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New Queer Voices: ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ comedian Robert White

The musical funnyman is finding the humour in being gay and living with Asperger's.

By Will Stroude

 In Attitude’s 25th anniversary issueavailable to download and to order globally now – we’re showcasing the boundary-pushing, trailblazing talents who’ll be paving the way for the next next 25 years.

Comedian Robert White won hearts and minds when he stepped out onto the Britain’s Got Talent audition stage last summer, hilariously sending up judges including Simon Cowell and David Walliams through song before sailing all the way to the grand final, where he eventually finished runner-up.

The comedian and music teacher’s warm brand of self-deprecating humour helped dispel myths about sexuality and disability, as he poked fun at his own identity as a gay man living with Asperger Syndrome.

As Robert explains however, his is a brand of comedy that includes those who are different, rather than making them the punchline – exactly how it should be…

“I started working in comedy because I struggled at jobs and wanted a place I fitted in, although I never knew that by fitting in I would become an example to others on similar journeys,” he explains.

“This is both humbling and ridiculous because my mother jokingly asks me to sign her boob when I see her now. Who would have thought that I’d make parents cry, as an inspiration to their kids?

“My voice is for anyone for whom fitting in may be a struggle because of autism or other invisible disabilities, or any other reason.

“Seeing rainbow-dressed, wheelchair-using audience members in the front row at my shows, and to know they feel this is a place where comedy is including – not attacking – them is amazing.

“For me to sing and joke about us both, at neither of our expense, is a whole different level of inclusion. Silly puns, improvised songs and ironically un-PC jokes are socially empowering? Who’d have thought it? 

“I hope for a world where things seen as unusual today are normal. A few hundred years ago a left-handed person would be executed as a witch, whereas now left-handers are “normal” and witches have so much opportunity, from political office to writing for tabloid newspapers.

“Will I be a blip on the landscape or have made my own landscape in 25 years? Either way, in comedy I’ve always tried to make people happy, and in this new role as homo-autistic overlord of disabled gays, bringing happiness is still the aim.

“Happiness and a life that’s full and successful, that would be enough.”

Robert is touring the UK until the end of April.

Meet more queer trailblazers in Attitude’s 25th anniversary issue, out now.

Buy now and take advantage of our best-ever subscription offers: 3 issues for £3 in print, 13 issues for £19.99 to download to any device.