gay vs. black, gay news, pierce morgan, gay celebrities

Wanda Sykes: It’s Harder To Be Gay Than To Be Black

gay vs. black, gay news, pierce morgan, gay celebrities
Wanda Sykes

“I’m not talking about the history of black people, of African Americans. I’m talking about at this point right now… I don’t know of organizations and groups like Focus on the Family and such anti-gay organizations who are putting up so much money – millions and millions of dollars – into stopping me from, you know, being black or telling me I can’t exercise my blackness. There’s no equality. There’s no equality for the LGBT community.”

-Wanda Sykes to Pierce Morgan

Do you agree? Discuss.

  • Carmen Equality Smith

    I am not black but I feel it has to be harder. You don’t hear black jokes on tv but you sure hear gay jokes all the time! We are the only politically correct minority to joke about and put down!

  • Anonymous

    Maybe this is her experience, but we shouldn’t compare our oppressions. There are many Queer People of Color who would be far from agreeing with Wanda Sykes on this, so this shouldn’t be taken as anything more than one person’s opinion. When we say it’s harder being Queer than being of Color, then we just further divide ourselves because it comes from a place of ignorance. We shouldn’t devalue other people’s experiences by claiming our situation is worse or we’ll foster insincerity and animosity.

  • Anonymous

    I have never liked the idea of gays comparing their fight to those of Blacks for civil rights. Especially now considering how much racism plagues the American LGBT community, yet some activists are trying to use the words of Black civil rights leaders to get their message out. It is beyond hypocritical. 
    So as much as I like Wanda Sykes as a comedienne, I am quite bothered by such a remark from her. Because she is clearly catering to a gay WHITE audience by doing so. I’m sure MANY gay Blacks in this country beg to differ, as they are getting a double-whamming of shunning – the 1st hit for being Black by straight, gay AND bisexual racists, and a 2nd hit from homophobes.

  • Tony Dean

    There are so many things that are wrong with this that I don’t know where to begin. First. How DARE she even attempt (even indirectly) to link the LGBT issues with the civil rights movement. When some group can claim that they were rounded up, crammed in boats, sold into slavery, had no rights whatsoever, lynched, raped then to be set “free” in a bloody civil war; Suffer for almost 100 years being “free” while still having to enter ’round the back, drink from different fountains, sit in a separate section of the hospital(!), or the state separating you into different schools while still being openly lynched and murdered.  When that group that even suffers though HALF of this, then let talk. Don’t dishonor the memory of what these people went though. Second. Wanda Sykes is a paid performer. She’s entitled to her opinion (right or wrong) as much as anyone else. Third. FoF and most of the Christians I’ve met don’t have an “I hate LGBT people thing”. Most seem to be a ‘Love person, hate sin” thing. Quite a few Christians think that the homosexual act itself is the sin – not that any person is “bad”. You know what, they’re allowed to have that opinion. You’re allowed to not agree with it. Demonize the Christians if you must to make headlines. I’m sure that idiocy (and hypocrisy) works for you.

  • she is talking about RIGHT NOW people not a 100 years ago….
    What she said can be taken to many places by different people so
    if you want to take it up the butt go ahead but I see her point. I’ve
    never felt discriminated for being of color but yes for being gay although
    I don’t allow it because I know I’m fabulous…

  • Heather Bradley

    I think it’s absolutely true.  I just keep waiting for some politician to come along and become famous for freeing the gays…

  • Anonymous

    Those of us replying are more than aware that she’s talking about RIGHT NOW. Your need to capitalize is patronizing. And it doesn’t surprise me. As a light-complexioned Latino, you don’t experience the discrimination that I’m speaking of. And I don’t envy you, because your light-complexion plus your selfishness with your human compassion is why you don’t get it. But to those of a darker complexion, and those who are NOT selfish with their compassion, her remark doesn’t fair well.

  • Anonymous

    This might be a fair comparison to make if you could hide being black – but you can’t. The LGBT community has the advantage of being able to go undetected and has in all of human history, a history replete with laws condemning homosexuality to death in places where mixed races were considered perfectly fine. It’s one thing to have a group of people that, due to a genetic difference, are considered second-class citizens at best, slaves at worst, but they’re still people of some sort. Slaves were still acknowledged as being related to humanity even in the worst offenses of Antebellum eugenic philosophy. However, homosexuality was always cause for immediate death or expulsion from the community. It has been that way for thousands of years longer than the slave trade in the north Atlantic, and continues to this day in some communities in America (as well as other places in the world).

    So even if you want to disagree with the comment, at least take into full consideration the history of both parties. Yes, what happened to people of African descent is deplorable. It’s also deplorable what happened to those of Jewish descent in the middle ages, as well as what happened to those of Irish descent before (and even during) the slave trade, and what continues to happen to the Rom in Italy to this day. Racial politics are a terrible blight on the human condition, especially as race cannot be hidden away.

    Homosexuality, though, is frequently condemned as a sin, a state in which the perpetrator should die. Just read through any truly fundamentalist Christian website, or the comments on, or the laws in the UAE or Saudi Arabia. Homosexuality, in this day and age, is harder to get away with in public than being black. Especially because African Americans have publicly laid claim to their heritage and it’s been accepted – only the hardest pressed member of the Klan will defend the actions of Antebellum slave holders. To that end, there’s very little casual hate directed at the African American community from entire swaths of the population, or from any political circles. Homosexuality, however, has public, well-funded institutions and politicians rallying against them every single day. Homosexuality cannot operate in public without constant casual hatred, not just prejudice, from those around them – even in some of the most liberal parts of the country. Homosexuality doesn’t have the defense of Slave Guilt to defend them from this hatred, doesn’t have the benefit of strong civil rights leaders who are acknowledged members of the Correct part of society.

    The fight to be of any minority continues, as it always has, but the only group that could possibly claim to have more regular hatred leveled at them constantly in this day and age than a Transgendered person is the Phelps family and that’s only because the Phelps make a habit of creating enemies.

  • Well, White liberal fag that I am, I would contest that Gay people have it worse. Half, and I do mean half, of almost all Black men are in jail, in jail for victimless crimes related to a drug trade. Gay people may have law legislated against our rights, but existing law targets men of color too well to not be structurally  intentional and premeditated.

  • ChristiJo

    From my understanding, I think the main argument for ‘being gay is harder than being black’ in everyday life is that since you can see the black on our skin you don’t have to worry about your friends, family, co-workers, etc. being uneasy about the fact that you’re black. If they speak (kindly) to you on a regular basis you can pretty much assume that they aren’t racist. On the other hand, for those of us who don’t fit our respective gay stereotypes, we still have to worry about coming out to our friends, family, etc. and deal with potentially loosing jobs for being outted. 

  • Tony Dean

    And thank you for proving my point by again linking [even indirectly] the atrocities of slavery, and now the holocaust. Well played. No one should ever forget the Nazis. Next time include the Crusades, WWII Internment camps, Indian Removal, Khmer Rouge, the Great Purge, etc. So many to choose from.

    This is a tired game.

    What I said is this – There are so many current laws and though those laws, rights the LGBT community has RIGHT NOW that everyone is missing the forest for the trees. Things need to change, but STOP trying to compare the plight of the LGBT community in the USA now to ANY one of the great atrocities of mankind (slavery, holocaust, native americans, crusades, internment camps, etc). It mocks what these people went through. Right now in the United States: No one is LEGALLY enslaving members of the community (and LEGALLY hunting people down and killing them if they resist). No one is LEGALLY allowed to place you in internment camps. No one is LEGALLY stealing someones house, their land just because of someones identity. These are the scars the United States has directly learned from.

    We all live in a society where we have rights beyond what people before us would’ve never imagined in their wildest dreams. There is a discussion that needs to be had, but not like this. This linking to humanity’s atrocities (even indirectly) has got to stop.

    (Native American, Black and Latino)

    Coming back to the point, the more I think about it, the more that I believe that Wanda has it wrong.

  • Until we stop joking about their religious beliefs, they will continue to joke about our sexuality. Stop feeding their addiction and let them know you don’t judge their biases. 

  • I agree 100%…..If I’m killed by some bigot, God forbid, The question of preference or lifestyle will not be a concern….MY life would just be taken…..

  • just have to say I completely agree with this comment. sure, at this current time, being black’s “ultimately” easier than being gay as far as our rights go, but at the same time when you weigh everything out; you can also technically ‘hide’ being gay. you’re black no matter what happens.

    what I mean by that is even though your/our feelings lie with the same sex, we don’t have to let other people know about it. but when ur black, or any other race, you’re a minority and INSTANTLY judged as such. doesn’t matter if you’re the nicest black guy in the world, a little caucasian lady crossing the street that’s secretly racist is still going to clutch her purse when you walk by…no amount of modern tolarance is going to change that. I’d go into examples of racial hate in the gay community, but im guessing everyone here’s aware of that…

  • Marian Hoard

    I absolutley love Wanda Sykes. I met her at the GLADD Awards last year, she was amazing.

  • I think gay is the new black or the new women (women’s rights movement), none are something you can help being. Whether it is the same degree of a struggle is not the point, because people will and can argue their opinions on that and never get anywhere with the issue.What we need to focus on is that LGBT people are being discriminated against both socially and with the legal system. LGBT people are required to pay the same taxes and follow the same rules/laws and are not receiving the same rights and opportunities as their heterosexual counterparts. They are being treated as second class citizen, just as blacks, women, and all others who have been social outcast in not only our country, but around the world.Like I said whether it is the same degree of a struggle is not the point, the point is that this is a civil rights movement. A movement to have the same responsibilities as all citizens and also receive the same equality both socially and legally.

  • Allison Scott

    I think what she is trying to say is that hate is hate, no matter what, you are hating on a people. Yeah she shouldn’t say it’s harder because 1) It’s not a contest and 2) she is a African American woman who is gay, of course she probably feels this way!  All sexism is wrong, all racism is wrong and all homophobia is wrong it all equals bigotry in some way does it not? So, they are all equally wrong! We are all being denied certain rights because we want to love who we love and we are who we were born to be. Call me crazy but I do remember somewhere in history that people who were of color were told they were heathen and that is the reason why we should keep slavery, the pope at the time said it himself, so people who are African American know what we have been through! Look I’m not stupid, I know I have white privilege, I see it all the damn time and it get’s me upset.I know woman of color who is also gay AND aren’t christian you are actually Muslim (yes they do exist, I have friends who are) they really have it the hardest, way more than I could EVER imagine and that is sad.  Also like to add that being gay is just like being born a certain race or ethnicity,to say that it isn’t that hard to be gay or not as hard as being born of a certain race is insane. I’m a white woman from the south and I’m also a lesbian, I have two strikes against me where I’m from, but because of this I am willing to fight against racism because I know what it is like to be discriminated against and to be hated. At least there are those who are not gay that have the guaranteed support of their family, I have NONE, and that really hurts me! I know other teens who get zero support from their families, hell they even get disowned, this happens regardless of race. Bottom line is this, I think all three struggles are equal, the fight against racism, sexism and homophobia, they all need to go. PERIOD!

  • Shane McGarry

    But just because right now no one is LEGALLY hunting people down and killing them, or throwing them in interment camps, etc doesn’t mean it wasn’t perfect acceptable in the past.  Homosexuals were targeted just as heavily by the Nazi’s as they Jews and up until the last 50-75 years, homosexuals could be put to death and their property possessed by the state.  

    In many ways, the civil rights movement of the LGBT community is currently in the same place the civil rights movement of African Americans was during the 50’s and 60’s.  No one can legally due us physical harm or enslave us, but we are also often treated with public derision and expected to be ‘separate but equal’.  The struggles of the LGBT community and that of people of color are certainly different as their experiences are different but to deny there aren’t parallels that exist.  

    I’m not sure how I feel about Ms. Sykes comments.  In one respect she’s right.  Its socially acceptable to be a homophobe but its not socially acceptable to be racist.  That doesn’t mean racism doesn’t occur (its rampant in this country, just often not blatant) but its perfectly acceptable to think homosexuals don’t deserve the same rights and freedoms as everyone else and the same can’t be said of people of color.  If someone said blacks or latinos can’t given the same rights as whites, no one (except for the hardest of hardcore KKK members or white supremacists) would agree.

    That said however, I also think her comment is a bit insensitive.  Because racism DOES exist saying that “another group has it harder than you” feels like a slap in the face.  I don’t think its harder to be gay or harder to be black or latino…its all a civil rights struggle no matter what.  And its always dangerous to undervalue one person’s struggle against another.   

  • Phillip Banks

    Her statement was not “of color” it was regarding black people; it’s not about comparing oppressions; the reality is that it is difficult being gay, no matter what ethnic group you belong to, for the simple fact that gay people are targets even within their own ethnic groups. That’s not an example of division or devaluation: it’s a fact.

  • Phillip Banks

    Your post is a perfect example of what Wanda was talking about; you seem to forget/deny/whatever that there are black gay people and you are oppressing people within your own ethnic group for something they have no control over. She isn’t “catering”to white gays and you just proved her point. There is hatred for gays in the black community, and YOU are beyond hypocritical by trying to push everything off on white gays. Your opening statement says it all; the double whammy is not from “shunning – the 1st hit for being Black by straight, gay AND bisexual racists, and a 2nd hit from homophobes”. Hello…! The real pain is from black homophobes who seem to want to forget that we gay black people exist. Look at yourself: you area racist and a homophobe too!

  • Phillip Banks

    Sometimes the ignorance of some black people is appalling; this anger over “comparing” oppressions is a prime example. If you don’t believe in the rights and dignity of ALL people then you are just as racist as the Klan; sorry, but black people aren’t the only ones who have suffered or been murdered or oppressed. Some of you folks sound like the Jews, constantly harping on the holocaust, as if that only happened to them. Here’s the difference in all that: Gay people are oppressed even within their own ethnic groups. There’s no comparison between the civil rights struggle in the US and the worldwide targeting of gay people. The whole point is that we have been hiding from everyone, so why should we have to hide? Hiding in a closet gets you nowhere; coming out makes you free; why shouldn’t gay people be as free as black people, to show who they really are? I’m glad that Wanda’s statements pissed you off. Actually I hope it makes you think about your selfishness and ignorance too.