Onstage and off, performer/producer/activist Kristen Becker’s role is that of creative instigator. Raised in conservative Shreveport, Louisiana, the longtime comedian has opened for Ani DiFranco, contributed to The Advocate, and served as first general manager of Helium Comedy Club, a position that saw her featured on the cover of Buffalo News’ entertainment section as “Buffalo’s Queen of Comedy.” With Pastor Jay Bakker (son of Jim and Tammy Faye), in 2015 Becker embarked on an ideological exploration of the Deep South. Their Loosen the Bible Belt variety tour emphasized humanity over hypocrisy, offering unifying voices to bridge the gap between religious groups and LGBTQI communities.2016 saw her founding the Summer of Sass, a nonprofit collective freeing young LGBTQI adults from damaging religious climates to live, work, and personally thrive in the liberal haven of Provincetown, Massachusetts. Vice called the experiment “the kind of formative experience that can change – or save – lives.” The Boston Globe agreed, lauding the environment as one where “gender is not an issue, where the specter of being bullied is not a daily fear.”Her childhood, divided between the rust belt and the deep south, has left her uniquely able to connect with all manner of people. Becker’s ability to win the affection of such a wide range of audiences is due to her understated southern charm juxtaposed against a raucous and powerful persona. She is truly a comic of the people.