Standup comic Hannah Gadsby just released the trailer for Nanette, her Netflix special that drops next week. However, it has nothing to do with traditional standup, and everything to do with telling queer stories—without humiliating queer people.
Gadsby masterfully moves through sections of caustic belly-laughs and relationship jokes to gutting social commentary on growing up gay in a world that vehemently rejects queerness. The Tanzania-native speaks on her upbringing in Australia, her closeted years, and coming out to her family, as well as more grisly accounts of homophobia, sexual assault, and violence against LGBTQ people.
Just when the queer comic and storyteller has you sobbing and sick to your stomach, examining the broken socio-political systems and religious practices we’ve come to accept as normal, she forces you to smile. This isn’t just a standup special—the dichotomy of Nanette is a stunning and extraordinary piece of queer art. She’s redesigning storytelling on-stage the way traditional television has warped and melded comedy and drama—it’s dramedy standup.
The most jarring realization I had after seeing Nanette is that cis-het people have the option to pause the special or turn it off. After hearing the tragic truths of growing up mired in homophobia and the effects of such on the human psyche, they’ll inevitably grow uncomfortable at the realization that they are complicit in perpetuating such global horrors—we all are. But for queer people, this is our truth—it’s every day, it’s inescapable, and there’s no opt-out. For that reason, Nanette should be required reading for every cis-het person, especially straight white men.
Nanette will premiere on Netflix June 19th.
Image via Netflix