A veteran comedian and actress who’s appeared on Chelsea Lately, The Mindy Project, and most recently on The L Word: Generation Q, stand-up comic Fortune Feimster is known for regaling audiences with tales of woebegotten attempts at joining the school swim team, coming-out balls (not that kind), and her family’s love of Hooters. All of that was chronicled in her Netflix special Sweet and Salty, which premiered in January. Moreover, her gentle yet pointed humor reaches people and has the power to help change lives through her hilarious, heartfelt storytelling.
Feimster recently joined The Advocate's co-editor in chief Tracy E. Gilchrist for an episode of Inside With the Advocate, where she shared about how she's handling staying at home — a lot of yard work is on the agenda — and the challenge for comics to uplift and soothe in times of crisis.
The veteran comic, who hails from North Carolina and got her start with the Groundlings, spoke about the nature of her humor to hopefully influence hearts and minds.
"I'm presenting a fun story and it's silly and light and then I'll slip in there, 'Oh, but also representation is a big deal. Here's why you should accept your kid,'" she says. "There were messages that were slipped in there. I do try to deliver it in a way that's easier to digest. Not that people need for it to be easier to digest. But it's like, 'I'm going to tell you why it's important for you to accept your kids without yelling at you.'"
Feimster goes on to explain that she received an email from a young queer girl who watched Sweet and Salty with her parents and it was considered progress in terms of their acceptance of their daughter.
With Pride celebrations going virtual and with the increasing knowledge that Pride is a state of mind more than a month out of the year, Feimster shares about why she's proud to be a part of the LGBTQ community.
"I'm proud that as an out performer that I have been given platforms that I can be who I am and not think twice about it," she says. "I don't have to hide who I am. I don't have to talk about my boyfriend. I'm very grateful that we're in a time where I'm not being punished by not being hired for being out and gay."
"I'm glad that I can be exactly who I am and that people give me a platform. If somehow people look at me and who I am living my life and that helps them or helps their coming-out process or helps their relationship or helps their parents, I'm glad that by me just being who I am is a small, positive influence," Feimster adds.
Check out other episodes of Inside With The Advocate, which features an array of virtual stories with LGBTQ artists, trailblazers, and allies including Rosie O'Donnell, Emily Hampshire, Harvey Guillén, Ross Mathews, Kalen Allen, Sherry Cola, Bruce Richman, Tonatiuh, Brandy Norwood, the Indigo Girls, Josh Thomas, and Mary Lambert.