Out & Proud: From Star Trek to Walking Dead

Each Saturday this month, Gay Video of the Week is celebrating “National Coming Out Day” — which is officially tomorrow, Sunday, October 11. I’ll have a special post tomorrow so come on back!

We Are Everywhere!

A rallying cry of the LGBT movement — “gay liberation” in my day — is “We Are Everywhere!” And we are. LGBT people are not a class or a race that is generally recognizable even by strangers. All evidence to date indicates we represent roughly 10% of every group or strata in society. (I address this percentage in last week’s post.)

We are among the homeless, the ruling class or 1%, factory workers, CEOs, atheists, Christians, Jews, Muslims… everywhere. One of the reasons that coming out is so important is to make this fact visible and evident to everyone.

From Star Trek to The Walking Dead

This week I’m looking at the rich and famous, starting with prominent actors from two TV science fiction hits: George Takei of Star Trek in the 1960s and Daniel Newman of The Walking Dead which is still on the air.

George Takei as Lieutenant Sulu on Star Trek.
Daniel Newman as Daniel on The Walking Dead.

George Takei played Lieutenant Sulu on Star Trek. He has become a vocal and visible advocate on Twitter and elsewhere for the LGBT community and other liberal causes. At age 5 during World War II, his family was rousted from their home and taken to a Japanese internment camp where they remained until he was 9 years old. Unimaginable! Takei came out publicly in 2005. In 2014 he recored this video discussing his life, his youth in captivity, and his homosexuality.

Daniel Newman played Daniel on The Walking Dead. The show is still on the air but Daniel’s character was killed off in 2017. Sooner or later everyone on “TWD” gets killed or zombified. Newman came out in 2017 in reaction to a well-meaning fan who asked him why he hadn’t done so yet. He called that conversation a gut punch after which he realized that staying closeted was hurting himself and others. Newman is active on Twitter and posted this Coming Out Video in 2017. After contracting COVID in March this year, he wrote an opinion in the New York Times contrasting our real-life pandemic and the fictional apocalypse on TWD.

Celebreties Come Out

On the one hand, it can be said fairly that so-called “celebrities” are undeserving of the position, attention and deference they get. At the end of the day, they are ultimately human beings just like you and me — or were before some got carried away with their fame, fortune and privilege. Good or bad, right or wrong, by virtue of their stature and fandom, celebrities can be thought leaders and opinion leaders. Many people are influenced by what they say and do. It’s important when all of us come out as L, G, B or T, but it can be especially impactful when they do.

This next series of videos covers the public comings out of celebrities year by year since 2016.

2020 (so far…)

And There’s More…

On my website, BobLaycock.com, I have a section devoted to Coming Out Stories by celebrities and average folk. I invite you to check it out, but here’s a sample of several videos from the section.

Michael Sam, NFL Football Player
Jason Collins, NBA Basketball Player
Ellen DeGeneres, Actress and Daytime Television Host
Troye Sivan, Singer

Images are screen shots from the Star Trek and Walking Dead television shows, and from the George Takei Lexus L/Studio interview.

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