Our Fringe expert met with Umby Winters about the agony and ecstasy of their experience


This is part of a three-week nearly everyday series wherein polyamorous ex-nun nurse nonbinary queer comedian Kelli Dunham explores all the queermost edges of The Edinburgh Fringe, performs her own hilarious and hopefully hopeful show, annoys and confuses people with her gender, and drags you along for the ride. 

Flyering Fiascos and Luckless Leather Trousers

A few days ago, over a pint of Irn Bru (It comes in pints! Pints! I may never eat solid food again), I queried Queer Diary’s Beth Watson about her top-secret strategy for conjuring audiences. If a Queer Diary event was scheduled on the Moon, the most anti-capitalist queers would be befriending Bezos in hopes of securing a rocket ride. 

She smiled and leaned in. I pulled pen and paper from my backpack, ready to take notes. 

“I give flyers to…” she explained, “…queers.” 

This seemed simple enough. 

However, after encounters with three (extremely heterosexual) hen parties, a 12-year-old boy I mistook for a sporty lesbian, and thoroughly unamused nun, it became clear. My years of being The Most Obvious Homosexual In The Room has severely jammed my gaydar. 

I never need to find the queers because they always find me. 

Speaking of fringe flyering (and truly, we were), I chatted with Umby Winters about the agony and ecstasy of their fringe experience. 

Hey Umby, what are you doing at the Fringe? 

Roasting my arse off. It’s so hard to be a goth in the summer. I thought Scotland would be colder. I’ve been standing in direct sunlight in 23-degree heat in tight black leather trousers [to flyer]. They’ve shrunk to the point now where I can’t get them off. Another few days, and I won’t have to worry about paying to have a sex change. [And also] performing my show All There Is. It’s about gender and sexuality and relationship anarchy, and I’ve found that people are learning things they weren’t expecting to. Both about the rich layers of human sexuality and also about themselves. 

What would you be doing this August if you were not doing this?

Playing Baldur’s Gate 3. I may be chasing my dreams right now, but I’m sad I don’t get to play the game with the hot demon lady.

What do you always bring to the potluck?

An awkward vibe.

What do you hate at a potluck? 

Being at the potluck. I don’t deal with gatherings very well. I only like crowds if I’m facing them and holding a microphone.

Does your family like this particular show?  

My dad is my biggest fan and most vocal supporter. He’s been telling everyone he knows who lives vaguely near Edinburgh to come see me. He hasn’t seen the show, so he doesn’t know I tell a story about him that does not reflect well on him at all. He’s coming to see it next week, and I’m very excited. He was so supportive all the times I came out to him, and this is how I repay him.

All There Is is at Brewdog Doghouse Hotel, 5 New Street, EH8 8BH, at 12:30pm (the afternoon one) every day except Tuesdays until August 27th. And check out Umby on IG, Twitter or TikTok.

DIVA magazine celebrates 29 years in print in 2023. If you like what we do, then get behind LGBTQIA media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable. 


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