Iconic lesbian comedian Suzanne Westenhoefer’s groundbreaking career began when she sprang onto the national comedy scene in the early 1990’s. 

She was the world’s first openly gay comedian, and she has been thrilling both mainstream and gay audiences ever since.  Westenhoefer was the first openly lesbian comic to have her own specials on HBO, Comedy Central, Evening at the Improv, and Caroline’s Comedy Hour, and she was the first out lesbian comic to appear on David Letterman. Her HBO Comedy Special earned her a Cable Ace Award nomination.

Her acclaimed career continues to include performances to packed houses across the country in popular theaters, clubs, and fundraising events. Westenhoefer will be performing at Zanies Comedy Club in Nashville on Sept. 25.

Westenhoefer recently announced that she plans to marry her longtime partner, Jennifer Houston, at the Hollywood Chapel in Los Angeles on Sept. 6. 

“We had a ceremony for our families back in November 2006,” Westenhoefer told O&AN in a recent phone interview, “but they make gay people get married again and again and again.   I guess we have to prove we really mean it.”

Westenhoefer and Houston are planning a small private ceremony followed by a party for friends and family and a short honeymoon at the Beverly Hilton. 

“We wanted to make sure we could get married before November,” said Westenhoefer, “which didn’t give us a lot of time to plan.  We still haven’t figured out what we’re going to wear.  Right now that’s our biggest issue.”

With a furious touring schedule that sees her visiting numerous cities a year, one would think Westenhoefer would find trouble maintaining a family but that doesn’t seem to be the case here.

“The difference is that I don’t stay on the road,” explained Westenhoefer. “I go out and do a show then I come back home and do it all over again.”

Visit www.nashvillezanies.com for more information.

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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