jordan raskopolous
Jordan Raskopolous

Jordan Raskopolous on fame, names and meta-humour

This article first appeared in the Autumn Issue 2019 of LOTL

You headlined a Mardi Gras float last year-any big plans for this year you can share with us?

I’ve been pretty busy for the last few Mardi Gras. One year I even did the parade twice! First time on a float with Lucy Lawless then I ran back to the start, strapped on skates and did the whole thing again with the Roller Derby crew. This year the plan is to chill out and actually enjoy the night. I haven’t done that before.

How are you planning on surviving the night with your glitter allergies?

My doctor has been giving me weekly injections of glit­ter to help me build a tolerance. I’m still going to need an antihistamine on the night though.

What was it like corning to terms with your trans identity and joining the queer community as an adult and public figure?

It was very spooky. I was under the impression that there’d be more ghosts in the queer community. I thought the Gin LGBTI was for ghosts. I was very much mistaken. My life is rad now, I have the best friends.

How was it coming out to your family and bandmates, respectively?

I was really scared, again ’cause of the ghosts. I mean, I’m not a Shaggy type, I wasn’t quivering and hugging Scoob or anything. But I did have a kind of wary fear. I suppose you could say I’m a Velma.

I would love to hear your thoughts around the decision to keep Jordan as your first name, given it’s traditionally a very masculine-coded name.

Nah, you’re wrong, it’s heaps femme. There’s lots of lady Jordans. There were two other Jordans in my third-year performance studies class both of them were lady Jordans. So there! Neurgh. Your mum’s a masculine-cod­ed name!

Does it have anything to do with your pre-transition fame, and wanting that continuity?

Mostly it was just that it was already my name. I like it, it’s my name. It’s an androgynous name so I didn’t see much point in changing it. I did change my middle name from Nich­olas to Nicola, which cost $180. Which is a bit of a rip-off. Two letters for $180. Maybe I should have changed my whole name to something really long with a bunch of hyphens and gotten some value out of that $180. Something German.

You’ve got that being publicly vulnerable thing down pat with coming out and your Ted Talk about dealing with high func­tioning anxiety. What are some things that have helped you be so open about it all?

I look at memes a lot and occasionally see a therapist.

How do you think being openly trans and an activist has affect­ed your career?

I get asked a lot of really sincere questions in interviews now. Before, people used to focus on the comedy side of my career and expected me to goof off and give silly responses to things. But now there’s an expectation that I’m supposed to temper that against something more meaningful. I really suck at that sometimes. It was easier when I first came out but now I kinda wanna be a comedian most of the time. I am terrific at meta humour.

What’s next on the cards?

I have a comedy show coming up at the Darlinghurst The­atre in February, producing my regular digital content, sass­ing J.K. Rowling on Twitter, working on a little science fiction project and writing a book about kindness … well, I’m procras­tinating about writing a book about kindness.

How do you like to recharge your batteries?

I play games on my computer and I paint miniature sol­diers. I also do roller derby … although that’s kinda battery neutral.