Review: Comedians donate a night of laughs in support of rainbow community – Bay of Plenty Times

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Eight comedians donated their time to rally support for the LGBTQIA+ community. Photo / Ryan Gray
Boomers, millennials and Gen Z-ers alike packed out the YouUnity comedy show on Sunday to help raise money for local schools’ queer-straight alliance groups.
And because I’m a millennial and can’t afford a house, that’s why I went to the charity show – according to headlining act Chris Parker, anyway.
Eight comedians donated their time to rally support for the LGBTQIA+ community after a series of events in Tauranga this year, including a fire at the city’s hub for queer and gender-diverse youth, and Bethlehem College asking school parents to acknowledge its belief that marriage is between a man and a woman.
The show was filled with digs at heterosexual white men, “straight culture” and sexual innuendos – I probably can’t repeat about half of the jokes told because they’d be inappropriate.
But it was also about creating awareness and a safe space for the LGBTQIA+ community, and comedians shared experiences and jokes about their sexuality.
James Mustapic said he was told to “stop being gay” after he was “very confused” while watching a rugby game. He stormed out, and his friends followed to make sure he was okay – an example of “how to make anything, including a Rugby World Cup final, about me”.
And Liv McKenzie said she had to start telling people she was bisexual because her nose ring fell out and they wouldn’t be able to tell otherwise.
Tauranga comedian Summer Xia, originally from China, said she was a “proud Chiwi”, and if she ever got elected to Tauranga City Council, she would get Chinese contractors in to “fix that bloody Cameron Rd” in just two months.
Not that that could happen until 2024 anyway.
And Michelle A’Court explained how feminism was not about “man-hating”, but that women should do 12 per cent less in life because of the 12 per cent pay gap between men and women.
After the show, I asked my partner – a straight white male – if he felt targeted by the jokes.
“Not all men…” he started, before laughing and saying, “No, everything they’re saying about straight white men is true.”
Organiser Gordy Lockhart, who founded YoubeYou Tauranga Moana, said YouNity events were about recognising minority groups and celebrating difference, inclusion and equity.
And the people of Tauranga – or as Chris Parker would call it, “Ponsonby with a mountain” – were definitely able to celebrate this at the show.
Who: Kiwi comedians Chris Parker, Justine Smith, Michelle A’Court, Corey Gonzales-Macuer, James Mustapic, Donna Brookbanks, Liv McKenzie and Summer Xia. Organised by YoubeYou Tauranga Moana founder Gordy Lockhart.
What: YouNity comedy gala.
Where: Baycourt Community and Arts Centre.
When: November 20, 2022 – Trans Pride Awareness Day.

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