Last Wednesday of June means this is the last of my Pride features at Funny Women for this year. I’ll keep being queer and occasionally writing here, but I won’t make it as obvious!
When I first thought about somehow celebrating Pride, as an alternative to the usual big, outdoors celebrations that aren’t happening this year, I had some megalomaniac ideas of a whole cool series of articles, that might span different publications, and themes, and a daily highlight on my social media. It’s been so hard to keep up with just a weekly article and a daily highlight on socials! What was I thinking?
The current pandemic situation makes everything more difficult. Spending a lot more time at home, exchanging less in person moments with friends and partners, not being able to go to your usual queer spaces, and as a performer, not being able to be on a stage making people laugh…it takes a toll. Makes me want to take a moment to think about pandemics of the past, and in particular the one that affected the lives of so many of our LGBTQ+ family and made so many people with HIV/AIDS feel isolated. And all of it makes me thankful for the ease of communication we now have access to, and the communities that help us feel supported through harder times.
This past week also saw so many women and enby folks come forward with their accounts of abuse and harassment experienced through their paths in live comedy, and I can’t avoid mentioning it to give another shout out to the queer spaces in comedy, that offer safe spaces from abuse, some of which I mentioned in the first article of this series. I want to take this article as an opportunity to find out about more of these shows that exist outside of my bubble. If you’re reading this, reach out to me to let me know about your safe spaces!
The events following George Floyd’s murder in the U.S.A., highlighted something that’s been clear to many, and made so many of us glaringly aware that we need to actively be anti-racist if we do want change to happen, and I do!
J.K. Rowling using her huge platform to vomit her TERF views and the news that the U.K. government is going back on their plans to allow people to change their legal gender by self-identifying, despite the overwhelming majority of responses to the public consultation on the subject being in favour of it, shows us there’s still a lot to fight for in the LGBTQ+ movement, even in the U.K..
What started as an idea that was meant to almost extensively highlight people from the LGBTQ+ community in comedy and how they have influenced the landscape, soon led to the realisation of how big a task that would be and how little space four articles would give me to not end up excluding a whole chunk of people that should be part of that list. What the two last articles seemingly were, was love letter to streaming services and the new knowledge their creative products have given me, but what I think that truly means is that representation is important.
So that’s what I’ll end this series on. We all need to do better…way better! We need to create spaces where all less represented groups in society feel welcome and safe. We need to have representation in the media, yes…but we need to have it behind as well as in front of the camera. We have to have it among the decision makers and we have to have it outside of media…everywhere in our society, including in the positions of power.