Masculinity is back! The lesbian comics rediscovering their butch side

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01/07/2020

Sarah Keyworth has, she says, a “weird kind of relationship with masculinity”. She appears confident in her dapper, boyish looks, with her short quiffed hair, but behind that handsome veneer are insecurities. “I almost have toxic masculinity,” she says, “in that I can never meet the standards that I think masculinity has. I’m not big and I’m not strong, physically or emotionally.” And she cries, she says. She cries a lot. The Nottingham-raised, 26-year-old comic is among a crop of lesbian and queer comedians embracing their masculinity on stage in the era of #MeToo, after years of being made to feel ashamed. Their stories were, arguably, smashed on to the mainstream circuit with the global success of Hannah Gadsby’s moving show Nanette, in which she refused to make any more self-deprecating jokes about being a gender non-conforming woman.

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