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Totally Awesome with Jordan Raskopoulos

Axis of Awesome

When comedy musical trio Axis of Awesome returned from a year long hiatus they released a YouTube video addressing the question, and what happened to singer Jordan Raskopoulos’s beard?

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Fans of the show had taken to Twitter to discuss the singer’s decision to lose the distinctive facial hair, some said that rather than looking like Jack Black, the comedian now looked like Boo from ‘Orange is the New Black’.

In a surprise announcement Jordan announced that there was an important reason, gender transition. The singer was now happily living life to the full as a woman. “That’s right, I’m a girl!” Jordan proudly declared.

Speaking to OUTinPerth from Christchurch where the band are on tour Jordan said it was good to be back on stage after the long break.

“It’s been reassuring,” Jordan said, “There was a lot of worry and nerves about how the tour would go down and it’s been great to back on stage and it’s been cool that our fans don’t give a shit.’

Jordan said most people had been really positive about her transition announcement except from a few idiots she’d encountered on the internet, but she brushes them aside saying; “It’s the internet, even if I hadn’t come out – they’d still be there.”

Since making the announcement Jordan said the trio had gained a lot of new fans.

“Lots of trans people and queer people have reached out and said how good it was that I’d come out so publicly. We’re getting a lot of parents of trans kids coming to shows and saying it’s good that I can be a role model. Being a role model comes with a lot of pressure but it’s nice to know that it’s touched people.”

Jordan said she realized how important role models for trans kids are, noting it was something that came up in one of her earliest medical appointments about transitioning.

“There are more and more kids going through gender transitioning and as the visibility is there, and the acceptance is there fewer kids are going to feel ashamed like I did.

“When I was kid there was nothing. All I had was my feelings, not knowing what they meant, and not having the language to articulate what I felt.

A lack of positive media coverage had a big effect on how Jordan saw being transgender.

“When I was a kid the only media that covered transgender issues was ‘The Jerry Springer Show’, what you saw was relationships being destroyed, or parent’s throwing their kids out, or violence. That just makes people feel ashamed.” Jordan said.

The trio are heading to Perth with new show ‘Won’t Ever Not Stop Giving Up’ which features mostly a whole new set of songs.

“We do discuss transitioning a little bit in the show,” Jordan said, “but we spend as much time talking about an octopus.”

“Our act has not changed, our comedy hasn’t changed, and my voice hasn’t changed.” Jordan declares, joking that transitioning hasn’t given her any additional vocal range.

Jordan acknowledges that her band mates Lee Naimo and Benny Davis have been incredibly supportive.

“They’ve been really good, they were some of the first people I told and they’ve been really supportive. I mean it’s been hard taking a whole year away from performing in both making videos and doing live shows.”

Happily back on stage the trio are heading to Perth for the Comedy Festival and have four shows lined up at the Perth Town Hall from May 11-14. Tickets available at www.perthcomedyfestival.com

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