I wrote a thing recently. A silly story about action figures having sex. It was for a show I was on. Thought nothing of it, then heard that it offended some members of the trans community. I felt terrible when I heard this. Actually physically terrible, but I was prepared to stand by what I wrote as goofy fiction, nothing more. I’m a comedian. Coming up with absurd shit is what I do.
But then I remembered something specific about what I’d written - a ridiculous, jokey exchange between two of the characters that really had nothing to do with the story, but that I wrote simply for a laugh. I’d forgotten about it until just a little while ago. Again, I wrote this story about toys, but when read, that part in the story basically boils down to two characters giving the idea of trans people (specifically trans women in this instance) the “Eeeww, weird!” treatment.
I don’t like the society of knee-jerk apologists that we’ve become. People have been offended by my stand-up before and I shake it off because I know what I’m saying up there. But in this case, there was no getting past how shitty and careless that was. And I have to apologize to my trans friends out there for that.
Normalization is everything, for all of us - people of color, people of different sexual orientations, and for people of different gender identities. All of us deserve to be able to walk into a restaurant, a show, a store, or wherever without suddenly being shit on or harassed out of nowhere; without suddenly feeling like “Aw crap, I have to deal with this here now too?!” And I stepped all over that this week.
At “Totally Biased” we took pride in being a diverse group of people that talked about issues surrounding race, and women, and the LGBT community and put them out there on television - dealt with them through comedy. We were proud to have people’s backs. And often we were the people we were talking about. In other words, I should know better.
My friends in the trans community, I hope you’ll forgive me and my careless mistake, and I hope you know I’ve got your back, as we should all have each others.
- Kevin Avery