It’s pride month.
It’s a peculiar pride month.
Pride is usually a synonym for celebrations and parades, which have been widely cancelled, as everything else this year, due to the spread of coronavirus.
As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I don’t always fit in at the big celebrations. The all-out parties are a hard place for a socially awkward anxious person, who has trouble connecting with others on a large scale.
– “Oh, so open mics are your thing Mariana? Small audiences, not much of a fuss, and comedy, which you love!”
Not that easy! Despite all the strides made with the help of the LGBTQ+ movement and all the out LGBTQ+ comedians who have successful careers and industry respect, open mics still suffer from an overabundance of homophobic and transphobic jokes. I’d argue if we could call them jokes and if we could call everything happening in the open mic circuit comedy, but that’s beside the point. And it would be a lie if I said only open mics suffer from that fate – I go to many shows and have a subscription to many streaming services, and know for a fact that people don’t let go of their prejudices, just because they start making a little bit more money from their work.
In London, we have the privilege of having LGBTQ+ comedy nights, and those that albeit not full-on dedicated to the cause, are very queer-friendly. Shows like The LOL Word, FOC IT UP!, Permitted Fruit, Wacky Racists and if I do say so myself Word of Muff are little oases of homophobia free comedy. I’ll take the time to single out Oh Queer Cupid for adding a little bit of speed dating to the comedy show (or is it the other way around? – a little comedy show to the speed dating?) and making that difficult connection between anxious, awkward strangers, just a little bit easier.
I’m sure there are pockets of joy outside of London and the big cities of the world, but I do yearn for the day I’ll walk into any comedy joint, in any town in the world, and won’t run the risk of feeling like the joke is on me.
This June there will also not be any live comedy to enjoy anywhere that’s not online and I’m itching for that content! As I don’t have any gigs to go to in the evenings, I will gather some highlights to share with you in the next three Wednesdays of the month.
Pride started as a riot that led to LGBTQ+ rights being recognised, and although there’s still work to be done, we are allowed to celebrate people.
I’m bringing my pride celebrations online to the Funny Women pages by highlighting some comedians and performers, in what, I underline, won’t be an exhaustive list, but a personal one!
Come back next week!