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18 of the Funniest Queer and Trans People in Colorado

We are excited to share the official lineup for the 2023 Colorado Queer Comedy Festival. They are 18 of the funniest queer and trans people in the world.


Shanel Hughes (she/her) Shanel Hughes is a hilarious and gorgeous human being who has performed and hosted at various venues all across the USA, and is a regular at Comedy Works Denver. She has opened for comedians such as River Butcher, Ms. Pat, Dean Edwards, Ahmed Ahmed, T. Murph, Greg Morton and Amy Miller. Shanel has performed in High Plains Comedy Festival, Limestone Comedy Festival and Boston Comedy Festival. You can find all of her upcoming shows at

Cara Leoni (she/her) Cara Leoni is an up-and-coming comedian and an OG queer. A self described rascal, you can find her performing at local bars, comedy clubs and teacher lounges. When Cara is not turning up the laughter you can find her knee deep in a project she’ll never finish.@laughing-leoni 


Erin Lewis (she/her) Originally from Northern California, Erin Lewis is the middle child of the family. Despite having this unfortunate disposition, she is loved and belongs. She started her comedy journey when she moved to Los Angeles after college. She has done improv at the Groundlings Theater and sketch comedy writing at UCB Theater. Erin is now based in Denver, CO. You can find her performing stand-up regularly at Rise Comedy Theater and various locations around Denver.@elewis0711 

Julia Foodman (they/them) Julia Foodman is a stand up comedian and a gay Jew (annoying). An up and coming star in the Denver scene, Julia has been featured on Dyketopia, the NYC Queer Comedy Festival, Baltimore Comedy Festival, and on other stages across the country. Julia’s comedy utilizes personal anecdotes, social commentary, and crowd work to create joy and community.@JuliaFoodman 

Helen Driesen (she/her) Helen has been making audiences across the country cringe-laugh for almost two years. She was a finalist in the Comedy Fort’s 2023 “Fort’s Funniest” contest and she's performed on the High Plains Comedy Festival. Helen has shared the stage with the likes of Kevin Nealon and Mark Normand.@who_the_heck_is_hel 

LA Redd (she/her) Charlotte, NC’s comedic gem, LA Redd, shines since 2018 with relatable humor. Her unique style tackles life's challenges, leaving audiences in stitches. She's a true talent with infectious energy and quick wit, captivating stages and hearts.@latavia.reddick 

Calvin Reid (he/him) Calvin is a Denver born-and-raised comedian and award winning performer who has performed in shows/festivals across the state and country. You can see him in the outside world trying to get TikTok and/or Instagram famous. He’s usually featured on YouTube in videos he’s truly embarrassed by and that he hopes you never find. He has also been recently seen at the Winter Park Festival, the Jersey City Comedy Festival, Boulder Comedy Festival, and the QT Comedy Festival. @calvinreid_

Sunshine Holmes (she/her) Giving the vibe of everyone’s weird aunt, Sunshine Holmes is goofy and lovable and completely irresponsible. Who knows what she’ll say next? Certainly not her. It’s been said that watching her comedy is like watching a true crime drama play out in real time. @sunshine_comedy52

Storhm Artiste (she/her) I am Storhm Artiste, an Atlanta-based Comedian, Writer, Host, Content Creator, etc. I have created two scripts, written three books, ghostwritten material for celebrity comedians, and performed stand-up comedy for 7 years. I am a nationally touring comedian, and I have performed with many celebrity comedians: Marlon Wayans, Chris Tucker, Vivica A. Fox, Bill Bellamy etc. @storhmartiste

Dr. Zackarina Jennie-hoe (she/her) Dr. Zackarina Jenny-hoe (not a doctor) is a Denver, CO based drag queen sitting right at the intersection of campy, Gen Z fun and public health activism. As a part time (fake) doctor, part time comedian and part time drag queen, she entertains and she’ll cure whatever’s troubling you! @dr.zackarina

Leah Althoff (she/her) Leah Althoff is a comedian based in Denver, Colorado. Her comedy is comparable to a Disney movie: typically lighthearted but not afraid of heavier themes, audiences may come away from it learning a lesson or two, and every now and then, there's a joke just for the adults. @leahalthoff

Armaan Singh (he/him)Armaan Singh is a Survivor, Poet and Comedian. He loves to sleep, eat, and laugh at his own jokes. He thinks writing bios is stressful, but he does it anyway- which is how he feels about being alive. Yet, at the same time he's here to cultivate some queer joy, so let's laugh! @armaanthepoet

Liv Carter (he/they) Liv Carter is Mississippi born and raised but otherwise well-adjusted. Their comedy has been described as “strikingly sad” and “kind of weird.” They’ve been featured on festivals across the country including High Plains, Asheville, and Red Clay. Liv was a finalist in 2023's Fort's Funniest competition, and recently premiered their one man show, "Mississippi Boys," at Denver Fringe Fest. @nervoustbh

Terrence Dobbs (he/him)Originally from Kansas, Terrence is a newer comedian who’s been making the rounds in the Denver scene. He recently competed in the Comedy Works New Faces Contest 2023, making it to the second round. This will be his first time participating in a comedy festival. @terresaurus

Kinsey Ford (she/her)Kinsey Ford is an internationally performing comedian based out of Fort Worth Texas.A relative newcomer to the scene, she has been featured at the Aloha Comedy Festival, Fingerlakes Comedy Festival, and the Plano Comedy Festival. Kinsey prefers the finer things in life, mainly gin with a side of curly fries.@kinseyfoundonroaddead

Addie Lynn (she/her) Addie Lynne is a Denver based stand-up comedian, and violinist with the Aurora Symphony. She’s been described as a “pretty lady, with some masculine features”. Her comedy is inspired from life as a trans woman, who was raised in a Christian cult.@addielynnv

Israel Avila (he/him/él) Israel Avila is a Mexican comic from Juarez, and one of the few bilingual comics in Colorado. He opened for one of the latinos king of comedy Joey Medina, was recently featured on Colorado’s first bilingual comedy festival “Vatos Locos”, and has even been spotted on Denver7 news as well as mics all over the front ranch.@israelavila666 


Ren Q. Dawe (they/he) Ren Q. Dawe is a new Denver comic and Appalachian rainbow elder. Lauded as a highly unsuccessful author, Ren works in education and trans advocacy–but really just likes talking about fake dicks into a mic. You can catch them loitering by the printer at Out Boulder County, or on tour in 2024! @RenQComedy


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