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About Kelli Dunham

Kelli Dunham

Kelli Dunham

Kelli Dunham is a ex-nun, stand-up nerd comic, registered nurse and one of Velvet Park Magazine’s 25 Significant Queer Women of 2011. Kelli is the author of four books of humorous non-fiction, including two children’s books being used by Sonlight conservative home schooling association in their science curriculum and How to Survive and Maybe Even Love Nursing School (FA Davis, 2005), an American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year. Kelli has performed nationwide at LGBT pride events (Seattle, Long Beach CA, Rhode Island, Baltimore, Atlanta), colleges (University of Delaware, Penn State University, Smith College, Temple University, Colorado State University) and even the occasional livestock auction. Both her comedy CDs, “I am NOT a 12 Year Old Boy” and “Almost Pretty” are on regular rotation on Sirius Satellite Radio’s mainstream comedy station and she has appeared on Showtime and the Discovery Network. Kelli is the co-founder and co-producer of Queer Memoir, New York's queer storytelling series and the the recipient of the 2007 Fresh Fruit Festival Award of Distinction for stand up comedy, although Kelli has never before or since been called distinguished. Freak of Nurture, Kelli's fifth book, will be released this Spring. Visit her website at

Posts By Kelli Dunham

Just Hit Send

January 1, 2013 |

My life has been such that I’ve watched a fair number of people die. Close up and personal. It makes me a great party guest.

Being the youngest child of a rural family that loves alcohol and ambition in equal parts, I’m never wholly impressed with New Year celebrations.

You call that drunk? We puke up more vodka before 9 am than most people drink all day.

You call that planning for a New Year? My dad read us Brian Tracy’s “Seven Goal Setting Habits” in our cribs.

Of course, if you want to bypass the alcohol and go right to ambition, you’ve got to keep really really busy, so my wall is always covered with post it notes detailing my quarterly goals and foci no matter what time of year it is.

Adult children of alcoholics overcompensation notwithstanding, I’m a sucker for a good slogan and I’ve been thinking about one for this next year. I’ve decided on “just hit send”

“Just hit send” was a mini-meme created by the thoughtful Anne Elliott at the New York book release for Cheryl Burke’s My Awesome Place in October of this past year.
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Folks I Met On The Road: Rockstar Helper Dude James Robinson

June 17, 2012 |

When my contact in Huntsville Alabama (author Jane McNeefe) started promoting my Huntsville show, she told me there was one guy I really needed to meet: James Robinson, the executive director and one person staff (cough-but mostly unpaid-cough) of GLBT … Read More

Sarah Palin, An Artificial Plant, The Church Ladies & Me

May 4, 2012 |

One Mamma Grizzly. One Million Moms. One southern convention center. And one nervous queer in an American flag shirt. What could go wrong?Read More

Mr Crankypants, The Joker, Mr Helpypants & Me

April 26, 2012 |

Kelli Dunham’s tour blog kicks off with hate/fan mail, and an answer to a cry for help…kind of.Read More

3360 Miles To Go

April 20, 2012 |

In my 20s I was a nun and they frowned on taking time off from the soup kitchen to go on queer comedy tours.

“No no no not a tour bus.”

I was yelling at this point because I was on the phone with my mom and was therefore, as per usual, competing with the musical intro to the Gaither Family Gospel Show. I remember The Gaither’s show well and even fondly from childhood, but it is not easy to have a conversation over it.

I had called my mom on April 14, which I had mistakenly believed was Mother’s Day (I am not so good with details) but as it turns out, Mother Day’s is in May. Now we were both engaged (stuck?) in that fun conversational no gendered-person’s land wherein I try and explain my super queer life to her, and she feigns understanding.

“Not a tour bus mom,” I repeated, “I’m going to be taking a Megabus.”

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