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Me and my MONKEY

Rape isn’t the usual go-to when it comes to writing a comedy show, but for Richard Gadd it was a way of surviving and processing an awful ordeal he fell victim to. Now, hot off the heels of a critically-acclaimed UK tour of said show Monkey See Monkey Do, the comedian explains how his sexual assault made him rethink everything he knew about sexuality, how it made him feel more empowered as a man, and why it’s so important more men who’ve fallen victim to predators find the courage to speak out.

Comedian Richard Gadd has a secret he wants to get off his chest.

It’s one that leaves him crimson-faced and somewhat shameful, yet it’s one that thousands of men in the UK share – and millions more the world over. Above all else though, it’s a secret he thinks we’re just not talking enough about. And after all, the more we talk about something, the more we ‘normalise’ it, right? Richard is a fan of professional wrestling. There. We said it.

One thing that isn’t a secret however is that four years ago Richard was a victim of sexual assault. In fact, he’s so transparent about his ordeal that he based his award-winning, critically-acclaimed Edinburgh Fringe-stealing show Monkey See Monkey Do about it, which enjoyed two sold out runs at London’s Soho Theatre and is currently coming to the end of a jaunt around the UK.

And while there are a few subtle pro wrestling references throughout, when it comes to sexual assault, Monkey See Monkey Do sees Richard own his experience, using it as a source of dark comedy and poignant reflection; the show is made up of recordings of real life therapy sessions that took place after his abuse, and detailed accounts of how the ordeal made him question his masculinity, sexuality and even his mental health. Oh, and all this unfolds while Richard is on stage in skin-tight neon pink lycra shorts peddling furiously on an exercise bike. In Monkey See Monkey Do, the comedian deftly deconstructs his hang-ups and neuroses about being a victim of sexual assault – How could something like that happen to him? Does it make him less of a man? What does it mean about his sexuality? – all of which are personified by the titular monkey.

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About Gay Times

Connor Franta commands attention. With 5.6 million YouTubers subscribed to his channel and over 350 million views, his video diaries offer a window into the life and mind of this 24 year old entrepreneur and New York Times best-selling author. Life is not always rainbows and butterflies, though. In our April issue, we sit down with Connor to discuss his battle with depression, how coming out wasn't a cure-all, and about our individual and collective roles in the fight for LGBT+ equality.  Elsewhere in the issue, the world-exclusive interview with all the queens from Season 9 of RuPaul's Drag Race; Nicholas Afoa becomes the first Disney theatre star to pose for a gay magazine; comedian Richard Gadd on using comedy to deal with sexual assault; Dan Matthews, SVP of PETA, on throwing pies at Anna Wintour; LDN Muscle's brothers on their game-changing approach to fitness; plus, style, travel and community features.
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