If you research queer comedy, you’ll find that queer women have consistently topped the shit out of the comedy scene. You’ll find odes to Lily Tomlin and Ellen Degeneres with only the occasional nod to comedy notables like Moms Mabley, Wanda Sykes and Margaret Cho, making queer comedy look like a whitewashed dyke party. White lesbians aren’t exactly basking in the limelight — comedy remains dominated by straight cis men — but they’re getting attention, especially here.
If you search for “comedy” on Autostraddle, you’ll find love letters to the Hannah Gadbsys and Cameron Espositos of the world. You won’t find much evidence of the many queer comedians of color who are well-established, wildly successful and wonderfully, deliciously funny.
Here’s a very incomplete list of some of those queer comedians. Watch their specials, buy their albums and drop the names of your favorite queer comedians in the comments.
If you watched Autostraddle’s Rise Up Get Down online benefit show, then you’ve already encountered Jes Tom, whose gleeful rage against the straight, cis paradigm is both charming and righteous. Follow them on Twitter.
With his incredibly specific humor, Julio Torres walks the line between goofy and earnest. He writes for Saturday Night Live (check out his commercial parody, “Wells For Boys”) and is the co-creator of Los Espookys. Watch his comedy special, My Favorite Shapes, on HBO.
A former cast member at the Chicago’s Second City Mainstage, Tien Tran is lovable, astute and painfully honest. Whether she’s acting out embarrassing moments from her past or imagining a stranger’s inner monologue, Tien’s comedic timing is on point. Follow her on Instagram.
As the host of Brooklyn’s famed Comedy At The Knit, Sydnee Washington is a candid femme force whose comedy feels conversastional. Listen to her co-host The Unofficial Expert on Apple Podcasts.
Sam Jay’s comedy is confessional, contrarian and painfully honest. She writes for Saturday Night Live (where she co-wrote the famed, recurring sketch, “Black Jeopardy”). Listen to Sam Jay’s comedy album, Donna’s Daughter, on Spotify. Her hour long Netflix special premieres on August 4th.
You might recognize Patti Harrison from Shrill or from her work as guest correspondent on The Tonight Show. Her bizarre humor is sometimes sexual, sometimes grotesque and always satisfyingly inappropriate. Watch her unravel on Twitter.
Joel Kim Booster