It happened. It really, really happened.
Lena Waithe and Aziz Ansari took home the award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for their work on “Master of None,” at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards.
The duo won for the episode “Thanksgiving,” from the critically acclaimed Netflix series.
“Thanksgiving” chronicles the coming out journey of Denise (played by Waithe) over years of Thanksgiving dinners. From realizing she might be queer to bringing home a girlfriend and the many complicated and awkward moments in between, much of the deeply personal episode was pulled directly from Waithe’s own experience as a black lesbian woman.
“This is probably the most autobiographical thing I’ve ever written,” Waithe said in an interview with Vulture earlier this year. “But it is about a ten-year difference from when I came out to making this episode, so I have a lot of space and distance from it, which I think is the best way to tell the story. It’s like, ‘Okay, in hindsight this happened,’ and to see the progression I thought was really important.”
Waithe’s acceptance speech was an inspiring battle cry to LGBTQIA people everywhere.
Ansari stood to the side as Waithe did all the talking for the award-winning duo, thanking Netflix, her family, and professional collaborators before taking a moment to lift up and celebrate the LGBTQIA community.
“And last but certainly not least my LGBQTIA family, I see each and every one of you. The things that make us different, those are our superpowers. Every day we walk out the door, put on your imaginary cape and go out there and conquer the world. Because the world would not be as beautiful as it is if we weren’t in it.”
With her Emmy win, Waithe becomes the first black woman to win the Emmy for comedy writing.
Yes, in 2017 there are still plenty of firsts, landmark moments, and milestones to hit when it comes to black and queer history.
Here’s to Waithe, Ansari, and all of the people of color putting in work to improve representation and tell heartfelt, funny, authentic stories.