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12 UK bi and lesbian comedians we’re totally obsessed with

Sep 28, 2022

12 UK bi and lesbian comedians we’re totally obsessed with
  • Who doesn’t laugh their pants off at a comedy show? While it’s great to spend a night ROFLing, the comedy scene (like many other scenes), is still painfully dominated by cis, straight men. And with a handful of exceptions, lesbian comedians have rarely gotten the attention they so deserve.  

    Let’s be real: we NEED queer and lesbian comedians talking about real queer issues. Visibility needs to happen in every facet of our daily life—and that certainly includes comedy. Queer folks deal with oppression and heavy news every day… and so finding lightness (and big belly laughs) is not just an expression of joy, but an act of liberation.

    Remember, although comedic trends may come and go, the impact of comedy lasts forever. Many comedians, particularly queer and lesbian comedians, use the stage as an opportunity to draw awareness to LGBTQ+ issues—all while making people hardcore LOL. And considering that queer folks face a unique set of challenges when compared to the straights, it’s all the more important to find reasons to laugh and enjoy some much-needed comedic relief. 

    One of the best ways to support queer and lesbian comedians? Give them a follow and (if you’re lucky and able), head to one of their shows.

    Here’s a list of some of our favourite bi and lesbian comedians.

    Suzi Ruffell 

    Known as one of the best up-and-coming acts of our time, Suzi Ruffel has had a busy last three years. She’s had three sell-out runs at the Edinburgh Festival, which led to her recording her show Keeping it Classy Live for BBC. She’s also appeared on Live at the Apollo, Roast Battle, Stand Up Central, Mock The Week, Ultimate Worrier, and Comedy Central at the Comedy Store—what a repertoire! 

    You can bet you’ll be seeing so much more of Suzi in the coming years. She’s recently been added to The Jonathan Ross Show, The One Show, House of Game, and Harry Hill’s Clubnite, amongst many other noteworthy TV appearances. And if you really want more Suzi (who doesn’t), stay tuned for a possible sitcom and entertainment show… Personally, we can’t wait. 

    Mae Martin 

    We’d be totally remiss not to touch on everyone’s crush: Mae Martin. While not technically from the UK, this bi comedian is known for their dry wit and critically acclaimed Netflix series, Feel Good.

     Inspired by Mae’s real life journey as a comedian battling addiction, the show explores dependency, identity, gender, love, and relationships in a way that doesn’t just make users feel good (see what we did there?)—it makes them feel seen. 

    Of course, that’s not the only place you can find the laugh-out-loud comedian. Mae performs their standup shows all over the world, covering topics like privilege, family, and their childhood. And while Mae has gained control over their addictive behaviours, they still use comedy as a means of expression and escape. 

    Bethany Black 

    Bethany Black is one of the most iconic trans, lesbian comedians that UK has to offer. For a while, Bethany was afraid to discuss sexuality on stage. Even though other comedians knew that she was trans, she was afraid to let other people know, in fear that might ruin her comedic success. 

    But in reality, it’s just the opposite—Bethany being herself is what’s led to her hugely successful comedy career. In addition to standup, Bethany was the first trans actor to appear in an episode of Doctor Who. 

    Check out her comedy via YouTube or on Twitter, where she regularly posts LOL worthy content. 

    Sophie Duker 

    Everything about Sophie Duker is amazing, from her hilarious interactive website to her jaw-droppingly hysterical stand-up routine. She describes herself as a “triple threat minority”, AKA, a pansexual Black woman.

    She’s no stranger to killing the comedy game. Her Edinburg Fringe Show, Venus, saw her nominated for Best Newcomer, and led her to perform a sold-out, two-week run at the Soho Theatre. 

    In 2021, she won the Funny Women Best Comedy Writer Award and is currently the host of a monthly comedy night, Wacky Racist Comedy Club. You can also hear her as the host of the of the podcasts: Obsessed With… I May Destroy You and Obsessed WithEverything I Know About Love. 

    Catherine Bohart

    With sell-out performances and knockout reviews, Catherine Bohart is one of those must-know queer, UK comedians. Her debut show, Immaculate, was described as “the sort of perfectly structured Edinburgh debut” you always hope for but rarely get to see. 

    We’re totally obsessed with how her work positively destroys annoying stereotypes surrounding sexual orientation, relationships, sex, and intimacy.

    Over the past few years, Catherine’s career has been a flurry of sold-out shows and tours, including a very special run at London’s Soho Theatre Mainspace. Check out her work in person or online—she and her co-host Helen Bauer founded an online stand-up show called Gigless, which won a award for Best Online Show. 

    You can also hear Catherine on her weekly podcast, the Trusty Hogs or as a regular guest on The Guilty Feminist Podcast. 

    Zoe Lyons 

    Zoe’s comedy career began in 2003 after training as an actress at the Poor School in London. She later went on to win the Funny Women Competition in 2004 and was nominated for the comedy newcomer award for her first-ever Edinburgh show. 

    She’s known for her standup skills, but that’s certainly not all this comedian can do. Zoe has also appeared in many TV shows, including Mock the Week, Michael McIntyre Roadshow, The Wright Stuff, and many more. If you aren’t able to make it out to one of her shows, listen for her on the Guilty Feminist podcast or find her on YouTube. 

    ​Jen Brister

    Half Spanish, half British, and all lesbian, Jen Brister uses comedy to re-enact hilarious conversations she’s had both as a mother and with her mother. (And who doesn’t love to enjoy some comic relief when it comes to our mummy issues?) 

    But her stand-up isn’t the only place Jen discusses the ups, downs, and LOLs of parenting—Jen’s also the author of The Other Mother: A Wickedly Honest Parenting Tale for Every Kind of Family. The book has gotten rave reviews and is considered a staple for families that don’t fit a more traditional mould. 

    Like Catherine, Jen can also be found on The Guilty Feminist podcast, on her own pod, Women Taking Bollocks.

    Rosie Jones

    Rosie Jones isn’t just a loud-out-loud gay comedian from the UK—she’s also an advocate for disabled folks everywhere, using her skills and platform to draw more awareness to the world’s lack of accessibility. 

    She’s one of the genius writers behind Sex Education and a regular on the Guilty Feminist podcast. 

    When she’s not on tour (which is often, lucky you!), Rosie can be found on a few TV shows, including 8 Out of 10 Cats, The Last Leg, and Comedy Central’s Roast Battle, Trip Hazard: My Great British Adventure, and more. 

    On top of her successful comedy career, Rosie is also the author of The Amazing Edie Eckhart, a story about an 11-year-old with cerebral palsy entering a new school. 

    Gina Yashire

    We love a comedian who can combine activism with comedy, and Gina Yashere does just that. This Nigerian-British lesbian comedian worked as an elevator engineer before hitting the stand-up scene and has since exploded into the comedy scene. 

    She’s been seen at Live at the Apollo, worked as one of the British correspondents on The Daily Show, and starred in four hilarious stand-up specials, two of which can be found on Netflix (Laughing to American and Skinny Bitch… check them out!) 

    Gina does a phenomenal job of weaving activism and comedy, and her jokes typical send important messages regarding racism, homophobia and womanhood. It’s her way of teaching the world about society’s many injustices—one hearty belly laugh at a time. 

    Sandi Toksvig

    Meet the Bristish-Danish lesbian comedian of your dreams. You might recognize Sandi from The Great British Bakeoff, where she appears with co-star Noel Fielding, but that certainly isn’t the only thing she’s known for. She’s also been in numerous other TV shows, including Call My Bluff and Whose Link Is It Anyway?

    If that wasn’t enough, Sandi’s also an avid live performer and played on the Comedy Store Players improv team for several years. These days, she’s been focused on writing—everything from plays to children’s books to musicals! And when she’s not totally killing the comedy/acting/writing game, Sandi does a TON of work for gender equality. (In 2014, she co-founded the Women’s Equality Party.) 

    To be honest, what can’t this woman do?

    Sue Perkins 

    And while we’re on the subject of The Great British Bake-Off, we’ve GOT to talk about Sue Perkins. Before Sandi, Sue presented the British show alongside Mel Giedroyc. The two are an iconic comedy duo and started with a stand-up comedy routine at the Edinburgh Film Festival. 

    But don’t be fooled: Sue Perkins has also had her hands full with a variety of solo projects, including documentaries on popular fiction, art, and history. She’s also collaborated with the food critic, Files Foren on The Supersizers BBC series, where she uses her razor sharp wit to discuss a variety of foods from numerous historical periods (think bovine bread and butter pudding and duck tongue.) 

    On top of that, Sue is an accomplished composer and conductor. (Like… what??)  In 2013, Sue released her sitcom, Heading Out, which she not only composed and wrote—she starred in it too! 

    Sue’s career is a great reminder that you never need to put yourself in a box. If something interests you, go do it. 

    Sarah Keyworth 

    Sarah Keyworth is an award-winning comedian who uses comedy as a way to explore topics like gender roles, identity, and orientation. They first started gaining some serious traction in 2018, when they received a nomination for Best Newcomer in the Edinburgh Comedy Award. 

    Since then, Sarah continues to climb the comedy success ladder. Their new show on BBC Radio 4, Are You a Boy or a Girl?, does a fantastic job exploring the nuances of gender fluidity. 
    Curious to see them live? Sarah often tours, but you can also check out their podcast, Thank F*** for That.

    Amanda Kohr is a bisexual journalist, playwright, and screenwriter. Her plays have been performed throughout the country and her editorial work can be found on VICE, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29, and others. Most recently, Amanda was selected as a fellow for the Outfest Screenwriting Lab. When she’s not writing, you can find her venturing out to the desert, giving unsolicited relationship advice, or on Instagram.

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