dishin' it

Sydnee Washington on her “boring lesbian era,” Barbie, and the A-lister that once tipped her $800

Photo Credit: Sela Shiloni

We’re deep into Emmys season, and one of this year’s most delightful nominations has got to be for the hilarious and gorgeous Sydnee Washington.

Over the years, the queer comedian and actress has shown up in a bunch of our favorites—from Search Party to Ziwe—but just made her Television Academy breakthrough thanks to Grindr, of all places.

That’s because she’s one of the stars of Bridesman, the LGBTQ social app’s first foray into scripted series. Washington plays Judith, a bride-to-be who’s put through hell when her gay BFF aims to hook up with her fiancé. Her go-for-broke performance is a highlight of the wild series (now streaming on YouTube), which earned the star her first Emmy nomination for “Best Actress In A Short-Form Comedy Or Drama Series” opposite the likes of Patricia Clarkson and Rhea Seehorn.

Related: A bridesman has an electric sexual connection with the groom in Grindr’s first streaming series

But even before the nod, Washington’s been a multi-media queen. She’s ruled the podcasting space with the likes of The Unofficial Expert and Peak 2000s, and gave us something to look forward to in the thick of the pandemic with her IG Live series, Syd Can Cook. And now she’s touring the country with her one-woman comedy show, How To Start A Fire—all about the time she burnt her family house down as a kid.

With so much on her plate, we’re just grateful she made time for Queerty and our our rapid-fire Q&A series, Dishin’ It. In our conversation below, Washington reflects on the time she went way overboard while trying to woo a crush, reveals how Sephora “sets you up for failure,” and talks us through her must-have accessories whenever Mattel gets around to making the inevitable “Sydnee Washington Barbie doll.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Sydnee Washington (@justsydbw)

1. What would you say is the gayest thing about you?

Gayest thing? Hmmm. That I say “I love you” at the end of every conversation. Wait! Maybe I shouldn’t coin that as gay, that’s more so a person with mommy issues thing.

2. You’re Emmy nominated for your role in the Grindr series Bridesman, all about a gay who tries to sabotage his bestie’s wedding by sleeping with her fiancé. Inspired by that, what’s the wildest thing you’ve ever done for a hook-up?

I am a giver and at times considered “too much” but really it’s them that’s not enough. I ended up sending a crush 50 Baked By Melissa cupcakes and two expensive orchids for her birthday. In my stupid big heart, I thought it was romantic, but all my friends were like “Are you trying to give her diabetes? Orchids, was that a housewarming gift or someone died?” Essentially, I scared her off and she ended “things” a week later. Thank goodness I’m currently in a relationship—it’s obvious I’m not cool enough for the streets.

3. Who is a queer artist/performer/creator that you think is doing really cool work right now? Why are they someone we should all be paying attention to?

Really loving Larry Owens, multi-hyphenate phenomenon (Actor/Singer/Comedian/Writer) that literally commands every stage he’s on. From selling out Carnegie Hall with his “Sondheimia” show, to unforgettable scenes on Abbott Elementary and Life & Beth, Larry is doing outstanding work. Also when he isn’t working, our king is definitely living it up in VIP at the Lady Gaga concert. Imperative that you follow anything and everything that he’s is doing, I love him with all my gay a** heart.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Sydnee Washington (@justsydbw)

4. Your “Black Barbie Tales” are some of the funniest things to ever happen on Instagram. If Mattel decided to make a Sydnee Washington Barbie, what three accessories would absolutely come with her and why?

If Mattel knows what’s good for them they would absolutely do this collab. Barbie’s audience is no longer just for the kids. 1. Antidepressants, hot girls be sad sometimes. 2. Brandon Blackwood purse, it’s just big enough to hold four lip glosses and my passport (my only form of ID). 3. Redbull, she’s sober so this gives me just enough energy to look like I’m paying attention during conversations.

5. What’s something ridiculous you believed to be true when you were a kid? (i.e. the classic example: Santa Claus) How did you react when you found out the truth?

That Christopher Columbus “discovered” America. I didn’t find out what really went down until college, my exact response was, “Of course an ugly hat-wearing guy was bad at geography!”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Sydnee Washington (@justsydbw)

6. Your long-running podcast, The Unofficial Expert, was dedicated to talking to comedians about their areas of expertise. What’s a field you’re not an expert in but would like to be? In what ways would becoming an expert in that subject change your life?

I’m not an expert in “making money and not spending it.” I can find a reason to buy $300 worth of makeup during an apocalypse. First off, Sephora sets you up for failure soon as you hit the checkout line. “Oh, you thought you were done? No b*tch, you need this travel-size lotion for your feet and butthole. And while you’re at it, buy this cream for nipple discoloration.” If I spent less money on random things I see on Instagram ads, I probably could buy a house or at least contribute that $1 they always ask me to donate to the children’s hospital when I’m checking out at Walgreens.

7. Who is the most famous person you’ve ever met? What was your experience like meeting them? Did they live up to your expectations?

Babe, the people have to watch the Black Barbie stories to get that info! But one of my fav celebs overtipped me $800 and used my name to get into a nightclub, so Ace Ventura is on repeat in my household.

8. And our final question is a segment we like to call “Explain Yourself,” in which we ask our interviewees to explain the story behind one of their random social media posts. So, with that in mind, could you tell us: What’s the story behind this tweet? What’s it mean to be in your “boring lesbian era”? The tweet’s from earlier this summer—are you still in one? If not, what got you out of it?

Unfortunately, but fortunately, that tweet is still the vibe. I’m from New York City, the land of spontaneity and mess. Since moving to Los Angeles, [I’m] doing less of both of those things. Sober and not single, life is extra calm. I’m in a committed loving relationship, nothing messy is occurring. All my friends are pouring out their bad date stories via the group chat and just like “Jojo still isn’t cheating on me, nothing fun to report.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Sydnee Washington (@justsydbw)