Stephen Bailey: I never experienced homophobia – until I started comedy | Stand-up reveals the abuse he gets

Stephen Bailey: I never experienced homophobia – until I started comedy

Stand-up reveals the abuse he gets

Stephen Bailey says he never suffered homophobic abuse until he became a stand-up. 

His comments come in a podcast in which host Nathan Cassidy, a fellow stand-up, recalled a gig where they shared a bill, and he witnessed the audience shout ‘awful homophobic abuse’ so bad that it made him feel sick.

Asked how that made him feel, Bailey said: ‘I have never experienced homophobia in my life until I put myself on the stage; since this industry…

‘I have to go up, prove I’m good at my job, smash it and keep smashing it. Because the minute you give them a beat, that shit happens.

‘And this is in a woke, forward-thinking industry, and I feel worse about my sexuality in this industry than I ever had coming into it.’

He said that before he started working in comedy he only interacted with a ‘safe’ circle of friends, but  ‘now I put myself out there in this forum were it’s like "come and get it" – and people do.’

Bailey – who appeared on Channel 5’s Celebrity 5 Go Camping and is the agony uncle on Zoe Ball’s Radio 2 show – also talks about being working-class in comedy.

Perhaps counterintuitively, he describes how it helped him become less jealous of other people’s success, explaining that that having no inherited wealth to fall back on means he has the drive to work hard and earn money, rather than obsessing about getting a big break. ‘It stops me mad and going bitter and jealous,’ he said.

The comments came on Psycomedy, in which Cassidy – who has a degree in psychology – explores the mental workings of stand-up.

Here’s the clip in which Bailey talks about homophobia. 

The full podcast is available <a href="http://www.nathancassidy.com/psycomedy.html">here</a>.

Published: 12 Nov 2019

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