GO Proudly Presents 100 Women We Love, Class Of 2020

Abby McEnany

Photo by Ovidiu Hrubaru: Shutterstock.com.

Self-identified “fat, queer dyke” Abby McEnany may face depression and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in her everyday life, but she’s changing the game by channeling her struggles into art. In her new show “Work In Progress,” which premiered on Showtime last year, McEnany plays a fictionalized version of herself — but that doesn’t mean she censors her experiences to make the audience comfortable. “The thing about our show is it’s not all palatable queers,” McEnany tells IndieWire. “For middle America or whatever America, I’m not a palatable queer. Right? I’m this fat, loud, gray-haired, masculine, queer dyke who’s a mess. But the goal of this show is, hopefully — for folks out there that feel isolated — to show that there’s a life out there without shame.” The series focuses on Abby (played by McEnany) as her plans to commit suicide are interrupted by an unexpected romance with a much younger trans man (played by Theo Germaine). As the relationship develops, so too does Abby as she is forced to open up about her sexual hang-ups, self-loathing, suicidal ideation, and other mental health issues. Don’t worry, though; “Work In Progress” is a side-splitting comedy thanks to McEnany’s experience with the Chicago comedy scene. From being a member of Second City’s touring company to leading an ensemble at the Chicago Playground Theater, expression through laughter has always been a major part of McEnany’s life. “It might sound hyperbolic, … but humour has saved my life,” she tells The Guardian. “Humour has gotten me through some really hard times.” —IL

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