The Story of a Queer Comic & A Knee Replacement. Mostly in Pictures

The Story of a Queer Comic & A Knee Replacement. Mostly in Pictures

Once upon a time in a land called Brooklyn there was a queer comic who could no longer travel to other far off lands to perform, nor even really walk around her apartment, all because she had a messed up hip.

Her friends got together and raised money so she could buy insurance. And when the queer comic went to the fancy big city doctor she found that the problem was never her hip, or at least not at first. Her problem was her knee which had been destroyed by getting hit by a car at age 12, kneeling on a bare concrete floor for four hours a day for a few years and other general knee abuse. The lucky result of this good diagnosis meant that there was also a good solution, albeit an unpleasant one: a total knee replacement surgery.

A few hours post op. The Queer Comic was moved into a room with a person kept refusing her Haldol. It was a long night.

A few hours post op. The Queer Comic was moved into a room with another patient who kept refusing to take her Haldol. It was a bit of a long night and the Queer Comic was glad for company of friends.

Still life with drain. One of the Queer Comic's friends thought that was a container of dried fruit. It was not

Still life with drain. One of the Queer Comic’s friends thought that was a container of dried fruit. It was not.

This photo was on the Queer comic's phone but she doesn't remember it being taken. It was probably taken by another queer comic friend of Kelli's who also brought her a copy of People and attempted to quiz the Queer Comic about celebrity names.

This photo was on the Queer Comic’s phone but she doesn’t remember it being taken. It was probably taken by another queer comic friend of Kelli’s who also brought her a copy of People and attempted to quiz the Queer Comic about celebrity names. The Queer Comic did not do very well on this quiz.

Post Op Day 2. The Queer Comic was already walking around with a walker, albeit not very happily.

Post Op Day 2. The Queer Comic was already walking around with a walker, albeit not very happily.

Can you find the knee in this photo? Knee replacements are like the Olympic champions of swelling. Some people have swelling for as long as one year post replacement. The Queer Comic found this out after the surgery, and was glad she hadn't known about this fact earlier.

Can you find the knee in this photo? Knee replacements are like the Olympic champions of swelling. Some people have swelling for as long as one year post replacement. The Queer Comic found this out after the surgery, and was glad she hadn’t known about this fact earlier.

The Queer Comic's friends have been amazing through this whole process. They brought hummus and tiny tigers. Or lions.

The Queer Comic’s friends have been amazing through this whole process. They brought hummus and tiny tigers. Or maybe lions.

And then the Queer Comic was very happy to go home. Friends and family visited, and a visiting nurse removed the dressing allowing the Queer Comic to see the incision for the first time. It was not a small incision, and the Queer Comic is not very tall, so the incision looks all the larger in comparison.

And then the Queer Comic was very happy to go home. Friends and family visited, and a visiting nurse removed the dressing allowing the Queer Comic to see the incision for the first time. It was not a small incision, and the Queer Comic is not very tall, so the incision looked all the larger in comparison.

There is little in the world more gay than a middle aged lesbian with a knee problem who returns home post surgery to have the resident cat immediately sit on that knee.

Still Life With Feline and Ice. There is little in the world more gay than a middle aged lesbian with a knee problem who returns home post surgery to have the resident cat immediately sit on that knee.

This is the bruise that the Queer Comic had on her back from the spinal anesthesia. Bruise or no, spinal anesthesia beats the hell out of waking up out of general anesthesia, confused and in horrible pain. Bring on the bruises, says the Queer Comic. And not even in a kinky way this time.

This is the bruise that the Queer Comic had on her back from the spinal anesthesia. Bruise or no, spinal anesthesia beats the hell out of waking up out of general anesthesia, confused and in horrible pain. Bring on the bruises, says the Queer Comic. And not even in a kinky way this time.

About five days post-op. The swelling is starting to subside, but there is little sign of an actual kneecap.

About five days post-op. The swelling is starting to subside, but there is little sign of an actual kneecap.

The Queer Comic's mom took this photo. If you look closely, you can see the Queer Comic is being guarded by Lulu the Cat. "Guarded"

The Queer Comic’s mom took this photo. If you look closely, you can see the Queer Comic is being guarded by Lulu the Cat. “Guarded”

Post Knee Replacement, there is no comfortable way to sleep. Even four weeks post op this is true. The cat positioning doesn't help much either, but it sure is cute.

Post Knee Replacement, there is no comfortable way to sleep. Even four weeks post op this is true. The cat positioning doesn’t help much either, but it sure is cute.

The Queer Comic's sister came to visit and brought her wonderful children, only one of who is an actual child. Everyone had a great time making science fiction themed shrinky dinks.

The Queer Comic’s sister came to visit and brought her wonderful children, only one of who is an actual child. Everyone had a great time making science fiction themed shrinky dinks.

Because of a mix-up/miscommunication at the surgeon's office, the Queer Comic couldn't get an appointment to get the stitches out until mid January. The Queer Comic is also a nurse and decided to take out her own stitches. This is just before removing them.

Because of a mix-up/miscommunication at the surgeon’s office, the Queer Comic couldn’t get an appointment to get the stitches out until mid January. The Queer Comic is also a nurse and decided to take out her own stitches. This is the incision just before removing said stitches.

And this is just after removing them. Not bad huh? The Queer Comic felt very very proud of herself. Perhaps ridiculously so.

And this is just after removing them. Not bad huh? The Queer Comic felt very very proud of herself. Perhaps ridiculously so.

These are the stitches after they came out. Kelli kept them for a while but after even her least squeamish friend didn't want to look at them, the Queer Comic threw them away.

These are the stitches after they came out. Kelli kept them for a while but after even her least squeamish friend didn’t want to look at them, the Queer Comic threw them away.

The Queer Comic had a lot of problems getting outpatient physical therapy set up, so with some help from friends, she created her own program. 11 exercises, three times a day. Even four weeks post op, it's pretty unpleasant.

The Queer Comic had a lot of problems getting outpatient physical therapy set up, so with some help from friends, she created her own program. 11 exercises, three times a day. Because anything worth doing is worth overdoing, says the Queer Comic.

And here is the knee, four weeks post op. Note the standing position!

And here is the knee, four weeks post op. Note the Queer Comic is in the standing position! Tap dancing video to come.

There really is a tap dancing video to come, so keep in touch!.

And if you’re in the New York area and you’re interested in hearing all the hilarious tales of the Queer Comic and her knee surgery, come to Stand Up Standing Up and Other Hilarious Tales of Queer Health on 1/25 at the Stonewall. More info and advance ticket link right here.

ALL NEW SHOW!

ALL NEW SHOW!

STAND UP STANDING UP AND OTHER RED AND BLACK

Kelli Dunham is everyone’s favorite ex-nun genderqueer nerd comic and now she is celebrating her knee replacement the only way she knows how to deal with difficulty: making comedy about it.

You’ll learn what her knee was replaced with (hint: not, as you might think, with a Diet Mountain Dew filled implant), what happened when her super queer Brookyn support team met her super Midwestern mother, and five gender-larious mix-ups in the hospital.

With special guest comic superstar Red Durkin!

Sliding scale advance tickets now available, 8-15 bucks here. If you need the scale to slide lower, no problem, email kellidunham@gmail.com.

More info and RSVP on the facebook event page.

PS To celebrate Facebook banning the event jpeg Kelli created to promote the event, we’ll be giving numbered, autographed prints of the close up of Kelli’s incision to the first five people in the door.

SQUARER

 

Yeah FREAK OF NURTURE is HERE

Yeah FREAK OF NURTURE is HERE

So let’s say you’ve been wanting to share some Kelli Dunham comedy but you hate going to clubs. Or colleges. Or prides. Or coffeehouses. Or maybe you’d like to hear a little more in depth behind the scenes look at why I was a nun, or all the funny stuff that happens when you lose two partners in a row, or you wish some of my stories about living in Haiti were written down.

Or maybe you lead a high school GSA or college LGBT student’s group and want to bring me to your school but you are having convincing more serious minded folks that you can a stand up comic to your school without some kind of international incident. PHOTO OF REVIEW COPY OF FREAK OF NURTURE

Wellsireeee my friend, you’re in luck. Kelli is Serious Now. Kelli’s fifth book (and her first personal/queer) book FREAK OF NURTURE has just been released by the groundbreaking Topside Press. You can read more about the stories and essay contained within on Kelli’s blog for the book you can buy it right now, or if you’re anywhere in the New York area, come out to the event release reading at (naturally) the Sealy Cuyler Funeral Home on May 18.

And if you need help explaining Freak of Nurture to your friends, just show ‘em this Venn Diagram. A Venn Diagram always helps.

Totally clear it up, right?

Totally clears it up, right?

 

RANDOM SHIT I SAY ON STAGE: COMEDY/THERAPY FINE LINE DIVISION

RANDOM SHIT I SAY ON STAGE: COMEDY/THERAPY FINE LINE DIVISION

It’s time for another installment of RANDOM SHIT I SAY ON STAGE, even though, um, this is first one. And might be the last. We’ll see.

Recently my ex-therapist started dating my room-mate. Which is not the punchline. Or even particularly surprising. They processed it with me about a million times and were totally fair blah blah. What is is interesting about this (besides the neverending adventure in overlap that is NYCqueerbrooklynqueerlife) is a friend asked me why it didn’t bother me. And it’s simple: my therapist doesn’t know anything I don’t already say to a room full of drunk strangers. With a mic in my hand. Hopefully, my therapist’s feedback is pretty different (especially from that chick who yelled “your therapist wants to kill herself” at a Rainbow Mountain gig) . Also, let’s hope I’m funnier on stage than in therapy.

But the same subject matter.

Which brings me to the bit about RANDOM SHIT I SAY ON STAGE. It happened at the Rapier Wit Comedy show, one of the very few mainstream comedy club shows I will do and a very good time. The crowd, for the love of mike, was almost completely straight. And they were sweet compassionate people. So of course I couldn’t resist teasing them about their desire to adopt me instead of laughing at.

Because you know we can’t have straight people being nice to us. That, apparently will ruin the whole thing.

They were just trying to be nice. Really they were.

They were just trying to be nice. Really they were.

Anyway you can listen to the whole thing, including 45 second of me messing around with the mic for no reason other than to raise tension in the room so the too kind crowd would laugh at me. It worked. Kind of.

LIVE FROM RAPIER WIT

JUST READ IT

JUST READ IT

THE COLLECTION

THE COLLECTION: SHORT FICTION FROM THE TRANSGENDER VANGUARD TOM LEGER AND RILEY MACLEOD, ED.

I’m not picky about most things. In fact, I probably have a reputation for being ANTI-picky.

This is not hyperbole. I’ve eaten sardines from the dollar store. Twice.

I am; however, very picky about fiction, because I’m careful about what kind of made up characters I let into my emotional life, since I haven’t always been so discerning about the real-life ones I’ve opened up to.

And ever since that unfortunate seventh grade incident with the Norton’s Anthology of English Literature (for the record, tractors and 800 page books don’t mix) any written work that could conceivably be labeled “a tome” makes me decidedly uneasy.

So even though I’ve been excited about Topside Press and very excited about The Collection, I was still afraid of it. Just a little.

Because of my irrational fear, I didn’t pick the book up until way too late on a weeknight. And I have this to say to editors Leger and MacLeod and their transgender vanguard: Thanks a heap. I didn’t need to be awake for those important meetings the next day anyway.

It started innocently. I’d read one story, begin to give a shit about the main character and think “I’ll just read one more.”

Then I’d read another story, find the setting fascinating and think “Okay just one more.”

And then I’d read the next piece and think “Hmmm, I wonder if those two are going to work it out” and this continued until the Brooklyn sunrise was peeking through my window and my cat was annoyed with me for never having turned out the light.

I’ll admit, I had some favorites. Casey Plett’s Other Women, in which the protagonist shudders through not only part of a Winnipeg winter but also a whole lot of prayers and the recitation of at least one Bible verse was charming in its chronicling of the complexity of even the most simple of relationships. M Robin Cook’s Birthrights demonstrates that, in the hands of a talented writer, dialogue can be simultaneously stark and warm. You can’t help but cheer for both Tony and Rose in Alice Doyle’s Two Girls, even if you’re not sure you should be cheering for them together. And after the 90s, I would have thought nothing could ever get me to read an account, fictional or not, of any support group meeting in any LGBT community center, ever. But the realistic juxtaposition of the snide and earnest dialogue in Elliott Deline’s Dean and Teddy alternately made me laugh and wince and kept me reading until the end of the story which—and this was probably inevitable– involved a shared cigarette after the meeting.

The beauty of these stories is that they weren’t all beautiful. Or all funny. Or all scary. Or all anything for that matter. The only thing the stories have in common is that they are character driven fiction that is lively, well-written, thoughtfully crafted, and beautifully edited throughout.

One last thing Topside. It maybe be true that you kept me up all night, but don’t think for one minute that I am truly satisfied. The Collection may be ground-breaking, but it’s also an exceptional read. I hope you’ve got plans for The Collection 2013 because there’s no way this can be anything less an annual event.

THE COLLECTION’s official release date is October 16th. You can direct order a copy here.