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Benjamin Law - Growing Up Queer in Australia


Growing up queer is a many, varied and splendid thing. Growing Up Queer in Australia assembles voices from across the spectrum of LGBTIQA+ identity. Spanning diverse places, eras, ethnicities and experiences, these are the stories of growing up queer in Australia.

‘No amount of YouTube videos and queer think pieces prepared me for this moment.’

‘The mantle of “queer migrant” compelled me to keep going – to go further.’

‘I never “came out” to my parents. I felt I owed them no explanation.’

‘All I heard from the pulpit were grim hints.’

‘I became acutely aware of the parts of myself that were unpalatable to queers who grew up in the city.’

‘My queerness was born in a hot dry land that was never ceded.’

‘Even now, I sometimes think that I don’t know my own desire.’

‘For better or worse, sooner or later, life conspires to reveal you to yourself, and this is growing up.’

Meet Growing Up Queer in Australia editor Benjamin Law, in conversation with Canberra contributors Gemma Killen and Joo-Inn Chew



Joo-Inn Chew is a writer, and a doctor working in general practice and refugee health. She lives in Canberra with her partner and two kids. She loves diving through green waves, zooming along on her bike, and finding words to decipher the world.

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Gemma Killen is a writer, editor and academic in gender studies. Her writing focuses on the everyday minutiae of queer life, community and friendship. Her work has appeared in Australian Feminist Studies, Autostraddle, Feminartsy and The Big Issue. When she’s not writing, she’s probably sewing or admiring some handsome cats.


Benjamin Law is the author of the memoir The Family Law—now also an award-winning SBS TV series—Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East and the Quarterly Essay: Moral Panic 101. He’s written for over 50 publications worldwide and co-hosts ABC RN’s weekly national pop culture show Stop Everything.

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