Lea DeLaria

Mariana Feijó

Mariana Feijó

Streaming platforms and their programmes have allowed me to discover new queer comedians I had never heard of. Last week I wrote about Moms Mabley, who I found out about on an episode of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and this week I’m going to talk about Lea DeLaria, who I discovered due to her role in Orange Is The New Black.

Lea DeLaria has been performing stand up since the early 1980s, for longer than I’ve been around, and she’s been openly gay all that time! More even, she’s been an openly butch dyke! And it took me decades of my own life to even know what that meant!

If we don’t count Moms Mabley’s appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, then Lea Delaria was the first openly gay comic to appear at a late night talk show, when she performed a five minute stand up set at the Arsenio Hall Show in 1993. And let’s face it, Moms Mabley wasn’t really doing material on how much of a dyke she was, so we probably should give credit to Lea.

In 1993, as a seven year old, I might not have been thinking about my sexuality, but I sure as hell wasn’t seeing anyone remotely openly queer on Portuguese TV. You’ll have to fill me in about your experiences of LGBTQ+ representation on 90s U.K. TV!

That same year, Lea Delaria hosted Out There, a Comedy Central special with a mix of sketch and stand up by gay and lesbian comedians. That was the first all gay comedy special. It is available to watch on YouTube and has a cameo by Sir Ian Mckellen.

What I have been finding out with my decision to highlight LGBTQ+ people this month, both here and on my social media, and my choice to focus more on those people I didn’t know much or anything about and not solely the ones who have been references in my life, is that there is a lot more out there on the world wide web about the American examples of LGBTQ+ activism and representation. America truly is a paradoxical country, where undeniably racist and homophobic things happen out in the open, but an effort on representation and celebration of underrepresented voices does happen in what appears to me, a foreigner in both countries, a prouder and freer way than what I see in the U.K., and in what also seems to be a trigger for change around the world.

Is britspeak, that elusive and deemed polite way of communication used in Britain, subject of many translation memes about what people really mean when they use certain expressions, hiding the same levels of racism and homophobia that exist in America within the British society? As someone who has been dubbed as blunt in my proficient use of English, I may need to enlist a British person to help me navigate this subject.

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Funny Women NextUp…Comedy Shorts Award

Are you a budding Director? Producer? Screenwriter? Are you collaborating with friends to make a funny video? Then we are looking for YOU!

If you have a short film or sketch that you think is hilarious, then enter your work for our Comedy Shorts Award to be in with a chance of winning some life-changing support and mentoring from comedy professionals.


A 1- 6 minute film that can take the form of anything comical. It’s a great opportunity to show us your creative flair and have fun!


This award is open to all women filmmakers and content developers. The film must be an original narrative created, produced and devised by a woman, or women, although male cast and crew members are allowed.


Yes – we require all films to be 6 minutes or under, to be entirely original dialogue, to not feature brand logos and most importantly, to only use music with the written consent of the performer and/or publisher either personally or via the PRS system https://www.prsformusic.com/ .


We will broadcast selected entries on our Funny Women YouTube channel and social media (so keep an eye out) and the top 10 finalists’ films will also hosted on a dedicated Funny Women Comedy Shorts Awards page on our website. We will also broadcast the final 3 entries as part of the grand final night.


Films are judged for production, concept, delivery/performance, creativity, writing and overall funniness. The top 10 films are then viewed by an independent judging panel of top television and film industry professionals who will choose one overall winner and two runners up. The final three will be invited to attend the grand final in London on the 23rd September.


2021 Funny Women Awards Prizes

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