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Tranna Wintour speaks the word Desire, then withdraws. “That’s not the right word. I didn’t feel like performing. I’ve always had a need [elle appuie sur besoin] to express myself in the dimension of performance. But I ignored that need for a very long time, for a number of reasons, to a point where it was no longer possible. »
On the terrace of a café in Verdun, his neighborhood for two years, the comedian speaks with the certainty of someone who has often been asked to tell the long journey that has led her to herself. Nevertheless, there is not a hint of vulnerability in his voice, but of lively emotion. Tranna has told her story dozens of times, but this story is too important to be told while a tape is unwinding.
“The biggest of those reasons was a lack of trust due to years of bullying. To try to survive [à l’école primaire et secondaire], I had to try to make myself invisible, which is the opposite of being a performer. But I knew that the problem wasn’t me, it was the others,” she notes.
I felt like I was surrounded by idiots and needed to protect myself, but I could imagine that one day I would have my moment. I have waited.
Caught in the limbo of marginalization, under the scorn of her tormentors, Tranna nevertheless manages, confiding in herself, not to transform the malice to which she has fallen victim into hatred of herself. However, she grew up at a time when the vocabulary that would have enabled her to name and understand trans identity did not reach the middle-class homes of Pierrefonds, where she spent her youth with a loving mother, Mona, and a younger sister.
To whom does she attribute this healing protective reflex? Icons like Cher and Madonna, lifelong friends of queer communities who made her believe there was a place for her somewhere.
Asserting her identity as a woman in her early twenties soon led to her first attempts at comedy, inspired by the discovery of American comedians Margaret Cho and Sandra Bernhard. In 2013, she invited a handful of viewers to a friend’s apartment, to whom she hosted an hour-long one-woman show.
That first show appearance remains a transformative experience to this day – “I’ve never been so stressed in my life” – from which she will emerge with a beginning belief in her own means. She turned to the English comedy club before dating boyfriend Thomas Leblanc (whose Saint Celinevia Celine Dion, at Zoofest), with whom she co-pilots the fascinating podcast chosen family.
I think this full understanding of my identity prevented me from gaining the level of confidence I needed to begin my artistic career. When I was growing up, my creativity was like a sign of femininity, and because of my femininity, I was a target. So these two things are connected. I had hidden my femininity and my creativity.
Tranna Wintour is no longer hidden. Not at all. On the sidewalk next to the terrace, a young woman suddenly stops and floods the comedian, confused with apologies and forgetting to breathe, a flood of compliments. “My wife is a big fan,” she tells him in English. I’m so sorry to bother you but my wife will be so jealous of me! Can we take a photo? she was so proud of you Big Brother. »
In July 2021, on stage at Rita Baga and Jean-Thomas Jobin’s Just for Laughs gala, Tranna Wintour announced her ambition to become a star among French speakers in Quebec. The insularity of our star system has long fascinated this Anglophone, an ardent admirer of Mitsou who has spent many hours in front of MusiquePlus and who speaks excellent French. “The final step in that plan was participation Big Brother. » Be careful what you dream about, even jokingly: a few weeks later, the reality TV crew presented him with his passport.
Despite his many misgivings, this first intense experience with the cameras was essentially enjoyable and, more importantly, conducive to his fame. Without entering the home with a mandate to do useful work, Tranna will inevitably—that is the power of television—have contributed to the normalization of trans identity. She hopes that part of herself will become less and less the focus of the interviews she allows. “To be honest, it’s not that interesting,” she says, urging caution.
In her opinion, it would be a mistake to view the actions of Ricky Gervais or Dave Chappelle, who she considers transphobic, as so many micro-phenomena and not as a manifestation of a specific time that is grossly flawed. “We see several states in the United States trying to push back on trans rights, women’s rights. We live in a very scary anti-woman moment. »
In an issue presented last summer during OFF-JFL, Tranna wryly thanked the well-meaning cisgender women who—at the grocery store, in bars, on the street—constantly compliment her on her bravery. That’s because Tranna doesn’t consider herself brave.
Saying I’m brave is like admitting I should be afraid. And then transphobes, homophobes, racists, misogynists, they don’t scare me. You only make me angry. What a shitty existence this life of hate is!
Their existence is the opposite of crap. As proof: On Wednesday she will host her first gala at Dr. Mobilo Aquafest, where she will notably welcome one of her idols, Patsy Gallant. Tranna will also be attending the Eddy King and Richardson Zéphir Gala at Just for Laughs, a Just for Laughs Gala, the Festival d’humour emergent en Abitibi-Témiscamingue and the ComediHa! Fest Quebec. She sees herself one day in the hands of her own talk show.
“There’s a long list of reasons why I could continue to be scared, but that’s not an option for me. Life is too short. »
Gala Tranna Wintour, June 22 at Club Soda, as part of the Dr. Mobilo Aquafest