More than Comedy: Survival, with Canecia “NeeBaby” Boyd
Canecia “NeeBaby” Boyd is the ultimate survivor. She battled breast cancer, and beat it; battled mental health, and beat it; and has a successful, comedy platform on Tik Tok. Her focus, now, is making sure women take all measures to get tested and get preventative care for breast cancer. Boyd is also an advocate for mental health; specifically, in the LGBTQ community…. using her real-life struggles to relay and normalize this very much needed conversation. Her platform is not only used to share a few laughs; but more importantly, to highlight mental health in the Black & Queer community and the truth about Breast Cancer in regards to Masculine Identified Women. She is the epitome of endurance. I had a chance to it down and chat her on her much-deserved success, and this is what she had to say.
Q. Where are you from? Where did you grow up?
A. I was born in Nuremberg, Germany and raised in Shreveport, LA. I recently moved to the DMV area from Auburn, NY.
Q. What is a life lesson you were taught as a kid that you still apply to this day?
A. I learned many lessons as a kid, but the one that pushes me daily is that no one is going to hand you anything. This journey is not for the weak minded.
Q. What do you attribute your success in comedy to?
A. My comedy is relatable; and in 2020, people need something that makes them feel normal. This year has come in, and disrupted our everyday lives. When you watch one of my skits or tune in to one of my live streams, you know exactly what I’m talking about. You’ve been through it. You’ve experienced.
Q. Why do you enjoy comedy? Was it a dream of yours as a kid, or did you discover it recently?
A. I’ve been doing my comedy for six years now. I can’t say that it was a childhood dream, but I will say that I’ve always been connected to my ability to make people laugh. A friend of mine actually pushed me to get on a stage after making a few customers laugh at work one day. That experience was an interesting one. I definitely made the audience laugh, but I embarrassed myself by throwing up on stage.
Q. How do you feel about being a member of the LGBTQ community, and being a Black Woman in America in these current times?
A. The LGBTQ community continues to be overlooked for our talents and contributions to the entertainment world. America finds itself at the point of a messy divorce, and I happen to identify with two groups of people that are easy targets. Being a Black Woman can be seen as a badge of honor. We are the birth place to everything worth mentioning in this world. I look forward for the day when everyone finally admits that, and we can walk around with our crowns standing tall.
Q. How did your family take it (“coming out”)? Were they supportive?
A. I am one of the lucky ones. My family has always been very supportive of my lifestyle. You don’t hear that often in this community. My PopPop is a Bishop and he was most supportive. I think it’s important that we hear those stories because they do exist.
Q. Why did you choose TikTok as opposed to the social media platforms, to debut on?
A. (laughs) To be honest, my barber told me to try TikTok. I was on other platforms already, but there was something about the accessibility of TikTok. Everyone was using it due to the pandemic, and I needed an outlet.
Q. How do you deal with your mental health?
A. I was fourteen years old when I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, and I can tell you the journey to accepting that has not been pretty. Today, I seek guidance from my ancestors. I mediate and sit in silence. It’s important to me that I take time out to be honest with where I am mentally. Once I’ve done all that, I take to TikTok and make people laugh. This app has been good to me.
Q. Why is mental health so important?
A. We’ve got to normalize the fact that most of us are not okay. We’ve got to make it easier for someone to say “I need help”, especially in the black home. You can be the healthiest person in this world; but if you are mentally broken, you are not living.
Q. How did you deal with breast cancer mentally and physically?
A. When I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer last year, I have to admit that my will to fight was very low. I had been through so much at that point, and I wasn’t sure what my purpose in life truly was. I turned to my ancestors and took this battle on spiritually, as opposed to physically.
Q. What is your advice for people dealing with breast cancer? Or, when people should start checking for it?
A. This is a great question and I want to take this moment to address Masculine Identified Women in the LGBTQ community. Get up and get checked. I know that we tend to let ourselves go as women and we often neglect our self care, but you have to put your health first! As for all the women across the world, do not let the diagnosis be the end of you. Get up and live, love and laugh.
Q. What do you want people to remember you for?
A. My authenticity and tenacity.
Q. What is your advice to anyone trying to be successful on TikTok or in comedy?
A. Be you and be consistent.
Q. How do we follow and connect with you?