Juno Dawson talks writing, acting and gender to Junior Sixth Form
Actress and Author, Juno Dawson, gave a talk to the Junior Sixth Form recently. Her writing genres range from dark teen thrillers to LGBTQ+ titles tackling the complex realities of growing up in today’s world.
Written last year, Wonderland, a modern-day take on the classic Alice in Wonderland, tells the story of Alice, but with a twist. She is whisked down the rabbit hole of adventure in the form of a society in which money, power and fame are swept up in an ever-crazier whirl of gossip with the goal of investigating the question central to the novel: “Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle”.
Like her Alice, Dawson is transgender. But while Alice has transitioned by the time she starts secondary school, it wasn’t until Dawson was a well-known author in her 30s (crowned Queen of Teen in a reader-led YA prize) that she felt ready to change from James to Juno. Her latest book What’s the T?: The no-nonsense guide to all things trans and/or non-binary for teens tackles exactly that: the complexities of growing up trans, which she delivers with trademark honesty and humour. It is joyfully illustrated by gender non-conforming artist Soofiya. As well as being an award-winning and best-selling author, Dawson also describes herself as an ‘occasional’ actress and model, with a cameo in the BBC’s I May Destroy You, as well as appearing on various TV shows such as Pointless Celebrities, BBC’s Women’s hour, This Morning and Channel 5 News. She is a ‘School Role Model’ for Stonewall and works with the charity First Story, which runs writing and story-telling workshops in underprivileged schools.
Thank you, Juno, for giving such an insightful talk.