Author Panel Event: Growing up queer

Writers, Alison Evans, Holden Sheppard and Gary Lonesborough share their experiences of growing up queer. They tell us of the support and advocacy they received and what support they wished had been there for them. They are joined by Adolfo Aranjuez leading this special in conversation event to acknowledge, inspire as well as inform and empower.

ONLINE event

Wednesday 9 February: 6.30pm to 7.30pm

Bookings required:


Alison Evans is the award-winning author of three young adult (YA) novels: Euphoria Kids (2020), Highway Bodies (2019) and Ida (2017). They are a contributor in the YA anthologies Kindred: 12 Queer #loveozya Stories (2019) and Hometown Haunts: A Horror #loveozya Anthology (forthcoming 2021). They run a fortnightly writing group for trans youth with Nevo Zisin, and they co-edit the zine Concrete Queers with Katherine Back, which has published over 60 queer and/or questioning artists. They are a passionate advocate for the #loveozya community and work as a children's specialist bookseller.

Holden Sheppard is an award-winning author born and bred in Geraldton, Western Australia. His debut novel Invisible Boys (Fremantle Press, 2019) won multiple accolades his second novel The Brink will be published by Text Publishing in mid-2022. His writing has been published in numerous anthologies and publications. In his spare time, Holden is a gym junkie and plays footy (AFL). A lifelong misfit, he is a punk, a Pokémon geek, and a bogan who learned to speak French. He lives in Perth with his husband.

Gary Lonesborough is a Yuin man from Bega, NSW. Growing up a massive Kylie Minogue and North Queensland Cowboys fan, he was always writing as a child, and continued his creative journey when he moved to Sydney to study at film school. This led to Gary working on the feature film adaptation of Jasper Jones. As a role model for Aboriginal youth and an emerging talent in the creative arts, Gary was awarded Bega Valley Shire Council’s Young Citizen of the Year Award. In his final year of high school, he won the Patrick White Young Indigenous Writers’ Award, and he has since received a Copyright Agency First Nations Fellowship. Gary writes late at night, into the early hours of the morning. ‘I like to think it is part of my DNA as an Aboriginal person – to tell stories,’ he says, ‘because Aboriginal people have been telling stories for thousands of years.’

Adolfo Aranjuez is an editor, writer, speaker and dancer. He is currently the Melbourne International Film Festival’s publications and content manager and Liminal’s publication editor; previously, he edited the magazines Metro and Archer. His essays, criticism and poetry have been published widely, including in Meanjin, Right Now, Screen Education, The Manila Review, Cordite and Growing Up Queer in Australia, and he co-wrote the TikTok drama series Scattered. He has worked with the Melbourne Writers Festival, Midsumma, ABC TV, ACMI, Dance Massive, the Immigration Museum, Arts Access Victoria and the Human Rights Arts & Film Festival.