What does it mean, and what does it cost, to write about your own sexual or gender identity? How much do you keep to yourself? How do you broach taboos? What are the rules when it comes to telling your story – especially when it entwines with the stories of other people?
For this panel discussion, we’re bringing together Maria Katsonis, Nevo Zisin and Eddie Ayres. All three have written memoir, and all three have explored questions of gender and sexuality in their writing: from coming out to transitioning to queer romance to battling prejudice.
How do writers balance the interests of their own story with their responsibilities to family, friends and the broader queer community? What are the tensions between the personal and the political for queer non-fiction writers? Join these three fascinating writers at Clunes Booktown Festival as they talk true stories.
Maria Katsonis is a writer, public policy wonk and vocal mental health advocate. Her memoir, The Good Greek Girl (2015) recounts her experience of mental illness and recovery, set against her escape from a traditional Greek upbringing when she came out as gay. Described by The Age as 'loving and intelligent', it was published in the UK as The Mind Thief (2016).
Maria co-edited Rebellious Daughters (2016), an anthology of memoir by Australian female authors and also contributed to Letters of Love (2017), letters from the heart penned by prominent Australians. She now lives with an ongoing mental illness and is a beyondblue Ambassador.
Nevo Zisin (they/them) is a queer, non-binary, Jewish writer, performer, activist and public speaker based in Naarm/Birraranga/Melbourne. They run workshops in schools and professional development training in workplaces around transgender identities. Author of award-winning Finding Nevo (2017), a memoir on gender transition and The Pronoun Lowdown (2021) a useful guidebook on all things related to pronouns.
Eddie Ayres is a writer, music teacher and broadcaster. He was born on the White Cliffs of Dover and began playing violin when he was eight years old. He studied music in Manchester, Berlin and London, played viola professionally in the UK and Hong Kong and moved to Australia in 2003.