Patriarchy-Smashing Comedian Aida Rodriguez Helps Others Heal With Memoir “Legitimate Kid”

by Tara Finley

Comedian and author Aida Rodriguez is proof that the spirit of a determined woman is irrepressible. The divine feminine laughs in the face of patriarchal oppression – a laughter that’s as healing as it is contagious when embodied by someone like Rodriguez, who has experienced the disadvantages of racial and gendered subjection first-hand. 

Transforming her pain into laughter, Rodriguez has penned a striking new memoir-in-essays, “Legitimate Kid,” that gives a voice to those generationally disenfranchised by the rigid rules of a society lacking in acceptance and empathy. As heartbreaking as it is moving, this memoir showcases Rodriguez’s natural ability to use her comedic gifts to overcome not only her own personal trauma, but to help others like her who were made to feel like imposters in their own skin. Her honest chronicle of the misogyny and racism she experienced as a POC child of an unwed mother and absent father, positions “Legitimate Kid” as literary education to those who find themselves similarly disenfranchised and in need of hope. 

“I decided to write the book after I met my father,” explains Rodriguez. “I thought that I was going to have the answers to many questions that I had been dealing with in life and I learned that I only had more questions.”

Wanting to help others who have felt similarly, Rodriquez is hoping that her words provide relief. “I’m hoping that whoever reads the book who has felt illegitimate or invalidated, understands that they are special just because they’re here and no matter what label society tries to put on them, they’re gift is divine and I hope everyone walks away from reading my book feeling a little bit more whole and a little bit more healed,” she shares.

Those who have followed Rodriguez’s success know that the biting wit enjoyed in her memoir is her signature style. Prior to the memoir’s release, her hit HBO Max special, “Fighting Words,” gained her nationwide love with its hilarious take down of the myth of white supremacy and the concept of patriarchy. She’s a breath of fresh air to those of us ready for a change, and the nightmare we aspire to be for those still clinging to oppressive archaic philosophies as means to keep themselves in power. Her hard-won success has earned her multiple development deals and opened doors for not only herself but others like her, helping to expand the way Latinos and women are represented in comedy. An accomplishment that’s no easy feat in an industry traditionally dominated by white men who mask their misogyny with their comedy. 

One of the most admirable things about Rodriguez is that she uses her success to ensure her community’s success. Instead of keeping sweet to appease those in power, she instead uses her platform to amplify POC and female voices in a space where they are typically drowned out by tired patriarchal tropes and misogynistic, racially-charged “jokes.” 

The title of her memoir, “Legitimate Kid,” is a foreshadowing of the story Rodriguez tells. Heartbreakingly honest and hauntingly relatable, the author shines a light on the racially-charged demonization of unwed mothers by candidly detailing how the stigma of being an “illegitimate” child of an absent father affected her formative years through adulthood. The shadow work involved in writing such a piece is incredibly emotionally taxing, but in doing so, healing. 

“Writing the book has helped me in so many ways,” affirms the author. “It has given me insight on the others in the room. I for so many years thought that I was a victim and at times I was, but it was the realization that I had the power to claim my life and make it better. That was very freeing. And being able to see the words, put the pain on the page and release it has been one of the most cathartic things I have ever done.”

Rodriguez splits the heartbreak of her youth wide open, writing on how the weaponization of the race and marital status of her parents by not only society at large, but her own family, led to debilitating feelings of inferiority and imposter syndrome. Having broken through the obstacles created by the experiences of her formative years, Rodriguez uses her book to challenge the concept of legitimacy and otherness, encouraging others to do the same in their own lives. 

“This book is about my search for legitimacy,” Rodriguez tells BUST. “After being bullied as a kid and called a bastard, I dealt with a wound for a long time that affected me in many ways. Throughout my life, it has continued to show up and I finally decided that I wanted to face it so I could heal and hopefully others could heal as a result of it.”

With healing comes joy, and Rodriguez honors that joy throughout the essays of her memoir. While she had challenges she also had a lot of support, and her writing reinforces the importance of filling one’s life with love. 

“My favorite stories in the book are the stories about my children and my uncles, the people who brought me the most joy in the moments of darkness in my life,” she confides, “ the reminders that while I thought my life was really bad, it was actually really good because I was surrounded by constant love.”

Aida Rodriguez has a gift, and is a gift, in this author’s humble opinion. We cannot wait to see what she does next. 

You can find “Legitimate Kid” everywhere books are sold; we encourage you to support the remaining independent bookstores. Show them some love by picking up your copy today! 

To learn more about Aida Rodriguez and enjoy some laughs, visit

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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