Actor George Takei To Speak On Media, Sexuality Friday In Robsham

Actor and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights activist George Takei will speak in Robsham Theater on Friday, Jan. 16, at 7 p.m. The ticketed event is free to BC students and faculty, with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. Students can pick up tickets at the box office starting Monday, Jan. 12. The event was planned by the Asian Caucus Cabinet in collaboration with GLBTQ Leadership Council (GLC), Faces, and Allies.

Takei will address issues of media, sexuality, and identity to start off the Asian Caucus Cabinet Spotlight series—a new initiative that will highlight topics relevant to the Asian and Asian-American community at BC, said co-president of the Asian Caucus Earnestiena Cheng, CSOM ’15.

“With his ability to relay a high profile Asian-American perspective on Asians in the media and Asians in a discussion of cross identity, especially including sexuality, his life and experiences present an invaluable opportunity for the Asian Caucus and greater BC community to explore topics that are not often already vigorously discussed on campus,” she said in an email.

Born in Los Angeles to Japanese-American parents, Takei began his acting career in in the 1950s when few Asians were cast in Hollywood. He is most known for his role as Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu of the USS Enterprise on the original Star Trek television series. Since then, he has appeared in several TV shows and films and has worked as a director and author. In addition to acting, directing, and writing, Takei is the official announcer for The Howard Stern Show.

Takei has continued to achieve success in other fields, especially on social media. He has over 8 million likes on Facebook, 1.48 million followers on Twitter, and over 100 thousand subscriptions to his YouTube channel, “Takei’s Take: An Original AARP Web Series.”

He is also actively involved with LGBT rights and Japanese-American groups. “George Takei, as famous as he is for being a groundbreaking Asian-American actor, is equally noteworthy for his advocacy work on behalf of the LGBT community,” Cheng wrote.

Although Takei did not hide his homosexuality or advocacy of LGBT rights throughout his career, in 2005 he confirmed that he is homosexual and has been in a relationship with his partner, Brad Takei, for 18 years.

“George Takei is so relevant to many different communities at Boston College and so it [the event] is a perfect way to not only address Asian American issues for the AC community, but also acknowledge the complexity of these issues as beyond simply race and sexuality, alongside the greater BC community,” said HyunChan Jeong, co-president of the Asian Caucus and CSOM ’16, in an email.

The Asian Caucus Cabinet has planned three other Spotlights, to be presented once a month, for this semester. They will focus on sociolinguistics, mental health awareness, and domestic abuse.

“We feel fortunate to have a passionate, driven, and united Asian Caucus Cabinet this year,” Jeong said. “To be able to come together in this fashion is a testament to the potential of the impact a community can have on a college campus.”

Featured Image Courtesy of George Takei