Anna Piper Scott, a trans comedian who performed at the Edinburgh Fringe, has voiced her concerns about the unequal attention and media coverage received by trans comedians compared to their cisgender counterparts. She expressed her frustration with the difficulties of attracting reviewers to her performances and highlighted the frequent overlooking of trans comedians in the industry.
Speaking ahead of her closing performance at the festival, Scott opened up about the challenges she faced in getting noticed by management groups and show organizers. She couldn’t help but question if the lack of attention was connected to her transgender identity. This issue is particularly pertinent considering fellow comedian Graham Linehan, who has attracted significant media coverage due to his views on transgender individuals.
Scott humorously compared the media’s approach to both her and Linehan, remarking that an elderly man at his second open-mic night seemed to garner more attention than trans comedians. She expressed a desire to experience the “silencing” that Linehan often talks about. In a symbolic gesture, Linehan decided to perform outside the Scottish Parliament, and Scott joined him, using placards to engage in discussions with passersby as an alternative to traditional flyers.
Scott also highlighted the media’s tendency to discuss trans individuals rather than genuinely engage with them. She emphasized that trans comedians can resonate with a diverse audience, as most of her spectators are straight and cisgender. Trans comedians are not different from the larger society and have diverse thoughts, but the media often overlooks these perspectives.
Having previously performed with the House of Oz, an Australian comedy platform, Scott noted the stark difference in the UK’s debate on trans rights compared to Australia. She explained that in Australia, the issue is less contentious, with fewer individuals consumed by it for personal gain or popularity.
Scott’s experiences shed light on the challenges faced by trans comedians in the industry and the need for greater recognition and representation. It is essential for the media to give equal attention to all comedians, regardless of their gender identity, and to engage with diverse voices in order to foster a more inclusive and representative comedy scene.