me. I'm not going to give pregnant because. Oh, I having sex with men. And he tried it. No one had no You don't. She's something I know. What I'm trying to say. Is the problem. No way that I know that was conversation with you. What conversation I'm sitting here be enormous. You act in like a crazy person. Ma. I'm gay. You what? I'm gay. I've always been gay. But I'm still the same person. I'll still your daughter. Nothing has changed. What's wrong. Marawani. It's a normal life to be. It is hard enough being a black woman in this war. Now you what? Handsome mixed. This was my choice. Wii. We'll shoot untold. Danny of course. You know, you can tweet you grumbled. Y habits. And you know, half of Kipushi you, you're going to have to come out to every other week. He said that was Lena ways and Angela Bassett in an episode, the Thanksgiving episode of master of non, and that what was co-written by Lena wave. So my impression is a lot of that scene comes from your experience coming onto your mother. Uh, every single aspect is I mean, Yeah. Okay. So let's start with something that, that our listeners couldn't see is at it. As soon as your character starts explaining that she's gay, The mother starts looking around the restaurant, like, Is anybody hearing this hope not. Did your mother do that? Just like looking around like whose over hearing us? I don't know if she did it at the act at the actual time, but what I was trying to convey at, I'm always grateful when people pick up on that little small nugget because it is literally written in the action lines In his written there because it's the is the entire crux of the episode is that that's her issue is not really that are gay, but it's how with the world react to the fact that I'm gay, how People treat me, how will the judge me? Will they treat me like a second-class citizen because of it? And that's really the fear is not the innate issue with it, But the world's issue with it. Truly, My guest is Lena awaith. She created the new Showtime series. The shy after a break, We'll talk more about coming out and about the speech he made F. Winning an Emmy We'll also talk about how she find how she found her personal style after coming out, including the great tuxedo she wore at the EMI ceremony. I'm teary gross in this is fresh air. Support for this podcast, and the following message comes from fresh books, fresh books, is there ridiculously easy to use cloud accounting software made for freelancers and small business owners who want to take the work out of managing their paperwork. It takes about thirty seconds to create and send a perfectly formatted envoys to try fresh books, free for thirty days. Goats are fresh books dot com slash fresh air and answer fresh air In the How did you hear about a section? Was there a religious component to your mothers concern about you being a less been. Not really it wasn't a huge thing. It looked always say our family. Is made up of lazy Christians and that's because they believe and they taught me to believe, but they got to church when they could, though. He definitely whenever Easter, They can't quote the Bible to save their lives is the reason why can't I seriously, I cannot give you a bible verse, but I am a a huge believer in God as uses Christ, and that guy made me and all those things. And I try to just be a good person. I think that is the base of Mark religion is to be good is to be honest. And and I think my mother just never got wrapped up in the Bible in that way. So she and because she wasn't wrapped up in as she can throw it at me when I came out to her for her, it was more about keeping up with the Jones's. It was more about what will the neighbors think. And I think that something that a lot of people of color care about what it and also to not just what will the neighbors thing, But what a white people going to think that's really at the rude. Of it, And so I think that's why so many people of color who are part of the quick community have reached out to me and say, Yeah, that's what my coming out experience was like. It was more that. And and I think it was enacting 'cause it was just so much more nuanced than you go on a hill MIG. That's some people's experiences. Addle may diminish that at all. But I think for a lot of us is just more of a judgement call that has nothing to do with the Bible for more about, Oh, how people perceive you? What are we? We're going to think that is something I did. That's what it really becomes more about for me and my family my experience. Yeah. Well, your character says to his eases character in the series being gay is harder for black people. It isn't something black people like to talk about. Some black people think being gay as a choice. And when they find out there kid is gay. They try to figure out what they did wrong with the parented, Ron, Right. Digger mother wonder what she did wrong because like In the episode The mother goes home and says too. Higher sister, your aunt Is it because I couldn't keep a man. So do you think your mother thought like she did something wrong and that's why you turned out gay? I think she was very confused by And again, I'm a person has a sibling who is very straight. So there's a. Oh, I think from my mom A wondering of, Well, why as a gay and her older sister, Lauren isn't as she's actually quite the opposite. And did is I think there was just a curiosity. I definitely think she had a lot of conversation with her friends not unlike the character dozen, the episode like that. Wall like, what does this mean? Like Should I have known was I not paying attention? Is it because I'm not married. Is it because I She's not seeing a healthy, happy heterosexual relationship, their system, A there's just a list of things. And at the end of the day It's very self-centred. And I think. That's fine added to sort of all that. Sometimes your parent can make your Giggs wearing It's about them. Because of that, that's just what parents do. But for me, I really It's hard to explain to someone that being gay is like being born with brown hair or blue eyes or darker skin. There's you There's no choice in the matter. It's just how I believe God made you. And I think there's He doesn't make any mistakes, so was the issue. But I think for my mother who again grew up during a different time, the thought that it was her fault or she messed up in a way of every she should have forced me to wear more dresses as a kid. But the truth is, we all know that that's just silliness. Did you try to Matthew entrance done? Of course, she, you know, Aberdeen And she did for a while until I started to really rebel and say, no. No, I don't want to do that. I wanna wear, you know my overalls or I wanna wear my jeans. Emma sneakers Am I, you know, Ma cities. And I think that really bothered her because she's a very feminine woman. My sister is a very feminine woman. Every woman in my family is very feminine. So when I started to feel more comfortable, MI androgynous spirit, I think he kind of make them go What That's weird. And I think he just thought that is chapter of to me being weird, and when I put a name to it and you realize, Oh no, I'm not just in Johnston his I'm a soft stood for election and lesbian community is a way of saying someone who, or you can say, is mask when presenting. Uh, but still has Vim in qualities. I think they start will not day Really. My mother started to realize, Oh, So not only are you lesbian, but you're a, uh, a very obvious lesbian Are they might be easier for her power, a a lifting lesbian, if our of him and then lose that way. People can judge me on site, but I got to a place where I didn't care if people judge me on site Like, this is how I feel comfortable, This is how I choose to present myself to the world. And so it was really a a process for her because of how I dress and how I walked the world. And I think she has had to really make peace with it. And it took some time. It always takes time. What was it up? Russia's still grappling with it, was that a process for you to to figure out how you wanted to present herself visually? Of course, Of course. Although I mean, someone could look at my childhood photos ago wasn't really a process always that address like, uh, debris at. But I think as I got older and moved again, moved to LA. I start to really experiment with fashion. I started to look at the way certain men dressed end. Because even because I I sort of love that some men dressed in a very feminine way and aren't necessarily gay. And so I just love taking risks and taking chances, but fashion and even like at the Emmy's or this year at the Golden Globes. I like to I'm gonna wear a suit. Okay. Have what I'm going to do it in a snappy I'd here We're saying because at the Emmy's last year when you've got the EMI for corrupting the master of none episode, you were wearing this like great tech Sito in with like a silver and bleh. Back tuxedos I gold is like the gold. Okay. White flakes on this amazing Blazers made by Alba A L B A uh, this amazing. Asian-American woman is a designer and she is she does all the close of the guys on bollars and all that kind of stuff in She such a great I and I told her I said, I definitely want to be in this like tuxedo but it has to be a special one. It has to be amazing. There has to be something unique in the swag about it issues like, Okay coal And maybe because of the Emmy's She was like, I'm going to do a sort of a gold design in and give you know, little pop. And because whether I wanna lost I was like, y-you know, I gotta make a moment out of this. 'cause I was still the first African American woman to be nominated in the comedy riding category. So I was like, even if I go home without the trophy, I got to look like a trophy. And I feel like that's what. She made me look like, Yeah, maybe look like a winner. He I knew I had a great like Tech's Ito shirt with a little boy time. It was. It was very, very shocked. You shop in men's department. I do. I do. Um, I sometimes have to get things and medium. So that way. 'cause I don't like things to be to baggy of category out of that stage. So that's what I try to do. I try to sort of make the male clothes fit my aesthetic And and I think I can kind of make clothes that are made from in almost appear as if they were made to be worn by a woman. I think that's always mommission to to make things. You know, to been them and to make them fit my style amass wag. And I'm really happy people turn the white my sense of style. But honestly, I really do dress for comfort Murray style is what I'm always really comfortable. And I like sneakers obviously that's I mean and addiction that I have. 'cause I'm just from Chicago and is sort of engrained into me. So I sent them shop in boys departments. I sometime shop in girls departments because some small. And so I always feel like I have to explain myself to the sale Gina, like, do you go through that? Like IFRS, if you're going into, say, immense store and you have to go into the dressing room, Do you have to explain like do you feel any need to. You know, not as much anymore, interestingly enough, but I think this is because it's a sign of the times that a lot of women I think the Howard bids who wide even gay, but I think would hours in Chicago steel. And I would you know, grab close in the men's section. I remember there were a couple of sales clerks that will go over Gino that's a men shirt Now ago. Yeah, I know. I prefer that. Or they go, These are men's pans and I go. Yep. I'm aware. So I think I experienced a little bit, But in LA like, Please no-one questions, anything you could be trying on a banana suit. Let's take a short break here and then we'll talk some more If you're just joining us. My guest is Lena ways. She created the new Showtime series. The shy, and last year She won an Emmy for coal writing. The Thanksgiving episode of master of non. We'll be right back. This is fresh air. Support for this NPR podcast and the following message come from ADT Security Helping to protect homes and businesses for over a hundred in forty years. ADT also provides health monitoring with medical alerts services to help seniors live independently more at adt.com. Okay, We've talked about what you war to the Emmy's let's talk about what you actually said. In fact, Let's hear an excerpt of your acceptance speech, Mrs Lena wave at the 2017 Emmy awards and last, but certainly not least are LGBQ to see a family.