By Jack Latham

Juno Dawson’s books include the global bestsellers, This Book Is Gay and Clean. She is presently adapting her 2019 novel Meat Market for television. In 2014, she became a School Role Model for the charity Stonewall. Ahead of her appearance at The Coast Is Queer – for which she is joined by award-winning creative, Jamie Windust – she cites TV worth binging and queer figures worth listening to.

How proud do you feel to have been part of I May Destroy You, possibly the best show of 2020?

I was asked to audition and as soon as they told me it was Michaela Coel’s new show I was all over it! I knew, after Chewing Gum, that it would be extraordinary. The script was so unusual… it was only when it landed on iPlayer that I understood her vision. She’s a genius. I’m so proud to be in that one tiny scene!

Eivind Hansen Photography

What can we expect from your appearance at The Coast Is Queer, Brighton & Hove’s LGBTQ+ Literature Festival?

I’m in conversation with Jamie Windust, the writer, model, and activist. I am always trying to learn more about our community, and I think non-binary are widely misunderstood. We recorded our event last week and it was an absolute hoot. Jamie is so, so smart, and witty.

Who else on the bill are you going to try and watch?

Campbell X is a super clever and I’ve never actually heard Alan Hollinghurst (The Swimming-Pool Library, The Sparsholt Affair) speak before, so I’ll tune in for that.

What else have you got on the agenda?

I’ve just finished another acting role and we’re about to announce a very exciting new novel for 2022. Watch this space. It’s my favourite novel yet.

As a writer, are you used to your own company, and if so, does that help you deal with three lockdowns?

Not at all. I never write at home so it’s been like pulling teeth. I have a workspace in Brighton that did reopen last summer but is once more closed for lockdown. There was an assumption that artists wouldn’t be affected by lockdown, but I don’t think that’s true at all.

Eivind Hansen Photography

What are you reading, watching, and listening to at the moment?

I’ve just finished It’s A Sin which was outstanding. I wish it had been longer, I binged the lot in one weekend. I’m reading Alexandra Heminsley’s Some Body to Love, her memoir of how her family changed when her partner announced they intended to start gender transition.

The Coast is Queer, Brighton & Hove’s festival of LGBTQ+ literature, returns in a special online version from 5-7 February 2021.

6 February 6.30pm: Juno Dawson’s Lovely Trans Literary Salon with Jamie Windust

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