Hannah Gadsby: Nanette (2018) Movie Script

There's blood in the water
Won't you cut me down?
'Cause people keep on calling
Won't you cut me down?
Bobby Reid, won't you please
Cut me down?
Thank you very much.
Thank you. Might've
peaked a bit early, but...
Welcome to my show.
My show is called Nanette.
And the reason my
show is called Nanette,
is because I named it before I wrote it.
I named it at around the time
I'd met a woman called Nanette...
who I thought was very interesting.
So interesting. "Nanette," I
thought, "I reckon I can squeeze
a good hour of laughs out
of you, Nanette, I reckon."
turns out...
I met her in a small-town caf.
Now, I feel...
I don't feel comfortable in a
small town. I get a bit tense.
Mainly because I am this situation.
And in a small town, that's
all right from a distance.
People are like, "Oh,
good bloke!" And then...
get a bit closer and it's like,
"Oh no! Trickster woman,
what are you doing?"
I get a lot of side-eye.
So I feel quite tense in a small town.
Now, I'm from a small town,
a very small town in...
I'm from Tasmania.
Now, of course, Tasmania
is that little island
floating off the... arse end
of mainland Australia there, just...
Lovely place.
Famous for a lot of things.
Potatoes. Very...
And our frighteningly
small gene pool. That's...
I wish I was joking.
But I am very partial to the potato.
Very versatile... vegetable.
And not all the branches go
directly away from the trunk
in our family tree, I will admit.
It's a bit... topiary. But...
I love Tasmania.
I loved growing up there.
I felt right at home, I did.
But I had to leave
as soon as I found out I
was a little bit lesbian.
And you do find out, don't you? Yeah.
I got a letter.
"Dear Sir/Madam."
Wasn't a great letter to receive
in mid -'90s Tasmania.
Because the wisdom of the day
was if you chose to be gay...
I say "wisdom", even though
homosexuality's clearly not a choice.
Wisdom is always relative, you know.
And in a place like Tasmania,
everything's very relative, but I...
But the wisdom of the day was
that, if you chose to be gay,
then you should just get yourself
a one-way ticket to the mainland,
and don't come back.
Gays... why don't you just pack
your AIDS up into a suitcase there
and fuck off to Mardi Gras?
Because homosexuality was a crime
in Tasmania 'til 1997.
Not long enough ago.
And I took a long time to come
to terms with my sexuality.
There's a few reasons for that.
A lot of it has to do with bad press.
Yeah, they didn't get a good rap
when I was growing up, the homosexuals.
We didn't have social
media like we do now, but...
"Letters to the
Editor," let me tell you.
Slow Twitter. Brutal.
But in all the debate
about... homosexuality...
no one ever really
talked about the lesbians.
You know? It was all the
gay men. They're the problem!
Anal sex. That's when
the devil will get you!
But lesbians, they're like, "No...
What even are they? What
they do, though, really?
Do they even exist if no
one's watching, really?
No, don't worry about
them. No harm in a cuddle."
For a long time, I knew more facts
about unicorns than
I did about lesbians.
Another reason I struggled with...
There are no facts about unicorns.
Another reason I struggled
to identify as gay was
the Sydney Gay and Lesbian
Mardi Gras. Precisely that.
The Mardi Gras was my first
introduction to my people.
I watched it on... my TV
in my little living
room in my small town.
That was my first introduction
to my people. The Mardi Gras.
My people... flaunting
their lifestyle in a parade!
I used to watch it, going,
"There they are, my people.
They're busy, aren't they?
Gosh. Don't they love
to dance and party?"
I used to sit there and watch it and go,
"Where... where do the quiet gays... go?
Where are the quiet
gays supposed to go?"
I still do.
I'm just like...
the pressure on my people
to express our identity and pride
through the metaphor of party
is very intense.
Don't get me wrong, I love
the spectacle, I really do,
but I've never felt
compelled to get amongst it.
Do you know? I'm a quiet soul.
My favorite sound in the whole world
is the sound of a
teacup finding its place
on a saucer.
Oh, it's very, very difficult to
flaunt that lifestyle in a parade.
I don't even like the flag.
But there, I've said it. Now...
the Pride flag, now, I love
what it means, that is perfect.
Pride. Wonderful.
But the flag itself? Bit busy.
It's just six very
shouty, assertive colors,
stacked on top of each
other, no rest for the eye.
An afternoon of that waving in my face,
I need to express my identity
through the metaphor of a nap.
I don't...
I don't think I'm very good at gay.
I'm not the only who
thinks that. I've...
I've been getting a bit of negative
feedback of late from my people,
the lesbians.
Bit of negative feedback.
'Cause, gosh, don't my people
love the feedback. Not...
Not shy!
Not shy with the feedback. One
of our spokespeople last year...
One of our spokespeople approached
me straight after one of my shows
to give me a bit of feedback, and
that's my favorite time for feedback.
Straight after a show? Yes, please!
That is when my skin is at its thickest.
The feedback? Apparently, she said,
"I was very disappointed in
your show this year, Hannah.
I just don't think there
was enough lesbian content."
I'd been on stage the whole time.
I didn't... even straighten
up halfway through, you know?
Perhaps I've been slacking off a bit.
When I first started... the comedy,
over a decade ago, always, nothing but.
Nothing but lesbian
content. Wall to wall.
My first ever show...
was classic new gay comic
101. My coming out story.
I told lots of cool
jokes about homophobia.
Really solved... that problem.
I told... a story about the time
this young man had almost beaten me up
because he thought...
I mean, he thought I was
cracking on to his girlfriend.
Actually, that bit was true, got
that right, but... there was a twist.
It happened late at night,
it was at the bus stop.
The pub had closed, it
was the last bus home,
and I was waiting at the bus stop.
And I was talking to a girl, and...
you know, you could say
flirting. I don't know.
And... out of nowhere, he just comes
up and starts shoving me, going,
"Fuck off, you fucking faggot!"
And he goes, "Keep away from my
girlfriend, you fucking freak!"
And she's just stepped in, going,
"Whoa, stop it! It's a girl!"
And he's gone, "Oh, sorry."
He said, "Oh, I'm so sorry.
I don't hit women," he said.
What a guy!
"I don't hit women."
How about you don't hit anyone?
Good rule of thumb. And he
goes, "Sorry, I got confused.
I thought you were a fucking faggot...
trying to crack on to my girlfriend."
Now I understand I have a responsibility
to help lead people out of ignorance
at every opportunity I can,
but I left him there, people.
Safety first.
The main part, the
centerpiece, of that show,
was coming out to my family,
and particularly my mom.
Because my mom is very funny.
She lives a comedy better
than I can ever write it.
Her response to me coming out,
when I told her I was
a little bit lesbian...
Baby steps.
Her response... was this.
She's just gone,"Oh, Hannah.
Why did you have to tell me that?
That's not something I need to know.
I mean, what if I told
you I was a murderer?"
It's still funny.
And it's a fair call. Murderer.
You would hope that's a phase.
Real jokes.
But I reckon I've been
slacking off in recent years
with my lesbian content.
I don't think I've been
representing my people
as much as I should be.
You know, last year, my grandma
asked me if I had a boyfriend.
And I realized, in that moment,
that I'd... quite forgotten...
to come out to Grandma.
I thought I'd...
I remember it being on my to-do list.
I thought, "I'll wait till
it comes up in conversation."
But it never does.
But finally it did.
But I did not take the opportunity!
No, I deflected it like a real man.
I said, "No...
No, Grandma.
No, I don't have time for boyfriends."
Confident, wasn't I? "But
if I had time, heaps!"
And she said, "Ah, well, you never know.
One day you might walk around
the corner, and there he'll be!"
"Mr. Right," she called him.
And I have been approaching
every corner with caution
since then.
No offense to Mr. Right,
if you are out there.
But you're also Mr. Very Very Too Late.
'Cause I've done quite a lot of
work on this lesbian situation here
and I don't imagine I've got a
tight turning circle on identity.
Imagine the feedback.
Not enough lesbian content.
Do you know what I reckon my problem is?
I don't lesbian enough.
Not in the scheme of
my existence. Not a lot.
I mean, I keep my hand in.
Bit of lesbian content there.
I'll be sprinkling it
throughout the show.
Keep your feedback forms to yourselves.
No, I mean, if you were to plot
my week, I don't... Not a lot.
Not a lot of lesbian-ing... gets done.
I cook dinner more. I cook
dinner way more than I lesbian.
But nobody every introduces me
as "that chef comedian," do they?
Not enough lesbian content.
I should quit. I'm a disgrace.
What sort of comedian can't
even make the lesbians laugh?
Every comedian ever.
That's a good joke, isn't it? Classic.
It's bulletproof, too.
Very clever, because it's funny...
because it's true.
The only people who don't think
it's funny... are us lezzers...
But we've got to laugh...
because if we don't...
proves the point.
Very clever joke.
I didn't write that.
That is not my joke.
It's an old... An oldie.
Oldie but a goldie. A classic.
It was written, you know, well
before even women were funny.
And back then, in the good old days,
lesbian meant something
different than it does now.
Back then, lesbian
wasn't about sexuality,
a lesbian was just any
woman not laughing at a man.
"Why aren't you laughing? What are
you? Some kind of lesbian?" Classic.
"Go on. You gotta laugh. Lighten up.
Stop taking everything so seriously!
Fucking learn to take a
joke. You need to lighten up.
I'll tell you what you need to
lighten up. You need a good dicking.
Get a cock up you! Drink
some jizz! You know?"
Actual advice?
It's counterproductive.
I do think I have to quit comedy though.
And seriously. I know it's
probably not the forum...
to make such an announcement, is it?
In the middle of a comedy show.
But I have been questioning...
you know, this whole comedy thing.
I don't feel very
comfortable in it anymore.
You know... over the past year,
I've been questioning
it, and reassessing.
And I think it's healthy for
an adult human to take stock,
pause and reassess.
And when I first started doing
the comedy, over a decade ago,
my favorite comedian was Bill Cosby.
There you go. It's very
healthy to reassess, isn't it?
And I built a career out
of self-deprecating humor.
That's what I've built my career on.
And... I don't want to do that anymore.
Because, do you understand...
... do you understand
what self-deprecation means
when it comes from somebody who
already exists in the margins?
It's not humility.
It's humiliation.
I put myself down in order to speak,
in order to seek permission... to speak.
And I simply will not do that anymore.
Not to myself or anybody
who identifies with me.
And if that means that my comedy
career is over, then so be it.
I got a letter... on Facebook recently.
And I say "letter," 'cause
I'm very bold. Controversial.
But I call it a letter, because it said,
"Dear Hannah," comma, new line...
Bit of feedback.
And it said, "You owe
it to your community
to come out as transgender."
All jokes aside, I really do want
to do my best by my community.
I really do. But that
was new information to me.
I'm not...
I don't identify as
transgender. I don't.
I mean, I'm clearly
"gender not normal," but...
I don't think even lesbian is
the right identity fit for me,
I really don't. I may
as well come out now.
I identify... as tired.
I'm just tired.
There is too much hysteria around gender
from you gender-normals.
You're the weirdos. You're
a bit fucking hysterical.
You're a bit weird, a bit
uptight. You need to get a grip.
You gender-normals...
Seriously, calm down, gender-normals.
Get a grip.
"No, a man in a dress,
that's fucking weird!"
No, it's not. You know what's
weird? Pink headbands on bald babies!
That's weird.
I mean, seriously, would
you put a bangle on a potato?
No, that's organic. I
paid a lot for that potato.
Of course I understand
why parents do it.
Clearly they're sick and tired...
of their beautiful baby girl...
being mistaken for a boy baby
because of the no hair
situation. I understand that.
But the thing is, I don't
assume bald babies are boys.
I assume they're angry feminists,
and I treat them with respect.
How about this?
How about we stop
separating the children
into opposing teams from day dot?
How about we give them, I dunno,
seven to ten years to
consider themselves...
on the same side?
Did you know human men and human
women have more in common...
than they don't? Did you know that?
I don't think many people do know that
because we always
focus on the difference.
The difference between men and women.
They're very different. Now,
dogs are heaps different to...
"Men and women are very different.
We're from different planets!"
Men are from Mars, and
women are for his penis.
Here's an idea. I say we get rid of
pink and give all the babies blue.
I've thought about this and it's not
because blue is a masculine color.
'Cause that... is false.
I love that people go, "Blue,
yeah, a very masculine color.
Very reliable.
Very rational color, blue.
Yeah, you can trust blue.
It's why we've got it on flags.
Lot of blue on flags. Navy
blue. Everyone trusts a boat."
Blue, if anything, is a feminine color.
It really is full of contradictions.
You know, blue is a cold color.
It's on the cold end of the spectrum.
But the hottest part of the flame?
If you're feeling blue...
you're sad.
But optimism? Blue skies ahead!
Make up your mind.
A blueprint is a plan,
but if something happens not on
the plan, where does that come from?
Out of the blue!
Blue's a wonderful
color to start life with.
There's room for every
kind of human in blue.
There's a whole spectrum,
'cause blue doesn't demand...
it doesn't demand action
like all the other colors.
Think about this.
You're stuck in traffic...
and the lights turn...
Less road rage, people. Less road rage.
More accidents, ironically enough.
I get mistaken for a man quite a lot.
But not for long.
My masculinity doesn't hold up to
scrutiny. I'm only a man at a glance.
Which means it happens in a
customer service situation, usually.
Because I'm only a man at a glance,
it means I'm very
much right there still.
Right in front of the person
who's just called me "sir"...
and deeply regrets it.
The really good ones just erase
my memory of being called "sir."
They're clever. It's a clever trick.
They do that with a combination...
of hypnosis, and the magic word.
They go, "Can I help you, sir?
And it works. Gone.
I do not remember being called
"sir" if someone calls me "madam"
immediately after.
Because "madam" is a very
triggering word for me.
It is. It's what my mom used to call me
when I was in a lot of trouble...
for opening a brothel.
Can we just have more words?
It's the apology I don't understand,
when people apologize for
mistaking me for a man.
I got it on a flight recently.
Walking on, the cabin manager,
"Welcome aboard, sir.
Oh, madam, I'm so sorry.
I'm so sorry. I'm sorry."
I was like, "It's okay!
It's not like you called a man
'madam'. That could have been... "
So I said, "Don't worry."
She said, "I'm so sorry."
I said, "Don't apologize. In fact,
I should thank you. I enjoyed it.
Thank you. Never
apologize. Don't apologize.
Look, I don't identify as transgender,
but I'm partial to a holiday.
I love being mistaken for a man,
'cause just for a few moments,
life gets a hell of a lot easier.
I'm top-shelf normal, king of the
humans. I'm a straight white man.
I'm about...
I'm about to get good
service for no fucking effort!
Do not apologize.
I was going to take my assigned
seat and both the armrests.
Your knee space? No."
Just jokes, though.
Clearly... just jokes.
Just jokes. I wouldn't want
to be a straight white man.
Not... right now. This is...
Not at this moment in history.
It is not a good time to
be a straight white man.
I wouldn't want to be a straight
white man. Not if you paid me.
Although the pay would
be substantially better.
But, no...
I don't think it's an easy time
for you fellas, I do feel for you.
Very difficult, very confusing time.
Because... And you're not coping.
Because, for the first time ever,
you're suddenly a sub-category of human.
Right? "No, we invented the
categories. We're not supposed to play!
We're human-neutral."
Not anymore.
I've always been judged by what I am.
Always been a fat, ugly dyke.
I'm dead inside. I can cope.
But you fellas... Bit soft in the belly?
You hear "straight white
man," you're like, "No.
No, that's reverse sexism."
No, it's not. You wrote
the rules. Read them.
Just jokes. Banter.
Don't feel intimidated.
It's just locker room talk.
Just jokes, though.
Just jokes.
Do you know why I lovepicking on,
telling jokes about straight white men?
'Cause they're such good sports.
They're like, "Oh, good joke about me.
That's a refreshing perspective.
If you hate men so much,
why do you try so fucking
hard to look like one?"
'Cause you need a good role
model right now, fellas.
Dropping like flies.
Jokes aside, if I may just give
you a little human-to-human advice.
Because I do understand
it is a difficult and
confusing time for you now.
You know, it's changing, it's
shifting, and I understand that.
But... may I just, you
know, suggest that you learn
to, sort of, move beyond
your defensiveness.
Right? That's your first
point, you're stuck on it,
but you need to get some space
around it, learn to develop...
try and develop a
sense of humor about it,
or you need to lighten
up, learn to laugh.
Tell you what might help.
How about a good dicking?
Get a cock up ya, drink some jizz!
You gotta laugh!
That's weird advice, isn't it?
It's weird.
It doesn't... It's not good, is it?
It doesn't feel very nice, does it?
Laughter's the best medicine, they say.
I don't. I reckon penicillin
might give it the nudge.
There is truth to it, though.
Laughter is very good for the human.
It really is.
'Cause when you laugh,
you release tension.
And when you hold tension in
your human body, it's not healthy.
It's not healthy
psychologically or physically.
That's why it's good to laugh.
It'seven better to
laugh with other people.
When you laugh, in a room full
of people, when you share a laugh,
you will release more tension
because laughter is infectious.
You stand to release more tension
when you laugh with other people
than you would if you laugh alone.
Mainly because when you laugh
alone, that's mental illness
and that's a different kind of tension.
Laughter doesn't help.
Trust me.
Tension isolates us.
And laughter connects us.
Good result. Good on me.
What a guy.
What a guy. I'm basically Mother Teresa.
But just like Mother Teresa...
my methods are not exactly charitable.
Let me explain to you what a joke is.
And when you strip it back to
its bare essential... components,
like, its bare minimum,
a joke is simply two things,
it needs two things to work.
A setup and a punch line.
And it is essentially a
question with a surprise answer.
Right? But in this context,
what a joke is is a question
that I have artificially inseminated.
Tension. I do that, that's my job.
I make you all feel tense,
and then I make you laugh, and
you're like, "Thanks for that.
I was feeling a bit tense."
I made you tense.
This is an abusive relationship.
Do you know why I'm such a funny fucker?
Do you? It's because, you know,
I've been learning the
art of tension diffusion
since I was a children.
Back then it wasn't a
job, wasn't even a hobby,
it was a survival tactic.
I didn't have to invent the tension.
I was the tension.
And... I'm tired of tension.
Tension is making me sick.
It is time... I stopped... comedy.
I have to quit comedy... but I mean...
I can't quit you.
No, I can't quit you. I can't.
Because I don't have
a backup plan, guys.
What have I got?
Fifteen years ago, I barely
graduated from an Art History degree.
Fifteen years ago.
Art History. Fifteen...
They were dead then.
They're just deader.
My CV is pretty much a cock and
balls drawn under a fax number.
Could you imagine me
working in a gallery
with an asymmetrical woolen poncho
with an aggressive... fringe?
Nasty jewelry, having the opinion?
No. There's... You know,
art history is highbrow.
I don't belong in that world,
I'm not from that world.
I'm not from money, or even that
much chat, if I'm honest, but...
high art, you know, that's what
elevates and civilizes people.
You know, galleries, the
ballet, the the-a-ter.
All these things, you
go there, you get better.
Comedy? Lowbrow.
Well, I'm sorry to inform you,
but nobody here is leaving
this room a better person.
We're just rolling around
in our own shit here, people.
But I... A couple of years ago, a
man came up to me after... my show.
He had an opinion.
Lesbians give feedback.
Men? Opinions.
Now, in the show, I'd spoken about
taking antidepressant medication,
and he had an opinion on that.
Now, interestingly,
I'd also spoken about how
unhelpful unsolicited advice is
in a... mental health plan, but
he mustn't have heard that bit.
He came up to me after the
show to give me his opinion.
He said, "You shouldn't take
medication because you're an artist.
It's important that you feel."
He said, "If Vincent van Gogh
had have taken medication,
we wouldn't have the sunflowers."
I never, ever, ever thought
that my art history degree
would ever come in handy.
But, oh, my lord.
I tore that man a college
debt-sized new arsehole.
I said, "Good opinion, mate.
Except that he did medicate. A lot.
He self-medicated a lot. He drank a lot.
He even nibbled on his own paints.
And also, you know what else?
He didn't just paint sunflowers,
he did quite a few
portraits of psychiatrists.
Not even random ones.
Psychiatrists who were treating him.
And medicating him.
And there's one particular portrait
of one particular psychiatrist,
and he's holding a flower,
and it isn't a sunflower.
It's a foxglove.
And that foxglove forms
part of a medication
that Van Gogh... took for epilepsy.
And that derivative of the foxglove
plant medi-fucking-cation... "
I must have skipped a dose
that day 'cause I was feeling.
"The derivative of the foxglove,
if you overdose it a bit,
you know what happens?
You can experience the color
yellow a little too intensely.
So perhaps... we have the
sunflowers precisely because...
Van Gogh medicated.
What do you honestly
think, mate?" I said.
"That creativity means you must suffer?
That is the burden of creativity?
Just so you can enjoy it?
Fuck you, mate. If you
like sunflowers so much,
buy a bunch and jerk
off into a geranium."
Know what he said?
He goes,
"No need to be so sensitive."
I'm not being sensitive. I'm an artist.
That's feeling.
"Don't be so sensitive."
That is the most common
nugget of advice I get.
'Cause I'm a very sensitive person.
And I get told to "stop being
so sensitive" an awful lot.
And it is always yelled.
Which I find very insensitive.
I don't get it.
"Stop being so sensitive."
I don't understand.
Why is insensitivity
something to strive for?
I happen to know that my sensitivity
is my strength. I know that.
It's my sensitivity that's helped me
navigate a very difficult path in life.
So when somebody tells me
to "stop being so sensitive,"
you know what? I feel
a little bit like a nose
being lectured by a fart.
Not the problem.
I feel like, in a comedy show,
there's no room for the
best part of the story...
which is the ending.
You know, in order to finish on a laugh,
you know, you have to
end... with punch lines.
Like, take my coming-out
story, for example.
The best part of that story
is the fact that Mum and I have
a wonderful relationship now.
More than mother and daughter,
we're friends, we trust each other.
Look what I did to the room. No tension.
You're just going, "Good on you.
Got a good relationship
with your mum, have you?
Can you go back to the tension?
That was hilarious."
But, yeah, Mum said to
me last year, she said,
"I'm very proud... that I raised
you kids without religion."
I'd love to give you
guys context on that,
but that's not how my
mum runs a conversation.
I have no idea why she
brought that up in Target.
No idea.
She said, "I'm very proud that I
raised you kids without religion
because, you know, I've raised five
children with minds of their own."
And I've just sort
of gone, "Good on you.
What aren't you proud of, Mum?"
I was home for a week. We had time.
Because Mum and I have established jokes
around this difficult time in our life.
We really do. The banter, if you will.
I say things like, "Mum, you
made my life very difficult."
And she'll go, "Yeah, well, I
don't think I liked you very much."
And we laugh!
'Cause you've got to laugh. And...
But not this day. She went
quiet and... got tense.
But what my mum eventually said to me
is pretty much... at the core
of why I'm questioning... comedy.
She said to me, "The thing I regret
is that I raised you
as if you were straight.
I didn't know any
different. I am so sorry.
I'm so sorry.
I knew... well before you did...
that your life was going
to be so hard. I knew that,
and I wanted it more than anything
in the world not to be the case.
And I know I made it worse,
because I wanted you to change
because I knew the world wouldn't."
And I looked at my mum in that moment
and thought, "How did that happen?
How did my mum
get to be the hero of my story?"
She evolved.
I didn't.
See... I think part of my problem
is comedy has suspended me in a
perpetual state of adolescence.
The way I've been telling that story
is through jokes.
And stories... unlike
jokes, need three parts.
A beginning, a middle, and an end.
Jokes... only need two parts.
A beginning and a middle.
And what I had done, with that
comedy show about coming out,
was I froze an incredibly formative
experience at its trauma point
and I sealed it off into jokes.
And that story became a
routine, and through repetition,
that joke version fused with my
actual memory of what happened.
But unfortunately that joke version
was not nearly sophisticated enough
to help me undo the damage
done to me in reality.
Punch lines need trauma
because punch lines...
need tension, and tension feeds trauma.
I didn't come out to
my grandma last year
because I'm still ashamed of who I am.
Not intellectually.
But, right there,
I still have shame.
You learn from the part
of the story you focus on.
I need to tell my story properly.
Because the closet, for me, was
no easy thing... to come out of.
From the years 1989 to 1997, right?
This is ten years.
Effectively my adolescence.
Tasmania was at the center of
a very toxic national debate
about homosexuality and whether
or not it should be legalized.
And I'm from the northwest coast
of Tasmania, the Bible Belt.
Seventy percent of the
people... I lived amongst...
believe that homosexuality
should be... a criminal act.
Seventy percent of the
people who raised me,
who loved me, who I trusted,
believed that homosexuality was a sin,
that homosexuals were
heinous, sub-human pedophiles.
Seventy percent.
By the time I identified as
being gay, it was too late.
I was already homophobic,
and you do not get to just
flick a switch on that.
No, what you do is you
internalize that homophobia
and you learn to hate yourself.
Hate yourself to the core.
I sat soaking in shame...
in the closet, for ten years.
Because the closet can only
stop you from being seen.
It is not shame-proof.
When you soak a child in shame,
they cannot develop the neurological
pathways that carry thought...
you know, carry thoughts of self-worth.
They can't do that.
Self-hatred is only ever a
seed planted from outside in.
But when you do that to a child,
it becomes a weed so
thick, and it grows so fast,
the child doesn't know any different.
It becomes... as natural as gravity.
When I came out of the closet,
I didn't have any jokes.
The only thing I knew how to do
was to be invisible and hate myself.
It took me ten years to understand
I was allowed to take
up space in the world.
But, by then, I'd sealed it off
into jokes like it was no big deal.
I need to tell my story properly.
Because I paid dearly for a lesson
that nobody seems to
have wanted to learn.
And this is bigger...
than homosexuality.
This is about how we conduct debate
in public about sensitive things.
It's toxic, it's
juvenile, it's destructive.
We think it's more important to be right
than it is to appeal to the
humanity of people we disagree with.
Ignorance will always walk amongst us
because we will never
know all of the things.
I need to tell my story properly
because you learn from the part
of the story... you focus on.
Take Vincent.
Old mate... Vincent van Gogh.
The way we tell his
story... it's no good.
It's destructive. Because we've
reduced it to a tale of rags to riches.
He only sold one painting in his life.
You know? Now look at him.
"He's quite dead." Yeah,
but very successful!
Only sold one painting in his lifetime.
And people believe, with that story,
that Van Gogh was this
misunderstood genius.
You know, he was born ahead of his time.
What a load of shit.
Nobody is born ahead of their time.
It's impossible!
Nobody's born ahead of their time!
Maybe premmie babies, but they catch up!
Artists don't invent zeitgeists!
They respond to it.
He was not ahead of his time. He
was a Post-Impressionist painter,
painting at the peak
of Post-Impressionism,
while Peter was picking
his pickled pepper.
He wasn't born ahead of his time.
He couldn't network.
'Cause he was mental.
He was... crazy. He had unstable energy.
People would cross the
street to avoid him.
That's why he didn't sell any more
than one painting in his lifetime.
He couldn't network.
This whole idea, this romanticizing
of mental illness, is ridiculous.
It is not a ticket to genius.
It's a ticket to fucking nowhere.
And artists are not these incredible,
you know, mythical creatures
that exist outside of the world.
No, artists have always been
very much part of the world,
and very... very firmly
attached to power.
Always. Power and money,
art is always there.
Right back to the Renaissance.
Oh, the Turtles? All of them.
All of them, they knew how to network.
They're right up there, painting
their own business cards, schmoozing.
Michelangelo was a bit
difficult, he was a bit... crazy.
But, you know, he still networked.
He gave gobbies to the Pope.
Kissed his ring. Literally. But...
I think it's a shame that art
history is such an elitist sport.
It taught me a lot, you know.
Useless... as far as a
money-earner's concerned,
but I learned a lot about the
world because of art history.
I understand this world very well.
I understand the world I live
in... because of art history.
I understand the world I
live in and my place in it.
And I don't have one.
And do you know how
much time that saved me?
I'm quite old, but look at the skin!
That's 'cause I haven't wasted
time looking... for how I fit in.
I don't.
A lot of naps.
Art history taught me there's
only ever been two types of women.
A virgin or a whore.
Most people think that
Miley Cyrus and Taylor
Swift invented that binary,
but it's been going
on thousands of years.
There's only ever been two options
for a little girl to grow up into.
Virgin or whore. We were
always given a choice.
Take your pick. Ladies'
choice! That's the trick.
The patriarchy, it's not a
dictatorship. Take your choice!
And I don't fit very neatly
into either of those categories.
Virgin or whore?
I mean, on a technicality,
I'd get virgin.
I know.
Do you know, if you go into a
gallery with ye olde paintings there,
there's a lot of evidence to suggest
that women have existed
for a very long time.
Longer than clothes.
But not this masculine,
off-center, lesbian situation here.
And I... Art history
taught me,you know,
I look at these history women
and I don't feel like
I'm the same species.
There's a lot of things that I do,
and it's not an identity construction.
No, I've... Just
things happen naturally.
And art history taught me that
these things are not really the place
of a woman, you know?
One of the things I do,
I can generate thoughts in
my own brain... unprompted.
I can do that, all the time!
Had another one. They just
come all the time, and...
Art history taught me, you know,
historically, women didn't have
time for the think-thoughts.
They were too busy napping,
naked, alone, in the forest.
Even biologically... I don't
feel like I'm the same species.
For a start, I've got a
functioning skeletal system.
If you go into the galleries,
you see, if a woman's not
sporting a corset and/or a hymen...
she just loses all structure.
Just sort of like...
Just flopping about all
over the place, going,
"Oh, what does, furniture?"
Sidesaddle, tits akimbo.
No wonder we can't reverse park, ladies!
Dumb history women couldn't even
reverse park their arse onto a chair!
Another thing I do
that's not very ladylike
is every day I seem to be able to
finish the getting of the dressed.
Every day!
Not a problem. All the
buttons, all the way up.
I'm quite a vague and
forgetful person, but...
Seem to do it quite easily.
Especially if I'm leaving the
house to get my portrait painted.
Never once have I thought,
"You know what, today,
I must just leave a cheeky one out."
High art.
I'm going to call it, guys.
High art, my arse.
The history of western art is just
the history of men painting women
like they're flesh vases
for their dick flowers.
Having... said that,
I think I've ruined any chance
of getting a job in a gallery now.
I mean, I could pay to
be a volunteer guide.
'Cause it doesn't get any better
with modern art, I tell you.
I trip on the first hurdle.
Pablo Picasso. I hate him,
but you're not allowed to.
I hate him. But you can't. Cubism.
And if you ruin... cubism,
then civilization as
we know it will crumble.
Cubism. Aren't we
grateful... in this room...
that we live in a post-cubism world?
Isn't that the first thing we all write
in our gratitude
journals? "Oh, thank god."
I don't like Picasso.
I fucking hate him.
I really... I just... He's
rotten in the face cavity.
I hate Picasso! I hate him!
And you can't make me like...
But you get it a lot: "Oh, cubism... "
And I know I should be
more generous about him too
because he suffered a mental illness.
But you see, nobody knows that.
Because it doesn't
fit with his mythology.
They go, "I think you're
thinking of Van Gogh."
No, I'm thinking about
them all, actually...
Because Picasso, he's sold to us
as this passionate, virile, tormented
genius, man, ball sack, right?
There's no room in that
story for... is there?
- No.
- No. It's rhetorical, but...
There's a...
But he did suffer a mental
illness. Picasso did.
He suffered badly and it
got worse as he got older.
Picasso suffered... the
mental illness of misogyny.
Split the room.
Didn't I? And I bet you
I know how that felt.
Is misogyny a mental illness?
Yeah, it is! Especially if
you're a heterosexual man.
Because if you hate what you
desire, do you know what that is?
Fucking tense!
Sort your shit out. Yeah, he
did suffer from a mental illness.
Smarter men than I have proved
he didn't suffer a mental
illness, but they're...
No, they're wrong.
They'd say he's not a
misogynist. They're wrong. He was.
If you don't believe me,
let me provide you a quote
from Picky Asshole himself.
He said, "Each time... I leave
a woman, I should burn her.
Destroy the woman, you destroy
the past she represents."
Cool guy.
The greatest artist of
the twentieth century.
Let's make art great again, guys.
Picasso fucked an underage girl.
And that's it for me. Not interested.
"But cubism...
We need it."
Marie-Thrse Walter. She
was 17 when they met. Underage.
Legally underage. Picasso was 42,
married, at the height of his career.
Does it matter? Yeah.
Yeah, it actually does.
It does matter.
But as Picasso said, no, it was perfect.
I was in my prime, she was in her prime.
I probably read that when I was
17. Do you know how grim that was?
Oh, I'm in my prime!
Oh, there is no view at my peak.
But I wasn't upset at the time,
because I was learning about cubism!
Now, I should qualify this, though.
Cubism is important.
You know, it really is.
It was a real game-changer.
Picasso freed us from
slavery, people. He really did.
He freed us from the slavery
of having to reproduce
believable three-dimensional
reality on a two-dimensional surface.
Three-point perspective,
that illusion that gives us
the idea of a single stable
world view, a single perspective?
Picasso said, "No!
Run free! You can have all
perspectives. That's what we need.
From above, from below,
inside out, the sides.
All the perspectives at once!"
Thank you, Picasso.
What a guy.
What a hero. Thank you. But tell me,
any of those perspectives a woman's?
No. Well, I'm not fucking interested.
You just put a kaleidoscope
filter on your cock.
You're still painting flesh
vases for your dick flowers.
Separate the man from the art.
That's what I keep hearing.
You've got to learn to
separate the man from the art.
The art is important, not the artist.
You've got to learn to
separate the man from the art.
Yeah, all right. Okay.
Let's give it a go.
How about you take Picasso's
name off his little paintings
and see how much his
doodles are worth at auction?
Fucking nothing! Nobody
owns a circular Lego nude,
they own a Picasso!
You won't hear too many extended sets
about art history in
a comedy show, so...
you're welcome.
And it's bold, I know.
Comedy is more used to throwaway
jokes about priests being pedophiles
and Trump grabbing the pussy.
I don't have time for that shit.
I don't.
Do you know who used to
be an easy punch line?
Monica Lewinsky.
Maybe, if comedians had
done their job properly,
and made fun of the man
who abused his power,
then perhaps we might have
had a middle-aged woman
with an appropriate amount of
experience in the White House,
instead of, as we do, a
man who openly admitted
to sexually assaulting vulnerable
young women because he could.
Do you know what should be the
target of our jokes at the moment?
Our obsession with reputation.
We're obsessed. We think reputation
is more important than anything else,
including humanity.
And do you know who takes the
mantle of this myopic adulation
of reputation?
Celebrities. And
comedians are not immune.
They're all cut from the same cloth.
Donald Trump, Pablo Picasso,
Harvey Weinstein,
Bill Cosby, Woody Allen, Roman Polanski.
These men are not
exceptions, they are the rule.
And they are not individuals,
they are our stories.
And the moral of our story
is, "We don't give a shit.
We don't give a fuck...
about women or children.
We only care about a man's reputation."
What about his humanity?
These men control our stories!
And yet they have a diminishing
connection to their own humanity,
and we don't seem to mind
so long as they get to hold
onto their precious reputation.
Fuck reputation. Hindsight is a gift.
Stop wasting my time!
If you...
Look, I am angry.
I apologize.
I do, I apologize. I know...
I know there's a few people in
the room going, "Now, look...
I think... she's lost
control of the tension."
That's correct. I
went on it a bit there.
So, I'm not very experienced
in controlling anger.
It's not my place to be
angry on a comedy stage.
I'm meant to be doing...
self-deprecating humor.
People feel safer when
men do the angry comedy.
They're the kings of the genre.
When I do it, I'm a miserable lesbian,
ruining all the fun and the banter.
When men do it, heroes of free speech.
I love... angry white man comedy.
It's so funny, it's hilarious.
They're adorable. Why are they angry?
What's up, little fella?
What are they angry about?
Gosh, can't work it out.
They're like the canaries
in the mine, aren't they?
If they're having a tough time...
the rest of us are goners.
Do you remember that storyabout
that young man who almost beat me up?
It was a very funny story.
It was very funny, I made a lot of
people laugh about his ignorance,
and the reason I could do that is
because I'm very good at this job.
I actually am pretty good
at controlling the tension.
And I know how to balance that to
get the laugh at the right place.
But in order to balance the
tension in the room with that story,
I couldn't tell that story
as it actually happened.
Because I couldn't tell
the part of the story
where that man realized his mistake.
And he came back.
And he said, "Oh, no, I get it.
You're a lady faggot.
I'm allowed to beat the
shit out of you," and he did!
He beat the shit out of
me and nobody stopped him.
And I didn't... report
that to the police,
and I did not take myself to
hospital, and I should have.
And you know why I didn't?
It's because I thought
that was all I was worth.
And that is what happens when
you soak one child in shame
and give permission to another to hate.
And that was not homophobia,
pure and simple, people.
That was gendered.
If I'd been feminine, that
would not have happened.
I am incorrectly female.
I am incorrect, and that
is a punishable offense.
And this tension, it's yours.
I am not helping you anymore.
You need to learn what this feels
like because this... this tension
is what not-normals carry
inside of them all of the time
because it is dangerous to be different!
To the men...
to the men in the room, I speak to
you now, particularly the white men,
especially the straight white men.
Pull your fucking socks up!
How humiliating!
Fashion advice from a lesbian.
That is your last joke.
All my life,
I've been told that I'm a man-hater.
I don't hate men, I honestly do not.
I don't hate men.
there's a problem.
See, I don't even believe
that women are better than men.
I believe women are just as
corruptible by power as men,
because you know what, fellas,
you don't have a monopoly
on the human condition,
you arrogant fucks.
But the story is as you have told it.
Power belongs to you.
And if you can't handle criticism,
take a joke,
or deal with your own
tension without violence,
you have to wonder if
you are up to the task
of being in charge.
I'm not a man-hater.
But I'm afraid of men.
If I'm the only woman in a
room full of men, I am afraid.
And if you think that's unusual,
you're not speaking to
the women in your life.
I don't hate men, but I
wonder how a man would feel
if they'd lived my life.
Because it was a man who sexually
abused me when I was a child.
It was a man who beat the shit
out of me when I was 17, my prime.
It was two men who raped me
when I was barely in my twenties.
Tell me why is that okay.
Why was it okay to pick me off the
pack like that and do that to me?
It would have been more humane to
just take me out to the back paddock
and put a bullet in my head
if it is that much of
a crime to be different!
I don't tell you this...
so you think of me as a victim.
I am not a victim. I tell you
this because my story has value.
My story has value.
I tell you this 'cause
I want you to know,
I need you to know, what I know.
To be rendered powerless does
not destroy your humanity.
Your resilience is your humanity.
The only people who lose their humanity
are those who believe
they have the right
to render another human being powerless.
They are the weak.
To yield and not break,
that is incredible strength.
You destroy the woman, you
destroy the past she represents.
I will not allow my story...
to be destroyed.
What I would have done to
have heard a story like mine.
Not for blame.
Not for reputation, not
for money, not for power.
But to feel less alone.
To feel connected.
I want my story... heard.
Because, ironically, I
believe Picasso was right.
I believe we could paint a better world
if we learned how to see
it from all perspectives,
as many perspectives
as we possibly could.
Because diversity is strength.
Difference is a teacher.
Fear difference, you learn nothing.
Picasso's mistake was his arrogance.
He assumed he could represent
all of the perspectives.
And our mistake was to invalidate
the perspective of a 17-year-old
girl, because we believed
her potential... was
never going to equal his.
Hindsight is a gift.
Can you stop wasting my time?
A 17-year-old girl is just
never, ever, ever in her prime!
I am in my prime!
Would you test your strength out on me?
There is no way anyone would dare...
test their strength out on me,
because you all know...
there is nothing stronger
then a broken woman
who has rebuilt herself.
To the men in the room...
who feel I may have been
persecuting you this evening...
well spotted.
That's pretty much what I've done there.
But this is theater, fellas.
I've given you an hour, a taste.
I have lived a life.
The damage done to me
is real and debilitating.
I will never flourish.
But this is why... I must quit comedy.
Because the only way...
I can tell my truthand put
tension in the room is with anger.
And I am angry, and I believe
I've got every right to be angry!
But what I don't have a right
to do is to spread anger.
I don't.
Because anger, much like laughter,
can connect a room full of
strangers like nothing else.
But anger, even if it's
connected to laughter,
will not... relieve tension.
Because anger is a tension.
It is a toxic, infectious... tension.
And it knows no other purpose
than to spread blind hatred,
and I want no part of it.
Because I take my freedom of
speech as a responsibility,
and just because I can
position myself as a victim,
does not make my anger constructive.
It never is constructive.
Laughter is not our medicine.
Stories hold our cure.
Laughter is just the honey that
sweetens the bitter medicine.
I don't want to unite you
with laughter or anger.
I just needed my story heard,
my story felt and understood
by individuals with minds of their own.
Because, like it or not,
your story... is my story.
And my story... is your story.
I just don't have the strength
to take care of my story anymore.
I don't want my story defined by anger.
All I can ask is just please
help me take care of my story.
Do you know why we have the sunflowers?
It's not because Vincent
van Gogh suffered.
It's because Vincent van Gogh
had a brother who loved him.
Through all the pain, he had a
tether, a connection to the world.
And that... is the focus
of the story we need.
Thank you.
Then you hang up the phone
And feel badly for
upsetting things
Crawl back into bed
To dream of a time
When your heart was open wide
And you loved
things just because
Like the sick and the dying
And sometimes when you're on
You're really fucking on
And your friends,
they sing along
And they love you
But the lows are so extreme
The good seems fucking cheap
And it teases you for weeks
In its absence
But you'll fight
And you'll make it through
You'll fake it if you have to
And you'll show up for work
With a smile
And you'll be better
And you'll be smarter
And more grown-up
And a better daughter
Or son, and a
real good friend...