Crossdressing comedian Barry Humphries has defended his right to make anti-trans comments.

Humphries’ name was earlier this month removed from the Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s top award over a series of offensive public remarks against the community.

Speaking on the matter at a comedy question and answer session in London on Sunday night, he defended not being “nice” about LGBTI people, The Australian has reported.

“Comedians aren’t always terribly nice,” he said.

“We don’t have to be nice, do we. We’re not obliged to be nice, we’re generally pretty unsavoury.”

In 2016, Humphries called Caitlyn Jenner a “mutilated man” and referred to transition as “self-mutilation”.

He later called being transgender “a fashion” and commented “How many different kinds of lavatory can you have? And it’s pretty evil when it’s preached to children by crazy teachers.”

He referred to calls for transphobia to be treated as a form of assault as “terrible ratbaggery”.

At Sunday night’s event, Humphries made a joke about marriage and gender, in telling a story about complaining to a director about wearing tights onstage.

“He said, your legs are good, according to my wife, and it was the old days—his wife was a woman,” said Humphries.

The former Barry Award for the best show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival is now known as the Melbourne International Comedy Festival Award.

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