The fact that gays are not allowed to participate in the Boy Scouts of America didn’t stop one of the most famous gay men in the US from wearing his Scouts uniform in the New York City Pride Parade on Sunday.
George Takei, best known as Sulu on the original Star Trek television series and first batch of feature films, road on the back of a red convertible with Jennifer Tyrrell who was has emerged as the face of the fight against the Scout’s anti-gay policy.
Takei is a former member of Boy Scouts Troop 379. He played bass bugle in his troop’s drum and bugle corps and marched in Fourth of July parades.
Later, the actor served as a spokesperson for the Scouts and even received awards from the BSA in recognition of his leadership.
‘The Boy Scouts built my character,’ he said in a statement last week. ‘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.’
Local Boy Scouts, including an 85-year-old former Eagle Scout who was ousted in the early 90s because he is gay, were also on hand at the parade as well as more than 100 volunteers wearing equality tees from American Apparel’s new LGBT Pride line.
The organization is now reportedly considering ending its long-standing ban on openly gay scouts and scout leaders. A policy change is being developed that would allow local chapters of the organization to decide for themselves whether or not to accept gays participate.