In honor of Pride Month, we here at Geek Girl Authority want to give a special shoutout to some of our favorite queer actors of color. They already share so much of themselves with us geeks and these days, most are using their platforms to fight for justice. I’ve highlighted activism work done by some of the actors, but I want to be clear their art and visibility is activism in and of itself. Happy Pride!
Our first queer actor of color is Stenberg. She(they) is best known for her (their) roles as Rue in The Hunger Games and Starr in The Hate U Give. She (they) is also a kick-butt intersectional feminist who’s not afraid to use her (their) platform to call racism out. She (they) has been particularly outspoken about racism and colorism in Hollywood.
The extraordinary Ross is critically acclaimed for her work on Pose and American Horror Story. But she actually started her career as a computer coder and businesswoman. Her nonprofit, TransTech Social Enterprises, helps train and employ trans people in the tech industry. Ross has earned numerous awards for her advocacy and visibility. She will star in the upcoming tenth season of AHS.
Wong has been on American screens and stages for the past four decades. He’s well known for his work on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and the Jurassic Park franchise. Wong is also the only actor to ever have received the five major theatre awards for the same role (Song Liling in M Butterfly).
The original Sulu, Takei is perhaps better known these days as an activist (and his Facebook page). His career in politics dates back to 1972 when he was an alternate delegate from California in the Democratic National Convention. Takei has talked extensively about his experience as a Japanese-American in and after internment and urged the country not to repeat those horrors. He’s been working with the Human Rights Campaign since 2006.
Do I even need to introduce the multi-talented Monae, who currently stars on Amazon’s Homecoming? In which her character is in an interracial queer relationship? Nah. Didn’t think so. Back in February, she began her Oscar performance with this statement:
We celebrate all the women who directed phenomenal films. And I’m so proud to stand here as a black queer artist telling stories. Happy Black History Month!
Ah. Dear Agent Astrid Farnsworth from Fringe. Beyond acting, Nicole is an artist, dressmaker, and illustrator who shares lovely photos, comics, and thoughts on her website. She shares her hobbies and what she’s working on, stating that they are self-care.
Lonsdale is well known for playing DC’s Kid Flash. Tree also starred in 2018’s Love, Simon, and has a blossoming music career, having just released a debut album, Rainbow Boy. Lonsdale won an MTV Movie & TV Award for best kiss for gay rom-com Love, Simon.
Cox became a household name after starring in Orange Is the New Black. But did you know she was the first Black transgender woman to ever produce and star in her own TV show? Three years before Orange aired, Cox had a TV show called TRANSform Me, which won a GLAAD Media Award. She’s won numerous visibility and acting awards. Cox continues to be an outspoken voice for the trans and queer community.
Esparza is an award-winning theatre actor who has popped up on your TV screen on shows such as Pushing Daisies and Law & Order: SVU. He’s been nominated for every acting category of Tony a male actor is eligible for.
The Emmy-Award-winning Wiley became well known for her role as Poussey on Orange Is the New Black and went on to act in numerous more, such as Moira in The Handmaid’s Tale. Next up, she’s starring with Raúl Esparza in a special livestream of Moliere’s play Tartuffe on June 27th.
Beatriz stars as tough as nails cop Rosa on Brooklyn Nine-Nine. She’s been open not only about her sexual identity but her history of disordered eating. Beatriz is set to star in the 2021 film adaptation of Lin-Manual Miranda’s In the Heights.
The Thor: Ragnarok and Westworld actor is set to reprise her role as Valkyrie in the upcoming Thor: Love and Thunder. What makes that even more exciting? Thompson’s character is going to be looking for lady love, making her the first major MCU LGBT character. Woohoo!
Before becoming a super-famous actor and comic, Sykes worked for the NSA. But since becoming a success in the late 1990s, she’s been working nearly non-stop in the entertainment field. She is an Emmy and GLAAD Awards winner.
Our final queer actor of color is Cruz. He was made famous for his groundbreaking role on My So-Called Life, which earned him the spot as America’s first openly gay actor playing an openly gay series regular. These days, he’s also admired around these parts for his work on Star Trek: Discovery. He’s worked with several LGBT+ advocacy organizations, including GLAAD and GLSEN, and focuses much of this work on queer youths of color.
This article was originally published 6/14/20