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2 comments | Monday, November 17, 2008

Over the weekend comedienne Wanda Sykes officially came out as a lesbian during a Prop 8 protest in Las Vegas.

"I got married October 25th. My wife is here. I don't really talk about my sexual orientation, didn't think I had to. I was just livin my life. Not necessarily in the closet but I was just livin my life. Everybody that knows me personally, they know I'm gay. That's the way people should be able to live their lives really. If we had equal rights...we shouldn't have to be out here demanding something that we automatically should have as citizens of this country. But I got pissed off. They pissed me off. I said, you know, what I gotta get in your face. And that's what we have to do now. They have pissed off the wrong group of people!"- Wanda Sykes

After weeks of bitter protest that seemed to pit some gay activists against blacks who supported Prop. 8, Sykes appeared to bridge the divide. "I'm proud to be a woman. I'm proud to be a black woman, and I'm proud to be gay," she said, according to AP.

By coming out, Sykes has instantly became one of the most visible African American public figures in support of same-sex marriage. Congrats Wanda!

Check out the video of Wanda's coming out here.

MTV's Staying Alive campaign has enlisted the celebrity of Ms. Kelly Rowland in the fight against HIV/AIDS in a new documentary set to air on December 1, World Aids Day titled "The Diary of Kelly Rowland".

The hour-long documentary chronicles Rowland’s recent visits with Staying Alive Foundation heroic grantees in South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and the United States. These young people affected by HIV/AIDS tell their own stories and explain how they protect others in their communities from getting infected.

While in Kenya, where young females are five to six times more vulnerable to HIV infection than boys their own age, Rowland gets tested for HIV in an effort to encourage youth to learn their status. “Love yourself enough to protect yourself,” she tells the youths. “One person makes a difference.”

Watch Kelly's documentary before it airs here. Log onto KellyRowlandAfrica.com to learn more.

In an ongoing effort to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS, M-A-C Cosmetics has named pop singer Fergie as their latest spokesmodel for the M-A-C AIDS Fund.

“AIDS is an issue that was top priority when I was younger. It was new. It was scary. It was unknown,” Fergie told POZ. “But today, people seem to have put it off a bit; people are not paying enough attention to HIV/AIDS. It blows my mind as I look at the new HIV infection rate among young people. Nearly half of all new infections in the U.S. are among people 15 to 24 years old. That is something to pay attention to and stand up to.”

On September 3, Fergie paid a personal visit to youth enrolled in programs at Safe Space, which serves New York City’s homeless and urban youth and provides a myriad of HIV prevention services through its drop-in centers in Manhattan and Jamaica, Queens. Safe Space’s HIV prevention programs include activities focused toward homeless transgender youth, minority women and young people of color.


<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

i have been reading many blogs this morning about wanda sykes and i have a question. why is it so important by society's standards that people come out of the closet? i think wanda made a good point in that she doesn't talk about her orientation...and i ask, why should she really. is it not her business and just because she chooses not to make it front page news doesn't really mean she's hiding. i think it shows that she is more than the box that society would like to put her in based off her orientation. i applaud wanda as she is now another voice in the fight, but that term coming out of the cloest perplexes me (and i'm straight).

November 17, 2008 10:21 AM

<$BlogCommentAuthor$> said...

To the reader above, I certainly understand your perspective and I truly believe that there are some people (regardless of sexual orientation or gender expression) choose to live their lives in their own way. My challenge with the notion, (not with you personally, but the comparison you provided). I guess to be brief, I imagine that it might be easier for me to see the benefit or probability of it occurring if LGBT people (especially of color) were viewed in this country as human beings instead of sexual deviants or mental health patients. If I didn't choose to spend the energy advocating for the rights of LGBT people...then I may too be in a place where I could just "be" and not concern myself with the idea of being "out" everywhere I am in order to make a political statement.

November 22, 2008 5:49 PM


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