“The thing that sucks about being trans is I am the only gay guy no other gay guys are attracted to. When I tell a gay guy I’m trans he says, ‘Awwww sweetie, I like real boys.’ What am I, Pinocchio?” —Jeffrey Jay on the perils of dating. Jay is a 24-year-old trans comedian in Dallas who does training and speaking at colleges to help address and spread awareness of trans issues. “My goal is to use comedy to expose people to trans issues,” he says. “I hope that when people watch me do my set they leave thinking, ‘Wow, I just saw a trans person for the first time and he was normal and funny.’”
“I was looking forward to Annette Bening getting it on with Julianne Moore. A little boom-boom in my zoom-zoom. But then nothing. I admit I’m in a some-sex relationship, but the only porn you’ll hear coming out of our bedroom is the Weather Channel.”—Lesbian comic Kate Clinton on the hit lesbian film The Kids Are All Right. Clinton, a comedy legend, released her latest album, Lady HaHa, in 2011.
“I was in Ohio. I had a gig there — why else would you go? I thought all the women in Ohio were lesbians. It turns out they are just a bunch of straight women who have given up.”— Lesbian comic Chantal Carrere, winner of ABC’s Fat March, appeared in Hot Comics on here! TV and hosted My Fabulous Vegas Weekend with Lady Gaga at the Luxor.
“I think people are sharing too much these days. One of my Facebook friends posted his colonoscopy on Facebook. Talk about a you tube.” —Paul Hallasy, the New York City–based comedian, writer, actor and singer. He performs regularly in New York and has recently become the “go-to gay” for his opinion on issues affecting LGBT people, appearing on such shows as the Canadian Broadcasting Company’s Connect With Mark Kelley and giving gay travel advice to the travel website Gridskipper. A self-described “stray” (a straight-acting gay), he is also the author of a book called New York Trilogy.
“With all the work Cher’s had done, Chaz is the second person in the family to be trans.”—Transgender funnyman Ian Harvie on Chaz Bono and his mom. The longtime host of queer comedy talk show, The Ian Harvie Show, Harvie joined Felon O’Reilly and Amy Dresner to travel the U.S. in 2011 as part of a recovery-based stand-up show called We Are Not Saints.
“When are the people with cash coming out?”— Karen Williams on the ratio of out queers who are poor to millionaires who are closeted. The Cleveland-based Williams is the founder of the National Women’s Comedy Conference, has been featured in We’re Funny That Way and Laughing Matters, and was even introduced by Jon Stewart as “Professor Williams” for her work at Cleveland State. Williams is also the founder and head of the International Institute of Humor and Healing Arts (the HaHa Institute) and a mainstay on Olivia cruises.
“I used to work as a waitress. Before that I was a waiter.” —Transgender comedian Alison Grillo on survival jobs. Trans comedian Alison Grillo bills herself as “New York City’s Woman Trapped Inside a Woman’s Body.” She’s been seen on NBC’s Last Comic Standing and is a regular at the Broadway Comedy Club, where she hosts the monthly Jokes ‘n’ Gender: A Talk Show. Her goal is to increase the emerging role of trans folks in the national LGBT conversation. “We’re the awkward pause,” she says.