The joke is on all of us.

Yes, that was a real reaction to a post I made on a subreddit where amature comedians such as myself post photos of ourselves with little selections of our bits in order to build up a little publicity.

Yes. If you are following this blog and didn’t know, I am transgendered, I am a comedian. I am a transgendered comedian.

And no, not all my jokes are about being transgendered. Some are about being a Southerner, some are about being a veteran, some are about being slightly crazy, some are about music, pop culture, on and on.

But, I’m still transgendered.

When I first started doing stand up again after taking a break for about 9 years, I didn’t want to be just “the tranny comic.” That seemed hacky to me. Telling nothing but jokes about how my penis is like a strap-on that doesn’t need adjustment, or that my big hands just mean that I’m well hung for a lesbian. Stuff like that. I didn’t want that to be me. I have opinions about our government, music, the way we view celebrity, drugs, police, race, on and on. I am a person with depth and experience.

I buried both of my parents before I was 19. I have been a complete drunk. I spent 9 years in the military. I’m a veteran of the war in Iraq. I’ve been in jail for a week (pay your fines folks!). I’ve been to college. I’ve lived on dump trucks and in Victorian homes. I’ve driven a Cadillac and Geo Prism. That’s only a SMALL fraction of my life experiences, and they are all mine. They are the filter through which I see the world. Every experience I have ever had is the culmination for who I am today. All the bad, all the good; the joys of being love and having my heart broken, the things I’ve worked for and gained and the things I’ve had unfairly taken from me. It’s all me.

Some transgendered people when they transition go out, burn all their old photos, burn their yearbooks, destroy any trace of who they were before they transitioned. Not me. My army uniform sits folded in a trunk in my closet. All my old photos I have of me with my parents are from when I was a boy, and how could I get rid of the pictures of me like that without getting rid of them? They never knew this part of me, and so I keep the memories of them alive along with the memories of who I was as well. It’s all part of me, and cannot be erased with a simple pink eraser.

And so, when I tell jokes it doesn’t matter if it’s a knock knock joke or a joke about Hootie and the Blowfish, it comes from me being transgendered. I cannot ever divorce myself from who I am for a joke. I can’t joke about being a guy, I’m not. I can’t joke about being born a woman, I wasn’t. I can’t joke about being black, because I’m not. I can joke about guys though, women, black people, because I encounter them every single day. When I joke about guys it’s from that inside outsider viewpoint as I spent 28 years living in their world. When it comes to women, I joke with a wide eyed innocence about how they have to experience the world because it’s still so new to me. When it comes to race, I can see more the the disparities of privilege as I have forfeited the privilege of being a man and can see more clearly, but not perfectly, what it’s like from the other side.

When it comes to stand up comedy, the view is overwhelmingly that of the white straight man. Their income, place of birth, religion, or education may vary, but it’s always from the straight white guy’s view. And before you get blustery…that’s perfectly okay! It’s their view, it’s their experience, they can’t change it! For God’s sake, look at them! They can’t help being born white straight men, cut them a little slack! Seriously though, their voice carries out because the vast majority of the audience who consumes stand up comedy are white straight people and probably about half are men, so they have a built in audience. It’s familiar, it’s relateable, it’s something that they know. And that’s why it sells.

Women have a smaller audience, and so they have to tell jokes that men and women get. Black people have a smaller audience, so they have to tell jokes that white people get. On and on, the jokes have to be something that translate out beyond their world into a greater shared experience. Though, if you listen, even the universal jokes still come from that perspective and you cannot escape that. When Bill Cosby jokes about being a father you can’t help but think, “He’s black,” and you know what…that’s actually a good thing! Because when you see a black man experiencing the same foibles of being a father that a white man experiences, it closes the gap of our differences. When Sarah Silverman makes those uncomfortable racial or sexual jokes it hits us, “Hey women aren’t dainty flowers that only talk about knitting,” and we realize, if we are self aware enough, that women aren’t terribly different than men in that regard.

But, I’m a new voice. There’s never been a lot of trans comedians. There’s not been a lot of LGBT comics who publicly talk about it to a greater audience in general. It’s rare, it’s odd, and it seems like it’s all we LGBT comedians talk about. That’s only because it’s not a perspective you hear everyday. You hear straight comedians talking about gay people all the time, both good and bad. You don’t often hear gay comedians talking about themselves, or God forbid, about straight people. That’s why it stands out so much to you straight folks. It’s like having the hum of the T.V. pointed out to you, and now you can’t unhear it. If I tell a joke about being trans, it’s all you hear from that point on no matter the subject I talk about. I could talk about music or cars, and it’s always in your mind, “This is a transgendered woman talking about cars.” You don’t notice things like that with the more familiar voices of cisgendered people, or white people, or even these days black people depending on the subject, because it’s a noise you are accustomed to. But me, I’m a new voice. I’m a new hum.

A lot of people don’t like that hum sometimes. They want that hum to shut up and stop. The hum makes them uncomfortable, or is always noticeable, like a scratchy underwear tag. “Why is it always about that with you?” Because it’s from me, and it’s who I am, and it’s part of me. I can’t make it NOT about that, because that is a core part of who I am, and it’s not something you are used to, and it’s something you haven’t thought about, like that lump in your shoe.

Feel it now don’t you? It’s going to be noticeable, and honestly, I want it that way. I want you to hear me. I want you to see how I see the way you see me. I want you to see how I experience dealing with your prejudices and fears. You need to see my concerns and fears. I want you to know that I loathe dating just like you but in my own way. That I deal with stupid people in my own way. Worries about jobs, sexual contact, popular culture, the government I share with you in my own unique way and that I’m more like you than not.

I’m a transgendered comedian. I tell jokes about being transgendered. But if you listen close enough, they’re jokes about all of us.

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SQL Injection of Emotional Torment.

So my girlfriend cheated on me, broke up with me, started dating the person she cheated on me with, and finally unfriended me on Facebook.

Yes, it hurt, and I’m getting better, but every so often the Facebook Messenger pops up her face and name off to the side in a sort of fucked up gesture of, “Hey, we noticed you started feeling better about yourself, and have started getting over it. Well look at your ex’s smiling face…GAZE UPON IT FOR IT WILL NOT GO AWAY NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES YOU REFRESH THE PAGE! FEEL HER TAUNTING SMILE GAZE INTO YOUR SOUL. NO EMOTIONAL HEALING FOR YOU!!!”

I know you guys at Facebook are busy, but do you think you could fix that little bit of code please?

Oh, but thanks for the 56 flavors of gender.

I picked pistachio almond.

OH MY GOD MOM! You liked Mumford and Sons? You’re so lame.

This is my Hootie and the Blowfish CD Cracked Rear View. I bought it probably in late 1995 early 1996, and has all the scratches to show for it. It was their major label debut. It has sold over 16 million copies. It peaked at number one on the Billboard Chart five times. Three top ten singles were spun off the album. It is the 16th Best Selling album of all time in the United States.

How come I’m the only person I have ever met who admits to having bought and enjoyed the album?

Oh…is it because it’s poppy and bubblegum? “Chingy-ching guitar” frat pop? It’s not cool anymore? Yes to all of that.

I bought this album, I enjoyed it, I listened to it over and over. I like it still

If your opinion of me just dropped because of that, then you are a terrible person.

I get it, you’ve been told that your musical tastes are better because they are more underground/popular/sophisticated/pretentious as fuck. It doesn’t matter. It’s your taste.

First off, quit pretending that because you like alt/indie/underground music you are somehow better than everyone else. Let’s be realistic; no one becomes an entertainer for just the art form. If anyone ever tells you that they are a performer for solely the art and joy of music, smack the American Spirit out of their mouth and drag their ass to a doctor for a Thorazine shot because they need 30cc’s of reality. If you think people are just in it for the art you’re an idiot too. Musicians need to eat, they have bills, and if you honestly had the choice between a shitty 8th story walk up in Queens and a penthouse on Park Avenue. Park Avenue will will win every time.


Fuck Itzhak Perlman. I’m keeping it REAL! THUG LYFE!

No really. Everyone who wants to eat and be an artist full time, sells out. Every musician has changed a song, a set, or a look to cater to an audience. Don’t believe me? Go look up celebrity high school pictures. Yeah. And you thought you blossomed after high school. Eminem looks like he was head of the chess club, and Marilyn Mason was that shitty Dungeon Master who always made you have to write ALL of your inventory down or else you never picked up that +3 ring with protection from disease, GODDAMN IT MIKE YOU KNOW I HAD EQUIPPED THAT FUCKING THING!

The reason your band is still underground/alt/indie/nobodies is well, because they aren’t really worth listening to. No, seriously. Either they are way to niche and cater to a small set of tastes that will never translate, they aren’t hitting all cylinders yet and have time to grow, or well..they just plain suck. If after 15 years they still play pool halls and still ride around in a van that’s a more rapey version of the Mystery Machine, then they aren’t going to ever make it. Especially when the people they are opening for have a curfew.


Well, at least they have a myspace.

One final thing. If everyone knows that they’re the greatest indie/underground band of all time, they aren’t underground or indie.


Who the fuck are The Pixies?

Also, quit pretending that old music was better. It wasn’t. Music has always sucked. No really. It has. Looking back, we remember Hendrix, Joplin, The Beatles, Led Zeplin, Buddy Holly, Marvin Gaye, Public Enemy, on and on and on. And yes, these were GREAT MUSICIANS. Their music is inter-generational, timeless, and the defining music of a generation. At least that’s what people who sell music collections and people who get paid to talk about music tell us. Except for Pitchfork, remember how I was talking about indie music fans? Apparently they started a website.

I know what you are thinking, “But, if I don’t add the rum at the last second, it’ll ruin the complexity of the Banana’s Foster!”

Why the hell are you thinking about dessert right now? We’re talking about music right now. Take your Ritalin.

No, seriously. Music always has sucked. Yes, many of the great artists hit number one and were hugely popular, but more often…no they weren’t. For example, in 1966, there was a ton of great music wasn’t there? Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel, Ascention by John Coltrane, California Dreamin’ by the Mommas and the Papas, I Put A Spell on You by The Animals, Eight Miles High by The Byrds, Tomorrow Never Knows by the Beatles, In the Midnight Hour by Wilson Picket, You Can’t Hurry Love by The Supremes, It’s a Man’s Man’s Mans’s World by James Brown, For What It’s Worth by Buffalo Springfield, and the offical theme song of the Vietnam War Paint it Black by the Rolling Stones. Every last one of those is on or should be on the Rolling Stone Top 500 Rock Songs of all time. All classics, all mandatory to know, all brilliant and beautiful.

But you know what was the best selling single of that year?

This thing.

Yep. The top single of 1966 was an ode to war. Choke on that sandwich Mama Cass.

Oh, you think that music got all corporate controlled back in the 80’s with MTV?

If you don’t know who those two groups are. You are truly blessed in your ignorance.

These days everyone is pissed Macklemore won the Grammy. So fucking what. You never cared before about Grammy’s you bunch of assholes.

Quick Quiz! Who won the Best Rap Performance Grammy in 1990? De La Soul for Me, Myself and I? Public Enemy for Fight the Power? Tone Loc for Funky Cold Medina?

Nope.

Young MC for Bust a Move.

Yes, the song your Aunt Grace danced to at your cousins wedding.


Macklemore ain’t sweatin your hate.

Look. Music has always sucked. It’s always been good. Quit pretending that you didn’t have big hair and a denim jacket and wanted to be in Whitesnake. Don’t lie and say you never like Limp Bizkit, I’ve seen your pictures with the soul patch and Starter jacket. We know you liked System of a Down, you have the cutting scars on your wrist to prove it.

The music you like isn’t a measure of your worth as a human being. It doesn’t indicate your sophistication, it doesn’t make your cooler or lamer, it doesn’t mean a damn thing other than what kind of idiot you look like when you jam out in your car when you’re stuck in traffic. Music an art form, and art is relative.

Enjoy what you enjoy, and like what you like in everything you do, and to hell with the haters. Unless you like molesting children, then what you like sucks.

The tubby gay dude from “Boogie Nights” died, and you really shouldn’t care.

Are you upset by that comment about Phillip Seymour Hoffman? Why? You didn’t know him.

It’s frustrating to see how a heroin addicted actor who relapsed into substance abuse is having heaps of platitudes and lamentations heaped upon him in his death instead of cruel and terrible insulting jokes at his expense. Why you ask? Simple.

It’s fucking hypocritical of us.

Remember when Paul Walker died? You know, the guy from “The Fast and the Furious”?

Sure, he is sexy and all, but he’s no pasty fat dude that looks like Truman Capote.

Remember all the jokes about how he died ironically in a car crash? Yeah, where are the jokes about “Hoffman should have stuck to Moneyball’s instead of speedballs,” at? They’re few and far between because everyone liked his movies. When a celebrity we like dies due to drugs, reckless behavior, or some other tragedy we are all wailing and lamentations with a bit of clothes wrending and ash tossing when they are especially sexy rock musicians. Oh god…can you imagine if rock “star”/actor Johnny Depp were to die tomorrow? It would be like Princess Diana and Kurt Cobain’s death all rolled into one. All those memorial bracelets people would wear…


It’s like he fisted a Claire’s

But think about it, we love our skilled, sexy, or popular celebrities and give them a wide berth of bad behavior short of murder or just nasty racism. Don’t believe me? Mel Gibson hasn’t done much of anything since he got caught drunk driving (no big deal for a celebrity) and went on an anti-Semitic tirade. Meanwhile, Charlie Sheen goes on pretty much a six month coke bender full of insanity and we loved him for it!


This is “Winning”? He looks like Hugh Jackman on mushrooms.

Or what about Michael Jackson? Holy shit did we love it when he was alive and weird.

You fuckers ate this shit up like white trash on all you can eat crab leg night

It never occurred to any of you that your own love of watching that man fall apart psychologically was your fucked up obsession with him, did it?

Or what about Britney Spears?

Remember when hating on her was cool?

Once she became stale, we found a new soul to feed on…

One, Two…the internet is coming for you. Three, Four…they think you’re a whore…

What am I getting at, though? I mean I was talking about celebrities dying and now I’m talking about tabloid trash and such. But it’s all the same thing really.

We’re fucking hypocrites, fickle fans, and generally shitty people when it comes to celebrity. We want Kim Kardashian trashy, but Miley Cyrus to still be Hanna Montana. Justin Beiber is simply grist for the mill, and I’ve got a solid $20 on it that half the people hating so hard on him loved him just a few years ago. Think about how much we hate the Catholic Church for it’s pedophillia cover up’s but we had people counting down to when the Olsen Twins became legal.

Some celebrities we think are our heroes because they made a movie or song that touched us, but the minute they lose our affection or trust we want to chew them to pieces. Some we love to see collapse psychologically and drive them gladly down the road to madness, let’s face it WE created Justin Beiber and Michael Jackson. WE gladly encourage Charlie Sheen’s drug addiction and insanity.

“Oh, but they’re celebrities, they chose that life and I didn’t force them to do these things!”

Bullshit, every drug addict, drunk, and spoiled rich brat with no understanding of consequences, has an enabler. Be it a buddy at the bar, a collection of sycophants, an army of screaming fans, or judges with golf buddies.

If you are blind to the fact your girlfriend was basically using you as an emotional replacement for their ex until they didn’t need you without needing an entourage of agents and adoring fans, then what hope does someone who banks a few million a year and who lives in a world built by ass kissers and fans have?

Still, though, what does that have to do with Fatty Scruffy Pale Dude and Sexy Bad Actor Dude? It’s the fact that we are using these people as emotional icons. Famous Moderately Attractive But Talented Guy was our hero because we thought we could be him; famous, rich, and respected for not being perfect (or even talented or gifted in any way special. I’m talking about you, not Hoffman). Famous Moderately Talented But Super Hot Guy was the person who we have loathed since high school, and we Schadenfreuded in our skivvies at watching him die in what really was an ironic death.

Quit projecting your bullshit insecurities or desires onto these people. You never knew Hoffman or Walker. Walker started his own charity and supported marine conservation. Hoffman spent most of his life as a drug addict. If they weren’t famous, you would be loving on Walker and hating on Hoffman. Instead you love Hoffman because he was a good actor, and gave zero shits about Walker because he got upstaged by The Rock and Vin Diesel. Either you learn to love both of them, learn to hate both of them, or not give a shit about either.

Me? I’ll not give a shit about either one, and the would would be a better place if we all did the same.