Asian gay actor

Asian gay actor DEFAULT

Luckily, we’re seeing it now, though, with programs like Pose. It’s such a huge monumental moment that we’re able to show people of color and trans characters that are so three-dimensional and complex. I just hope that in the future, we’re able to tell more stories like that. We need more representation to show that gay people aren’t just the funny sidekicks — that we have wants and desires, that we’re happy and sad, that we’re heroes and villains, and that we get to experience the full gamut of human emotion in ways that straight white people do.

What are your feelings on playing queer roles?

I am all for it. I’m actually not interested in playing straight roles whatsoever. It’s important to me that I get to represent not only the Asian or Filipino community, but the queer community as well. Whenever I look at a role that I’m auditioning for, even if a role isn’t meant to be queer or Asian, I want to portray it through that lens — because how many chances do I get to represent my community? You just don’t get to see characters like myself out there, so I’m not interested in playing it straight. There is value in my story. I know that I’m one of a handful of people who are queer and Asian that are even out there working, and I think it’s important for me to be portraying these roles if I get the privilege to do so. I want to show little gay Asian kids out there that they can have a life as fulfilling as their straight counterparts.

Luckily, it does seem like queer narratives are expanding. They have a much bigger presence in all kinds of stories now.

I actually had a really crazy moment at the after-party of the premiere for the movie. I met MJ Rodriguez from Pose and also Lena Waithe. To be able to go up to them and tell them how much I admire both of them, and just consider that, here we are — queer, gay, lesbian, trans people of color who are allowed to exist, allowed to flourish, allowed to tell our stories. We all know that not everybody gets to have that chance and none of us take that responsibility lightly. It was this really unique moment where I was at this huge Hollywood afterparty with my contemporaries and it just felt really nice to be seen. Never in a million years did I think that I would have this career, that I would not only be on a television show, but in a major movie, representing both of my communities. This is all mind-blowing to me, and I keep pinching myself because I never thought that this could happen. Never.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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Asian American actor to speak at UIC about being mixed race, gay

Lee Doud

Lee Doud (Photo: John Francis)

Asian American actor Lee Doud will speak about being a mixed-race, gay actor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The discussion is in partnership with the Asian American Resource and Cultural Center as part of Asian American Awareness Month.


April 4
3 to 4 p.m.


Richard J. Daley Library
801 S. Morgan St., Room 1-470


Lee Doud who has starred in the movie “KTown Cowboys” and has appeared on the TV shows “Last Man Standing,” “Dark/Web,” “House of Lies” and “Californication” will be discussing being an Asian American actor in Hollywood.

Doud can be seen as Jeff Tan in the Dekkoo original series “I’m Fine,” which was nominated for a Queertie Award. As a producer, Doud worked on the short film “Another Stupid Day” and produced the feature film “The Amateur.”

In addition, Doud will discuss a commentary he wrote in the Advocate, a LGBT-interest magazine about his experiences with anti-Asian sentiments on gay dating and hook-up apps and the impact on the gay community.

Doud will also focus on his experiences in Hollywood as an Asian American, examine historical influences on “Asian-ness” and discuss the modern Asian American dating experience.

A question and answer session will follow. The event is free and open to the public.

The Asian American Resource and Cultural Center is one of seven cultural centers at UIC with distinct histories, missions and locations that promote the wellbeing and cultural awareness of underrepresented groups. The aim of AARCC is to expand the cultural understanding of Asian Americans by providing opportunities for cultural engagement among students, faculty, staff, and Chicago communities. For more information about AARCC or this event, visit or email [email protected]

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GLAAD celebrates AAPI Month

The White House declared May 2014 Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Heritage Month. Obama even appointed fourteen people to the President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders—including two openly gay members, Maulik Pancholy and Michael Byun--to improve the health, education, environment, and well-being of AAPIs in America.

To celebrate, GLAAD has compiled a list of 10 LGBT AAPI people you should know.

1. George Takei – Actor, Author, King of the Internet

George Takei

From the crew of the Starship Enterprise to the Facebook frontier, George has been boldly going there for over 50 years. George, who is Japanese-American, recently starred in the Broadway-bound musical Allegiance, inspired by his family's experience with Japanese internment camps during WWII. A long-time outspoken advocate for LGBT equality, George recently received the Vito Russo Award at the 25th Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York. Watch his inspirational speech here.


2.Geena Rocero – International Model and Advocate

Geena Rocero

On International Day of Trans Visibility, Filipino model Geena Rocero stood on stage at TED and said, “The world makes you something that you're not, but you know inside what you are, and that question burns in your heart: How will you become that?” Her powerful coming out story went viral and she has since launched GenderProud which seeks to advance the rights of transgender people world wide.


3. Margaret Cho – Comedian

Margaret Cho

Bisexual Korean-American comedienne Margaret Cho frequently draws from her own experiences to tackle issues of race, gender, and sexual orientation in a way that is both thought-provoking and hilarious. She received the inaugural Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco GLAAD Media Awards in 2000 for her advocacy. In 2010, she also rocked this amazing rainbow dress on Dancing With the Stars, which she said was a message to LGBT youth:“I wanted to send an urgent message to gay teenagers to make them feel included and loved. That dress was my statement to them about pride.”


4. Maulik Pancholy – Actor

Maulik Pancholy

Indian-American 30 Rock and Weeds actor Mauilk Pancholy came out as gay last year to Out magazine. This year he announced his engagement to his boyfriend of nine years with this adorable photo in front of the Taj Mahal. He was also recently honored by Vice President Joe Biden during the White House’s AAPI Heritage Month celebration and appointed to the President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Bam!


5.Helen Zia – Journalist and Advocate

Helen Zia

Award-winning author and journalist Helen Zia has been at the forefront of Asian-American issues for decades. Zia, who is Chinese-American and openly lesbian, has long spoken out for LGBT issues and, in 2010, testified for the plaintiffs in the landmark casePerry v. Schwarzenegger, which challenged California’s now infamous, anti-marriage equality Proposition 8.


6.BD Wong – Actor 

BD Wong

Tony Award-winner in real life and trusted FBI psychiatrist on Law and Order SVU, BD Wong’s acting career is full of unforgettable performances. The openly gay actor of Chinese descent also starred in the HBO dramatization of And the Band Played On, which chronicles the early days of AIDS advocacy. Look out for Wong in the Jurassic Park sequel, Jurassic World, to which he was recently signed. 


7.Kit Yan - Poet

Kit Yan

Anyone who has ever seen slam-poet Kit Yan perform knows that he is a powerful and an electric voice for LGBT Asian-Americans. Yan’s poetry frequently draws from his experience as a queer, trans Asian-American and his work has received recognition from New York Magazine, Curve, and HBO’s Asian Aloud.


8.Alec Mapa – Actor and Comedian

Filipino-American actor Alec Mapa has had many memorable roles on both film and television. Mapa, who is a raising a child with his husband, recently premiered a new comedy-concert film called Alec Mapa: Baby Daddy at the Outfest Fusion Film Festival. Check out our exclusive interview with Mapa here.


9.Dan Choi - Advocate

Dan Choi

In 2009, Korean-American Dan Choi publicly came out as gay on The Rachel Maddow Show – despite being an active member of the National Guard at a time when openly gay people were still not allowed to serve in the military. Choi rapidly became the public face of those negatively affected by "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell," and his fearless advocacy helped bring the discriminatory policy to an end. 


10.Mark Takano – US Representative

Mark Takano

Japanese-American Mark Takano is a member of the US House of Representatives for California’s 41st district. Upon taking office in 2013, Representative Takano became the first openly gay member of color in the United States Congress.

Gay Chinese couple talks about acceptance in US vs. China

Gay Asian celebrities occupy every career in entertainment. Several actors, comedians, filmmakers, and models are both gay and Asian. Many famous people who are Asian have stated that they had a hard time coming out as gay in their community. This list of celebs includes male and female celebs of Korean, Chinese, and Japanese descent, as well as other from all over Southeast Asia. It is full of brave individuals who are blazing a trail for future generations.

Who is the most famous gay Asian celebrity? Tila Tequila tops this list. The reality TV star is openly bisexual. "Star Trek" actor George Takei is openly gay as well. Since coming out in 2002, he has become an icon in the gay community and a champion for gay rights.

Which other Asian celebrities are gay? One celebrity on this list of famous gay Asian people dated Angelina Jolie and Madonna! Read through the list below to find out who she is.

Do you think that people who are Asian and gay have a harder time than gay people of other nationalities? Share your thoughts in the comments section.



Gay actor asian

Leslie Cheung: Asia's gay icon lives on 15 years after his death

By Gwyneth Ho
BBC Chinese

Image source, Tomson (HK) Films Co., Ltd.

For the past 15 years fans of tormented superstar Leslie Cheung, one of the first celebrities to come out as gay in Asia, have gathered at Hong Kong's Mandarin Oriental Hotel to mourn the day he took his own life.

It's a poignant sign of why the daring and troubled star is still important today.

One of Hong Kong's most popular male singers and actors of the mid-1980s, Leslie Cheung Kwok Wing was not afraid of provoking controversy with his overt sexuality and provocative performances during a more socially conservative era.

And 15 years after his death, Cheung is still attracting new fans, including teenagers and millennials.

Lam, a 15-year-old who attended 1 April's vigil, was only a few months old when Cheung died. She told BBC Chinese she had "discovered him on YouTube".

"He was charismatic; especially when he went's gorgeous," she said.

Meanwhile, 25-year-old Wu travelled from Hunan province on mainland China with his boyfriend to mourn the icon.

Wu told BBC Chinese he drew strength from Cheung's "spirit of being true to oneself".

"He showed the [Chinese-speaking] world that gay people can be positive, bright and worthy of respect."

Image source, BBC Chinese

Born in 1956, Leslie Cheung was one of Hong Kong's most famous stars during the golden era of Cantopop in the 1980s.

He was dashing, stylish and fitted the public idea of a perfect heterosexual male lover. But in reality, he was in a long-term relationship with his childhood friend, Daffy Tong.

It was not an easy time to be gay. At that time, homosexuality was still viewed by many as an illness and abnormality in Hong Kong, especially after the emergence of the first local case of Aids in 1984. It was not until 1991 that adult gay sex was decriminalised in the territory.

"The LGBT movement in Hong Kong took off in the 1990s, when the community finally became visible to the public," Travis Kong, an associate professor of sociology researching gay culture at The University of Hong Kong, told BBC Chinese.

And it was at this point that Cheung became more daring in his work.

Image source, Tomson (HK) Films Co., Ltd.

He first came to international attention with his portrayal of Cheng Dieyi, the androgynous Peking Opera star, for the film Farewell My Concubine, which won the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 1993.

He went on to star in Happy Together directed by Wong Kar Wai - a gay cinema classic about a couple who struggle to find a peaceful co-existence.

"Happy Together is different. It is a stereotypical heterosexual romance, but played by two men," said Kit Hung, a Hong Kong director.

Meanwhile, Christopher Doyle, the renowned cinematographer who worked with Cheung on various Wong Kar Wai films, told BBC Chinese: "He was so beautiful. We both wanted to convey through my lens the most beautiful, sincerest side of him.

"He enters our imagination audaciously... always showing us better possibilities."

Image source, Getty Images

On stage, Cheung unleashed a sexually fluid charm. His defining queer performance came in a 1997 concert where he danced intimately with a male dancer to his song Red. He wore a black suit with a pair of sparkling crimson high-heels.

At that concert he dedicated a classic love song to the two "loves of his life", his mother and his partner Daffy Tong. This is seen as the moment he came out of the closet. Cheung did not proclaim his sexuality as such, but confessed his love for a man.

Image source, Rock Records

"In the 1990s, at times a gay man was still called 'Aids man' and 'pervert'," says Mr Kong. "In a society so oppressive to the LGBT community, the coming out of such a renowned superstar had a huge effect on the general public."

Despite his success across Asia, there were many who did not appreciate this side of Cheung.

At the 1998 Hong Kong Film Awards, Happy Together was mocked by comedians, who described it as a film that would make the audience vomit. A music video he directed, featuring him topless with a male ballet dancer, was also censored by major local TV channel TVB.

In 2000 Leslie became the first Asian star to wear a tailor-made costume by French fashion master Jean-Paul Gaultier in a concert. With waist-length hair, clearly visible stubble and a muscular build, Cheung also wore tight transparent trousers and a short skirt.

He ended the concert with his self-revealing ballad I. "The theme of my performance is this: The most important thing in life, apart from love, is to appreciate your own self," he explained.

"I won't hide, I will live my life the way I like under the bright light" he sang. "I am what I am, firelight of a different colour."

But he was dismissed as a "transvestite", "perverted" or "haunted by a female ghost" in local media. He would dismiss that criticism as superficial and short-sighted.

He remains such an iconic figure in Hong Kong's awakening to LGBT issues that the Mandarin Oriental Hotel is even the first stop of a walking tour on the city's LGBT history.

Image source, BBC Chinese
Image source, BBC Chinese

It was from here that he jumped to his death on 1 April 2003 after a long struggle with depression. It was a shocking moment for the city, and a devastating moment for fans.

Tens of thousands turned out to bid him farewell and at the funeral, his partner Daffy Tong assumed the role traditionally preserved for the surviving spouse, a profound, public recognition of their relationship.

Never legally married, Mr Tong's was the first name listed on the family's announcement of Cheung's death, credited "Love of His Life".

Same-sex marriage or civil unions are still not legal in Hong Kong, but in the city's collective memory, Cheung and Tong are fondly remembered as an iconic, loving couple.

Image source, Getty Images

Hong Kong still lacks anti-discrimination laws protecting LGBT communities but queer identity and sexual fluidity are no longer so taboo and are part of the social landscape.

Last year a museum in Hong Kong held an exhibition "Ambiguously Yours: Gender in Hong Kong Popular Culture". The first exhibit visitors encountered upon entering the venue was a pair of sparkling crimson high-heels - the pair Cheung wore performing Red in 1997.

"The highest achievement for a performer is to embody both genders at the same time," Cheung once proclaimed: "For art itself is genderless."

If you are feeling emotionally distressed and would like details of organisations which offer advice and support, click here. In the UK you can call for free, at any time, to hear recorded information on 0800 066 066. In Hong Kong you can get help here.

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25 Beautiful Asian Men Who Will Make You Thirsty AF

George Takei

American actor and activist

In this Japanese name, the surname is Takei.

George Takei (; Japanese: ジョージ・タケイ; born Hosato Takei, April 20, 1937) is an American actor and activist. He is internationally known for his role as Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the fictional starship USS Enterprise in the television series Star Trek and subsequent films.[1][2]

Takei was born to Japanese-American parents, with whom he lived in U.S.-run internment camps during World War II. He began pursuing acting in college, which led in 1965 to the role of Sulu, to which he returned periodically into the 1990s. Upon coming out as gay in 2005, he became a prominent proponent of LGBT rights and active in state and local politics. He has been a vocal advocate of the rights of immigrants, in part through his work on the 2012 Broadway show Allegiance about the internment experience.[3][4]

Takei has won several awards and accolades for his work on human rights and Japan–United States relations, including his work with the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, California.

Early life[edit]

George Hosato Takei was born Hosato Takei[5] on April 20, 1937 in Los Angeles, California,[6] to Japanese-American parents Fumiko Emily Nakamura[5] (born in Sacramento, California) and Takekuma Norman Takei (born in Yamanashi Prefecture),[7] who worked in real estate.[8] His father named him George after King George VI of the United Kingdom, whose coronation took place in 1937, shortly after Takei's birth.[9][10] In 1942, the Takei family was forced to live in the converted horse stables of Santa Anita Park before being sent to the Rohwer War Relocation Center for internment in Rohwer, Arkansas.[11] The internment camp was in swamplands and surrounded by barbed wire fences. The family was later transferred to the Tule Lake War Relocation Center in California for internment.[12]

Takei had several relatives living in Japan during World War II. Among them, he had an aunt and infant cousin who lived in Hiroshima and who were both killed during the atomic bombing that destroyed the city. In Takei's own words, "My aunt and baby cousin [were] found burnt in a ditch in Hiroshima."[13] At the end of World War II, after leaving Tule internment camp, Takei's family were left without any bank accounts, home, or family business; this left them unable to find any housing, so they lived on Skid Row, Los Angeles for five years.[14] He attended Mount Vernon Junior High School and served as Boys Senior Board President at Los Angeles High School.[15] He was a member of Boy Scout Troop 379 of the Koyasan Buddhist Temple.[16][17]

Upon graduation from high school, Takei enrolled in the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied architecture.[18] Later, he transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in theater in 1960 and a Master of Arts in theater in 1964.[19] He also attended the Shakespeare Institute at Stratford-upon-Avon in England, and Sophia University in Tokyo. In Hollywood, he studied acting at the Desilu Workshop.[20]


Early career[edit]

Takei began his career in Hollywood in the late 1950s, providing voiceover for characters in the English dubbing of the Japanese monster films Rodan (1956, US: 1957)[21] and Godzilla Raids Again (1955, US: Gigantis the Fire Monster, 1959). He appeared in the anthology television series Playhouse 90 and the Perry Mason episode "The Case of the Blushing Pearls" (both 1959) and a handful of times in Hawaiian Eye during the 1960–61 season, including an eponymous episode as Thomas Jefferson Chu. He originated the role of George in the musical Fly Blackbird!, but when the show traveled from Los Angeles[22] to Off-Broadway the West Coast actors were forced to audition and the role went to William Sugihara instead. Eventually Sugihara had to give up the role and Takei closed out the show's final months.[23]

Takei subsequently appeared alongside such actors as Frank Sinatra in Never So Few (uncredited, 1959), Richard Burton in Ice Palace, Jeffrey Hunter in Hell to Eternity (1960), Alec Guinness in A Majority of One (1961), James Caan in Red Line 7000 (1965) and Cary Grant in Walk, Don't Run (1966).

He starred as a landscaper of Japanese descent in "The Encounter," a 1964 episode of the Twilight Zone.[24] CBS considered the episode's theme of US-Japanese hatred "too disturbing" to include when the series was syndicated.[25] "The Encounter" was not seen after its initial airing until it was released on video in 1992 as part of the Treasures of the Twilight Zone collection.[24][25]

Takei guest-starred in an episode of Mission: Impossible during that show's first season in 1966. He also appeared in two Jerry Lewis comedies, The Big Mouth (uncredited, 1967) and Which Way to the Front? (1970). Takei narrated the documentary The Japanese Sword as the Soul of the Samurai (1969).[26]

Star Trek[edit]

In 1965, producer Gene Roddenberry cast Takei as astrosciences physicist Sulu in the second pilot for the original Star Trek television series. When the series was accepted by NBC, Takei continued in the role of Sulu, who was now the ship's helmsman.

It was intended that Sulu's role be expanded in the second season, but Takei's role in The Green Berets (1968) as Captain Nim, a South Vietnamese Army officer alongside John Wayne's character, took him away from Star Trek filming and he only appeared in half the episodes of that season. Walter Koenig as Pavel Chekov substituted for him in the other episodes. When Takei returned, the two men had to share a dressing room and a single episode script.[27] Takei admitted in an interview that he initially felt threatened by Koenig's presence, but later grew to be friends with him as the image of the officers sharing the ship's helm panel side-by-side became iconic.[27]

Takei has since appeared in numerous television and film productions, reprising his role as Sulu in Star Trek: The Animated Series from 1973 to 1974, and in the first six Star Trek films, the last of which promoted his character to captain of his own starship. Meanwhile, he became a regular on the science fiction convention circuit throughout the world. He has also acted and provided voice acting for several science fiction computer games, including Freelancer and numerous Star Trek games. In 1996, in honor of the 30th anniversary of Star Trek, he played Captain Sulu in an episode of Star Trek: Voyager.

Takei has spoken about personal difficulties with William Shatner.[28][29][30][31] However, in an interview in the 2004 DVD set for the second season of Star Trek, Takei said of Shatner: "He's just a wonderful actor who created a singular character. No one could have done Kirk the way Bill did. His energy and his determination, that's Bill. And that's also Captain Kirk." He appeared alongside Shatner on the 2006 Comedy CentralRoast of William Shatner in which the two mocked each other in good humor and embraced, Takei noting that he was "honored" to be there "despite our past tensions".

Takei is also one of six actors (the others being Jonathan Frakes, Kate Mulgrew, Michael Dorn, Avery Brooks and Majel Barrett) to lend his voice to Star Trek: Captain's Chair, reprising his role of Captain Hikaru Sulu when users visit the bridge of the original Enterprise in the computer game. In the summer of 2007, Takei played Sulu in the fan-made Internet based series Star Trek New Voyages: Phase II episode "World Enough and Time".[32][33]

After Star Trek[edit]

In 1979, Takei co-wrote the science-fiction novel Mirror Friend, Mirror Foe with Robert Asprin.[34]

Takei's autobiography, To the Stars, was published in 1994. At one point, he had hoped to do a movie or telefilm based on chapters dealing with the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, of which he had personal experience.

In January 2007, Takei began appearing on Heroes, as Kaito Nakamura, a successful Japanese businessman and father to one of the main characters, time/space-travelling Hiro Nakamura, who also happens to be an obsessive fan of Star Trek. In the first episode in which Takei appears, "Distractions", the license plate of the limo he arrives in is NCC-1701, another reference to the Star Trek series. He appeared in all four seasons of the show.

Takei appeared on the first episode of Secret Talents of the Stars, singing country music, but was not selected to proceed to the next stage. However the point became moot as the series was abruptly cancelled after the opening episode.

In 2008 he appeared on the 8th season of the reality TV series I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! on the British ITV television network. He lived in the Australian bush for 21 days and nights, doing tasks along with fellow campers in order to gain better meals and survive eviction from the show. His politeness and calmness made him popular with the other campers. Out of 12 participants the British public voted him into 3rd place behind 2nd placed Martina Navratilova and winner Joe Swash.

In 2009, Takei appeared in an episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars as the Neimoidian general, Lok Durd, the first time a leading actor from Star Trek worked in a Star Wars production. In April that year, he voiced a fictitious version of himself in the NASA animated short "Robot Astronomy Talk Show: Gravity and the Great Attractor", part of the web-series IRrelevant Astronomy produced by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. Takei (and his husband Brad Altman) appeared in a documentary short titled George & Brad in Bed (2009) that profiled their relationship and was a guest on NPR's Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me!.

In 2010, Takei recorded a series of public service announcements for the Social Security Administration to help promote applying online for benefits.[35]

In 2011, he appeared with husband Brad Altman in All Star Mr & Mrs, a show on ITV in Britain presented by Phillip Schofield and Fern Britton.[36]

Takei was also one of the celebrities in the 12th season of The Apprentice. He was fired in the third episode, which aired on March 4, 2012.[37]

Takei was featured with Martin Sheen and Jamie Lee Curtis in a performance of Dustin Lance Black's play 8—a staged reenactment of the federal trial Perry v. Brown that overturned California's Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage—as William Tam.[38] The production was held at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre and broadcast on YouTube to raise money for the American Foundation for Equal Rights.[39][40]

In 2012, Takei starred in the musical Allegiance, which Takei described as his legacy project. The show is based on Takei's own experiences and research into the Japanese American internment of World War II and premiered at the Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park in San Diego, California.[41]Allegiance debuted on Broadway on November 8, 2015, to mixed reviews. The Guardian said it was "unexceptional though often affecting"; Deadline called it "a triumph of a rare sort, shedding light in a dark corner of our history with uncommon generosity of spirit." The New York Times praised the "well-intentioned and polished" play for tackling a difficult subject while trying at the same time to entertain its audience, but said Allegiance "struggles to balance both ambitions, and doesn't always find an equilibrium". The Associated Press said Allegiance tries to tackle internment camps, discrimination and war, "but does so unsuccessfully in a bombastic and generic Broadway musical". Variety wrote, "In their sincere efforts to 'humanize' their complex historical material, the creatives have oversimplified and reduced it to generic themes." The Hollywood Reporter said "the powerful sentiments involved are too often flattened by the pedestrian lyrics and unmemorable melodies of Jay Kuo's score". USA Today called Allegiance "as corny as Kansas in August and as obvious as Lady Gaga on a red carpet. But darned if it won't get a grip on your heartstrings."[42]

In 2013, Takei was a guest judge in the TBS reality show King of the Nerds, in which he is one of three judges of the Cosplay Competition.[43]

Beginning September 17, 2013, Takei hosted Takei's Take,[44] a web series reviewing consumer technology in a manner for viewers over 50 years in age. The series is produced by AARP.[45]

Takei made an appearance in issue no. 6 of Kevin Keller where the titular character cites Takei as one of his heroes. Upon reading about Kevin with his partner, Takei decides to travel to Riverdale and surprise Kevin. Takei also wrote the foreword for the second volume of the Kevin Keller comics.[46]

Takei appeared in the viral video for Bonnie McKee's song "American Girl" lip syncing the lyrics to her song.[47]

Starting in 2013, Takei became spokesperson for Rooms To Go, an American furniture retailer. He was seen in a series of television commercials where he used his famous "Oh Myyy!" tag line.[48]

In January 2014, Jennifer Kroot's documentary film about Takei, To Be Takei, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. He also participated in Do I Sound Gay?, a documentary film by David Thorpe about stereotypes of gay men's speech patterns.[49]

In 2015, he produced a YouTube mini-series It Takeis Two featuring himself and Altman,[50][51] described as a "parody-scripted reality series" that also includes Internet culture.[52] The series ran for nine episodes.[53]

In early 2017 Takei was featured in television commercials promoting the restaurant Pizza Hut.[54]

In 2019, Takei published They Called Us Enemy, a 208-page graphic autobiography with a particular focus of his family's time in internment, co-written with Justin Eisinger and Steven Scott and illustrated by Harmony Becker.[55] The novel received an American Book Award in 2020.[56] In June 2021, dean of the United States Air Force AcademyBrig. Gen.Linell Letendre announced that They Called Us Enemy, which details both Takei's struggle with internment and understanding of American democracy, would be part of the Academy's new reading initiative for cadets.[57]

Personal life and activism[edit]

Private life[edit]

(left to right) Takei, They Called Us Enemyco-author Steven Scott, and Takei's husband Brad Altman at Midtown Comicsin New York.

In October 2005, Takei revealed in an issue of Frontiers magazine that he is gay and had been in a committed relationship with his partner, Brad Altman, for 18 years; the move was prompted by then California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's veto of same-sex marriage legislation. He said, "It's not really coming out, which suggests opening a door and stepping through. It's more like a long, long walk through what began as a narrow corridor that starts to widen."[58][59] Nevertheless, Takei's sexuality had been an open secret among Star Trek fans since the 1970s, and Takei did not conceal his active membership in LGBT organizations, including Frontrunners, where he developed public friendships with openly gay couples such as Kevin and Don Norte.[60] In an on-air telephone interview with Howard Stern in December 2005, Takei explained, "[We (gay people)] are masculine, we are feminine, we are caring, we are abusive. We are just like straight people, in terms of our outward appearance and our behavior. The only difference is that we are oriented to people of our own gender."[61] Takei also described Altman as "a saint" for helping to take care of Takei's terminally ill mother.

Takei currently serves[62] as a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign "Coming Out Project". In 2006 he embarked on a nationwide "Equality Trek" speaking tour sharing his life as a gay Japanese American, his 18-year relationship with Altman, Frontrunners, and Star Trek, encouraging others to share their own personal stories.[63][64] In the wake of the 2007 controversy over former NBA player Tim Hardaway, who had stated "I hate gay people", Takei recorded a mock public service announcement which began as a serious message of tolerance, then turned the tables on Hardaway by proclaiming that while he may hate gay people, gay people love him and other "sweaty basketball players", and promising Hardaway that "I will have sex with you". This was aired on Jimmy Kimmel Live![65] Takei also appeared on the Google float at San Francisco Pride 2007.[66]

In 2014, Takei raised $100,000 for an adult Eagle Scout to start a web series, titled Camp Abercorn, documenting his experiences in the Boy Scouts of America after he was forced to leave, due to their anti-gay adult policy. Takei stated, "As a former Boy Scout myself, it pains me deeply that the BSA still boots out gay Scouts when they turn 18. This web series will help educate and inform, as well as entertain. That gets a big thumbs up from me. Let's make this happen."[67]

In 2015, after the announcement of the U.S. Supreme Court same-sex marriage decision, Obergefell v. Hodges, Takei was critical of Clarence Thomas's dissent and called Thomas "a clown in blackface".[68] After defending his comments for over a week, Takei apologized for his wording.[68]

Takei was criticized for his response on Twitter to the shooting of Steve Scalise in June 2017. Calling Scalise "bigoted" and "homophobic", Takei criticized his previous opposition to same-sex marriage and commented that Crystal Griner, the officer who saved Scalise, was a lesbian. Takei's response was widely criticized, with Jake Tapper calling it "unfathomable".[69][70][71]


On May 16, 2008, Takei announced that he and Brad Altman would be getting married. They were the first same-sex couple to apply for a marriage license in West Hollywood.[72] On June 17, shortly after Takei and Altman obtained their marriage license, they spread the news by holding a press conference outside the West Hollywood city auditorium.[73] They were married on September 14, 2008, at the Democracy Forum of the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, of which Takei is one of the founders and serves as a member of its board of trustees.[74]Walter Koenig was his best man, and Nichelle Nichols, eschewing the title "matron of honor", was "best woman". Reverend William Briones of the Nishi Hongwanji Buddhist Temple of Los Angeles presided.[75]

Takei and Altman appeared in a celebrity edition of The Newlywed Game TV show, which the GSN cable network aired October 13, 2009. They were the first same-sex couple to be featured on the show.[76] Takei and Altman won the game, winning $10,000 for their charity, the Japanese American National Museum.[77]

In February 2010, Takei and Altman became the second same-sex couple to appear on the British game show All Star Mr & Mrs, losing to rugby star Phil Vickery and wife Kate.[78]


Takei was an alternate delegate from California to the 1972 Democratic National Convention. The following year he ran for a seat on the Los Angeles City Council, finishing second of five candidates in the special election and losing by 1,647 votes; the winner, David Cunningham Jr., received 42% of the votes cast and Takei received 33%. During the campaign, Takei's bid for the city council caused one local station to stop running the repeats of the original Star Trek series until after the election and KNBC-TV to substitute the premiere episode of the Star Trek animated series scheduled by the network with another in which his character did not appear, in attempts to avoid violating the FCC'sequal-time rule.[79] The other candidates in the race complained that Takei's distinctive and powerful voice alone, even without his image on television every week, created an unfair advantage.[80]

Los Angeles MayorTom Bradley later appointed Takei to the board of directors of the Southern California Rapid Transit District, making him part of the team that initiated and planned the Los Angeles subway system. Takei was called away from the set of Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1978 to cast the tie-breaking vote for the creation of the Los Angeles subway system. He served on the board from 1973 to 1984.[81]

In 1980, Takei began a campaign for California State Assemblyman (District 46) from the greater Los Angeles area. However, he chose to withdraw after his opponent challenged the airing of episodes of Star Trek on local television under the Federal Communications Commission's Fairness Doctrine "equal time" regulations,[82][83] saying also that "this is the wrong time to interrupt my career as an actor and author."[82] He also appeared as a sadistic Japanese POW camp commander in the World War II film Return from the River Kwai (1989).

In November 2010, Takei released a PSA blasting Clint McCance, who was at the time the vice president of the school board for the Midland School District in southern Independence County, Arkansas.[84] In the video, Takei repeatedly called McCance "a douchebag". Takei's video was made as a response to McCance making blatantly homophobic remarks, stating that he "enjoys the fact that [gay people] give each other AIDS and die".[85] McCance went on to encourage gay people to commit suicide, and stated that he would disown his children if they were gay.[86] McCance later resigned his seat on the Midland school board. Takei was praised for his response to McCance and garnered much media attention with the PSA.

In May 2011, in response to a Tennessee State Legislature bill that prohibited school teachers or students from using any language that alludes to the existence of homosexuality (the "Don't Say Gay" bill), Takei released another PSA in which he offered up his name, suggesting that people could just substitute that for 'gay'. For example, they could support Takei Marriage or watch Takei Pride Parades; or even use slurs such as That's so Takei.

Takei marked the 70th anniversary of the internment of Americans of Japanese descent, including himself as a child, by asking his readers to contact the US Congress to block S. 1253, the National Defense Authorization Act, that "would authorize a similar sweeping authority, granted to the President, to order the detention – without charge or trial – of any person even suspected of being associated with a 'terrorist organization'".[87]

On December 8, 2015, following Donald Trump's call to ban all Muslims from traveling to the United States, Takei appeared on MSNBC to denounce him: "It's ironic that he made that comment on December 7, Pearl Harbor Day — the very event that put us in those internment camps," Takei said. "[A congressional commission] found that it was three things that brought that about. One was racial hysteria, second was war hysteria and third was failure of political leadership. Donald Trump is the perfect example of that failure.... What Donald Trump is talking about is something that's going to make his logo 'America disgraced again.'"[88] During the transition following Trump's election, Carl Higbie cited the internment of Japanese Americans as a historical precedent for a register of Muslims.[89][90] Takei described Higbie's comments as "dangerous"[91] and went on to say on The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell that "[r]egistration of any group of people, and certainly registration of Muslims, is a prelude to internment."[92]

On March 31, 2017, Takei announced his intent to challenge Devin Nunes, Republican incumbent House Representative for the 22nd District of California.[93] A few hours later, he acknowledged that it had all been an April Fools' joke and instead announced his support for Jon Ossoff, who was running in Georgia's 6th congressional district special election, 2017.[94][95] While Ossoff did not win the House seat, he did become Georgia's Senator in 2021.

Takei formerly served as chair of the Council of Governors of East West Players, one of the pioneering Asian Pacific American theaters in the United States, until 2018.[96] That same year, he played the parts of Sam Kimura and Ojii-San in East West Players' and the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center's joint production of Allegiance. Throughout the press tour of the production, he spoke openly about parallels he saw between the WWII-setting of the musical and the current political climate of the United States.[97]

Takei and his husband Brad Takei own New York City-based digital publication called Second Nexus which publishes "news with commentary from a progressive perspective."[98]


Takei is a Buddhist.[99] His father practiced Zen Buddhism and his mother practiced Shin Buddhism. He kept a small shrine when the family was incarcerated at an internment camp during World War II. After the war, Takei attended Sunday school at Senshin Buddhist Temple in Los Angeles, California. Takei and husband Brad Altman were married in 2008 at a Buddhist ritual performed by the Reverend William Briones.[100]


Takei is an avid Anglophile. On his personal website he said: "Those who know me know that I am an inconvertible Anglophile – or more broadly, a Britanophile, which includes my affection for Scotland and Wales as well. I love things British. My car is British. My wardrobe, to a good extent, is British. I even love the food in London – I think British food has shaken its prevailing perception as indigestible and become quite wonderful. I try to get to Britain for holidays as often as I can. I love things British."[101]


Takei at the 2019 Phoenix Comicon

Takei has also gained attention for his Facebook page where his daily posts of humorous pictures (many of which are related to science fiction, LGBT culture and political satire) have attracted over 9 million followers,[102] some of whom are unfamiliar with Takei or Star Trek. He has been lauded as "the funniest guy on Facebook".[103][104] In September 2013, Takei used his Facebook page to defend Nina Davuluri, who was targeted by a backlash of racist and xenophobic comments after being named Miss America 2014.[105][106] He later appeared in a joint ABC interview with Davuluri, in which she revealed that she is a Trekkie. Takei told her, "In Star Trek we have this creed: 'Infinite diversity in infinite combinations'. That's what Starfleet was all about so you're a part of that." Davuluri ended the interview by stating, "I have to say 'Live Long and Prosper'" at which point Takei offered her the Vulcan salute, which she returned.[107] However, Takei also attracted criticism from some people with disabilities in 2014 for his posting of a meme on Facebook and Twitter which shows a wheelchair-using woman standing up to reach something from the top shelf in a store and is captioned "there has been a miracle in the alcohol isle" [sic].[108] Disabled people responded that people need not be paralyzed to need wheelchairs; Takei then removed the post and apologized on Facebook for his comments.[109]

Sexual misconduct allegation[edit]

In November 2017, former actor and model Scott R. Brunton told The Hollywood Reporter that Takei drugged and groped him in Takei's condo in 1981, when Brunton was 23 years old.[110][111][112] Takei denied the allegation, writing on Twitter: "I have wracked my brain to ask if I remember Mr. Brunton, and I cannot say I do.... Non-consensual acts are so antithetical to my values and my practices, the very idea that someone would accuse me of this is quite personally painful."[111][113]

On May 24, 2018, the New York Observer's Shane Snow reported that Brunton had "changed his story," describing his encounter with Takei as a "great party story" and confessing to "not remembering any touching" of his genitalia. Snow also consulted toxicologists, who suggested Brunton likely had postural hypotension rather than a drugged drink, and a former Senior Deputy District Attorney, who contended "there's nothing to prosecute" if it was the case that Takei stopped physical contact with Brunton after being denied consent.[114][115] That same month, Takei posted Snow's article on his social media platforms while publicly forgiving Brunton for his actions, stating: "despite what he has put us through, I do not bear Mr. Brunton any ill will, and I wish him peace."[116]

Awards and recognition[edit]

In 1986, Takei was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame with a star at 6681 Hollywood Blvd for his work in television.[117]

In 2004, the government of Japan conferred upon Takei the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, which represents the fourth highest of six classes associated with the award. This decoration was presented in acknowledgment of his contributions to US-Japanese relations.[118]

Asteroid7307 Takei is named in his honor. The citation from the NASA website reads:

7307 Takei. Discovered 1994 Apr. 13 by Y. Shimizu and T. Urata at Nachi-Katsuura. George Takei (b. 1937) is an actor best known for his role as Mr. Sulu in the original Star Trek television series. He also has a lengthy record of public service through his involvement with organizations such as the Japanese American Citizens League and the Human Rights Campaign. The name was suggested by T. H. Burbine.[119]

Upon learning of the decision to name the asteroid after him, he said, "I am now a heavenly body. I found out about it yesterday. ... I was blown away. It came out of the clear, blue sky—just like an asteroid."[120]

In November 2007, Takei was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the San Diego Asian Film Festival.[121]

In June 2012, the American Humanist Association gave Takei the LGBT Humanist Award.[122][123]

In May 2014, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation honored Takei with the GLAAD Vito Russo Award, which is presented to an openly LGBT media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality for the LGBT community.[124]

In May 2015, the Japanese American National Museum honored Takei with the Distinguished Medal of Honor for Lifetime Achievement and Public Service at the Japanese American National Museum's 2015 Gala Dinner in Los Angeles.[125]

On June 10, 2016, California State University, Los Angeles presented Takei with an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters for his contributions.[123] In 2019, he was awarded the Inkpot Award.[126]

On April 1, 2020, it was announced that Takei would be the final torchbearer for the delayed 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games.[127] On April 2, he announced it was an April Fools' joke.[128]




Year Show Role Notes
1959 Perry MasonToma Sakai Episode: "The Case of the Blushing Pearls" s3e4
1960 Assignment: UnderwaterKenji Episode: "A Matter of Honor"
1964 The Twilight ZoneArthur Takamori Episode: "The Encounter"
1965 My Three SonsWon Tsun Episode: "The Hong Kong Story"
Voyage to the Bottom of the SeaMajor Lee Cheng Episode: "The Silent Saboteurs"
Death Valley DaysWong Lee Episode: "The Book"
1966–1969 Star TrekLt. SuluMain cast, 52 episodes
1966 Mission: ImpossibleRoger Lee Episode: "The Carriers"
1968 It Takes a ThiefWo Episode: "To Catch a Roaring Lion"
1969 The Courtship of Eddie's FatherMr. Sato Episode: "Gentleman Friend"
1970 Marcus Welby, M.D.Fred Episode: "To Get Through the Night"
1971 IronsideTsutomu Watari Episode: "No Motive for Murder"
1973–1974 Star Trek: The Animated SeriesLt. Sulu (voice) Main role
1974 The Six Million Dollar ManChin Ling Episode: "The Coward"
1975 Hawaii Five-0Nathaniel Blake Episode: "Death's Name Is Sam"
1976 Black Sheep SquadronMaj. Kato Episode: "Up for Grabs"
1986 MacGyverDr. Shen Wei Episode: "The Wish Child"
The New Adventures of Jonny QuestAdditional voices
1987 Miami ViceKenneth Togaru Episode: "By Hooker by Crook"
Murder She WroteBert Tanaka Episode: "The Bottom Line is Murder"
1991–2013 The SimpsonsRestaurant Owner, Akira, Waiter, Wink, The Game Show Host (voices) Episodes: "One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish", "Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo", "A Hunka Hunka Burns in Love" & "What Animated Women Want"
1995 Kissinger and NixonLê Đức ThọTelevision film
1995 Kung Fu: The Legend ContinuesColonel Ong Episode: "The Return of Sing Ling"
1996 3rd Rock from the SunHimself Episode: "Hotel Dick"
Spider-ManWong (voice) Episode: "Doctor Strange"
Star Trek: VoyagerCapt. Sulu Episode: "Flashback"
1996–1997 Space CasesWarlord Shank
1996–2004 Hey Arnold!Kyo Heyerdahl (voice) 2 episodes
1999 Batman BeyondMr. Fixx (voice) Episodes: "Rebirth: Part 1" & "Rebirth: Part 2"
2002–2007 Kim PossibleMaster Sensei (voice) 3 episodes
2002–2013 FuturamaHimself/Hikaru Sulu (voice) Episodes: "Where No Fan Has Gone Before", "Proposition Infinity", "Zapp Dingbat" & "Saturday Morning Fun Pit"
2002 Jackie Chan AdventuresHigh Mystic (voice) Episode: "The Chosen One"
2004 ScrubsPriest Episode: "My Best Friend's Wedding"
2005 Avatar: The Last AirbenderFire Nation prison warden (voice) Episode: "Imprisoned"
2006 Malcolm in the MiddleHimself Episode: "Hal Grieves"
PsychEpisode: "Shawn vs. the Red Phantom"
Will & GraceEpisode: "Buy, Buy Baby"
2007 Cory in the HouseRonald Episode: "Air Force One Too Many" (missing info)
El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny RiveraThe Seventh Samurai (voice) Episode: "Rising Son"
2007–2010 HeroesKaito Nakamura
2008 Star Wars: The Clone WarsGeneral Lok Durd (voice) Episode: "Defenders of Peace"
I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!Himself/Contestant Third Place / 20 episodes
2008–2009 ChowderFoie Gras (voice) Episodes: "Chowder and Mr. Fugu" & "Hands on a Big Mixer"
2009 Transformers: AnimatedYoketron (voice) Episode: "Five Servos of Doom"
Party DownHimself Episode: "Stennheiser-Pong Wedding Reception"
The Super Hero Squad ShowGalactus (voice) 3 episodes
2010 The Big Bang TheoryHimself Episode: "The Hot Troll Deviation"
The Suite Life on DeckRome Tipton Episode: "Starship Tipton"
Scooby-Doo! Mystery IncorporatedMr. Wang/White Wizard (voice) Episode: "The Dragon's Secret"
CommunityHimself/narrator Episode: "Epidemiology"
2011–2013 Supah NinjasHologramps, Evil Grandpa Main character
2012, 2014 ArcherMr. Moto Episodes: "Drift Problem" & "Archer Vice: A Debt of Honor"
2010–2012 Adventure TimeRicardio the Heart Guy (voice) Episodes: "Ricardio the Heart Guy" & "Lady & Peebles"
2012 Hawaii Five-0Uncle Choi Episode: "Kahu"
Plays Chin Ho Kelly's (Daniel Dae Kim) uncle
The Celebrity ApprenticeHimself/Contestant 16th place
4 episodes
2012–2013 Transformers: PrimeAlpha Trion (voice) Episodes: "Alpha/Omega" & "Rebellion"
2013 The New NormalSam 1 episode
2013–2014 The NeighborsSupreme Commander/Father Recurring role
2013 Ultimate Spider-ManElder Monk (voice) Episode: "Journey of the Iron Fist"
Lost GirlSnake Man / Amphisbaena 1 episode
2014 King of the NerdsHimself 1 episode
Real Husbands of HollywoodEpisode: "Don't Vote for Nick"
Through the Keyhole1 episode[133]
2015 Penn Zero: Part-Time HeroSashi's Dad (voice) Episode: "Flurgle Burgle"
Hot in ClevelandRev. Matsuda Episode: "Duct Soup"
Miles from TomorrowlandSpectryx (voice) Episode: "The Neptune Adventure/Eye to Eye"[134][135]
BoJack HorsemanAudiobook Narrator (voice) Episode: "Brand New Couch"
2015–present Robot ChickenVarious voices 2 episodes
2015 Regular ShowDaisuke (voice) Episode: "Just Friends"
2016–2020 Bubble GuppiesMajor Bummer/Sensei (voice) 2 episodes
2016 The 7DDr. Sweet Tooth Episode: "Smarty Tooth"
2016 Almost RoyalHimself Episode: "Future"
2016 - 2019 Elena of AvalorKing Toshi of Satu (voice) 2 episodes[136]
2017 Fresh Off the BoatBernard Episodes: "It's a Plastic Pumpkin, Louis Huang" & "The Day After Thanksgiving"
2019 The TerrorYamato-san Season 2
Star Trek: Short TreksHikaru Sulu Archive audio used in episode: "Ephraim and Dot"
2020 Love MonsterElder Panda
Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?Himself (voice) Episode: "Hollywood Knights!"
The Twilight ZoneKanamit #1 Episode: "You Might Also Like"
AmphibiaMr. Littlepot (voice) Episode: "The Shut-In!"[137]
2021 Star Wars: VisionsSenshuu (voice) Short film: Akakiri: English language dub[138]
Hit-MonkeyShinji Yokohama (voice) Main role[139]

Internet, games, and commercials[edit]



  • Takei, George; Asprin, Robert (1979). Mirror Friend, Mirror Foe. Playboy. Chicago. ISBN .
  • Takei, George (1994). To the Stars: The Autobiography of George Takei. New York: Pocket Books. ISBN .
  • Takei, George (2012). Oh Myyy! (There Goes the Internet). Oh Myyy! Limited Liability Company.
  • Takei, George (2013). Lions and Tigers and Bears (The Internet Strikes Back) (Life, the Internet and Everything). Oh Myyy! Limited Liability Company.
  • Takei, George; Eisinger, Justin; Scott, Steven; Becker, Harmony (2019). They Called Us Enemy. Marietta, Georgia: Top Shelf Productions. ISBN .



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  87. ^

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With broken hands on my back. Yes. Gentlemen will not serve her only in riot police. With such a complexion, such strength is a gift from above. As it turned out later, she is engaged in karate has the first dan.

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