Black Comedian Wanda Sykes Is Now “Officially” Out

[poll id=”45″]

Black comedian and actress Wanda Sykes officially came out this weekend, announcing to the estimated crowd of 1,000 gathered in Las Vegas at one of the many rallies for gay rights taking place around the country on Saturday that she’s gay, and that she legally married her wife in California on Oct. 25.

Sykes (who divorced her husband of seven years in 1998), has spoken out about gay rights issues many times in the past, recently participated in a campaign to fight anti-gay slurs, and has openly referred to her wife in some of her stand-up routines.
But she has always declined to specifically discuss her sexual orientation publicly — until now.

“I don’t really talk about my sexual orientation,” she told the crowd at the Las Vegas GLBT Community Center. “I didn’t feel like I had to. I was just living my life, not necessarily in the closet, but I was living my life.”

“Everybody that knows me personally, they know I’m gay. But that’s the way people should be able to live their lives.”

But the passage of Proposition 8, she told them, spurred her decision to officially come out. “ We took a huge leap forward and then got dragged 12 feet back. I felt like I was being attacked, personally attacked — our community was attacked.”

“Now, I gotta get in their face,” she continued. “I’m proud to be a woman. I’m proud to be a black woman, and I’m proud to be gay.”

Sykes joins WNBA player Sheryl Swoopes as one of the few high-profile black women in America who have publicly come out as a lesbian or bisexual woman.

Just before the Nov. 4 election, Sykes talked about homophobia within the black community on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, acknowledging there are differences between the black civil rights movement and the gay civil rights movement, but saying, “discrimination is discrimination, and of all people, black people should know about discrimination.”

Currently co-starring with Julia Louis Dreyfus in the CBS comedy The New Adventures of Old Christine, Sykes — along with Jasika Nicole of Fox’s sci-fi drama Fringe — is one of the only out actresses currently playing a leading or supporting role on primetime broadcast television.

She and her wife are among the 18,000 gay and lesbian couples who married during the four months same-sex marriage was legal in California, including many lesbian couples in the entertainment industry.

Sykes said in her speech that she believes passing Proposition 8 will ultimately backfire on those who are against gay marriage.

“They pissed off the wrong group of people,” she told the crowd. “They have galvanized a community. We are so together now and we all want the same thing and we shouldn’t have to settle for less. Instead of having gay marriage in California, no, we’re gonna have gay marriage across the country.”

Source: AfterEllen.com

The Court of Public Opinion

  • I think this was a step for her. I am proud that she came out. I really didn’t care either or. Go Wanda…..

  • I knew that Wanda Sykes was gay!!! 😀

  • …but I guess that it wasn’t that big of a secret…

  • Larry Adams

    How did she manage to get married without having been outreached by the white gay mafia?

  • Marc

    Good for her and much happiness to her and her wife! She did easy Larry, the as you call them white gay mafia, who or whatever that is, could care less and don’t know or care that there are such people who are black, loving and gay, LOL!

  • Real Talk – I’m happy for her being free to be true to herself as a whole however, why now? I personally feel like it would have been more effective if she came out when she heard Sakia Gunn got stabbed to death or the many other situations of lesbians particular Black lesbians being “attack” stories you wouldn’t hear about in the main stream media as much as you did about prop 8. The outcry was unbelievable. Forming protest around the world on getting married? Don’t get me wrong, I’m in favor of having legal rights to get married as a lesbian person but dayum, I wish we could have made this much noise when people of color get bashed. Like Debra said, can we talk about health care, jobs and being homeless?

    Congrats Wanda, I’m happy for ya but a little too late if you ask me. I can’t help but to wonder who her “wife” is and the true reason for her coming out now. “they are messing with the wrong people???? states Wanda give me a break. I better end here. Just to be clear, this is my own opinion and not of the organization I run. I just a little pissed and wanted to voice my opinion on a site that is open to true feelings. And for the record, no I do not feel Queen should come out.

    Peace,
    ab

  • Gabriella

    GOOD FOR WANDA!!! I THINK YOU ARE ENVIOUS OF HER SUCCESS. YOU LIKE ANY KIND OF ATTETION GOOD OR BAD. YOU ARE THE FEMALE ALAN KEYES. YOU ARE DEVISIVE AND A RACIST AND A BIGOT.DO YOU THINK WHEN THE GOOD LORD CALLS YOU YOU WILL MEET HIM BLACK–NO! YOU WILL BE THE SUM OF YOUR DEEDS-NOT YOUR COLOR-THAT IS OF THE EARTH AND STAYS BEHIND HERE. YOU ARE NOT FAMILY TO ME-STOP SPEAKING FOR BLACK GLBT PEOPLE. WE WANT TO UNIFY WITH OTHERS NOT BE DEVISIVE.I AM SURE BARAK ISN’T BLACK ENOUGH FOR YOU GIVEN HIS MAMA WAS WHITE AND HIS WHITE GRANNY AND GRANDFATHER HELPED RAISED HIM WHILE HIS DADDY TOOK OFF. NO BLACK PEOPLE RAISED HIM UP.BUT YOU CLAIM HIM NOW. HIS SISTER FROM HIS MAMA IS HALF-ASIAN MARRIED TO A CANADIAN BORN CHINESE-SO HIS NIECE FROM HIS SISTER IS 3/4 ASIAN- DOSEN’T THAT JUST TICK YOU OFF. WE BI RACIAL PEOPLE ARE BEAUTIFUL AND ARE THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS AND WE ACCEPT AND ARE PROUD OF BOTH SIDES.DON’T YOU DARE JIM CROW HIM BLACK HE IS BI-RACIAL .HE IS A MUTT LIKE ME AND WE ARE PROUD OF THAT. YOU ARE NO BETTER THAN SOME OLD WHITE RACIST CRACKER-YOU ARE CUT FROM THE SAME PUTRID CLOTH AS THEM THATS FOR SURE.I AM SURE THAT ALL PEOPLE WOULD BE WELCOME @ LA TRADE TECH ON SAT-HOW DARE YOU TRY TO TELL PEOPLE THEY CAN’T COME. I PERSONALLY WON’T BE THERE I LEAVE FOR PARIS IN THE MORNING TO VISIT MY FATHER.

  • Mark

    So Jasmyne how does Wanda Sykes coming out, announcing her marriage to another woman, and support for equal marriage rights fit into your world view that same-sex marriage is a “white gay” issue?