In a new interview with The Oprah
Magazine, comedian Wanda Sykes talks about coming out and the
power of television.
Sykes is currently promoting her latest
project, Visible: Out On Television. The 5-part docuseries on
how television has “shaped the American conscience” on LGBT
rights is streaming on Apple TV+.
look: Apple TV+ releases Visible:
Out On Television
Sykes and her wife, Alex Sykes, are
raising two children, Olivia Lou and Lucas Claude, both 10.
Sykes came out at a 2008 rally against
Proposition 8, the now-overturned California constitutional amendment
that rolled back marriage equality in the state. Sykes had married
earlier that year.
“The drive behind me coming out
publicly was when it became political, back when Proposition 8 was
being talked about,” Sykes
said. “I felt like I had to say something. You’re inspecting
my life, the life that I have? You’re saying that my marriage isn’t
legal? That’s when I said alright, it’s important to speak out.
Also, I wanted to put a face on who that was affecting, not just
white gay men. There are women. There are mothers. There are real
people involved in these votes that affect lives and kids. After I
gave my speech in Las Vegas, by the time I went back to the hotel, it
was on TV and I was like, 'Oh, okay. I’m out.' It was like, 'Oh,
cool.' I already said what was the truth.”
“I know how powerful television can
be. It’s important for us to show how important LGBTQ+
representation is and how it can change minds in society.
Representation in Hollywood has gotten much better, especially now
with shows like Pose that highlight the African American and
transgender community. I’m happy to see that. I also love stories
where you have gay characters, but it’s not just about being gay,
it’s not just about identity. Shonda Rhimes does a great job of
“Television really is educational and
it does affect society and how we see each other,” she added.