Hannah Gadsby reflects on 'grim' period of being homeless

Hannah Gadsby, star of Netflix’s Nanette, has opened up about being homeless when she was in her 20s, calling it “grim as f**k.”

Gadsby made the comments in a conversation with writer Roxane Gay, which was published by the Guardian.



In the conversation, Gadsby told Gay that she is currently living in Los Angeles, and called out the city’s residents for ignoring “people living in tents everywhere.”

Gadsby then told Gay that she was homeless, and that she used to say that it was for a six month period. However, she now realises that it was “quite a number of years” where she was “not supported.” During this period, she couchsurfed and lived in a tent.

She elaborated by saying that she camped out “at the end of this dirt track, at the back of a farm.”

“That was for about four months. And then they had this huge storm and it flattened my tent.”

Reflecting on being homeless, Gadsby added that she was “so sad” and that she was “just getting through it.”

“Every day was a struggle. I was so isolated. And there’s so much shame around it. I’m a storyteller, and I’ve never told that story.”

The success of Nanette

Gadsby won international acclaim for her comedy show, Nanette, which was released by Netflix in June.

The show is based upon the construct that Gadsby is quitting comedy, using it as a basis to movingly explore her experiences of the world as a gay woman.

The show has struck a chord with the LGBT+ community.

Hannah Gadsby said she was homeless for a period of time in her 20s
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty

In the show, Gadsby says: “I built a career on self deprecating humour, and I don’t want to do that any more.

“Do you know what self-deprecation means coming from somebody who exists on the margins? It’s not humility. It’s humiliation.

“I put myself down in order to speak. In order to seek permission to speak. And I simply will not do that anymore. Not to myself or anyone who identifies as me. And if that means that my comedy career is over, then so be it.”

Gadsby at The Emmy Awards

In September, Gadsby made headlines again when she presented an Emmy award.

While she was on stage for just 90 seconds, where she presented the award for Outstanding Director for a Drama series, she won hearts across the world.

“This is … not normal? The world’s gone a bit crazy. I mean, for somebody like me—a nobody, from nowhere—gets this sweet gig, free suit, new boots, just cause I don’t like men?” she said, entering the stage.

“That’s a joke, of course. Just jokes, fellas, calm down. #NotAllMen, but a lot of ’em.

“No, it is just jokes, but what are jokes these days? We don’t know. Nobody knows what jokes are. Especially not men!” she continued, seemingly addressing some of the criticism she received for the show Nanette by male comedians.

“Am I right, fellas? That’s why I’m presenting alone,” she added.