Trans people say feminists who don’t accept them question their very humanity. “One of the worst things about the state of trans issues in the U.K. now is it does feel like there’s an active attempt to dehumanize trans people,” Ives said. “We’re so often not viewed as people. We’re viewed as a debate, or an agenda or a trend.”
Ives, 30, said she had talked about being transgender onstage since she first tried standup in 2017, and audiences seemed to “like the fact someone was talking about it,” she said.
“Peak Trans,” her show, was partly a response to the toxic climate in Britain, she said. “If you make someone laugh, you’re not going to necessarily change their mind, but you’re at least showing them that you are a person,” she added.
In the show, even when Ives talked about the anger against transgender people, she was never far from a silly joke. “Being trans is not the only thing about me,” she said at one point, adding she was also a vegetarian. “I really, really, really did want to go vegan over Christmas,” she said, “but as a trans woman I just felt I’d put my dad through enough.”
Trans comedians have been appearing on British stages for decades. In December, the hugely popular Eddie Izzard made headlines after saying she wants “to be based in girl mode” and is using she/her pronouns, having worn dresses and heels onstage since the early 1990s. Debra-Jane Appleby, a trans stand-up, won the Funny Women comedy award in 2005, and Bethany Black, who is also trans, has been a regular on Britain’s comedy circuit for almost two decades.