The stand-up comedian's advocacy organization aims to provide a mic for the marginalized.

Christine Horvath started performing on comedy stages in 2012, after a breakup. “It was a bad time that comedy made a little better,” she says. Despite its uplifting qualities, the experience opened her eyes.

“When I started in comedy, a ‘diverse’ lineup looked like four white guys and one white woman, or four white guys and one person of color. 

“I got out of mainstream clubs. I made a deliberate decision to take myself out of places like the Funny Bone and make spaces for me and the audiences I want to serve. I wasn’t making the audiences I wanted to make laugh, laugh.” 

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That’s why Horvath created Babe Roar, an organization dedicated to “celebrating and uplifting marginalized comedians,” per the website. When it comes to the work that needs to be done to foster more inclusive stages, Horvath is proud of Columbus. 

“Nationally, we have a ways to go,” she says. “Locally, we’re doing great. A lot of people have told me that hearing the idea [for Babe Roar] encouraged them to book more female headliners because they’d never thought of it before. I’ve also been doing a lot of work toward diversifying lineups because people should see lineups that look like them. Anyone who wants to come to a comedy show should feel represented by the lineup.

“Every second Saturday, I run Go Big or Go Home: A Big Babe Variety Show with Fat Babes of Columbus and The Big Girl Burlesque that is specifically catered toward fat babes.”

Despite her advocacy and optimism, there’s still a ways to go.

“There are lots of people who are not being seen or respected,” Horvath says, “and it’s important to represent everyone.” 

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