Everyone has their own story. But very few people are fortunate enough to be able to tell it. And lesbian comedian Gina Yashere is one of the lucky ones. Inspired by her throwback Thursday posts, Yashere tells us her life story in the memoir “Cack-Handed.” The autobiography, which was impressively written during quarantine, sets out to do what any memoir is supposed to do: help us understand how a person came to be the way they are now.
Yashere understands this incredibly well. Her story starts way before she was even conceived with a bit of a history lesson on British colonialism. She goes into how this affected her parents, which in turn gives us a better picture of how she was raised. Once she sets the stage, Yashere paints a vivid picture of the environments from her past. Once the book gets going, it feels less like a formal memoir and more like a chat with your lesbian aunt you only see once every three years at the family function. Everyone is several drinks in and you’re full of your uncle’s barbecue. She never asks about school or work or your love life, instead she starts out telling jokes. She’s always been funny so you love being around her. And halfway through her bottle of beer, she starts telling you her life story. The story your family kept hidden because she was, and still is, the black sheep of the family. But you’re old enough now to hear and understand it. After a while you realize she isn’t telling you all this just to get it off her chest, but rather because she sees herself in you and thinks it might help you forge your own path.
Yashere’s journey to becoming a legendary lesbian comedian was definitely not easy. Do you fulfill your mother’s expectations or follow your own path? Stay at a steady, well paying job, but endure relentless misogyny and racism or take a leap of faith with an unconventional career? Sure, you already know the answers considering how wildly successful she’s become, but her book gives you the journey leading to the destination.
And so she tells her story. Now you have a better understanding of who she is as a person. But you also walk away thinking this kind of success could be possible for you too.
“Cack-Handed” is out now in the US and will be released on July 8th in the UK and worldwide.
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