The Lady Parts Justice League (LPJL), an activist group of funny feminists and self-proclaimed exposers of “sexist shitheads,” just launched a summer comedy and music festival to support abortion clinics across the United States. Aptly named The Vagical Mystery Tour, the events raise awareness about how people can support their local clinics that are bearing the brunt of anti-choice legislation and harassment.
Lizz Winstead is the founder of the LPJL as well as a comedian and co-creator of The Daily Show. She and her team have managed to gather an impressive lineup of comedians to perform including Greg Proops (Whose Line is it Anyway), Alonzo Bodden (Last Comic Standing), and many more.
Learn more about the LPJL & hear Sarah Silverman talk about how awesome Lizz is:
The eight-week tour is traveling across 16 cities from June to July. Participants can offer hands-on support and take part in a fun evening of entertainment to expose lawmakers and legislation that are working against the reproductive rights movement.
Winstead says the tour is an opportunity to offer support in a tangible way, and in a safe space.
“I think people feel like, especially post-election, they want to do more than just write a cheque or do 15 minutes on stage to raise money. They want to meet people, help them and help figure out a way to expose these laws and talk to politicians.” She adds that the tour will tackle some heavy topics in an accessible and welcoming way.
“To hear information that might be stale or hard with a little bit of honey poured on top of it is a really nice way of ingesting it,”
Among the comedic talent is a lineup of musicians that are equally eager to spread the message and show support. Notable acts include: Los-Angeles based singer-songwriter Jill Sobule, Chicago emcee K’Valentine, bluesy rocker Tina Schlieske, front woman Ambrosia Parsley of pop noir group Shivaree, and Jason Narducy of the band Split Single. The complete lineup available here.
The LPJL was founded in 2015 as a way to inspire activists in the feminist and reproductive rights movements by infusing knowledge with a healthy dose of humour. The group has performed comedy shows at clinics nationwide since their inception. Now, the Vagical Mystery Tour is an opportunity to spread the love and increase their reach. Volunteers can help in a variety of ways including acting as a patient escort, painting a mural, building a fence or planting a garden.
“I think our goal is to really hit people who are politically progressive,” says Winstead. “I’m not in it to change someone’s mind. What we are trying to do is re-engage people who maybe haven’t prioritized reproductive rights in the past.”
Winstead adds that the emphasis on supporting local communities and clinics is important because these workers and their clients will experience first-hand the consequences of an anti-choice administration.
“To be able to bring an audience of people who love the work that we do and the comedy that we provide together and have them become allies is really exciting,” she says. “To have them know their community is going to step up for them and care for them and help them grow is really great.”