Sue Kerr

Profile: Trans* Comic Ian Harvie

Filed By Sue Kerr | April 02, 2013 11:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: Carol Burnett, Ian Harvie


Ian Harvie bills himself as "Stand Up Comic. Trans Man Superhero. Dog wrangler. Closet Cowboy." Intrigued? We were so we took a moment to email him about his art and his upcoming show in Pittsburgh.

Interview is after the break.

SK: Have you ever been to Pittsburgh? If yes, what do you love about it? If no, what would you like to experience?

IH: I love PITT and I have some friends there that I would like to see. I know economically it has been a sad place but there is a vibe and a spirit there of working class folk, which I love, and is in my own background. I'd like to go to the most local of establishments and try to blend in for an evening. Also if it were were warmer I'd want to swimming, I'm obsessed with fresh water swimming! Might be too cold for that end of April.

SK:Your bio mentions that you adore Carol Burnett. What's your favorite skit or character?

IH: There's not a single sketch I didn't like I love Carol Burnett but I also love ALL her castmates too, Vicky Lawrence, Tim Conway, Harvey Corman, Lyle Wagner (early years). I loved Eunice, she can never get a break with her Mom, its kind of a typical Mother daughter relationship in a lot of ways. Mrs. Wiggins, the inept secretary to Mr. Tubball, their timing was spot on and brilliant. I love when they would break the 4th wall and crack up laughing, I would laugh right along with them and somehow felt part of their jokes. I was also really into Flip Wilson and his Geraldine character and all his faces. He did great faces.

SK:Tell me about the very first LGBTQ person you met and what that meant for you.

IH: The first LGBT person I met was gay boy, that was my brother Jeff, but I didn't know he was gay until later post high school. The next person I met was a kid in high school who got thrown down two flights of stairs for being, what was thought to be gay at the time, now I realize he was being gender-bashed for being effeminate. Most people are not gay-bashed, they're usually gender-bashed, based on how the outside world perceives that person's masculinity or femininity. I didn't know that kid in high school but I definitely had sad and scared feelings for him and his life back then, but didn't have a clue what to do with them. Then there was the first girl I kissed, she was a highly confident and sexual lesbian, named Michelle. She freed my narrow thoughts about thinking that I had to date or be interested in men. I had girl crushes for years but didn't know where to place them. She was my first girl kiss and it changed my life in the best way forever. Then the first trans man I met was about 12 years ago at a community event, he was introducing Les Feinberg, author of Stone Butch Blues and I was blown away and began to quietly cry at the event, saying to myself, that's me, that's me, that's me!! I introduced myself after it was over and PJ was the first trans man I had ever met, and that too changed my life. I had met many trans women and beautiful gender bending queers who were bending more in the femme direction and PJ was my first example of female to masculine in a way that i really plugged into. Since my first kiss with a girl to now, I've been on a mission of expansion, that's a hard train to stop once you start. I mean, once you strip away all the bullshit you've ever been told about how you "should be" in the world, from religion, politics, gender, relationships, and career, and rebuild it the way YOU see it; there's kind of no turning back to that old way of thinking.

SK:Your description of gender identity is pretty complex. Do you get pushback on that from the LGBTQ community?

IH: You think its complex? Is it strange that I think its super simple? I rarely get push back and I think its because how people identify is NOT up for debate. I don't argue with sects of my community, how everyone id's slightly differently. Some id as real 100% pure XYZ.. Maybe as an example in the "L" portion of the community there is straight-up woman on woman love, some are Butch/Butch, some are Butch/Femme, some are andro, some are sporty, some are L-Word Shane style Lesbians, some are young Justin Beiber dykes, its all beautiful and varying and I don't dispute what anyone has come to in their life and the words they use to describeit. Its rare that others dispute mine and besides that shit isn't up for public discussion! Sometimes people make it seem like their asking a question but they're really questioning you if you're sure of who you are, or trying to make it sound like what/who you are is weird/wrong. I know the difference and I don't engage with anyone who is like that, in/out of the LGBTQ community. That would be a waste of breath. I trust that when people tell me who they are that they are not lying, I expect the same of others and I pretty much get it.

(To read more about Harvie and enter for a chance to win two tickets to his Pittsburgh show, visit Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents.)

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