Transgender comedian Harvie not afraid to ... transgress
Nice guys don't finish last, especially when that nice guy used to be a nice girl. No, this is not the start to a brainteaser; the answer to that quandary is one of the nation's only transgender female-to-male standup comedians, Ian Harvie.
Harvie is a part of the critically acclaimed Come Out Laughing Comedy Tour, which is coming Jan. 24 to the Cruze Bar in the Strip District. The tour is a buffet of comedy flavors that also features lightning-rod lesbian comedian Dana Goldberg, along with the founder of the tour, “the gay next door” Jason Dudley.
The Come Out Laughing Comedy Tour is geared to anyone who feels like somehow they don't belong, which could include almost anyone. The performers are three funny people who happen to be gay.
Speaking to Harvie, you get the impression that he is finally home and very comfortable in his skin.
Question: What does each comic bring to this show?
Answer: Jason is the clean-cut comedian of the tour. His style is very off-the-cuff and natural. He is very easy on the ears and makes awkward subjects palatable.
Dana is a fiercely independent lesbian comedian. She is so smart and political. Even if you don't agree with her, you still like her.
Me, I feel like I'm the surprise of the tour. Not that I'm dirty, just some of my jokes are sexual in nature. I'm incredibly honest. Someone once said to me because of who I am (transgendered) that I shouldn't be an identity comic. I said, “Everyone is an identity comic.”
Q: Who were your role models in comedy?
A: Richard Pryor. Whoopi Goldberg — she was her characters; she was just a little girl wanting to be liked. Bill Hicks, Paula Poundstone and, of course, Margaret (Cho), she doesn't bat an eyelash — so honest. I like comedians that leave a piece of themselves up there. Also, there's comedian Fortune Feimster, who is really funny.
Q: How hard was it to do comedy when you first made the transgender transition?
A: The first time, I was very nervous, but if you're nervous, then the audience is nervous. I got more comfortable, and the audience got more comfortable. You get back whatever you put out. I am very comfortable in my own skin.
Q: What's something that people don't know about you?
A: I love chick flicks. I don't think there's anything (else) because I bring it all to stage.
Q: Any advice to any young people who are struggling with their sexuality?
A: I would say to anyone who is struggling with, whether they are gay, that who you are is not open to debate.
Comedian Matt Wohlfarth is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board suspends in-store tastings
- Steelers won’t negotiate Roethlisberger extension until after season
- Steelers notebook: Mitchell to miss beginning of training camp
- Jefferson Hospital doctor serves as panelist for mental health legislation
- Rockies’ 7-run 7th-inning dooms Pirates in 8-1 loss
- LaBar: John Cena leaving WWE for Hollywood?
- After year off, Steelers’ Pouncey ‘ready to go’
- Jefferson Hospital names new CEO, president
- Roundup: Citizens bank parent says 6-month profit doubles; Former Heinz CEO leaving EDMC board; more
- Rossi: Roethlisberger staging big comeback
- Grand opening of West Kittanning community building will merge past, present