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Wanda Sykes Says, 'My Life Is a Speech for Equality' in HBO's 'The Out List' [Exclusive Video]

Maya Salam
June 26, 2013

Since Ellen DeGeneres came out as a lesbian 16 years ago (in one of the funniest sitcom moments of the '90s, no less), more and more lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender celebs, athletes, and business icons have dared to share their genuine selves and lives with their fans and the public. And now, HBO is sharing their stories with you in the humorous, poignant, and revealing new documentary "The Out List."

[Related: Wanda Sykes Takes On Reality With NBC First-Look Deal]

This special TV event features a diverse group of A-listers (DeGeneres, Neil Patrick Harris, Cynthia Nixon, and Suze Orman, to name a few) who talk candidly about their childhoods, careers, moments of acceptance, encounters with discrimination, and more. The mission of the documentary, according to HBO, is to offer "unique modern perspectives on being out in America."

In this exclusive sneak peek at "The Out List," Emmy-winning comedian Wanda Sykes opens up about her family and her perspective on what advocating for gay rights means. What's particularly mind-boggling, Sykes says, is when, postgig, she's confronted by a fan who doesn't believe she's made a big enough statement for the LGBT cause. Sykes's response (in her hilarious, direct signature delivery): "Jackass, I just did a whole f------ hour about my wife and kids. You can't get any gayer than that. ... My life says it. My life is a speech for equality and a speech for 'Hey, we all are going through the same problems — different sex but same s---, same problems.'"

[Related: Wanda Sykes to Host Two All-Female Summer Comedy Specials on Oprah Winfrey's OWN]

This HBO special, from film director and photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders with interviews by Sam McConnell, couldn't air at a better time. In a pair of rulings by the Supreme Court on Wednesday, the justices struck down a law that barred married same-sex couples from receiving federal benefits and declined to decide a case from California, thus dismissing it and effectively allowing same-sex marriages there.

"The Out List" premieres on Thursday, 6/27 at 9:30 PM on HBO.