As February rolls around, so too does LGBTQ+ History Month, and it is crucial to highlight a range of diverse voices that make up the community. As it should be a chance to celebrate the progress we have made as a society and a reminder that we still have a long way to reach equality in the form of authentic representation for all identities that make up the community. Not just the stereotypes that are perpetuated on screen.
Suzi Ruffell is a British comedian that you have probably heard of as she has been on shows like Mock the Week, The Last Leg and 8 Out of 10 Cats. She also appeared as a featured comedian at Live at the Apollo, which is arguably the apex of any comedian career and touring around the country with notable comedians such as Alan Carr and Joe Lycett.
Ruffell is an out and proud lesbian, and her sexuality is ingrained within her comedy coupled with her working-class background and family. Her being so open on her platform normalises being out and allows families to see authentic representation on their TV. In a recent interview, she states that: “if I wasn’t out, I wouldn’t be a very good comic,” emphasising that her honesty not only made her a better comedian but a more well-rounded human.
However, with the entertainment industry suffering during lockdown Ruffell used her spare time to create her new podcast OUT with Suzi Ruffell. May I just say this has been a godsend during the lockdown, providing me with the best running material. Her podcast’s premise is that she interviews a new guest each week to talk about their coming out experiences and their identity. Ruffell has interviewed fellow comedians, actors, and activists from varying sexualities and gender identities, all coming from different backgrounds and cultures.
These podcasts strike the perfect balance between heartfelt and informative stories. You gain a greater understanding of the individual experiences partnered with Ruffell natural, fun-loving personality that will have you in stitches. This perfect combination eliminates any stigma and opens the lines of communication.
Ruffell is crucial for us to further progress in our society. Ruffell recognises her own privilege as an accepted white lesbian, using her platform to celebrate other experiences and let people who aren’t as represented tell their story in their own words.
This is vital as it recognises that we don’t understand everyone’s individual stories as a diverse community. Hence, we need to listen and not just assume, as this is how we learn and grow.
You can find all two seasons of Out with Suzi Ruffell on all leading podcast platforms.
Featured Image Credit: BBC