Sunday, September 23, 2018

Not losing uniqueness but gaining an ally

I am the only M2F transgender stand-up comedian I know of in New Zealand and on Tuesday coming I will have been that for 3 years. It looks like that's coming to an end.

A couple of months over 3 years ago I needed to decide if I wanted to continue doing stand-up with a male presentation for a few months or years or to bite the bullet and become Julia on stage now. Looking back I don't understand why I should have seriously considered continuing to portray a man. Based on what subsequently happened in the office environment where I outed myself without really meaning to, I doubt I could have kept up the pretense of being male for very long in comedy.

Although my transgender status has been a point of differentiation for me, it's been lonely. There are things cisgender people never fully grasp. Just as there are things about their lives I will never fully understand. Hey, intersectionality. Recently another assigned male at birth woman has indicated an interest in taking up stand-up comedy. I'd be dishonest to say that I relish redoing my publicity material (I'm now going to claim to be the premier rather than the only ...), but I'm really glad to have her on board.

The advantages of having someone with a similar kaupapa to mine with whom I can compare notes & discuss ideas are pretty obvious, as is the simple fact that we can support each other but more subtly it means I will no longer be a lone outlier in the comedy world and the more people we can we can get into the public eye in a positive light, the more it helps normalize us in the public eye.

There's plenty of life stories for each of us to tell without looking like clones & there's still going to be a lot less competition for good story ideas than the cisgender comedians have. It looks like the future will be fun[ny].

As an aside, I just discovered that one meaning of the word kaupapa is "stage". Looks like I'm sharing mine in more than one meaning.

Update: 11 October 2018

Nicola debuted her comedy set in an open mic at the Portland Public House on Tuesday and is planning to continue, so it's official, I'm no longer the only M2F stand-up comedian in New Zealand.

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