On Tuesday, April 17 the Office of LGBTQ Life hosted a Queer Comedy Night at the LaB, where Hopkins students took to the stage and cracked jokes about the myriad wonders and intricacies of being queer in the modern world.
Sophomore Emma Shannon, an employee of the LGBTQ Life office and a member of the Stand Up Comedy Club, organized the show.
“I’d been talking with some people about how there are a lot of great queer comedians, but there’s not a lot of great queer representation in comedy,” Shannon said. “A lot of comedy can be queerphobic or transphobic, so I thought it would be nice to host a comedy night where everyone could be like ‘Yes, this is intended for me.’”
Shannon was also the evening’s first performer, taking to the stage to talk about her difficulty hitting on other women and her theory of Schrödinger’s sexuality — the idea that everybody’s at least a little bit queer until proven otherwise.
She then told the story of the frat boy who waited until they had been making out for five minutes before asking her if she was gay and what she thought his thought process must have looked like.
Next up was freshman Isabel Rios-Pulgar in her debut stand up performance. She commented on why she decided to perform.
“I always told myself if [an opportunity to do stand up comedy] ever appears, I’ll do it,” Rios-Pulgar said. “Then they were like ‘Queer Stand Up Comedy, come see it’ and I was like, ‘the gays are calling me.’”
Despite her lack of prior experience, Rios-Pulgar did a great job. Her jokes about drunk frat boys asking her if she’s a ‘lesbean’ and claiming that they would ‘wife her up’ if she wasn’t queer were incredibly funny.
She also told stories about her time as a tour guide, most notably about the parent who asked her if college would ‘turn her son gay.’
The next performer was freshman Ariella Shua, who spoke about her obsession with labeling everything as ‘gay culture’ and her inability to refer to others as anything other than their username in the gay group chat.
She also joked about feeling obligated to choose the gay option in ‘Tag Yourself’ memes, regardless of how little the option suits her and about her recent brush with fame on the meme page.
The final performing Hopkins student was sophomore Abigail Johnson, another new comedian, who compared her creation at the hands of a divine power to that of a kid picking out traits for their Sims. She joked about how the straight people in the audience were probably really confused by all of her jokes.
Johnson also talked about RuPaul’s Drag Race and how much it upsets her that the contestants only have to be women for a couple hours every week, yet their contour skills are far better than hers ever will be.
The evening’s final performer was Chelsea Shorte, a D.C.-based professional comedian invited to perform by the Office of LGBTQ Life.
Shannon discussed the decision to invite Shorte.
“I was so ecstatic when she [agreed to perform],” Shannon said. “She’s so cool... [and] sweet to work with, and so excited to be doing the show with us and see all these new comedians give it their best shot.”
Shorte opened her set by talking about her attempts to learn to cook so that she would feel comfortable mocking the participants on Masterchef Jr., before a segueing into a small rant about how ridiculous it is that high school students have to pick new names for themselves in Spanish class.
Her final set of the evening, however, centered on the time she and her partner were followed down the streets by a shirtless man on a tricycle who kept shouting the words “two ladies” at them. It was definitely a weird bit, but Shorte sold it completely, and it was one of the funniest parts of the evening.
All in all, it was a really incredible and hilarious evening put on by a very talented group of queer comedians. Shannon said she is excited to host another queer comedy show in the fall.