- Arts & Life
His unique personality emanated a positive energy, and bursts of contagious laughter were heard throughout the evening in the Carl Hansen Student Center’s piazza Oct. 18. The laughter brought people together, and all differences were put aside and forgotten..
This is exactly what Thomas Dale, a comedian from Long Island, N.Y., intended to accomplish. His act highlighted Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) History Month, as well as National Bullying Prevention Month, and was sponsored by the Student Programming Board and Gay, Lesbian and Straight Supporters (GLASS).
Prior to Dale’s performance, attendees watched a video entitled, “It Gets Better,” which featured various gay, straight and bisexual students telling their stories of both struggle and success.
“The video was very inspirational and heartfelt,” sophomore Amanda Schaffrick said. “But it was upsetting to know that some people were so mistreated.”
One girl’s mother in the video forced her to attend church in order to be “cured” and retrieve the devil inside her, Schaffrick said. “That was just so unreal to me. It’s crazy the things people have been through.”
At the end of the video, however, many explained how their circumstances improved, and their journey was worthwhile. The video also aimed to prevent bullying and suicide.
Despite the somber tone of the video, Dale made the transition by making fun of his personal experiences, such as interacting with attractive male police officers, being mistaken for drowning in the ocean, hitting a school bus full of children and his love for straight boys.
“He was crude, but it was hilarious,” said sophomore Alex Kriz, who was also featured in the “It Gets Better” video. “He was refreshingly honest, which made him seem really relatable. It didn’t matter if you were gay, straight or bisexual; he seemed to make everyone feel comfortable and included.”
Early in Dale’s act, he described his recent horrors of running over a deer. Even though the event was traumatic, he was able to make himself laugh. At the end of his performance, Dale stressed the importance of not dwelling on the sadness in life.
“On a serious note, though, life gets really rough sometimes,” Dale said. “It gets difficult and
sometimes, you know, you just have to remember to laugh. Comedy is my outlet. It’s what gets me through the rough times. You need to find the humor even in every situation and
sometimes you just have to laugh to get through.”