LGBTQ Rights Are No Laughing Matter for Comic Suzanne Westenhoefer

Suzanne Westenhoefer brings her spontaneous comedy to the Rrazz Room in Coral Springs on Dec. 12. Credit: Ellie Perez

Suzanne Westenhoefer isn’t sure what she’s going to talk about when she brings her act to The Rrazz Room at the Coral Springs Museum of Art next week.

A veteran comic who got her start 25 years ago on open mic nights in the comedy clubs of New York, Westenhoefer is notorious for never doing the same show twice or even writing down her jokes.

She may choose to talk about her dinner tonight with former Secretary of State and Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Yes, Westenhoefer should be getting ready for the high profile engagement, but she’s doing a phone interview, instead.

“I’ve been really struggling with what I can say if I catch her attention,” admits Westenhoefer, who is rarely at a loss for words. “I am really, really political, like, since I was about 19. I’ll probably blurt out something brilliant like, ‘The lesbians are right behind you, right where you want them’.”

An attractive woman, Westenhoefer first came on the national scene on a 1991 broadcast of the syndicated “Sally Jessy Raphael” talk show, ironically titled, “Breaking the Lesbian Stereotype….Lesbians Who Don’t Look Like Lesbians.”

“Can you believe it? It would be so insulting now, but it was normal then,” she recalled, “and you know what? People went insane.”

For the next couple of years, Westenhoefer and her girlfriend would attend parties with other women and, invariably, someone would whip out a videotape of the episode and they would all watch that show, whether they realized she was in the room or not.

“It made me feel like a superhero, it was a neat way to be introduced,” she said.

And while times have certainly changed, Westenhoefer warns the LGBTQ community not to become complacent with recent victories.

The amateur politico warns the next president will appoint at least three Supreme Court justices and hard-fought gains could be reversed just as easily.

She repeated the popular Facebook meme, “In most states you can get married on Saturday to your same sex partner and get fired for being gay on Monday. We have to remind ourselves we are still not the majority. We have to continue marching.”

Westenhoefer also worries that the LGBTQ community may lose its history and sense of identity as we are assimilated into mainstream culture.

“There’s something that’s been lost with our acceptance. Some of our history has been lost. There’s not an intense need to know where we’ve come from and it’s not very smart for us. One bad president could change everything for everyone who’s queer in the United States,” she warned, like Donald Trump, but it would take another article to capture all her comments on the blustery businessman who would be President.

But don’t expect political rants at the Rrazz Room because the always charming Westenhoefer tends to shy away from politics in her acts.

“I really like to talk about the weird things that happen to me, like accidents,” she promised, “and my dinner with Hillary Clinton.”

And she wants the gay guys to know that—even though she’s a lesbian comic—they’re going to love the show.

She urged, “Do me one favor, tell the gay guys to come out. A lot of times, they think I won’t have anything to say that relates to them.”

I just want to know what she ends up asking Clinton. Chances are it will get some laughs.

Comedian Suzanne Westenhoefer appears at The Rrazz Room at the Coral Springs Museum of Art, 2855 Coral Springs Drive, on Saturday, Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $33.92 at CoralSpringsCenterForTheArts.com.


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