An Engaged Lena Waithe Still Has To Keep Reminding Her Family She’s Really Gay: “It’s Not A Phase”

While visiting The Wendy Williams Show to promote her amazing new Showtime series The Chi, writer Lena Waithe talked about her personal life and shared that she popped the question to longtime girlfriend Alana Mayo. The 33-year-old Master of None star revealed that she popped the question this past Thanksgiving.

“We’ve been dating for a little over three years and I proposed on Thanksgiving at the Park Hyatt,” she said. “I got the special ring! I got a good ring.”

Lena Waithe Thanksgiving


And when asked by Williams if she was given a ring in return by Mayo, Waithe said she actually received something better.

“She did not give me a ring, but she gave me some really fly sneakers that we got in Tokyo that you can only get there,” she joked. “That’s why I preferred those.”

If you’re a Master of None fan, then you know that Thanksgiving is a very special holiday for Waithe. She wrote an episode called “Thanksgiving” chronicling her coming out story, which played out over a span of Thanksgiving holidays over the years. The episode, which featured Angela Bassett as her mother and is cited by most MON fans as the best episode of Season 2, won her a historic Emmy.

Despite sharing her story with the public, Waithe says it’s a “process” to continuously remind her family that yes, she is indeed gay, still is, and hasn’t stopped being that way. She’s not trying to be trendy and Mayo is not her “friend,” but her partner and future partner for life.

“It’s a process. I think people think it’s just one and done. Not with black families,” she joked. “You got to keep reminding them and telling them, ‘It’s not a phase. This is not a decision I’m making because it’s trendy.’ You can’t tell your grandmother because she forgets. And they’re like, ‘Is that your friend you live with?’ It’s like ‘No, this is my partner.’ I think my family is starting to get it. They’ve got it.”

Williams, on the other hand, couldn’t understand how they wouldn’t get it.

“You’ve got a full Diddy-bop going on!” she joked. “What is there that you have to explain?!”

“It’s some people with a full Diddy-bop, acting like they play for the heterosexual team, and I don’t play those games,” Waithe clarified. “I believe it’s important for me to be an out and proud, visible African-American woman. It’s not enough of us out there. And I know that there’s probably some little Black girl out there who knows she’s a little different and may think something is wrong with her. But I want to show her, there’s a beautiful light at the end of the tunnel and she’s perfect just the way she is.”

Check out Williams and Waithe’s chat, and you can fast forward to 4:30 to hear her talk about Mayo and explaining her sexuality to her family. It left the audience cackling: