Book review: Growing up Queer in Australia | Edited by Benjamin Law

Compiled by celebrated author and journalist Benjamin Law, who is fast becoming one of Australia’s leading voices on LGBTIQA+ issues, ‘Growing Up Queer in Australia’ assembles real life stories from across the spectrum of sexual and gender identity.

Spanning diverse places, eras, genders, ethnicities and experiences, ‘Growing Up Queer in Australia’ is the book that most of its contributors undoubtedly wish they had been able to read when they were young. The deeply personal, painful and traumatic sits comfortably alongside the wryly humorous, saucy, and subversive in this fascinating and eclectic anthology.

From strict and disapproving families and the rigours of private Catholic schooling through to the surprise of ready familial acceptance and eye-opening first times, ‘Growing Up Queer in Australia’ will see you chuckling, gasping and tearing up in empathy for its contributors. If you’ve ever experienced a sense of being “othered” for your sexual or gender identity, there will almost certainly be a story, character or even a handful of lines between these covers that feels comfortingly familiar.

With contributions from David Marr, Fiona Wright, Nayuka Gorrie, Steve Dow, Holly Throsby, Sally Rugg, Tony Ayres, Nic Holas, Rebecca Shaw, Kerryn Phelps and many more, ‘Growing Up Queer in Australia’ is a brutally honest and incredibly necessary book. One that will enable queer readers to identify with the contributors while also defying, questioning and shedding light on the many stereotypes that currently exist about the extended LGBTIQA+ community. A must read in this day and age, no matter how you identify.

Benjamin Law will be appearing at Byron Writers Festival (2-4 August). ‘Growing Up Queer In Australia’ is available for pre-order at, and will be in stores 6 August. Check out our interview with Benjamin Law in this edition.

IMAGE (c) Paul Harris

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