If anyone has ever doubted the ability of comedienne and actress Wanda Sykes to provoke prolonged laughter from an audience then you'll only need to watch her latest HBO special "I'ma Be Me" for confirmation. Sykes is getting rave reviews for her 90 minute performance that touched on everything from President Obama, to coming out last year as a lesbian, her interracial marriage to a french woman ("I like to say she's French because it sounds nicer than 'white.", according to Sykes), and being a new mother to two babies of a different race.
Sykes is hilarious and much of what she says is considered controversial in many circles, perhaps this is why her special is on a pay cable network and aired during a later time slot. But one of the most controversial and possibly honest statements that caught my attention was Sykes' comment on the difficulty of being black and gay in America. While I'm not ready to co-sign on Sykes' statement it's definitely interesting.
"It’s harder being gay than being black. There’s some things that I had to do as gay that I didn’t have to do as black. I didn’t have to come out black. I didn’t have to sit my parents down and tell them about my blackness.
Mom, dad I have to tell ya’ll something…I hope you still love me. Mom- dad I’m black, " she joked.
Sykes also ripped into the persistent chorus of people who insist being gay is a choice. "Being gay is not a choice. If you believe that it’s a choice then you’re saying straight people are straight because they chose not to be gay."
Sykes will make history in December when she becomes the first openly gay black woman to host her own late-night talk show when "The Wanda Sykes Show" debuts on FOX.
Get into the only available clips I could find online of Wanda Sykes from "I'ma Be Me" by clicking the links below. I'll update this post with the gay segment as soon as it becomes available.
Sykes on The Real Michelle Obama
Sykes on Halle Berry