Lena Waithe tells her truth in Master of None

Waithe talks to Tom Power about how the Thanksgiving episode of the Aziz Ansari comedy Master of None was developed.
Lena Waithe attends the "Master Of None" Season 2 Premiere at SVA Theatre on May 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Lena Waithe didn't tell her mom that she was going to turn her coming-out story into an episode for Netflix's Master of None. The actress, who stars in the popular show created by Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang, didn't want any outside influences on her story. As she says, "Let's let the gay kid be able to tell the story."

That story is told in episode 8 of the second season, titled "Thanksgiving," which premiered on May 12. The episode unfolds over several years of Thanksgiving dinners at Waithe's character Denise's family home. In the episode, Waithe relives the moment she came out to her mother, except this time around her mother is played by Angela Bassett. 

"I'd like to say that coming out the second time was a lot more fun and glamorous," Waithe says. "When I first did it, it felt like the end of the world; you don't know what reaction you'll get. Ten years later.... Being on that set felt like my coming-out was being celebrated." 

— Produced by Elaine Chau