Actresses Lena Waithe and Jonica Gibbs came together through a virtual meeting to discuss the need for more Black LGTBQ+ in the television industry.

The two spoke about how seeing gay characters humanized on television can help viewers empathize with them or even the entire group of people. Gibbs remarked that it’s “important right now, especially in the space that we’re in, to humanize differences in people and humanize Black skin.”

They also spoke about how there are microaggressions within the industry to feel the need to have masculine presenting lesbians on TV “want to be men or that [they’re] trans.” Waithe pointed out that “Black women who are, I always say ‘masculine-presenting’ … we can also be soft. We can also be vulnerable. And we’re not all aggressive.”

Waithe also called out people in the industry to “step up and do the right things and behave differently than we have before to really try to show people the way.”

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