When I came out, it wasn't planned at all. There was a national day of protest against the passage of Prop 8. I said, "OK, where's the rally? We‚'re going to go to the rally." And I did, and in my speech I said, "Hey, you know, I got married and I'm pissed." I get to the hotel and I turn on the TV and on the CNN scroll it's, "comedian Wanda Sykes, 'I'm proud to be gay,'" and I was like, Oh, this is a big fucking deal. I'm a black woman, a celebrity, and I'm out.
My comedy comes from a real place, so it would be hard for me not to talk about my sexuality. In a lot of my appearances I talk about my wife and my kids. What's funny is that I would get off stage and someone would say, "You know — I really thought you were hilarious and all, but you didn't really make a statement for gay rights." Like, jackass, I just did a whole fucking hour about my wife and kids. You can't get any gayer than that.
Wanda Sykes is an actress and comedian.
Text adapted from HBO's The Out List.
More In This Series
Black, LGBT, American: A Search for Sanctuaries
Don Lemon: A Sense of Otherness
Wanda Sykes: On Being Real
Laverne Cox: Threat or Threatened
Twiggy Garcon: Ballroom at 14
Doug Spearman: Breaking the Code
Janora McDuffie: My Obligation
Aaron Walton: Angelic Troublemakers
Editor's Letter: Black and LGBT in America