Wanda Sykes narrated an episode of Now You Know, focusing on LGBTQ rights.
It’s Transgender Awareness Week, and in a new video released on The Ellen Tube, comedian and actress, Wanda Sykes, has taken us through the history of LGBTQ.
The animated video started with Carl – real name Mark –being stopped by narrator Wanda Sykes and asked how difficult he thinks his life might be if he identified as gay. Carl concedes he believes that life might be harder.
Wanda then takes him back to ancient Greece, where the homosexual relations were recorded for the first time, although these were between older and younger men. Carl then asks when all the “crazy homophobia” began, with Wanda telling him it started during the medieval period.
She then takes him to the Renaissance period, although she only says the punishment for being outed was “bad.” However, Wanda then reveals that on 31 August 1512, what is believed to be the first gay rights demonstration, was held by a group of young aristocrats.
The video then flashes forward to 1777, where it was illegal to be gay in every Puritan state. When Carl asks when gay rights got better, Wanda takes him to the 20th century when gay bars were beginning to pop up in major US cities, although Wanda notes how they were frequently raided.
The next point on their tour of LGBTQ rights is the Stonewall Riots on 28 June 1969, and she praised the role that Marsha P. Johnson, a trans woman of colour, played, with her role “starting the modern gay rights movement and putting the T in in LGBT.”
Wanda also noted how Transgender Awareness Week, which this year is from 13 November to 19 November is celebrated.
Carl thinks things are on the up for the LGBTQ community at this point in history, but Wanda guides him to the AIDS crisis of the 1980s, and how it badly affected the LGBTQ community.
Wanda then celebrates activists groups like Act Up, the Gay Man’s Health Crisis, the Lesbian Aids Project and the Names Project, which all transition in with the inclusive Pride flag, were organised to fight the crisis.
Other moments noted in the video were Ellen DeGeneres’s coming out, the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts in 2003, and the allies supporting the LGBTQ community.
Carl then says if he were a gay man living in 2019, he’d be “pretty happy I live in the present, grateful for all the heroes who fought before me and hopeful for the future.”
Wanda then notes how “the fight for equality is still going. It takes a village, and we’re going to need your help.”
You can watch the video below, or by following this link.