The Ladies of Television

J0430788 The lesbian community has always been slightly more muted than our gay male counterparts. Though our male counterparts dominate in mainstream media, and even LGBT media at that, ladies – I’m here to say that we have something to celebrate this week.

After years of waiting for lesbian visibility in the media, today – we’ll celebrate not one, not two but three women.

Over a year ago, I posted about Rachel Maddow’s entrance into the media landscape. In that post, we asked ourselves two questions (a) will Maddow have a seat of her own and (b) will America be ready for an openly gay host. The answer to both was yes. Or rather that I presume the latter was indeed true. Regardless, I was ready and I haven’t been disappointed once.

It was this past Saturday and the outlook for today that really sparked my excitement for lesbian visibility. The unapologetic and opinionated Wanda Sykes premiered her show Saturday night on FOX. Wanda follows a predominately male landscape of late-night talk show hosts. Her entrance into this space is not only important a powerful statement for women comedians, but presents an opportunity for African American women and lesbians alike. Positive visibility is essential, and Wanda Sykes is a positive role model that we’ve needed for some time. “I’m proud to be a woman. I’m proud to be a black woman, and I’m proud to be gay,” Wanda Sykes said in a TV Guide interview. “That’s the way people should be able to live their lives.”

Today, Oprah welcomes Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi to her stage.  Ellen has become one of the most loved television hosts of all time. Three million people have welcomed her into their homes, five days a week since 2003. If you talk about lesbian visibility, Ellen has become the icon for our community. Today’s interview is more than just another Oprah moment, it’s our moment. So the next time that I complain about lack of lesbian visibility, do me a favor and remind of this week.

The lesbian community has always been slightly more muted than our gay male counterparts. Though our male counterparts dominate in mainstream media, and even LGBT media at that, ladies – I’m here to say that we have something to celebrate this week.

After years of waiting for lesbian visibility in the media, today – we’ll celebrate not one, not two but three women.

Over a year ago, I posted about Rachel Maddow’s entrance into the media landscape. In that post, we asked ourselves two questions (a) will Maddow have a seat of her own and (b) will America be ready for an openly gay host. The answer to both was yes. Or rather that I presume the latter was indeed true. Regardless, I was ready and I haven’t been disappointed once.

It was this past Saturday and the outlook for today that really sparked my excitement for lesbian visibility. The unapologetic and opinionated Wanda Sykes premiered her show Saturday night on FOX. Wanda follows a predominately male landscape of late-night talk show hosts. Her entrance into this space is not only important a powerful statement for women comedians, but presents an opportunity for African American women and lesbians alike. Positive visibility is essential, and Wanda Sykes is a positive role model that we’ve needed for some time. “I’m proud to be a woman. I’m proud to be a black woman, and I’m proud to be gay,” Wanda Sykes said in a TV Guide interview. “That’s the way people should be able to live their lives.”

Today, Oprah welcomes Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi to her stage.  Ellen has become one of the most loved television hosts of all time. Three million people have welcomed her into their homes, five days a week since 2003. If you talk about lesbian visibility, Ellen has become the icon for our community. Today’s interview is more than just another Oprah moment, it’s our moment. So the next time that I complain about lack of lesbian visibility, do me a favor and remind of this week.

Originally posted: Nov. 9, 2009

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Posted on November 9, 2009, in LGBT Communications. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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