Hannah Gadsby says comedians can be ‘agents of change’ as Netflix special drops

Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby confesses that they don’t see themselves as an activist, despite using their latest Netflix comedy special to elevate “a diversity of voices”. 

Gadsby, who uses they/them pronouns, became a household name following the release of their comedy special Nanette, in 2018.

Their latest comedy special, Hannah Gadsby’s Gender Agenda, debuted on Netflix this week, giving a global stage to seven of the “world’s absolute funniest genderqueer comedians”. 

It’s the “best thing I could have done to sort of open up where I am”, they tell PinkNews in an exclusive chat. 

“The wonderful thing about the queer community is that it’s full of really, really incredible activists, of which I am not one,” Gadsby jests, before adding that as a comedian they can “be an agent of change” by disrupting conversations. 

“In an ideal world, everything and everyone is equal,” they say of the LGBTQ+ community, which is often seen as the “butt of the joke at the moment”. 

But the most they can hope is to elevate different artists on to Netflix in order to bring “a diversity of voices”, they added.

“My goal is to create content for my people and I don’t want to centre this as a conversation set by the more hateful content.”

Gadsby told PinkNews last year that the special would focus solely on queer joy rather than the rising tide of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation sweeping across the UK and the US, and comedians such as Ricky Gervais and Dave Chappelle, who continue to profit from jokes made at the expense of the transgender community.

The seven comedians featured in the special are self-described “trans menace” Jes Tom, Alok, Asha Ward, Chloe Petts, DeAnne Smith, Krishna Istha and Mx Dahlia Belle. 

“It was lovely of us as performers to have a room full of comrades backstage,” Gadsby said. 

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