A queer transfeminine nonbinary activist and performer has criticized male comics, claiming that many “mask their misogyny as comedy.”
During an appearance on The Project this week, Alok Vaid-Menon, who uses she/she pronouns, made the bold statement while promoting her own comedy tour.
“I think it’s time to protect jokes from men in pants,” said the 31-year-old.
“I’ve just started watching some of this comedy stuff and it feels like they’re trying to mask their misogyny as comedy,” Alok continued.
“So I had to get in the ring and show people that making fun of trans people because they exist isn’t funny.
“What’s funny is how much time, energy and money you put into creating the binary genders.”
Alok also said they want to show the world how funny transgender people really are.
“I also feel like right now people just define trans people as hypersensitive, like we can’t take a joke, like we’re just grouchy social justice fighters,” they explained.
“In my experience, if you spend your whole life being the butt of the joke, you learn how to tell a good joke.
“I wanted to show people that we are capable of joy, that despite all the discrimination and violence, you can actually have so much fun.”
Mx. Vaid-Menon said her eclectic comedy show will feature a harrowing story of how they fell victim to an anti-gay hate crime in Melbourne six years ago.
The star plans to address her attacker directly on stage as part of her “healing journey.”
They also want to show some more upbeat moments mixed in with “sadness” during the performance.
“I’m trying to weave in poetry and comedy, sadness and joy, because it’s non-binary, it’s honest,” Alok explained when asked what fans can expect from her comedy tour.
“In my show, I wanted to be honest with what we live as humans. We are far more massive and massive than any binary will allow us to be.’
This week, Alok told the Sydney Morning Herald: “Lots of famous comics [have been] peddling transphobia’.
Last year, Dave Chappelle caused controversy after his latest Netflix special, The Closer, contained jokes aimed at the transgender community.
Many students at his alma mater, the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington DC, didn’t approve of this kind of humor, and told the comedian so during a heated question-and-answer session at the school in November.
Chapelle said the pushback “seriously hurt him” but has not apologized for his comments at the expense of transgender people.
At the time, Netflix reportedly held a virtual event hosted by Alok to discuss the impact of Chapelle’s comedy on the transgender community.
Alok is known for her famous circle of friends and for helping many celebrities deal with their gender.
They supported Demi Lovato and Sam Smith when the singers were revealed to be non-binary and switched to non-binary pronouns.
The year since, however, Demi has switched back to her pronouns after explaining that she’s been feeling more feminine lately.
Mx. Vaid-Menon’s career has been on fire in recent years.