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July 27: “I Wasn’t Part of a Small Enough Minority”

July 27, 2013

Carol LeiferComedy writer and stand-up comic Carol Leifer was born in East Williston, New York on this date in 1956. Leifer was discovered by David Letterman in the 1980s and became a regular guest on his show. She has also written scripts for Seinfeld, Saturday Night Live, and The Ellen [DeGeneres] Show, among other comedy programs. (It’s widely thought that the Seinfeld character “Elaine” is based on her persona.) At age 40, Leifer fell in love with another Jewish woman, Lori Wolf, with whom she adopted a Latino baby boy in 2007 (and with whom she became a bat mitsve at age 47). A devoted animal rights activist, in recent years Leiter became a vegan, because, she says, “I felt that as a Jewish lesbian, I wasn’t part of a small enough minority.” Her books include When You Lie About Your Age, The Terrorists Win (2010) and How To Succeed in Business Without Really Crying (forthcoming). To see her being edgy in 1988, years before she came out, look below.

“I suddenly had this really mad desire to have an affair with a woman. I was divorced. I was childless. I figured there’s got to be one more way to really tick off my mom.” —Carol Leifer