Tag Archives: activist

LGBT History Month – Day 20 – Sandi Toksvig

Good evening, and welcome to QI

Oh. Sorry. We’re getting ahead of ourselves. But still, Sandi Toksvig (1958) is our inspiration for Day 20.

sandi toksvigSandi Toksvig OBE is a lesbian British-Danish writer, actor, comedian, presenter and producer on British radio and television, and a political activist. She is a keen advocate for women’s rights and equality.

She began performing in theatre and comedy with the Cambridge Footlights and was a member of the Comedy Store Players. In 1982 she made her first TV appearance working on children’s programming, and has since appeared in many factual programmes, sitcoms and talk shows. She has been a regular guest and host on panel shows including QI and Mock The Week, and between 2006 and 2015 she was a regular presence on BBC Radio 4 as host of The News Quiz, before leaving to serve as co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party. She is also a writer for television and theatre and the author of numerous fiction and non-fiction books. She is the current Chancellor of the University of Portsmouth.

Toksvig was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2014 New Year Honours for services to broadcasting. She is slated to take over from Stephen Fry as the new host of QI when he steps down this year.

Her official website is here: http://sanditoksvig.com/

LGBT History Month – Day 16 – George Takei

It’s Day 16 – Oh, my! It’s George Takei (1937 – ).

george takei

Best known for his acting role as Hikaru Sulu in the original series of Star Trek, George Takei is an American actor, director, author, and activist.

He is a proponent of LGBT rights and active in state and local politics, apart from his continued acting career. Born in 1937, as a child Takei experienced at first hand the segregation and internment of Japanese-Americans following the attack on Pearl Harbor and has since campaigned for improved human rights and Japanese-American relations, winning several awards and accolades, including for his work with the Japanese American National Museum.

Takei is gay, a fact he revealed publicly in 2005 in a magazine interview, in response to the California governor’s veto of a proposed same-sex marriage bill in the state. Prior to this, Takei’s sexuality had been widely known amongst his Star Trek colleagues and the show’s fans, and from the 1970s on he was openly active in LGBT organisations. He married Brad Altman, his partner of 18 years, in 2008.

In June 2012, the American Humanist Association gave Takei the LGBT Humanist Award, and in May 2014 the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation honoured him with the GLAAD Vito Russo Award, presented to an openly LGBT media professional who has made a significant difference in promoting equality for the LGBT community.

In 2014, Takei spoke up in defence of a Miss America winner who was suffering racial abuse based on her Indian heritage. He wrote: “In Star Trek we have this creed: ‘Infinite diversity in infinite combinations’. That’s what Starfleet was all about.”

(Oh, and he also has an asteroid named after him.)

You can find his official website here: http://www.georgetakei.com/ and he maintains an active Twitter profile @GeorgeTakei.