HomeLGBTQCelebrate Pride: 10 Asian LGBT+ Icons
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Celebrate Pride: 10 Asian LGBT+ Icons

By Sophia Whittemore
AsAmNews Staff Writer

June is LGBT+ Pride Month! To celebrate, we’ve featured ten LGBT+ Asians and their amazing accomplishments in a variety of fields — from politics to television. Check them out!

  • George Takei 
    • Best known as Hikaru Sulu from the TV series “Star Trek”, George Takei has played actor, director, author and activist over the years. The Japanese interment camp survivor has been happily married to Brad Altman since 2008.
  • Margaret Cho 
    • Openly bisexual, the Korean comedian often addresses intersectionality with her acts and has received acclaim for women, Asian Americans and the LGBT+ community.
  • Sutan Amrull
    • Sutan Amrull, who won season three of RuPaul’s Drag Race, is also an accomplished makeup artist with big name clients such as Dita Von Teese and Pamela Anderson. His interest in drag began while he was growing up in Indonesia, seeing trans sex workers in awe as they wooed potential clients on the street. “There was something in it that made people uncomfortable, but it was also very beautiful,” he told Vice. “I like to make people feel uncomfortable and to do it with beauty, and so that’s where my fascination began.”
  • Kim Coco Iwamoto 
    • Born in Hawaii, the Japanese American bureaucrat is the highest-ranked U.S. transgender official. She once held a seat on Hawaii’s Board of Education and is now running to be the Democratic candidate for Hawaii’s Lieutenant Governor.
  • Jenny Shimizu
    • Japanese American model and actress Jenny Shimizu won the Philadelphia International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival 2006 Lesbian Icon Award. She’s been on the cover of Vogue and is also famous for her relationship with Angelina Jolie, whom she met on the set of “Foxfire” in 1996, according to Heavy.
  • Alexander Wang
    • The Taiwanese American designer was supported by legendary Vogue editor Anna Wintour, after his launch in 2007 New York Fashion Week. Today, he’s most well-known for his urban designs.
  • Bai Ling
    • Best known for her work on Lost and Entourage, Chinese American actress Bai Ling is openly bisexual.

  • Holland, KPOP
    • Holland is considered K-pop’s first openly gay idol. He spoke in SBS Pop Asia about severe childhood bullying for being gay. He also performed in music video “Neverland” to showcase his relationship with his boyfriend — an open effort to make other LGBT+ youth feel accepted.
  • Maulik Pancholy
    • The actor best known for his roles on 30 Rock, Weeds and Phineas and Ferb came out as gay by introducing his partner, Ryan Corvaia, in 2013. They were married one year later.
  • Irshad Manji
    • Of Indian and Egyptian background, Manji is a lesbian human rights activist and reformist Muslim. According to the Huffington Post, she is a scholar at NYU and writer of “The Trouble with Islam Today: A Muslim’s Call for Reform in Her Faith and Allah, Liberty & Love. ”

 

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