100 Women We Love

photo by Logan Alexander
Gloria Bigelow
Born in Pittsburgh, comedian Gloria Bigelow grew up in a “shockingly white” suburb where she skied, played tennis and went tanning. At 15 she moved to South Carolina, discovered she was black and cut out trips to Golden Tan. At Spelman College, she majored and minored in drama, and earned her MFA in acting at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. In five years as a comic, Bigelow has appeared in three TV comedy specials and performs at top comedy clubs like The Improv, Gotham Comedy Club, Stand Up NY and The Laugh Factory. Bigelow is a regular on the LGBT comedy circuit, including the Outlaugh Comedy Festival, Michigan Gay and Lesbian Comedyfest and Olivia cruises. She contributed to Here Come the Brides!: Reflections on Lesbian Love and Marriage (Seal Press, 2012). Now in L.A., Bigelow is a crowd favorite and people respond with more than just laughter. “A young woman came up to me and said that I inspired her and she wanted to come out to her family. I was confused, thinking that she wanted to come out as a comic. (Turns out she wanted to come out as a lesbian.) That’s happened several times, and I know my telling jokes is about more than a punch line.”
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