Gays and Geeks is how some put it. What? Oh, the union of two distinct (sometimes) groups of people in complete excitement because actor and activist George Takei and his husband Brad are in Pittsburgh for the summer. And to make that motif absolutely perfect, they made their surprise debut at the Toonseum’s fundraiser this past weekend (geek) where we happened to be volunteering as part of Gays for Good (gay.) See how that works?
One thing really struck me about George Takei – when he arrived, he politely introduced himself and then took our hands and made a spontaneously, lovely speech about how important – nay, essential – volunteers are to the arts. He probably had no idea we were gay. Nor did it matter. I hadn’t really thought of myself as a volunteer for the arts until that very moment. It was humbling and gorgeous at the same time.
The other thing that struck me is how everyone embraced George and Brad (who is delightful I might add.) It was a wonderful testament to the power of visibility to simply have this married gay couple mingle with hundreds of Pittsburghers, some of whom probably don’t really know any married gay people. They didn’t wear rainbows or make any speeches or even spend a lot of time together. They both wore Batman pins and took endless photos with everyone (including us!) and were just simply there in a manner than really matters.
It was one of the highlights of our summer to meet George and Brad. And I promise them I will continue to be a volunteer for the arts.