The Struggle is (Not) Real?

by  | Feb 27, 2021 

Hot Hot Comedy

This comic’s pronouns: hee/haw

Heather Shaw Orlando comic

Virally Successful Orlando Comic Heather Shaw on Privilege and Haters

Does it make you mad when an entertainer from a marginalized group seems to effortlessly rise to the top without the anguished struggle that characterizes the journey of her comrades? If so, you’ll be pissed at Heather Shaw. 

First of all, she is hilarious and lot of people know it. As of today, she has 1.1 million TikTok followers, and she only launched her channel in November. Second, she is happy and anxiety-free, killing off the notion that comedy can only from the crucible of pain and suffering. Third, she is one of three gay siblings, all three of whom were accepted and embraced by their parents. Heather was never bullied.

Totally unfair, right? But don’t hate. Heather embodies the privilege that generations before her fought for. She is living the life they worked hard for.

Heather is clear on her place in history. She sees the homophobic hate that fueled Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson when they killed Matthew Shephard. She recognizes the importance of The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009. She realizes that gay people have been and are targeted. Yet she herself has not experienced it.

Thirty-two years old, born in Buffalo, New York, she went to high school in Melbourne, Florida, and now lives in Orlando. To her, the City Beautiful is tolerant and liberal (even though she and her friends were tear-gassed by police at BLM protests). Her built-in confidence and security give her a view of life that originates with her own relatively safe experience, and that is the very definition of privilege.

That doesn’t mean she never deals with problematic stuff. It’s just that she handles it with grace and aplomb. “I personally can’t be offended. I get why everyone isn’t this way, but other people’s issues are not mine,” she explains.

“Someone can come up to me and call me a bold-faced faggot and I’ll be, like, ‘Hey, what’s up, dude?’ And sometimes I’ll get mistaken for a guy. I just don’t care.”  

What about hecklers?

“I’ve never been truly heckled but there have been a lot of instances of people talking at me during my set. A lot of people don’t understand the meaning of a hypothetical question and will just answer me during my set as if we’re having a one-on-one conversation. During the times when people 

wouldn’t shut up during my set, I just roast them and get the crowd on my side and the loudmouths will usually shut up eventually.”

Heather bears an uncanny resemblance to Jim Carrey and many of her bits are flawless impressions of the star, who she jokingly refers to as her long-lost father. See for yourself on TikTok (@heathershawwww) and Instagram (@heathershawwww).

And read my feature about Heather in the March 18 edition of Watermark.

Hot Hot Creative LLC


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