Mimi Gonzalez is an out lesbian stand-up comedian who has been performing for almost 20 years. She’s performed at all of the major lesbian festivals, at numerous gay pride events and she’s even entertained our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan prior to the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Mimi Gonzalez has been around a lot of lesbians and she offers us her observations on lesbian dating and relationships from a comedian’s point of view.
Mimi, tell us how you got your start in stand-up comedy.
I was born the middle child between two brothers named Gerry and Louis. The three of us competed for our working single-mother’s limited attention. She was usually too exhausted from being a Detroit emergency room RN, so we came up with ways to laugh instead of cry. Like so many comics, I was the class clown. My biggest laughs came from making the high school seniors laugh in the parking lot from my freshman impersonation of Sister Leonard, the principle. She would later demand a private showing before suspending me. Comedy is really about transforming suffering into tears of joy. So after college and some failed attempts at corporate monkey business, I traded in the old-school skirted suits for time on the mic and haven’t looked back since.
One of the things you joke about in your routine is the bonobos. What do we humans have to learn from bonobos?
Better living through “humpestry!” These are the matriarchal apes whose lifestyle is more love, less war. Less war? No war. What society would not function better through humping hello to each other?
Your comedy has taken you many places, including entertaining the troops in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. How did you get invited to perform for our troops?
I can thank a sister lesbian comic for that. Poppy Champlin had the opportunity to bring an opening act with her to Japan in 2000 and she chose me. We had a great time and I did so well they invited me back to Bosnia. That was a good thing! Seeing Tupac Shakur graffiti on the sides of houses in Eastern Europe was both incongruent and edifying. My trips preceded the August repeal of DADT. Having young enlisted queers come up and bond over another member of the “family” is one of the most rewarding feelings of community ever.
It’s been said lesbians don’t have a sense of humor, what’s your response to that?
How can lesbians use humor to have success in lesbian dating?
There’s nothing funny about lesbians dating. It’s serious business. We take it strategically, weighing the investment of our time and energy against potential returns. Then we wonder if our pets will get along. Then we visualize whether our portfolios are compatible. Then we convince ourselves we don’t deserve love or deserve more love than she could ever give us or that we’re too in control or not in enough control…WAIT! We haven’t even had the first date. That’s what’s so funny about lesbian dating; we don’t really know how to do it. If only we could pretend we’re on a “play date” like kids from school.
The best way to set two friends up is to NEVER TELL THEM what you’re doing. Have a party and see if they find each other. As soon as one hears or thinks another has it for her or has a crush or is attracted, it sucks all the clear air out of the room and weighs it down with expectations of return. Or rejection. Or love actualization, finally! After all these years! Just simmer down now and see if you FEEL each other. And if you don’t…whatever. Nothing to see here. Move on.
What’s the funniest pick up line you’ve heard or used?
How do you like your eggs cooked? This is a make or break line, especially with vegans.
Where can people learn more about Mimi Gonzalez or see her live?
You can see me somewhere in your state through a gay fund-raiser, in Provincetown in the summer, aboard both Olivia’s 40th Anniversary cruises January 27-February 10, 2013. My website is: www.MimiGonzaLEZ.com, or at a rest area picking up motel coupon books and looks from lesbians.