Wanda Sykes Discusses “A Day Without Gays” And Prop 8

Jim Burroway

December 11th, 2008

I showed up for work yesterday. I just didn’t see how calling in gay to my employer would be in any way a meaninful act. Wanda Sykes showed up as well, last night on Jay Leno’s show. 



December 11th, 2008

I never saw how it would make a difference, either. The “Day Without a Mexican” protests were a more effective idea because Mexicans (American-born and immigrants) constitute such a significant percentage of the population.

Besides, I have deadlines…


December 11th, 2008

If you mean the comedienne, her last name is spelled SYKES.

Jim T.

December 11th, 2008

Love Wanda. Jay is 5-10% redeemed in my eyes now, after his DESPICABLE (1) “Brokeback Mountain” Oscar loss joke, and (2) “give me your best gay look” joke with Ryan Phillippe (who was duly appalled).

Stefano A

December 11th, 2008

I wouldn’t speak to loudly about Leno’s redemption. In fact, I wouldn’t consider him to be “redeemed” at all considering this little exchange commented on by Hank Stuever between Leno and James Franco in a Washington Post commentary about the obsession with asking straight men who “play gay” in movies.

“I didn’t want to screw it up,” Franco told Letterman on the Late Show last week.

“See, if it’s me, I’m kind of hoping I do screw it up,” Letterman shot back. “That’s what you want, isn’t it?”

“To screw it up?” Franco asked.

“I mean, do you really want to be good at kissing a guy?” Letterman said as his audience howled with delight.

“If you wanted, I’d be willing to kiss you right now,” Franco offered. (And then he kissed Dave on the cheek. Cue more screams from audience.)

I doubt Leno will ever overcome his “You have to be disgusted by two men kissing” form of humour.

Stefano A

December 11th, 2008

This should have read

“. . . commentary about the obsession with asking straight men who “play gay” in movies what it’s like to kiss their co-star.


December 11th, 2008

I believe the “day without a gay” is meaningful ideally but absolutely not in reality. If all gays in the country stayed home for one day, based on stereotypes rooted in some truth, there would be severe problems in parts of American society due to presumably disproportionate numbers of gays or lesbians in certain fields. However, many gays and lesbians are closeted, many have no protection over being fired because of their orientation, etc. The idea simply was not practical or realistic, especially when we are dealing with a very scary economic future – who on earth would want to risk their job over a publicity stunt?


December 12th, 2008

Jay Leno and David Letterman are two different people.

Stefano A

December 12th, 2008


Thanks! I don’t know how I missed that.

(Slaps self on back of head.)

It escapes me why/how I read “Letterman” as “Leno”. It clearly says Letterman, but for some reason I kept reading “Leno”.

Timothy Kincaid

December 12th, 2008

Jay Leno has been pretty open about the fact that he fully supports gay rights including marriage. And I may be way off base, but my take on Leno is this:

He’s one of those guys who genuinely believes that gay folks should have full equality and probably is surrounded in his personal life by gay folks. But he also thinks that stereotypes make funny jokes.

And because his comedy doesn’t come from a place of animus or contempt, it doesn’t occur to him that saying “make your best gay face” would be offensive to those who don’t know him well. I think that he sees himself as inside the circle and therefore allowed to make gay jokes just like he makes jokes about everyone and everything else.

I think that the reason the community gets upset with him from time to time is because we don’t know him well.

Had Kathy Griffin or Margaret Cho said the same thing we would have howled with laughter – it would have been an insiders joke and been rightly seen as both teasing the guest and mocking the idea that there is such a thing as a “gay face”.

We don’t consider Jay ours and we don’t know him well. But I think that he’s not an enemy and has shown himself to be an ally.

That’s my take, anyway.


December 12th, 2008

It’s a good point, Tim. Even still, I didn’t think the “gay face” joke was meant to be offensive. I actually thought it was mocking the idea of there being a “gay face” from the very beginning. Maybe I watched the clip incorrectly.


December 12th, 2008

Actually, while on the topic: http://www.insidesocal.com/ outinhollywood/ 2008/ 06/ facetoface-with-jay-leno -on-ga.html

For those interested.


December 12th, 2008

I think that most LGBTs did unite on December 10th…in a chorus of, “In *this* economy? Are you *kidding*?”


December 14th, 2008

I just watched the video. She’s great.

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