Transgender comedian Ian Harvie fuels comedy with Trans experiences

Comedian Ian Harvie is pictured during his performance at the Student Union Theater on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015. (Jason Jiang/The Daily Campus)

Transgender stand-up comedian Ian Harvie talked about transitioning to a transgender man, arousing bursts of laughter from a small audience in the Student Union Theater Thursday night. 

“I am queer and transgender,” Harvie said. “I was born a girl.”

Harvie talked about the process of transitioning with a series of jokes about his experiences. He said that the freedom he felt after his breasts were removed was incredibly relieving. 

“I always wanted to know how much my boobs weighed, so I went to the grocery store,” Harvie said.  “I was carrying Olsen twins on my chest.” 

The next step in his transition was to purchase a penis with his girlfriend.

 “It’s a beautiful part of a relationship when you get to go c**k shopping,” Harvie said. 

With the support of his family and girlfriend, Harvie said that being transgender is not hard for him, but is a struggle for many others who are persecuted and murdered for being transgender. This violence is often misconstrued as “transpanic” on the part of the aggressor, Harvie said.  

“Transpanic is when you forget to take testosterone and your period comes back,” Harvie said. 

When Harvie began his transition, the use of testosterone caused changes that Harvie said were difficult to control.

“I had that feud inside,” Harvie said. “Between the girl voice I was socialized with and the guy voice.” 

His girl voice kept telling him to stop objectifying women as the testosterone increased his desire for sex, Harvie said.  

As a transgender man, Harvie said he felt like he was in a community where he was free to choose anybody he liked as a partner. Gay or lesbian communities often don’t allow that freedom because the other gender is ostracized, Harvie said.

“The more I identify with these I.Ds, the less I feel that I need them,” Harvie said about the use of gender identifiers. “The importance of keeping them is for legislation to protect people that need it.” 

Despite the criticisms people have toward modifications made by those that are transitioning, Harvie said celebrities like the Kardashians have modified themselves to a much greater extent, but don’t get the same criticism. 

Caitlyn Jenner on the other hand, Harvie said, is a great voice for the transgender community. 

Harvie’s career as a transgender comedian began with a childhood obsession with comedy, he said. After going to a comedy workshop, he realized that it was his passion. 

His stand-up comedy show was followed by questions from students who wanted to learn more about his transition and how he came to accept his identity.

“It was nice to hear a refreshing side to things,” Molley Smith, a first semester student, said.


Diler Haji is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus.