Come Out Laughing….
What a night. The audience was spectacular. That’s how they are at the Laugh Factory in Long Beach on the last Wed of the month. It is the Come Out Laughing show, a gay/gay friendly night of hilarity and honesty, hosted by Jason Dudey. But tonight, the best of audiences were not only there to laugh, they were there to celebrate the victories of DOMA and Prop 8. Like the first black people legally ordering lunch at a Woolworth’s counter, it is that monumental. And I am a witness to what will be today’s history.
As a supporter of civil rights and a comic who has felt loved and appreciated by the gay community, I shared in their victory because it is also mine as a human being. To be seen, respected, and treated equally belongs to all of us. It is not a right of “some.” It is a right of all.
On stage tonight I wore a dress. It was blue with small pink accents around the hem along with 3-inch light pink pumps with metallic heels. Bare legs. I have rarely done that in my 15 years of standup. My uniform has been that of covering up, leather jackets, t-shirts, leggings. Why? Well, aside from the gut, it is because when I began my career, a brilliant ranter named Pat Copper, told me that as a woman I should not bring attention to my body while on stage. Keep the focus on the words. And I agree with him, mostly. But tonight I wanted to express my full self – alive, vibrant, colorful. It was my small gesture of solidarity. My way of saying “I, too, am what I am.”
I got a standing ovation tonight. It is the second time that has happened in my career. It surprised me. Yet, in a way, I am not surprised because we were standing up for each other – people expressing themselves – straight or gay, not hiding behind others’ definitions of who we should be.
So to my gay and lesbian friends, you stood for me tonight, but I am the one who proudly stands and applauds you for all you have had to endure, for the victory that is now yours, and ultimately all of ours. May the days ahead be filled with even more victories as well as love, happiness, and respect.
Oh, and just so you don’t get too uppity, remember God still likes me better than you!(Ah, I just took the good out of it!)