When comedian Tig Notaro came out with her recent cancer diagnosis, it was also the first time she’d ever really come out as a lesbian. A lot of you probably thought she already was out, considering she played a lesbian cop version of herself on The Sarah Silverman Program in 2007, but the comedian had actually tried to remain private about her sexuality up until this year.
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In past attempts to interview Tig, the comedian and her publicists were adamant about her sexuality not being mentioned. Tig has actually yet to even say the word “I’m gay” or “I’m a lesbian,” but she has spoken about a recent break-up with her long-term partner, as it added to her laundry list of bad news, which also included her mother passing away.
Besides her role on The Sarah Silverman Program, Tig also participated in the FunnyorDie sketch for LezChat and has performed on an Olivia Cruise. But her stand-up does not make mention of her sexuality or gayness in general, other than her saying she won’t be getting pregnant to have children and a Chaz Bono quip. So did it matter that she wasn’t really acknowledging her sexuality on a public platform? In a way, it’s kind of like some of her LezChat co-stars: Everybody knows, so it’s just confirmation at this point. And public confirmation comes off to the general public as self-acceptance, which makes us feel better about ourselves. So of course we want a hilarious, smart, successful, good looking stand-up comic to be open about being gay, whether it’s on-stage or off.
Tig has been covered a lot more recently, since she announced her breast cancer diagnosis at a recent comedy set at Largo that Louis CK hailed as “truly great, masterful.” Suddenly the media have picked up on her talent and she says she’s been inundated with book deal offers, well wishes and now has a job writing for a Comedy Central show that has her moving from Los Angeles to New York.
In interviews, Tig said she doesn’t mind being branded “the cancer comedian” for now, which is interesting because it does appear that she’d rather make jokes about the disease than her personal life. Even in this dating profile video she recently posted, she doesn’t specify she’s looking for a lady.
In a recent New York Times profile, there’s this small exchange which at least hints at Tig’s acknowledging her sexuality in a public forum.
NYT: You are planning to move to New York to work on Amy Schumer’s coming Comedy Central show. You lamented your current romantic predicament as, “Hey, I’m moving to New York and I have cancer, anybody interested?”
Tig: The doctor has prepared me for more weight loss and losing my hair. Dating isn’t the main focus here, but it’s fresh in my mind, because I just got out of a relationship. So I’m just sitting here, thinking, Wow, not only am I single, but I’m about to be four pounds and bald.
NYT: She’s going to be a very special girl.
TN: That lies to me and herself.
On September 5, Tig’s friends at the Professor Blastoff podcast she’s part of tweeted that the cancer has not spread further and she recovered well from a round of surgery. She’s going to continue chemo while working on the Amy Schumer series and is also positive about her future. “Of course I want to beat this,” she said on a recent podcast. “Whatever’s waiting after cancer, I’m here for you.”
We’re pulling for you Tig.