World’s funniest comedian wants Dallas’ Pride parade to stop in front of George and Laura’s new home. And she says Obama needs to get with the program on same-sex marriage.
By Daniel A. Kusner | Friday Sep 26, 2008
This week has been an embarrassment of gay riches.
On Sunday, Dallas celebrated 25 years of Pride. On Monday night, Lindsay Lohan confirmed that she's dating Samantha Ronson. And on Tuesday afternoon, Clay Aiken announced he's a proud gay dad.
Earlier on Tuesday afternoon, comedian Wanda Sykes called my office to herald her Friday night gig at Southern Methodist University's McFarlin Auditorium.
Earlier this summer, Sykes stopped in Dallas during the True Colors tour. Joan Jett was on the same tour. Jett has never revealed whether or not she's lesbian. In fact, I recently had to print a retraction because I once described Jett as "queer."
But what about Wanda Sykes?
Although the comedian makes gaydar needles bounce, Sykes has never made an official “coming out” announcement.
Before our interview, I listened to Sykes'' hilarious “Crank Yankers” prank calls: Sykes’ best one is when informs an unsuspecting housewife about her husband's butt-plug order.
And there was my hook. Sykes couldn't possibly get angry over a few funny and intrusive questions about her sexual identity.
Did you hear? Last night, Lindsay Lohan came out of the closet. She acknowledged that she's dating Samantha Ronson.
She did? Awww, they're so cute.
We should send her a toaster.
Yeah, like when Ellen finally came out on TV, Melissa Etheridge ...
Oh, yeah. She gave Ellen a toaster.
When can we send Wanda Sykes a toaster?
I got my own toaster.
What kind is it?
It can do four slices at one time. I love toast.
Do you burn the raisin bread?
You have to keep an eye on that. Because if you let the toast in too long, the raisins burn on you.
Real butter or margarine?
Oh, come on. Real butter.
On the Ellen show, you talked about going snowboarding with your girlfriend. By “girlfriend,” do you mean your sexual, romantic partner?
Why are you all up in my business like that?
Because your Dallas concert is on the same campus where George W. Bush will build his presidential library. And after this interview, I want your loyal gay fans knifing each other in the back to get tickets to your Dallas show.
His presidential library?
Are you guys going to allow that?
I was going to ask you for advice: When George and Laura move to here, how should gay Dallasites recognize the auspicious event?
It should be gay Pride every day in Dallas. Have a parade every day. And make sure the route stops in front of his new house.
Maybe Heather and Mary Cheney could lead the parade, and they could get George to join in?
There you go. It should be gay Pride every day in Dallas. Have a parade every day.
Wanda, when was the last time you went out on a romantic date with a dude?
Sweet Jesus ... when was that? Maybe the Nixon administration? Actually, I cannot remember. Even when I was married, I don't think I went on a romantic date.
You were married?
I didn't catch that yet. I must have gotten distracted because you claim to have graduated from college with a science major and a marketing major.
No. I got a bachelor of science degree in marketing.
Oh, ok. Well, how was the divorce?
It worked out for me.
What year did you get liberated?
Oh, lord. Jesus, that was 1998-99? I didn't want to carry any baggage into the new millennium. So no baggage — I needed to be able to run because of that scary Y2K thing.
What's the funniest thing you've ever seen while standing in your closet?
Maybe you've seen R. Kelly brandishing a beretta writing hip-hop-opera lyrics in your closet?
[Laughs] Oh, lord. My closet is very dark. I should call my contractor and have him put a light in there or something. I need to get one of those touch lamps that you seen advertised on late-night TV.
When the True Colors tour stopped in Dallas this summer, you left everyone in stitches. Gay people think that song is about coming out. What do you think "Let your true colors shine through" means?
It's being yourself — being who are and being very comfortable with who you are.
One of your best routines from your 2006 show "Sick and Tired" is about same-sex marriage. Let's say you got face time with Obama about expanding his definition of marriage, what would you tell Barack?
I would say that all people have the right to marry whomever they want, be it male or female. It's part of our civil liberties. I would tell him, "Come on, man. Get with the program."
Would I be coloring him wrong if I said he was a president who wanted to make sure gays don't drink out of the straight marriage water fountain.
You can't color him any more because he's already been colored. And I think you will be wrong to say that. I think if you got Obama off the record, he would say, "Yeah, I'm for gay marriage." But he can't say that because he's got to get some votes.
So it's about having equal privilege — and they have a problem with calling it "marriage." But look in California: Everybody is getting married. We all getting married in California.
I love that you just used the collective "we" when referencing gay people.
As an editor of a gay paper, I've been told that black people don't really like the word "queer" — that “queer” is a white person's word.
Yeah, it is kinda white.
Black people use cool terms, like and "in the life" and "same gender lovin'."
“In the life” sounds like something you'd hear in prison, like ex-convict talk. Like, "I was in the life for armed robbery." What was the other one?
“Same gender lovin’," which I think sounds like the name of a sitcom on Logo.
It does. It'd go on right after "Noah's Arc."
Do you know if the word "wigga" is offensive?
Like an Eminem type of person?
Yeah, it is offensive. It's basically white people trying to be sneaky and say the N word. I'm not buying it.
Would you take — not the hard R — but "nigga" away from Snoop Dog?
I'm gonna hang up on you just for saying it. See, we're allowed to say it. Not you.
So there's no way someone like Eminem could be an out-and-proud wigga and celebrate the fact?
Not buying it.
I love that you are holding my feet to the fire over that word. Now what if someone described you as an out-and-proud lesbian, would you be offended?
Why would I?
WANDA IN BIG D
TITAS brings in Wanda Sykes to Dallas on Friday.
SMU McFarlin Auditorium,
Sept. 26 at 8 p.m. $25-$75.