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Lena Waithe is the first black woman to win the Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series. Photo Courtesy CBS

Lena Waithe takes queer color to the world MTV honors trailblazer committed to making a difference By SUSAN HORNIK

Lena Waite is the lesbian belle of the ball this year. The Emmy Award-winning screenwriter, producer, and actor is the best kind of celebrity, one that is committed to making a difference in the world. During Pride week, she was one of the honorees at a gala for the Trevor Project, the largest nonprofit crisis intervention and suicide prevention organization focused on ending suicide among LGBTQ youth. “I’m really moved by the stories I’m hearing and the faces I’m seeing and all the love,” she told the Los Angeles Blade after TrevorLIVE. “But don’t treat each other like this just in this room. We need to take it out into the world. “It’s our job to make sure all queer people are human. They weren’t born to be perfect. They were born to be whole,” she added. Whether she’s onscreen or behind the camera,






in a relatively short amount of time, Waithe has proven herself to be a badass tour de force. Starting as a writer for the hit FOX series, “Bones,” she was then cast as Denise in the much loved Aziz Ansari Netflix series, “Master of None.” Emmy recognition came when Waithe cowrote “Thanksgiving,” her character’s coming out episode, which was based on personal experiences in her life. Riveting scenes between Waithe and guest star Angela Bassett, earned the veteran actress her first Emmy nomination for comedy as Denise’s mom. Waithe and Ansari won the Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, making her the first black woman to achieve this recognition. She was also one of the producers on the breakout film, “Dear White People.” On Sunday, Waithe received the Trailblazer Award at the MTV Movie Awards. And with

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nominations just around the corner, there may well be an Emmy this September too, as Waithe created and co-executive produced her first series for Showtime’s “The Chi.” Based on her childhood living on the south side of Chicago, Waithe’s deft expertise is in showing the human condition. “I wanted to make sure there was a lot of levity in the show,” Waithe said at the TV Critics Press Tour. “And there is such, because the truth of the thing about black people, is that we are masters at finding joy in the midst of pain and sorrow…because we have seen our fair share of it in this country.” “I think we know how to find a smile, even in the midst of sadness … we never want to paint a picture of us as all dark, because there’s so much light in our community.” Because of her struggles as a kid, Waithe





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