The discourse surrounding Dave Chappelle’s latest Netflix special only continues to evolve. A little over a week after the transphobia-filled stand-up special first dropped on the streaming platform, trans workers at Netflix are organizing a walkout, at least one has been fired and calls for a Netflix boycott continue to grow.
And while it’s vital we talk about transphobia in comedy and demand change, it’s a lot of discussion around one shitty guy—especially when there are a lot of amazing trans and queer comedians out there to celebrate.
So if you need a break from talking about a homophobic, transphobic celebrity and instead want to start talking about the future of stand-up, this is a great place to start.
Here are seven trans stand-up comedians you should know, from long-time stalwarts of the comedy scene to the freshest up and comers.
The Portland-based comedian and activist wrote a scathing critique of the Chappelle special in the Guardian, speaking candidly about her experience as a Black trans comic.
“Did you once again imagine all trans people are white, or do you assume there is some inherent danger awaiting us among the larger Black community? And why might that be? Regardless, neither explanation sits well with me,” she writes.
The self-described “horny trans cherub” and part of the 2021 Just For Laughs “New Faces of Comedy” line-up, Tom is a rising star in the New York scene. They’re hilarious.
A long-time comedy veteran, Butcher came out as trans and non-binary in recent years, and has started to incorporate discourse about their identity into their work. Their latest album, Pull Yourself Up By Your Bootleg, dropped during the pandemic and is a whirlwind of smart observations and hilarious laughs.
One half of Xtra’s beloved duo Thomas and Tranna, Wintour has made her mark on the Canadian stand-up scene alongside her online exploits. Catch her on CBC’s Chosen Family podcast, or in her upcoming show High School Reunion on Nov. 5 in Montreal.
Another JFL “New Face” this year, Tran is irreverent and hilarious in all of the best ways. She’s appeared on Comedy Central’s Roast Battle and has a special as part of a six-part feature on Asian comics on Hulu.
Also among JFL’s “New Faces” this year, Al Val describes themself as “a genderfluid millennial in a perpetual state of mid-life crisis.” They’ve been doing stand-up for over 14 years in Canada, but only started to explore their gender identity and expression through comedy over the last three years.
We here at Xtra have already highlighted Raskopoulos’s hilarity on TikTok, and her keen wit extends to her stand-up sets as well. The Australian comic brings the laughs across platforms, and has even done a TEDx Talk about living with anxiety.