‘It gets to you’: trans comedians on transphobia and cancel culture

While ‘cancelled’ comedians continue to succeed after making transphobic jokes, their trans peers are still finding it an often unwelcome industry

A month before the transgender comedian Jaye McBride was supposed to appear at a festival, she got a phone call. “The board has decided that we still want you to come, but on the ‘clean’ [family friendly] show, we don’t want you to talk about trans material,” the man said.

“It blew me away at the time,” McBride recalled. “I’m just like, really? Do you tell other comics what material they can talk about?” McBride contemplated skipping the show, but decided she was “not turning down the paycheck”. So she stripped any mention of her trans identity from the “clean” set and only discussed being transgender in her “dirty” set. “It wasn’t a good feeling” to only be allowed to talk about being trans on the “dirty” show, she said.

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‘It gets to you’: trans comedians on transphobia and cancel culture