Suzanne Westenhoefer

Suzanne Westenhoefer Courtesy of Suzanne Westenhoefer

In May 2022, comedian Suzanne Westenhoefer will have been touring for 30 years, an accomplishment that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Having been out since the 1990s, Westenhoefer has proven that being yourself isn’t an obstacle — it’s a benefit. “I’m delighted to say that ‘being out’ is the reason I have a career,” she tells GO. “Being openly lesbian in the 1990s was beyond rare in the entertainment world. It made me stand out, get noticed, and succeed.” Her advice to the LGBTQ+ community? “Community first. We are not each other’s enemy. We come in all colors and creeds, so there are real enemies and your energy should focus only on fighting/teaching them.” She takes this advice seriously herself, using her comedy to poke fun at her own community while creating an intimacy and openness with audiences. Her sets include jokes about her partner’s conservative family, something many in her audiences can relate to. Westenhoefer speaks the truth that sometimes life can be difficult for LGBTQ+ people, but she also shows that we are still able to laugh it off — a key aspect in living life loud and proud. Her ability to talk openly about her experiences gives her power in any room, as she commands audiences’ respect while earning their laughs. —NT

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