Name: George Takei
Distinction: American actor widely known for his revolutionary role in Star Trek
Brief History: A child of World War II, Takei and his family suffered through the horror and humiliation of the internment camps built for Japanese-Americans. He began his career in Hollywood in the 50s and was cast in Star Trek in 1965. In 2005 Takei revealed that he was gay and is now a vocal and active supporter of the LGBT. Though truthfully he had been before then and his sexuality was an open secret amongst Trek fans.
Importance: Pop culture is influential. Using your platform is important. George Takei is absolutely cemented into pop culture because of his role on Star Trek, a series that originally pushed all kinds of racial and political boundaries. It was a revolutionary show point blank period. Takei has used that fame to advocate for people suffering an unfair load when he could have easily sat back. His fame would probably have been enough to keep his sexuality from getting scrutinized, but he did the right thing and stood up.