Lena Waithe Explains Why She Has A Responsibility To Be ‘Out As Hell, Black As Hell And Female As Hell’ In Hollywood

CANNES, FRANCE - JUNE 22:  Screenwriter Lena Waithe attends the Cannes Lions Festival on June 22, 2017 in Cannes, France.  (Photo: Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images for Cannes Lions)

Lena Waithe Explains Why She Has A Responsibility To Be ‘Out As Hell, Black As Hell And Female As Hell’ In Hollywood

She also sends a deep message to young Black girls.

Published January 12, 2018

Lena Waithe currently stands as one of the most refreshing and poignant voices in Hollywood. From her historic Emmy victory in 2017 — she is the first Black woman to win for comedy writing — to her transparent expressions of self-pride and LGBT awareness, she's proven to be quite the beacon for unapologetic self-confidence.

What's more impressive is that she aims to spread this sentiment to other young Black and brown people who are seeking a figure to inspire them and validate their experiences.

During a recent stop at Power 105.1's The Breakfast Club, the creator of new Showtime series The Chi shared the gripe she has with her peers in entertainment who fail to live in their truth.

“I look around at the BET Awards, or the NAACP Image Awards and kind of look around and go, 'I wish everyone here can be themselves, completely,' because I still think it’s an issue and there’s still a level of shame that goes along with it, which is unfortunate," she said.

She explained that one of her goals is to be the inspiration for young queer Black women that she didn't have growing up.

"The truth is, for me, when I was a young Black girl who knew I was different, was watching TV, I would always be staring at the TV set looking for myself and I didn't see me," she said. "And when you don't see yourself, you start to think that you don't matter or you start to think that something is wrong with you. For me, I take it as a responsibility to be out as hell, Black as hell, female as hell."

Her long-term hope is for that one young person to find purpose within himself/herself through her work and, eventually, continue that cycle of LGBT visibility and self-love.

"That way, when some young brown kid is sitting at home and turns on YouTube and is watching y'all or turns on Netflix to watch Master of None or to watch The Chi or whatever it is, they will say, 'Oh, that's me and she's OK and she seems to be happy and doing quite well for herslef so I'm going to be brave and be myself and be out because if she can do it and survive then maybe so can I,'" she added.

Take a look at her incredible interview, below:

Written by Moriba Cummings

(Photo: Antoine Antoniol/Getty Images for Cannes Lions)


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