• Comedian Julia Scotti is making a comeback. (WireImage)Source: WireImage
“Whenever I start to talk about it to cisgender audiences, a little piece of me is going 'they get it, what I’m talking about. They’re not condemning me for being who I am. They understand,'” she explains. “That’s cool.”
By
SBS staff writers

17 Aug 2020 - 12:06 PM  UPDATED 17 Aug 2020 - 12:06 PM

A new documentary is showcasing the professional comeback of 65-year-old comedian Julia Scotti who, at 50, came out as transgender and feared she'd never work again.

Julia Scotti: Funny That Way, directed by Susan Sandler, is a poignant reflection on Scotti’s life and transition, while following her journey towards a comedy comeback.

Speaking to LGBTQ Nation, Scotti reveals that her relationship with her children was fractured for years following her transition, but that she now holds a renewed focus on helping other young trans and non-binary people thrive and flourish as their authentic selves.

"I did lose my children for 14 years," she says in the interview.

"They are now back in my life. I’ll tell you one thing: I got out of comedy the year I transitioned. I started teaching that year; it was my first year. That was the most frightening thing I’ve ever done. I’ve stood in front of thousands of people performing, and that’s nothing compared to standing in front of a room full of sixth graders."

She continues: "I’ve always been someone to champion underdogs. Now I am one. But I’ve always had a soft spot for kids too. So that’s where my heart lies.

"If I can help kids by living the life I’m living honestly, then that’s where I want to be mentally."

Before COVID-19 hit, making performing arts increasingly difficult, Scotti was enjoying the thrill of being back on stage.

"I never intended to come back to stand-up as a career. If a friend offered me a spot, I went up and did it, but it was always with two criteria. I said I would never get on stage again unless: A) I could be totally truthful; and B) fearless. That meant talking about this, the 800-pound gorilla in the room. So right from Jump Street, I was talking about it. It wasn’t my whole act, but it was a chunk of it.

“Whenever I start to talk about it to cisgender audiences, a little piece of me is going 'they get it, what I’m talking about. They’re not condemning me for being who I am. They understand,'” she explained.

“That’s cool.”

You can read the full interview here.

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