‘Peacock Rebellion’ Empowers Queer Comics of Color to Find Their Voices

By Sameer Rao Jun 22, 2016

For "Peacock Rebellion" co-creator Manish Vaidya, stand-up comedy isn’t just entertainment—it’s a space for healing, empowerment and social change. 

"People are open to so much when they are coming to be entertained," said the Bay Area-based performer and organizer, who identifies as non-binary and uses the pronoun "they." "There’s so much radical potential there."

As they described in a new story from KQED, Vaidya turned to comedy to deal with their struggles as a "scrawny Hindu, queer, closeted, disabled kid in Catholic school in a really White town where one of the main extracurricular activities was the KKK." They created Peacock Rebellion, a collective of artists and activists that brings queer people of color together for creative events and workshops that build community. One of those workshops, Brouhaha, trains participants in stand-up comedy and offers performance opportunities in popular stand-up showcases.

As Vaidya tells KQED, the workshop creates space for performers often overlooked or discriminated against in stand-up settings. "We just wanna make the art, get paid for the art and get our stuff out there," Vaidya says. "We deserve to have access to high quality training without the bullshit."

Read the full article here.