Have you ever seen a stand-up comedy show full of straight people and clutched the arm of the person beside you, both feeling a deep sense of dread and collective responsibility for the horribly offensive jokes that will ensue? We thought so. Now here is the real question. Have you ever seen an entire cast of trans women of color perform a knockout stand-up show in front of 800+ people in a massive stained-glass church? Thought not. Welcome to Brouhaha.
Peacock Rebellion in Oakland is known for hosting this historic event: the first trans women of color comedy night. Brouhaha is a truly groundbreaking show. If you haven’t heard of the show already, click File > New Tab > and get on it. Peacock Rebellion is a grassroots organization in East Oakland that serves as an artist makers space for queer and trans people of color to gather together and create. In the rapidly changing landscape of gentrified Oakland, space for folks of color is a commodity that is both hard to come by and hard to hold onto.
To get the full breakdown of Brouhaha’s origin story, I sat down (virtually) with Lexi Adsit, the Managing Director of Peacock. Adsit explains where all the magic began:
“In 2014, activists and community leaders from Peacock brought together a cohort of about fifteen individuals located in the Bay Area to go through a comedy training program taught by established comedian Micia Mosely, Nia King, and produced by Vanessa Rochelle Lewis. After that inaugural cohort Devi, our executive director, approached myself and Luna Merbruja to create an all-trans women of color comedy show and in 2015 that show was created. Brouhaha was a vision of Devi Peacock and over the years we’ve been blessed to have an amazing crew of trainers and producers to help make it happen.”