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Wong, B. D. (b. 1960)  
page: 1  2  

Wong's film roles have varied from a campy caterer in The Father of the Bride (1991) to a geneticist in Jurassic Park (1993) and a member of an elite anti-terrorist unit in Executive Decision (1996). He was happy to supply the voice of Captain Li Shang in the Disney animated feature Mulan (1998) because the story was one Wong had learned as a child from his parents. He repeated the role in the 2004 sequel Mulan II.

Wong has also appeared in the off-Broadway production of the Irving Berlin-Moss Hart musical As Thousands Cheer (1998) and as Linus in the Broadway revival of the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (1999). He has made dozens of guest appearances on television series such as Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, Chicago Hope, Sesame Street, and The X-Files.

In 2004, Wong scored in the Roundabout Theatre Company revival of the Stephen Sondheim musical Pacific Overtures, about America's 1853 mission to Westernize Japan. In 2008, he starred in the one-man show Herringbone, in which he portrayed 11 roles, at the McCarter Theatre at Princeton University. He brought the show to the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego the following year.

Wong directed his first feature length film, Social Grace, a comedy about a high-profile interracial romance, which was released in 2005.

Wong has taken seriously his status as one of the few well-known Asian-American actors in Hollywood. He told an interviewer that he is very much connected to his Chinese heritage "but in a very American way." He frequently lectures on diversity issues, particularly on the problem of racial self-hatred and rejection.

Wong also very strongly identifies as a gay man. Hence, he has been a visible presence at AIDS-related charity functions and in gay and lesbian community events, as well as at events sponsored by the Asian Pacific Islander communities.

Wong has appeared at the GLAAD Awards, made promotional spots for the gay and lesbian television newsmagazine In the Life, and worked in various ways to further understanding among both Asians and non-Asians, gays and non-gays, about the experience of being both gay and Asian.

In 2003, Wong published a memoir, Following Foo, which tells the story of how he and his then-partner, talent agent and television producer Richie Jackson, created their family. They became the fathers of premature twins via a surrogate mother in 1999.

One of the twins, Boaz Dov Wong weighed only 2 pounds, 5 ounces and died quickly. The other twin, Jackson Foo Wong, nicknamed "Chestnut Man," was eight ounces heavier and, after a number of close calls, finally prevailed. The book is an inspirational account of the support he and Jackson received during their ordeal.

Wong and Jackson ended their romantic relationship in 2004. They co-parent their child.

Claude J. Summers

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literature >> Overview:  Asian American Literature

Asian American gays and lesbians voice richly multiple and diverse identities as they assert sexual autonomy in the face of stereotyping, homophobia, and racism.

social sciences >> Overview:  Asian/Pacific Islander Americans

Relatively little beyond the anecdotal is known of the unique problems and attitudes of glbtq Asia/Pacific Islander Americans since no comprehensive, representative studies of them have been undertaken.

social sciences >> Overview:  Children of GLBTQ Parents

Over three decades of research has repeatedly shown that children of glbtq parents are no different from their peers reared in heterosexual families; recently queerspawn themselves have added their own voices to the discourse.

social sciences >> Overview:  Family

Many glbtq people reject a fixed definition of family imposed by society, and instead claim the right to define their own families as they choose.

arts >> Overview:  Film Actors: Gay Male

Although few gay actors have been permitted the luxury of openness, many of them have challenged and helped reconfigure notions of masculinity and, to a lesser extent, of homosexuality.

social sciences >> Overview:  Parenting

Even though glbtq people have been parents throughout history, recent political movements and advances in fertility technology have given rise to a much more visible and self-identified gay and lesbian parents.

arts >> Batt, Bryan

Actor and designer Bryan Batt achieved fame playing a closeted advertising executive on television, but in his own life he has been active in affirming the naturalness of homosexuality.

arts >> Cho, Margaret

Korean-American bisexual actress turned stand-up comedian Margaret Cho has become one of the most prominent Asian Americans in show business and in glbtq culture.

literature >> Fierstein, Harvey

Award-winning Harvey Fierstein is one of the finest gay male playwrights currently working in the American theater.

social sciences >> Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD)

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is a watchdog group dedicated to promoting accurate representations of the glbtq community in the media.

arts >> Herman, Jerry

A proponent of the "diva musical," Broadway composer and lyricist Jerry Herman made homosexuality the undisguised subject of La Cage aux Folles but he did so just as gay culture lost its need of a diva to voice its concerns.

arts >> In the Life

America's only nationally broadcast gay and lesbian newsmagazine, In the Life began in 1992 as a variety show, but has since evolved into an acclaimed public-affairs program.

literature >> Manrique, Jaime

Versatile Colombian-born author Jaime Manrique has written novels, short stories, poetry, and works of nonfiction with gay themes.

arts >> Mapa, Alec

Alec Mapa has enjoyed success as an actor and on the comedy circuit. He is also an activist for glbtq rights.

arts >> McKellen, Sir Ian

Arguably the finest Shakespearean actor of his generation, Ian McKellen was the first British subject to be knighted after publicly revealing his homosexuality, an event that proved more controversial within the gay community than in the mainstream.

literature >> Shilts, Randy

Randy Shilts pioneered as an openly gay journalist in the 1970s and 1980s and was an astute interpreter of the various issues affecting American gay men and lesbians.

arts >> Yew, Chay

Critically acclaimed Asian-American playwright Chay Yew has consistently produced provocative drama addressing issues of racism, homophobia, and censorship.


Barney, Brian. "B. D. Wong." Online Directory of Asian Pacific American Artists.

Hobson, Louis B. "Man on a Cultural Mission." Calgary Sun (June 18, 1998):

Wong, B. D. Following Foo: (The Electronic Adventures of the Chestnut Man). New York: HarperEntertainment, 2003.


    Citation Information
    Author: Summers, Claude J.  
    Entry Title: Wong, B. D.  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2002  
    Date Last Updated September 16, 2012  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2002, glbtq, Inc.  


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