RTÉ comedian Katherine Lynch has spoken out about how being called a ‘fag hag’ over the years has really hurt her feelings, and how she never meant her depiction of the character Nuala in The Centre to offend transgender people: “Incitement to hatred is a massive accusation to level at anyone, and it has been heartbreaking. No one sat around a table and said, ‘Lets lampoon a trans person’.
“In fact, what we wanted to do with Nuala was create empathy… It’s comedy, though, at the end of the day and comedy represents people in exaggerated ways.
“I’ve been called a ‘fag hag’ so many times in my life and it has hurt because I’m a woman, not some addendum to a gay man’s life.
“But then you have TV comedies like Gimme Gimme Gimme, which portrays a woman as a fag hag, a sexually messed-up loser who only lives to be the friend of a gay man.
“But it’s comedy and comedy is often grotesque. Often comedy reveals truth through grotesquery and the truth central to that show was that friendship is so important.”
Katherine said she will continue to advocate for transgender rights: “Because I’ve got so many LGBT friends, I had an understanding of what trans people endure, but through the protests I learned a lot more.
“The protests gave more education to society about what trans people go through too. I am delighted that trans rights are progressing, that people are fighting for those rights, and that the Government is producing a gender recognition bill.
“Because of where I come from, who I essentially am, I am on the side of trans people, and so many people I’ve talked to are too.
“For a human being to be born into the imprisonment of a body they don’t feel is theirs is unimaginable, and the journey trans people take to self-realise is the bravest and strongest of all.”