Two new memoirs explore the discovery of long-held family secrets and their resounding intergenerational effects on how we understand ourselves. When Kaya Wilson came out to his parents as transgender, a year after a near-death surfing accident and just weeks before his father’s death, he was met with a startling family history of concealed queerness and shame. Sarah Dingle was 27 when her mother mentioned over dinner that Sarah had been conceived via a sperm donor, but when she began digging she discovered only destroyed records and dead ends. Kaya (As Beautiful As Any Other) and Sarah (Brave New Humans: The Dirty Reality of Donor Conception) discuss their memoirs and confronting life’s complexities compassionately with Maeve Marsden.
Kaya Wilson (Australian)
Kaya Wilson is a writer and tsunami scientist based in Canberra. His non-fiction writing blends essay and memoir to explore universal themes of identity, gender and origin. His work has been published widely, including by Pan Macmillan, Brow Books, The Guardian and Overland. In 2019, Kaya was the recipient of the Writing NSW Varuna Fellowship where he completed his first book As Beautiful as Any Other: A memoir of my body, published by Pan Macmillan.
Sarah Dingle (Australian)
Sarah Dingle is a dual Walkley Award–winning ABC investigative reporter and presenter. Sarah was donor-conceived and in 2019 addressed the United Nations on the rights of the child in the age of biotechnology. Her work has won the Walkley Foundation’s Our Watch Award for reporting on violence against women and children, UN Media Peace Prizes, Amnesty Media Prizes and the Voiceless Media Prize. In 2010, she was the ABC’s Andrew Olle Scholar. Brave New Humans: The Dirty Reality of Donor Conception is her first book.
Maeve Marsden (Australian)
Maeve Marsden is a writer and theatremaker. She was a 2020 Phillip Parsons fellow at Belvoir Theatre, and has written and performed in a number of critically acclaimed theatre productions, touring Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Maeve curates national storytelling project Queerstories, and her writing has appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald, Guardian Australia, Junkee and Archer Magazine, among others.