Vanity Fair and Lena Waithe, Changing the Game

Credit: Lena Waithe on the April cover of "Vanity Fair." Photo:  @vanityfair /Instagram

Credit: Lena Waithe on the April cover of "Vanity Fair." Photo: @vanityfair/Instagram

Vanity Fair did something big! Something it has never done before. In unprecedented fashion, Vanity Fair has placed a Black lesbian Wakanda sister front and center on their cover. Yes, the 33 year old, boundary-breaking Emmy winner and groundbreaking actress, producer and writer is Vanity Fair’s April cover star and she gets really candid about her activism.

Most importantly, Vanity Fair didn’t ruin this history-making moment by styling Lena as a femme. Lena posed for photographer -- Annie Leibovitz, in a simple white tee screaming #BlackQueerMagic as she discussed her career, LGBTQIA and her quest for equal  representation in Hollywood with writer Jacqueline Woodson.

Waithe’s career journey in Hollywood began in 2006, as a production assistant [code for getting coffee and taking out the trash] for Ava DuVernay’s scripted directorial debut, “I Will Follow”. But a diamond doesn't start out shining. It's polished finish is a result of applying enough time and pressure. When it wasn't obvious Lena Waithe was making progress, she kept showing up, did the work and was consistently determined to tell stories--her way.

Lena Waithe as produced "Dear White People" (2014), appeared in Netflix’s "Master of None" (2015) -- as Denise a young lesbian character.  She then wrote the show’s “Thanksgiving” episode -- for which she won an Emmy in 2017 -- making her the first black woman to win in the Comedy Series Writing category. Now 2018, Waithe has created and executive-produced Showtime’s "The Chi", which is set on Chicago’s South Side; plus a role in Steven Spielberg's "Ready Player One".

Lena Waithe may be busy churning, but she still makes time to co-chair the Committee of Black Writers at the Writers Guild and fostering the new talent pipeline working with Franklin Leonard’s the Black List.

Let Lena's story remind you that, despite the struggles when you succeed it will be worth it. And, if you haven’t read or bought Vanity Fair in a while run to the closest newsstand - because the April issue is must have.