Sunday, November 16, 2008

Here's to Wanda!

I've been a huge fan of Wanda Sykes for a long time. Wanda calls it as she sees it, and is one of those people--like Maggie Smith (not that Wanda's and Maggie's typical dialogues have much in common)--who tickles me by pretty much saying anything. In writing about the aftermath of Prop 8 and race, I listed Wanda as one of our allies. Turns out Wanda is not only for our side, she's on our side. Yes! (How much more satisfying it is to claim someone like Wanda than someone like, say, Larry Craig or Ted Haggard.) During the Join the Impact anti-Prop 8 rally in Las Vegas yesterday, Wanda spoke not only about gay marriage but about her own recent marriage to a woman. Wanda being a lesbian didn't come as too much of a shock to most of us gay folks. There are a number of celebrities who aren't quite publicly out but whom we more or less assume are on the team, or at least very gay friendly. Some may ask: what took her so long to come out? But, as Wanda says at the rally, she didn't go around blabbing about her sexuality yet she didn't exactly hide it, either, and was out to the people around her. More importantly, Wanda has stood up for gay people all along--as evidenced by the YouTube clip on gay marriage--and she's certainly never worked against us, unlike certain closeted, mostly Republican politicians. As Wanda also says, if gay people had equality, we wouldn't need to be standing around holding signs, proclaiming our gayness. We would simply be. Our sexuality would be no more or less visible than straight people's sexuality. The closet would disappear. So would gay activism. But that day's not here yet. Now is the time to be visible instead of invisible. Now is the time to be, like Wanda, pissed off and unwilling to back off until we have the equality we deserve. As Wanda says re: "gay" marriage: it shouldn't even be a debate. It's divorce that's threatening "straight" marriage, not gay people. So I'm not going to knock Wanda for not wrapping herself in the rainbow flag earlier, but I am going to officially welcome her to the team. We're one richer today. 

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