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To being a queer writer or a writer who is queer

Friday 5 November 2021

05:30 pm - 06:30 pm


What is queer writing? This panel will explore the tension in being a writer who is queer versus a writer who is involved in queer writing - do writers who are queer enjoy the label or are they uncomfortable with it? Does it limit opportunities? Can non-queer writers write queer characters, if we want more representation? Should we free queer writers from this representation? 

Benjamin Law.jpeg

Moderator - Benjamin Law (he/him) is a journalist, columnist, TV screenwriter and author of The Family Law, Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East and Quarterly Essay 67: Moral Panic 101. The Family Law is an award-winning TV series for SBS that Benjamin created and co-wrote over three seasons. His debut stage play, Torch the Place, premiered at Melbourne Theatre Company in 2020.

Laura McPhee-Browne - photo credit Leah Jing.jpg

Laura McPhee-Browne (she/her) is a bisexual writer, social worker and counsellor living in Melbourne, on unceded Wurundjeri land. Her debut novel, CHERRY BEACH, was published by Text Publishing in 2020, and her second novel, LITTLE PLUM, is forthcoming with Text Publishing in February 2023. Her short fiction and creative non-fiction has been published widely in Australia. She is currently working on her third book, BLUE, a novella about bisexuality and infidelity.


Joshua Badge (they/them) is a queer, non-binary writer, poet and scholar living on Wurundjeri land in Melbourne. Their essays and polemics have featured in Archer, Junkee, Meanjin, Overland, Pedestrian, the Age and the Guardian, while their poems have appeared in Cordite and Going Down Swinging. Joshua lectured in philosophy at Deakin University for a number of years and, more recently, taught literary theory at Swinburne.


Jesse Oliver (he/him) is a performance poet, writer and CEO of Express Media, a Melbourne based NFP supporting young writers, creators, and storytellers from around the country. Before this, he was a director of the National Young Writers Festival. As an artist, Jesse was crowned an Australian Poetry Slam Champion at the Sydney Opera House, and has since toured his poetry nationally, appearing at TedXPerth and Byron Bay Writers Festival, and internationally to the Ubud Readers and Writers Festival, the Singapore Writers Festival, and the Hong Kong International Literary Festival. As a proud non-binary transgender, pansexual and queer man of colour, Jesse hardly writes about identity—or does he? His work features aliens, dreamscapes, and love in a sincere and rhythmic style described as part storytelling, part conversation. Jesse seeks to showcase the strength in vulnerability, and facilitate connection, empathy, and understanding through the scariest medium known to him—public speaking. 

Mark Mariano.jpg

Mark Mariano (he/him) is a published Filipino editor, writer, speaker, content producer, and social media whiz from Doonside, on Darug land. Proudly queer, Mark’s work spans across Queerstories, Truth To Power Cafè, SBS Voices, SBS Food, United Nations NSW, ABC, and Netflix ANZ. He is also part of the Sweatshop Western Sydney Literacy Movement, through which his debut poetry collection ‘Down From Doonside Station’ was published in 2019. He contributed to and sub-edited their 2021 anthology, ‘Racism’, and panelled at the Sydney Writers’ Festival in 2021 upon its launch. He has also represented Australia twice at the Harvard University Project for Asian International Relations, and was an artist at the 2020 National Young Writers’ Festival. Mark is passionate about diversity, body positivity, intersectional activism, social justice, and mental health awareness, and has worked closely with organisations such as Headspace, ReachOut, and OneInAllIn.

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