GO Proudly Presents: 100 Women We Love, Class Of 2022

Lea DeLaria

by Tina Turnbow

What has been the most rewarding aspect of Lea DeLaria’s career, other than the attention it earns her from the ladies? “That I have been able to do everything I do everywhere in the world without ever having been in the closet, or compromising my butchness,” the comedy legend tells GO. Since starting in stand-up in 1982, DeLaria has been unapologetic about who she is. And though finding success in an industry that isn’t known for rewarding butch lesbians is no small feat, DeLaria sure makes it look easy. She was the first openly gay comic to perform on television back in 1993. Her television credits include Orange is the New Black, Shameless, Law and Order: SVU, and Broad City, just to name a few. A celebrated jazz singer, she has performed at numerous prestigious venues including the Newport Jazz Festival, Lincoln Center, and the Royal Albert Hall, and has released six jazz records. She currently plays ‘Queenie’ on Hulu’s Reprisal; is the voice of Molly Yarnchopper on Netflix’s animated series, Kipo and the Age of the Wonder Beasts; and can be seen on Broadway in the show, POTUS: Or Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive, currently playing at the Shubert Theater. As an out woman in the entertainment industry she’s encountered no shortage of setbacks, but fortunately DeLaria has the perfect platform: “I talk about all of it on stage,” she says. “I endeavor to never allow a moment’s peace for the assholes who try to keep us down.” –AB

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