A Safe Space for Comedy

By |2018-01-31T14:30:36-05:00January 31st, 2018|Michigan, News|

If you ask Kai Quix what her comedy strategy is, it’s simple: be honest.
“I try to just speak about myself basically. Nearly all of my jokes are 100 percent true,” she said. “Like a thought I actually had, or something that happened to me. You know, just dates I’ve had or public reactions to my being a visible trans person.”
And, after being an active member of Detroit’s comedy scene for a year now, 30-year-old Quix has not only been developing her own style of comedy, she’s been providing a platform for other people like herself who might not be heard in the mainstream: her monthly Quix, Women & Queers Comedy Showcase.
“It’s old news that the comedy scene in itself is predominantly male. I think that it’s, currently, not being fixed, but improved by more women hosts, more women booking the events, as well as more men being aware of featuring more women comics and the events and whatnot,” Quix said. “I feel like what my show is more so trying to address is not necessarily the gender demographics, but the types of jokes that seem to keep women away from comedy events pretty effectively, like rape and sexual assault and just general degrading.”
So, Quix has decided to exclude the group that she feels perpetuate these kind of jokes the most.
“I don’t want to tell people what they can and can’t say, so the simple solution in my mind is to just exclude the straight male demographic that’s been basically the root of nearly all of the complaints from women that I hear about the comedy scene in general,” Quix said.
And so far, Quix said she has been pleasantly surprised at the lack of heckling she’s received about the idea for her show, or the fact that she is an out transgender woman onstage.
“People very rarely actually yell things out to me. It’s not frustrating, it’s fine,” she said with a laugh. “I’ve actually told a joke about expecting to be heckled and having all these comebacks ready for it. But, I think I’m not entirely sure why that is. I would imagine it’s because I’m trans. Or, other comics have noticed, because I draw the attention of the room a little bit better due to my differentness. But nothing transphobic or hateful or anything like that at all. I’m fortunate.”
And that “differentness” is what drew comics to her first show last December. The lineup consisted of 14 female or LGBTQ comics that she met over the course of her career. Right now, she’s in the process of refining the show’s setup in preparation for her upcoming Feb. 11 showcase.
“I’m going to try to cut that back, so I have 8 comics total, so that everyone has a little bit more time. Just a rule of thumb that comedy shows shouldn’t be over two hours,” Quix said. “They say 90 minutes, but I won’t keep it over two hours, so the audience doesn’t get antsy.”
Quix said she can also foresee her comedy showcase evolving into a multi-media platform.
“Another way I’d like to expand the show is moving beyond stand-up comedians and moving into spoken word and music that has an element of humor to it,” she said. “I want to re-encourage people who feel kind of disillusioned to go back into the larger comedy scene, and to have a space for women who are just sick of it, where they know they’re not going to walk away offended or bummed out.”
The Quix, Women & Queers Comedy Showcase will have its next event on Sunday, Feb. 11. The event is BYOB and free with a $5-10 suggested donation. It is located at the Trumbullplex at 4210 Trumbull Ave., Detroit. More information can be found online at gaybe.am/va.

About the Author:

Eve Kucharski
As news and feature editor at Between The Lines, Eve Kucharski's work has spanned the realms of current events and entertainment. She's chatted with stars like Wanda Sykes, Margaret Cho and Tyler Oakley as well as political figures like Gloria Steinem, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel. Her coverage of the November 2018 elections was also featured in a NowThis News report.