Hannah Gadsby has appeared on the latest episode of Julia Gillard’s podcast, A Podcast of One’s Own, speaking about the pandemic, the changing scene in comedy, her thoughts about living with autism and growing up in Tasmania.
The pair were meant to speak in April, but their conversation was delayed when Gillard, who has now hosted 73 episodes to date, got Covid.
“Covid’s the new hangover,” Gadsby joked.
Her latest world tour of Douglas was disrupted not only by the pandemic but also by an accident, which occurred earlier this year when she slipped on ice while she was in Iceland.
“I like to keep my accidents to theme,” she said.
The accident left the 44-year old using a wheelchair for more than four weeks — a situation which made her realise how few venues are actually wheelchair accessible.
Gadsby spoke to Gillard about her mother, who she described as “fiercely anti-misogyny”, writing “Ten Steps to Nanette”, her debut memoir which is shortlisted for 2022 Dymocks Books of the Year, and growing up in rural Tasmania in the 80s — an experience she described as one that was filled with “creeping suffocation” when she was coming to terms with her sexuality.
“I very strongly believe that if you want people to be constructive citizens you have to stop traumatizing children,” she said.
“I would have loved to have been a productive citizen. But there’s a sense of sadness and waste when I think about [my childhood].
“Trying to undo the internalised homophobia while trying to come to terms with my own sexuality is just a really unfair state of things.
“I’m not alone in that experience, it’s not just to do with sexuality and gender.”
Talking about gender roles today, Gadsby said she has been misidentified as a man in public a few times, though not long enough to procure male privilege.
“We’re raised to trust men, distrust women, and hate everything in between,” she said.
“The world is in chaos and we’re not learning our lessons quickly enough,” Gadsby said.
“Ultimately, the only thing that’s going to get us out of this mess is empathy, and that’s something you have to do every day.”
“Process matters more than result. How you set out to achieve something matters just as much as the result you’re after.”
Reflecting on her thoughts about comedy and her life with autism, Gadsby said when a comedian is performing, “…you don’t want to teach on stage, you want to be.”
“People who have autism have to speak about having autism. Neurotypical people don’t have to do any work. It’s up to people on the spectrum to do the work, or risk being isolated or popped in the corner.”
“Since I’ve started speaking about it publicly, it’s been better but there’s still a long way to go.”
You can listen to the episode of A Podcast of One’s Own, here.