June is Pride month. And though we cannot highlight the many LGBTQ Asian Americans advocating for rights and speaking out on issues and bringing them into the mainstream, here are a few LGBTQ Asian Americans working towards a better future for LGBTQ people every where.
Best known for his role as Sulu in the original Star Trek, Takei has been outspoken for his stance on LGBTQ and immigrant rights. He has won several awards and accolades for his work on human rights and Japan-US relations.
Eugene Lee Yang
A year ago, Yang made waves for coming out. The writer, producer, actor and director has dedicated his life’s work to LGBTQ and POC storytelling and spaces.
The bisexual comedian, actress and author is known for her stand up routines based around LGBTQ community and Asian American experience. Her groundbreaking 90’s sitcom “All-American Girl” was the first prime time sitcom to feature an Asian American family as its focus.
BD Wong is a Tony Award winning, Emmy nominated actor best known for his work on stage and on camera. You may know him from Jurassic Park, Mr. Robot and most recently, Nora from Queens.
In 2000, Wong and a previous partner became fathers to twins. One died at birth. The surviving son, Jackson Foo Wong came out as gay at 15 years old.
Wong wrote about his surrogate birth experience in Following Foo: the Electronic Adventures of the Chestnut Man.
The former Disney Channel star is known to her fans as “Lesbian Jesus” and songs like “Girls Like Girls”. Since coming out, she has been an advocate for LGBTQ rights. Her music videos highlight her own experiences and various LGBTQ related issues.
Her music video for “One Bad Night” raised awareness of violence against transgender women. In 2017, she partnered with Meundies and each pair of underwear sold had a portion of the profit donated to the Los Angeles LGBT Center. She donated (78) bras thrown during her tour to I Support The Girls, an organization that supports homeless women to support homeless LGBTQ youth. In her 2018 MTV Music Video Award acceptance speech for Push Artist of the Year, she dedicated her win to queer women of color.
She appeared in Taylor Swift’s “You Need to Calm Down” music video, along side other LGBTQ celebrities.
20 year old Chella Man is a transgender, deaf, actor, model and activist, rose to prominence in 2018 for portraying mute superhero Jericho in the DC Universe series “Titans”
This Queer Eye host and author describes his upbringing as “gay in a traditional Muslim family, as one of the few people of color in Dorchester, England.” Homosexuality was viewed negatively and the LGBTQ South Asian community was non-exsitent growing up.
You can follow his @shaded IG account which spotlights BIPOC and cultural diversity.
In 2019, Singh broke ground as becoming the first queer, female, POC to host a late night show, replacing Carson Daly.
Prior to hosting her own late night show, Singh was one of YouTube’s top vloggers, making the top 10 on Forbes’ list of highest earning YouTube stars.
2019 was a big year for Bowen Yang. He was shooting Awkwafina’s “Nora from Queens” (where he co-stars with BD Wong), toured the country for his “Las Culturistas”, writing for an upcoming Apple TV and he became one of SNL’s first openly gay and first Chinese American cast members.
Chef Melissa King is a Chinese American LGBTQ chef and winner of Top Chef: All-Stars LA, beating out chefs Bryan Voltaggio and Stephanie Cmar, to win a $250,000 grand prize.
She was selected as one fo the “Best Female Chefs in San Francisco” and Grand Marshal of San Francisco Pride in 2016.
Chef King is an advocate for LGBTQ equality, women’s empowerment, environmental sustainability and food education for youths.