Non-binary comic Jes Tom is using their work to spotlight trans issues and break LGBTQ+ stereotypes.
“Right now, where I’m at in comedy, there’s a split between when I’m performing in rooms full of people that are also queer or are also Asian American and kind of understand what I’m saying and for those people it’s important because they agree with me,” they said. “And then there’s when I’m in rooms with people who have never heard what I’m saying before. They’ve never thought of it.”
Tom says there are plenty of jokes about trans women in mainstream comedy sets that make them the punchline. This is particularly sensitive, considering how many trans women, especially trans women of color experience violence, or are even murdered in real life.
“I just want there to be great possibilities for everything,” they explained. “I wanna star in movies, I wanna star in movies in a lot of different types of roles, I wanna play non-binary characters who don’t just want on and go, ‘actually my pronouns are they/them’ which is what every non-binary character in a TV show pretty much says.”
Tom says they are both shocked and excited that they get to do comedy that is authentic and truthful to them to audiences that enjoy and understand the jokes.