Juno Dawson is a Young Adult author, who, in 2014, was awarded the title ‘Queen of Teen’ – an award given to writers of teen fiction. This is due to the success of her books, many of which feature LGBT+ characters.
Juno Dawson is a transgender female and came out in 2015, after already establishing herself as a successful writer. She became a columnist for Glamour magazine, documentary her transition and to this day continues to write and give interviews on her experiences.
Her openness on the topic of her transition makes her an inspiration to those going through similar situations. She encourages people to not be scared and to live their lives as the person they were meant to be.
In 2014, before transitioning, Juno published This Book is Gay, a non-fiction book that aims to be a “manual to all areas of life as an LGBT person.” Funny and informative, critics and fans have hailed this book as a must-have for teenagers who are part of the LGBT+ community; although the book is an encouraged read for anybody, no matter what your sexual preference.
In her work, Juno discusses that schools fail to teach about gay relationships in sex education – only a female and male relationship are presented in these lessons. She widely critiques the established ‘norm’ of sexuality, gender and relationships.
Ironically, after the book was released, a petition was started to have it removed from a public library in Alaska, with residents citing ‘sexually explicate text’ as the reason. Considering this same public library most likely also stocked books such as 50 Shades of Grey, it can be believed that these residents weren’t willing to say it was actually the homosexual theme of the book that made them feel it should be removed.
Juno responded to the petition by saying it highlighted that, “there is still such small-mindedness and hatred left to contend with.”
And she is right.
Words by Elly Bailey