If you’re in charge of scheduling campus events at your school, you know how important it is to bring in a diverse lineup of activities. Finding events that provide a balance of entertainment as well education can be tricky though. This installation of our Neon Spotlight series focuses on an individual who can satisfy both of these needs. We’d like to introduce you to Kristen Becker, a lesbian comedian who’s also an activist for social change.
Kristen made a name for herself while performing stand-up in Buffalo NY. Her brand of LGBT comedy manages to captivate audiences straight and gay alike. Kristen recently sat down with us for an interview to talk about her comedy and bringing about social change. If you want to learn more about Kristen and what she’s been up to, this Neon spotlight podcast is one you won’t want to miss!
Kristen was born in Buffalo NY but moved to Louisiana when she was nine. Growing up as a gender non-conformant in the “deep south” opened her eyes to the reality of prejudice against the LGBTQ community. Years later she moved away but remained outspoken about equal gender rights and even testified on behalf of a nondiscrimination bill proposed in Louisiana.
Back in Buffalo she began to hone her craft as a comic, winning affection with her humor and unique northern personality mixed with southern charm. She became a regular on the Buffalo comedy scene and eventually formed a comedy troupe known as the “Dykes of Hazzard.” Her show was wildly popular and regularly sold out many of Buffalo’s larger comedy venues and helped her earn the unofficial title of Buffalo’s Queen of Comedy.
What have you been up to?
Over the last two years Kristen has teamed up with christian pastor Jay Bakker to form a traveling lecture/comedy series titled Loosen the Bible Belt. Kristen, Jay and a few others tour the country with the mission of opening up the discussion on gender equality.
Pastor Jay gives a sermon of acceptance and Kristen follows him with a stand-up routine to lighten the mood. After all what better way to raise awareness and inspire people than with a combination of love and laughter!
In the interview Kristen touches on the kinds of reactions the tour received. She talks about the many positive reactions but also how there are individuals who challenge what they’re doing. She recalls a story of a gentleman who started heckling Jay during his talk.
They met with the man after the show and had a long discussion. Although their conversation got heated at times, they wound up hugging and parting on good terms. Despite the positive and negative feedback, Kristen knows that their show has been a success.
“It’s really just about getting people into a room while having differing viewpoints and everyone navigating it together. And in the end we’ve all shared that experience of those mixed emotions”
From the beginning the primary goal was always about opening a platform for discussion. It would be impossible to deny the effectiveness of the tour when measured through that lense.
In the works
Loosen the Bible Belt even made enough waves to spark some interest with a film producer in Buffalo. After some discussion it was agreed to make Loosen the Bible Belt into a documentary produced right in Kristen’s hometown of Buffalo. The film will touch on the success and reactions to the tour while focusing on the incredible people involved who make it possible.
Even with touring the country, working on a documentary and still performing stand-up routines on occasion, Kristen has the drive to do more. When asked about other interesting plans for the future she told us about a one woman Christmas show she has planned to debut this year.
The show features an up close look at the Clause family featuring her character Sandy Clause; who she described as “Santa’s older, gayer, drunker sister.” Check out the podcast for more details on this hilarious character. One thing if for certain, this show should make for an incredibly funny and memorable evening this holiday season.
Kristen Becker is now available to be booked through Neon Entertainment for your next campus event! Her comedy routine will make for a raucous good time while raising awareness and promoting LGBTQ acceptance. If you’d like to have Kristen speak at your next campus event give Neon Entertainment a call today to get started.