and George Takei, it's hard for me to accept that Takei is profiteering off the misfortune and tragedy that is our state legislature and at the expense of kids in Tennessee.

No need to set phasers on stun. I am already there. 

UPDATEThe It's Okay to Be Takei merchandise website appears to indicate that proceeds go to a theater in San Diego, California: I'm not aware of the Old Globe theater engaging in the fight for equality and safe schools in Tennessee.

- Jonathan Cole


Mr.Tim the PuckMonk said...

As the greatest living Tennessee legend once said
“Get down off the cross, honey. Somebody needs the wood." - Dolly Parton

H.G. Stovall said...

I disagree, Tim. At best Takei is allowing the LGBT community to perceive that their purchase is actually going toward equality. What our community needs is people to actually stand behind their comments. If George Takei wants to chat with Tennessee lawmakers, then he should come to town like Dennis Shephard did.

MammaB said...

Mr. Cole, Mr. Stovall, you're missing the point.

Takei is pointing out the stupidity of your legislators, and reaching a broad audience. I'm from Canada, and I'm going to make a donation to your cause that I wouldn't have made without seeing his video.

And the donation is being made in spite of, and not because of, your strident, unbecoming whining about one of your allies.

Seriously, get a grip. Just because you live in a state with ignorant legislators is no reason to treat your friends with disdain.

Jonathan Cole said...

See for an update on this story.

Excerpt: George Takei donates 100% of his profits from all merchandise sales to his favorite charities at different levels, including The Human Rights Campaign, The Japanese American National Museum, and the Old Globe Theater in San Diego.