And that makes me really fucking sad.
Because I believe that the comedy that I have to share is rooted in the same pain that these men have felt. The depth of my experience as a human is the same as what Mike DeStefano/Greg Giraldo/Marc Maron have been through.
Here's a quote from Maron's WTF podcast with DeStefano that, perhaps ironically, speaks to exactly what I'm talking about:
Mike D: I wanna make people laugh, but I want people to know that they're not alone with suffering. That they can survive anything. I believe that I've been to the point where there is the worst part of life. At that moment when you're told you're gonna die.... I'm gonna die? Not only are you gonna die, you're gonna be shamed.... I know what it feels like to suffer. I love when a black dude or a gay comic says, "You don't know what it's like motherfucker." I do know what it's like. I know I'm not black, here's what my pain is, isn't it the same? Your pain is the same as mine. It's not like you can't relate to me because I'm talking about a certain type of disease. We all relate.Maron: The menu of suffering is very small when it comes just down to the frequency of suffering. It's a frequency that runs all through human life because of our self-awareness.
And yet why do I feel excluded from this frequency, then? Why do I feel like, as these guys that so many comedians - myself included - look up to, aren't thinking of the suffering of women at all when they discuss their pain? Aren't thinking of women who do comedy at all when they think about the great communicators who "get this shit." Trust me, I get this shit, fellas. I get it.
I'm not trying to use Mike's death as a way to draw focus to any other issue, I'm just saying. We're here, too. And I think I speak on behalf of every fucking person with a vagina who tells jokes when I say: trust us, we fucking get it. We want to be part of this brotherhood, too.