Trans comedian Jordan Gray says ‘rehearsed’ nude stunt had important meaning

Comedian Jordan Gray has said there was nothing sexual about her Friday Night Live performance – rather, it was about anarchy and trans joy.

Gray wowed viewers when she stripped down to her birthday suit during a musical performance on Channel 4’s one-off Friday Night Live revival, which aired on 21 October

Predictably, anti-trans critics have spent the days since in outrage over the performance, despite the fact that naked cis bodies are routinely shown on television, with Channel 4’s hit Naked Attraction built entirely around full-frontal nudity.

Gray told PinkNews that while her nudity appeared spontaneous, it was entirely pre-planned.

The routine was lifted from her Is it a Bird? show, which was part of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and in keeping with the anarchic tone of Friday Night Live.

Friday Night Live’s always been – when it was on in the ’80s, I was born in ’89 so I didn’t see it but I know everything that was spawned from it and what it means to people – a little bit of anarchy, very much controlled anarchy,” Gray explained. 

“It was rehearsed and was really important. I wanted to feel part of that lineage, but also I’m transgender – I think that’s pretty much now obvious to everybody.

“It’s really nice that transgender people around the country suddenly don’t have to feel like their body is something that is just been consigned to a sort of secret part of the internet, surgery table or conversation in a pub.”

Jordan Gray wears a black and red outfit as she sings into a microphone while on stage

Jordan Gray in action. (Provided)

Jordan Gray, who is also making history as the first transgender person to ever headline the London Palladium, added that there was nothing sexual about her appearance on Friday Night Live – despite so-called ‘gender critical’ voices labelling the stunt as a “sex crime”.

“I’m a 6’0” toddler. I’m just a large child running around,” Gray said. “It’s the finale of Is it a Bird? but for a much more extended period of time. I’m nude for a lot longer, and if there’s anything sexual about it in people’s minds, it’s gone after one second because it is basically like watching a toddler run around. 

“And it’s like the most joyful moments on Christmas morning when you get too excited by a present and you’re like four and you can’t think of any other way to express yourself than to just take your clothes off and just run around because it’s so joyful.

“In a world where people are feeling less free than ever, showing people a bit of freedom is important.”