Growing up in a Mormon family in Utah and Idaho, thin white androgyne Bobby Higley must have stuck out like '70s-era David Bowie at a hardcore-punk gig. She has turned the pain of being bullied in school and misunderstood at home into one of the raunchiest and funniest acts on Seattle's comedy stages. "I describe myself as Seattle's premier sad, gay, ex-Mormon comic," Higley says. "I have a couple of really cutesy jokes that are actually police-brutality jokes at the end. And you don't realize until we get there. Then once you do, you're like, 'Oh, god.' I've always described my approach as 'razzle- dazzle gut punch.'" Elaborating on her dark subject matter, Higley says, "The rule of threes is important in comedy, so that last part is where I'm grinning from ear to ear as I say something so fucked up, because you trusted me on step one and step two." It's a delicate tightrope walk, these abuse jokes, and Higley masters them with panache—and feels empowered while doing so. "For a long time, I thought I would never talk about any of that onstage. It was something that I would tell my partners six months into dating them, in hushed whispers, crying in the middle of the night." Turning anxiety, depression, and PTSD into comedy gold has been Higley's coping mechanism, and few in town are better at it.
by Stranger Writer Dave Segal
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