We may be in 2022, but LGBTQ+ rights are still a discussion in the White House, which makes it that much more important to celebrate pride. Yes, June is the month for us to raise our rainbow flags and sing at the top of our lungs, but more importantly, it’s a time to remind us of the Stonewall riots led mostly by Black gay and trans activists in the 1960s. While we want to commemorate those who paved a path for equality, we also want to laugh and celebrate some of the best LGBTQ+ comedians.
Between the Netflix Is a Joke Festival releasing comedy specials throughout the month of June, as well as a resurgence of post-pandemic live comedy, stand-up is more pervasive than ever. Thankfully, there are plenty of gay, trans, lesbian, bi, and non-binary comedians for us to support and laugh along with, so here are the best comedy specials to watch for Pride Month in chronological order.
Eddie Izzard — 'Dress to Kill' (1999)
Eddie Izzard’s first special came out in 1993, when she was already addressing her gender fluidity. But in 2020, she explained that she wants “to be based in girl mode from now on.” We can’t celebrate pride month comedy without acknowledging Eddie Izzard’s influence on both the genre and the movement. Dress to Kill is a particularly hilarious special of hers in which she does her famous satirical depiction of Church of England fundamentalism.
Dress to Kill is available to stream on Amazon Prime.
Tig Notaro — 'Boyish Girl Interrupted' (2015)
While Boyish Girl Interrupted is Tig Notaro’s first full-hour stand-up set, she first grew to popularity after discussing her cancer diagnosis live on-stage. In this special, Tig discusses her gender fluid appearance and her experience as a lesbian woman in 2015. Her masterful tone and joke writing make it no surprise that she’s now a household name amongst comedy lovers.
Boyish Girl Interrupted is available to stream on HBO Max.
Bob the Drag Queen — 'Suspiciously Large Woman' (2017)
In this special, RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 8 winner Bob the Drag Queen goes back to her hometown, Atlanta, Ga. to deliver a fun and thoughtful special. We fully stan Bob the Drag Queen and her special that explores fame, fashion, sex, politics, and white people.
Suspiciously Large Woman is available to stream on Amazon Prime.
Hannah Gadsby — 'Nanette' (2018)
Hannah Gadsby’s inaugural Netflix special became a point of conversation about what it means to perform and enjoy comedy. Can comedy be political and social commentary? Does it have to be funny all the time? Hannah discusses LGBTQ+ and women’s perspectives, along with mental illness and neurodivergence during the Trump era. Nanette never fails to disappoint. It can be argued that Hannah’s special marks the beginning of a new era of stand-up comedy.
Nanette is available to stream on Netflix.
Jessica Kirson — 'Talking to Myself' (2019)
In this Bill Burr Presents special, self-proclaimed “40-year-old Jewish lesbian” Jessica Kirson takes on a room of bewildered audience members. Without a doubt, every Jessy Kirson set will leave you in stitches. Her seasoned comedic timing and writing is some of the best in the business as she recounts her one-night stands while talking to herself onstage.
Bill Burr Presents Jessica Kirson: Talking to Myself is available to rent or purchase on Amazon.
Jerrod Carmichael — 'Rothaniel' (2022)
Very recently, Jerrod Carmichael came out as gay to the public in his 2022 special, Rothaniel. The show is also funny and provocative. He’s always pushed the boundaries in his stand-up, telling jokes about Trayvon Martin and about life as a descendant of enslaved people. But Rothaniel, which is directed by fellow comic Bo Burnham, is a new, personal special in which he says on-stage for the first time, “I’m gay.” He follows this with jokes that explore, question, and make light of embracing his sexuality.
Rothaniel is available to stream on HBO Max.
'LGBTQ+ Stand Out' (2022)
Netflix’s newest special from the Netflix Is a Joke Festival is a celebration of all things LGBTQ+. Hosted by Billy Eichner, with headliners Margaret Cho, Wanda Sykes, Eddie Izzard, Sandra Bernhard, Tig Notaro, and Rosie O’Donnell, this special features many of the best LGBTQ+ performers today. Some other favorite comics featured are Mae Martin, Patti Harrison, and Matteo Lane, so this special cannot be missed in this year’s Pride Month celebrations.
LGBTQ+ Stand Out drops on Netflix on June 9.
If you or someone you know is a member of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning community and need support, the LGBT National Help Center provides free and confidential resources.