And when it comes to showing a story like this on TV, Waithe cannot be more grateful for the chance to tell it and also see it so well received. “It’s important for people to see, whether you’re gay or not, and for them to embrace it was really amazing,” she says, adding that its success allows her (and the show) to continue to take more risks and tell unconventional stories.
Waithe also hopes that it will continue to push TV and
storytelling in the right direction. “I want to see more queer characters of
color on television written by queer people of color. That’s super important,”
she says, while also acknowledging the success of other shows led by nonwhite
casts, like Atlanta, black-ish, Dear White People, Insecure
and Queen Sugar for leading a
movement. “There’s definitely a resurgence happening.”
While Insecure, Dear White People and Queen Sugar were shut out of this year’s
Emmys, Waithe says “we’re all applauding each other [and that] the industry is
recognizing us and taking notice.” And what’s most exciting about all the Emmy
recognition is the impact their representation can have.
“A young brown kid in Detroit, in Chicago, in Mississippi is
going to watch it and go, ‘Oh wow. They did it, so maybe I can tell my story
too. My story is valid as well,’” Waithe says.