Mandy Goodhandy is a singer, comedian, speaker and author who dips into her background of Music Theatre and Cabaret. Her choices of torch songs and ballads are counteracted with her funny style when speaking to the audience.
Up until the present, Mandy has been performing at a variety of venues in Toronto including; The Jazz Bistro, The Emmit Ray, Free Times Cafe, Drom Taberna, Trinity Common and The Medley Theatre, as a cabaret-style act. She has recently teamed up with other singers/accompanists/songwriters; Sebastian Ellis, Jesse Whiteley and Mateo Chavez Lewis to form an act known as "Lady and the Rambler".
Mandy Goodhandy & one of her music partners Sebastian Ellis were invited to perform at Winterfolk Blues & Roots Festival XIX ONLINE
2021 as "Lady & the Rambler"
Taking place virtually on Friday February 19th 7:30pm - 8:00pm EST (pre-filmed at The Medley in Toronto)
Then at Winterfolk Blues & Roots Festival XXI 2023 with Mateo Chavez Lewis.
Mandy Goodhandy was accepted into the 2016 TD Toronto Jazz Festival.
Making her the first trans woman to sing at the Festival.
TD Toronto Jazz Festival Artistic Director, Josh Grossman is quoted as saying:
“For me, one of the most exciting aspects of the jazz festival each year is the breadth of diversity represented on stage and in the audience. We welcome everyone to enjoy this music, regardless of age, ethnicity, culture, economic background or gender identity.
I am constantly reminded that music is a universal language – it has the power to bring people together – and we’re proud to have
Mandy performing under the TD Toronto Jazz Festival umbrella.”
She performed a number of songs, getting back in touch with her musical theatre roots. The show was also an affiliate of Pride Toronto 2016 as it fell on Friday, July 1st, 2016, the same weekend a the 2016 Pride parade.
Mandy’s one-woman show, "Tranny", a musical comedy, was also launched at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in 2015.
“The title of my show was not meant to be derogatory regarding trans women/men,” states Mandy Goodhandy, “It had two meanings, one being it rhymed with the musical comedy show “Annie”, and the second being that the show was packed with humorous but important messages educating people about trans issues. And it included a dialog on what terms are now acceptable and what terms are not, to certain trans people."
Paul Bellini said of the show “Equal parts autobiography and political rant, Tranny is a unique and refreshing evening of theater. I’m not sure I’d call it a musical, but it does sing.”
“I found the piece to be very insightful on many levels….politically, socially, and personally.”
She has also released her music CD , which includes a selection of 10 songs, with some being significant to her life experiences.
was presented at Club120 in Toronto for a two-night run; Friday, June 7th & Saturday, June 8th 2019
Transgender singer and comedian Mandy Goodhandy aka Amanda Taylor was Canada’s first trans woman stand-up comedian.
Mandy’s comedic monologues had become a staple in the underground Toronto LGBTQQ2SIAA scene and now in mainstream Canadian comedy clubs. Including Yuk Yuk’s Toronto, Absolute Comedy Club, The Comedy Bar ,Corner Comedy Club Social Capital & of course her own comedy hub 120 Diner. The 120 Diner was voted as one of the top 10 comedy clubs in Toronto by BlogTO, Yelp & The Culture Trip.
She has performed as an M.C., host, and stand-up comic for a number of years first as a male/drag female performer (10 years) and finally a trans woman going on 30 years. She is the first Canadian trans woman to be accepted into SheDot, Toronto’s Festival of funny women 2015 & again in 2016. Mandy performed in the SheFresh and SheLBGT shows in 2015 at the Toronto Comedy Bar with headliner Margaret Cho who was also part of the festival that year. Then in Shedot 2016 with performances on Thursday, April 28 at The Corner Comedy Club and Friday, April 29th at Comedy Bar, both in Toronto.
She was also a finalist in the Absolute Comedy contest "Prove You're A Comic" in 2018.
She has appeared at numerous Toronto comedy shows as a headliner. Also performing in and hosting the popular online/off-line show "Make Me Laugh" at 120 Diner and other venues. Check her "Appearances" page for venues, dates and times.
Mandy has spoken at College institutions starting with Metro Toronto University in 2007. The subject was building an online business.
Then she spoke again twice at the University of Toronto history department, once in 2020 in person (before COVID hit in Toronto)
then again on ZOOM in 2022. The subjects involved the history of sex-work then the history of the internet, as she started online as early as 1992.
The most recent speaking engagement was for the Sheridan College Alumni Fireside chat ,Tuesday June 20th 2023 on hope and handling what life gives you.
link to ZOOM talk here on Youtube.
No stranger to film and television, she appeared as her aka Amanda Taylor, on the Showcase television series KinK (season two) as a sub plot story line with her business partner Todd Klinck, in three episodes.
She also appeared in the Canadian feature film Sugar released in 2004. Amanda Taylor played herself as her aka Mandy Goodhandy. The film was directed by John Palmer, It was also written by Palmer, her business partner Todd Klinck and Jaie Laplante it was based on short stories by Bruce LaBruce. The film stared Andre Noble & Brendan Fehr, also included Canadain actors Marnie McPhail, Sarah Polley, Maury Chaykin, Alexander Chapman, and Michael Riley.
The film received two nominations at the 2005 Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television’s 25th Genie Awards. Klinck, Laplante, and Palmer were nominated in the Best Adapted Screenplay category, while Fehr was nominated for Best Supporting Actor.
She also appeared in a short film project by Todd Klinck in 2003 called LUNCH, uniquely as a trans woman playing the part of a mother/sex-worker cis woman, as opposed to the other way around which is normally the case in film and television. LUNCH was released via the web in April 2015.
She took part on an interview style show also with her business partner Todd Klinck, called “The needle exchange” discussing sex & politics with Dora awards nominee Keith Cole. All three parts can be seen here: Part one, Part two & Part three
Mandy co-owned and operated a Toronto nightclub named Club120, formerly known as Goodhandy’s Nightclub with business partner Todd Klinck. Goodhandy's nightclub opened in 2006 changing its name in 2012. Both venues had to close in 2020 because of the limitations caused by Covid19, making it impossible to continue a nightclub-style venue. She ran North America’s longest-running trans woman parties (2001-2020) for all trans women, friends, supporters, and their admirers to socialize in a safe and friendly environment.
In 2014 she took over the downstairs restaurant space at the same location naming it 120 Diner, turning the 120 Church St. location into a complex. 120 Diner featured talented local and visiting musicians & comedians (Tuesdays till Sundays). Including a very popular karaoke night every Friday night at 11:00pm.
Larger dance and live music events were booked by outside promoters and held upstairs at Club120 on weekends.
On Saturday November 27th 2021 Mandy Goodhandy opened a new venue at 123 Danforth Avenue in Toronto with her new business partner Richard Henry (chef/manager of 120 Diner). This new venue is named Mandy's Bistro upstairs and Goodhandy's Lounge downstairs. They will be offering not only an excellent food menu, weekend brunches, live entertainment but will also be a safe and welcoming space for all.
Mandy will also be bringing back her ever popular trans women parties in 2022.
Mandy has been a personality online since the late 1990's before it was a thing being an online personality.
This included her own weekly blog talk radio shows 2012 – 2014 with almost 100 episodes and over 5,000 listeners. She interviewed a lot of people during that time, on a great variety of subjects that related to things in the LGBTQQ2SPIA spectrum. These can be listened to on her radio page.
TRANS & SEX WORK ADVOCATE:
Mandy works tirelessly to help people understand that transgender people exist. Starting with government recognition, legal documentation and trans rights in general. “To be acknowledged and recognized by the mainstream is a big step towards educating people that we exist and also deserve basic human rights,” claims Mandy. “People fear what they do not understand, we need to make them understand how we feel and why we feel this way. I like to deliver my message with comedy wrapped in a humorous and sometimes political message”. I am surprised at the number of people who come up to me after a show and say “I did not know that about trans people” or “thank you for telling me about that, I am always afraid to ask in case I am offending a trans person”.
She was groundbreaking as the first trans person to refuse to participate in the Canadian census 2001, claiming she would not participate in any survey, government-run or otherwise, that did not include or recognize trans people. And then again in many media outlets regarding the 2016 census.
She also organized the very first North American trans woman beauty pageant named “Miss Shemale World”, which ended up being a one-time only event, held in Toronto Canada. The purpose of the pageant was to bring attention to the fact that trans women existed and needed to be recognized. She decided to go the beauty pageant route, as a way to attract media attention towards this goal and succeeded. The title “Shemale” is no longer acceptable among mainstream trans people, but it was a term known back in the late 90’s on the internet, and it was an important pageant at the time to draw attention to transgender women. An article in Daily Xtra.
She is also a vocal advocate for the decriminalization of sex work and also uses the humorous side of sex-work in her comedy monologues, with hopes of educating people that sex workers are human and even have a sense of humour like anyone else. Mandy was featured in SEX WORKER, TRUTH & ARCHETYPE, an independent art project at Nuit Blanche, produced by Barbara Greczny, Esther Buckareff and Michelle Breslin in October 2014 at Beaver Hall Gallery.
As the Grand Marshal for Toronto’s Pride Parade in 2010, with her business partner Todd Klinck, Mandy received the theme award that year “You Belong” at the annual awards banquet. It was also another controversial year for the Toronto Pride Parade. They were not the first choice for Grand Marshal, but they had a message to deliver and this was their chance to parade it in front of the world “Decriminalize Sex Work Now”. Articles: Digital Journal & Daily Xtra Video: CP24, LifeInMollywood & Matt Thomas for Fab Magazine
An active supporter of AIDS Committee of Toronto and many other local charities and fundraisers, Mandy hosted and produced the fundraiser “Where’s the Love?” for three consecutive years which raised more than $15,000. With the help of generous entertainers such as: Suzie McNeil, Scott Thompson, Gavin Crawford & Rick Mercer . Plus money was raised from the silent auctions, with donations from the likes of: Tamara Taylor (Amanda’s step-daughter who adopted her last name.) Tamara donated a season of the successful TV show “Bones”, with signatures of the whole cast. Also a treasure trove of donations from prominent writer of stage and screen Brad Fraser.
Mandy wrote four magazine articles for Pink Pages! and Buzz Magazine.
Mandy was busy 2020-2021 with writing her second graphic novel The adventures of Mandy Goodhandy's "ANNIE". This would be the second volume of The Adventures of Little Annie Tranny, This was done as a collaboration with local artist Matt Simas. She decided to change the title, even though it was a spoof of Little Orphan Annie, but did not wish to use the term "Tranny" for this particular project.
She had an official launch of this and a relaunch of the first volume at Glad Day Bookshop, this also included a music concert with her musical duo "The Lady & the Rambler" with the rambler this time being Mateo Chavez Lewis.
Mandy’s first graphic novel The Adventures of Little Annie Tranny, a comic written by her with illustrations by acclaimed playwright John Herbert (Fortune in Men’s Eyes), was recently released in 2013. It started as an ongoing online comic on a trans woman website she owned in 1997. It is a comic strip adventure of a trans woman who works in a law office, and at night she goes out and fights trans-phobia and educates people about trans people.
Mandy has released her book “Just Call Me Lady” which will include her gender, sexual and basic human being adventures.
It has been launched to outstanding reviews by other noted writers and authors:
Drew Rowsome (writer, musician & editor) My Gay Toronto
"Just Call Me Lady is a fabulously fine book whether judged as a revealing and honest autobiography, political/sexual analysis, an activist tract, or a sustained feat of comic writing. I enjoyed it immensely, laughed frequently and was moved more often than I expected."
Paul Bellini (Canadian comedy writer and television actor) The Buzz Magazine (Special Music Issue ll - Oct/Nov 2018) page 18
"Just Call Me Lady" is the autobiography of Mandy Goodhandy. Some people regard Mandy as a weirdo or a hooker, but it's impossible to read this book and not see the full humanity and soul of this remarkable person. "Just Call Me Lady" is a revelation."
Todd Klinck (Genie nominated screenwriter & author)
"An intriguing story that can be described best as a celebration of individuality. From her days as a male exotic dancer to her times as a shemale sex worker, Goodhandy never stops living her life with organic curiosity. Choosing comedy and confidence instead of self pity and shame, her memoirs are a unique and entertaining read."
Steven Berezna (award-winning author)
"Goodhandy takes us on an inspiring journey, from a “wee lassy” forced into boy clothes in Scotland to the successful club owner and Canada’s first trans woman standup comedian. Funny, heart-wrenching and mesmerizing, Just Call Me A Lady feels like you’re sitting down with the most interesting friend you’ll ever have, and you never want the story to stop."
She was invited to take part in Naked Heart an LGBTQ festival of words 2018 The Festival was founded in October of 2015, Naked Heart is already the largest and most diverse LGBTQ literary festival in the world. She was asked to provide a book reading from "Just Call Me Lady": as part of the theme "We Will Not Be Erased" and she ended her segment by surprising everyone singing a dedication song to the community of "I Believe" a song from her CD/Album also named "Just Call Me Lady". She also took part in a Panel Discussion: First Person – Ethics & Experience that weekend.
She will be appearing again at Glad Day bookstore for "Across Generations: An Intergenerational Queer Open Mic" on Monday May 27th at 8:00 pm, with short stories from her book "Just Call Me Lady".