After a successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe, and a transfer to the Soho Theatre, Dian Cathal is bringing Trans*Atlantic to the Vault Festival for Valentine’s Day. We asked Dian to tell us more about herself and her show.
What is Trans*Atlantic all about?
Trans*Atlantic is an hour of comedy about being both transgender and American while living in the UK. It’s very funny and then it gets very sad.
You are performing on Valentine’s Day, will you be exploring loneliness, dating and how to find love as a queer/trans person?
Yeah, that’s where the sad bit comes in. Well, that’s not really fair. Tom Holland makes an appearance in the show. He doesn’t know he does, but I guess he’s my date this year. Being trans and dating is so awful, especially when you find straight cis men attractive. If you ever needed proof that sexuality isn’t a choice, it’s queer people being attracted to straight men. It’s essentially self-harm.
Can you tell us a bit of your personal story?
I’m from Clarkstown, New York and in school, we never actually learned who Clark was but I guess it’s his town. Last year my father was voted Republican Woman of The Year because he got four town officials arrested by the FBI. He retired a few years ago and plans political coups for fun. It’s good that he has hobbies, I guess.
My coming out was interesting because my parents thought I was a lesbian since I was seven, so it was awkward in a way different from other queer people.
You are from New York, what’s your take on the UK LGBTQ+ community and the trans debates and discussions here?
I left the US when I was 20 and because of alcohol laws, most queer spaces are inaccessible before you’re 21 so I didn’t really get thrown into the community there. Honestly though, Queer is Queer. We’re all still fighting for one another.
The whole TERF phenomenon is really interesting to watch develop over here. I think the big difference between the hate is the same difference with racism, where it’s just as homophobic and racist as the US it’s just not as blatant so it’s harder to call out and change.
Like no one has called me an outright slur here, but they may as well have and because it’s covered by ‘politeness’ calling them transphobic is seen as aggressive.
What are your future plans for the show?
After the Vault Festival, Trans*Atlantic will be filmed during a week of the Brighton Fringe and that might be it for the show. It will always be there if anyone wants to pay me for a night. I wouldn’t say no to a Netflix special or even 20 quid and a pizza and I’ll do a private show at your house. Whichever comes first.
Have you had an anonymous Valentine’s card sent to you?
When I was a kid, but it turned out to be a really mean prank by a boy in my class. So… if any of you want to bring some to my show, I wouldn’t mind.