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Meet Erin Mohr

Today we’d like to introduce you to Erin Mohr.

Erin, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
When I began my journey to discover myself, I had no idea where the trip would take me. Four years ago, I was married, living in Seattle and working at a start-up in the video game industry. After 11 years, the start-up became a huge success and I was given time to venture out on my own without the need to worry about income for a little while. I quit my job and began to think about the next chapter in my life.

In the back of my mind, I knew that I needed to work on my gender identity. Through therapy, I came to understand that I was transgender. My wife was supportive, but our marriage ended shortly after that. During our separation, I rediscovered a love of stand up comedy. I took a class and found I had a natural talent for it. Comedy felt good and I eagerly worked hard to get better. After I had to sell the house my wife and I had purchased together, I made the decision to move to Los Angeles. In just three years, I quit my job, changed gender, divorced, began a new career and moved over a thousand miles away!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way.
I would never say that my pursuit of comedy has ever been smooth. But, what hampers my growth as a comedian now are the lasting effects of my transition. I came out to the world in the fall of 2017 and I still have to spend an enormous amount of energy adjusting to the ripples of that change.

From the outside, it’s easy to think that the difficulties of transitioning are over once you come out and live your life as your true self. But, a lifetime of hiding who you are from yourself and everyone around you has its lasting effects. I’m only beginning to do the work to address those issues. The comedy that I hope to create, is like any other art form. It is an expression of who you are and I am only beginning to understand myself. That is my biggest hurdle right now.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
Because I am transgender, I am endlessly fascinated by the differences I have experienced from living as a man to living as a woman. Comics have discussed those differences for years, but my experience in both genders gives me a perspective few have had. Since I have recently transitioned, my mind is still processing the changes I have been through over the past two years. My body, my mind, my emotions have all shifted through my transition; some changes have been subtle and some have been profound. However, many of these changes give me insight into how both men and women experience life.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I give a lot of credit to my current romantic partner, Nalani. They are my biggest cheerleader, encouraging me to work hard and continue to share my stories. They are also my pit crew, who pick me up when the work feels difficult or when I lose my focus on what is important. But what I appreciate the most is that Nalani will join me when I go out to open mics. These are shows held at various locations and are one of the only ways that a fledgling comedian can get experience on stage and practice the craft. Early on, in the career of a comic, one has to go to a lot of “open mics” to practice the craft and gain experience. These are often crowded and require sitting through hours of short sets from other performers. The process can often be a bit of a grind, but Nalani’s presence makes it a whole lot more bearable.

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Image Credit:
January Fredericks, Arrietta van der Voort

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