Three actors performing a show in the last QueerProv in June 2019 at Up Front at Shadowbox Live. Credit: Courtesy of Chris Heiberger of Hashtag Comedy

Many events seek to give a serious voice to the LGBTQ+ community, but an upcoming comedy show doesn’t mind if you laugh.

Hashtag Comedy, a group dedicated to performing, teaching and team-building through comedy, is hosting QueerProv Oct. 2 at Up Front at Shadowbox Live, and the producers said the show provides a platform for queer performers’ voices to be heard.

“It’s a showcase of queer performers, whether it be local comedians, standup comedians or improvisors, as well as, this time around, drag queens and kings,” Ashley Johnson, co-producer of QueerProv, said.

QueerProv’s other co-producer, Bianca Moore, said the show will feature short-form improv in addition to the drag performances, as the event features a variety of acts, depending on what talents the actors might want to showcase. While this QueerProv will feature drag, future QueerProv events might showcase other talents, such as comedy and circus acts, Moore said.

While the previous show on June 13 was during Pride Month, Johnson said she wants QueerProv to celebrate the community year-round.

“We didn’t want it to be exclusive to Pride Month. We kind of wanted to show, like, ‘Hey, Pride is all year long, not just during June,’” Johnson said.

Moore said comedy appears to have only one voice at times, and it is important to have a platform for queer voices to speak about their place in the scene.

“What I love about it, because we’ve only done two so far, but it just brings a unique energy to the stage. A lot of comedy can be the same way, which is mostly represented by people who are straight, people who are white,” Moore said. “So it truly only kind of paints one part of the picture, and QueerProv just gives an opportunity to showcase the rest of that.”

Johnson said that in media, there are a lot of straight, cisgender men and women taking roles that could be played by members of the LGBTQ+ community, specifically transgender people. Johnson said that takes away a voice from a transgender person, and cisgender people may not understand the tough experiences they are acting out.

“It’s so important to give that platform and that stage to people who are actually living those experiences, those tough experiences, and sometimes celebratory experiences that other people may not understand at all,” Johnson said.

Johnson said she thinks students should be interested in QueerProv because of the issues currently affecting the LGBTQ+ community.

“There are a lot of rights and things being taken away — people being murdered. Now is the time to be interested in celebrating being queer,” Johnson said.

Doors will open at 7 p.m. and the show will begin at 8 p.m. Oct. 2 at Up Front at Shadowbox Live, according to Hashtag Comedy’s website. Tickets are $7.