Juno Dawson

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Juno Dawson
BornJames Dawson
(1981-07-10) 10 July 1981 (age 40)
Bingley, West Yorkshire, England
OccupationAuthor, columnist, actor
EducationBingley Grammar School
Alma materBangor University
GenreYoung adult fiction

Juno Dawson is a British transgender activist, and writer of young adult fiction and non-fiction, including This Book Is Gay, Mind Your Head, Margot & Me, The Gender Games, Clean and Meat Market.

Life and career[edit]

Juno Dawson was born James Dawson on 10 July 1981 at Bradford Royal Infirmary in West Yorkshire.[1] Dawson lived in Bingley and was educated at Bingley Grammar School.[2][3] After graduating from Bangor University,[2] she worked as a primary school teacher and later became a PSHE co-ordinator.[4] While working as a teacher, she began writing books aimed at young adults and became successful enough to leave her job.[5] She wrote a number of young adult fiction books including Hollow Pike and Say Her Name.[6] Her books often feature LGBT people, and Dawson has advocated for other books to feature more prominent LGBT characters.[7]

In 2014, Dawson wrote This Book Is Gay, a non-fiction book aiming to be a "manual to all areas of life as an LGBT person."[8] In Wasilla, Alaska, a petition was started to remove the book from a public library, with a number of residents criticising the library for stocking it, citing the profanity and sexually explicit text.[9] Dawson responded by saying that the event highlighted how "there is still such small-mindedness and hatred left to contend with."[10] In the same year, she was a recipient of the Queen of Teen award.

In 2015, Dawson came out as a transgender woman, having begun her journey of transitioning 18 months prior. She began hormonal transition in early 2016.[6][11] She was signed to write a column in Glamour magazine documenting her experience of transitioning.[12] She represents the LGBT charity Stonewall as a School Role Model.[13] Dawson sat on the judging panel for the 2016 BBC Young Writers' Award.[14]

In 2017, Dawson published The Gender Games, her first book aimed at adults, discussing themes of gender as well as her own life experiences.[5] Television rights to the book were acquired in 2018 by SunnyMarch, the production company founded by Benedict Cumberbatch.[15]

In early 2018, it was announced that Dawson would be writing a novel called The Good Doctor, one of the first Doctor Who novels to feature the Thirteenth Doctor as played by Jodie Whittaker. The novel was released released in October 2018.[16][17] As well as writing a novel, she has also contributed audio plays for the Big Finish Torchwood range. Dawson was supposed to write an episode for the second series of Class, but the show was cancelled.[18]

Dawson has small acting roles in I May Destroy You and Holby City.[19]


In 2014 Dawson won the 'Queen of Teen' award, a biennial prize (discontinued in 2016) for young adult fiction writers.[20]

Her novel, 'Meat Market' won the YA Book Prize 2020.[21]


  • Hollow Pike (2012)
  • Cruel Summer (2013)
  • Being a Boy (2013)
  • Say Her Name (2014)
  • This Book Is Gay (2014)
  • Under My Skin (2015)
  • All of the Above (2015)
  • Mind Your Head (2016)
  • Torchwood: The Dollhouse (2016)
  • Spot the Difference - written for World Book Day[22] (2016)
  • Margot & Me (2017)
  • The Gender Games (2017)
  • What is Gender? How Does it Define Us? and Other Big Questions (2017)
  • Grave Matter (2017)
  • Torchwood: Orr (2017)
  • Clean (2018)
  • Doctor Who: The Good Doctor (2018)
  • Meat Market (2019)
  • Proud (2019)
  • Wonderland (2020)
  • Whats The T? (2021)
  • Stay Another Day (2021)


  1. ^ Kay, Adam (2020). "Juno Dawson". Dear NHS 100 Stories to say Thank You. ISBN 978-1-3987-0118-2.
  2. ^ a b Juno Dawson (2017). The Gender Games.
  3. ^ Hogan, Michael (1 April 2018). "Juno Dawson: 'Teenagers have seen things that would make milk curdle'". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  4. ^ Armstrong, Rebecca (20 April 2018). "Juno Dawson on sex education: 'Nobody had thought to tell these young people that sex was pleasurable'". i. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  5. ^ a b Taylor, Marianne (28 May 2017). "'Transition is exhausting. No-one does it to be trendy': Author Juno Dawson on her new book The Gender Games". The Herald. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  6. ^ a b Williams, Joe (24 October 2015). "International best selling author comes out as transgender". Pink news. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  7. ^ Hawkes, Rebecca (24 July 2015). "James Dawson: 'Young Adult literature should celebrate being gay'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  8. ^ "Why my book is gay: and I'm proud of it". The Guardian. 4 September 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  9. ^ Schaub, Michael (25 November 2015). "'This Book Is Gay', an LGBT sex ed book for teens, is challenged in Wasilla, Alaska". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  10. ^ Flood, Alison (26 November 2015). "James Dawson criticises parents who attacked his LGBT guide for children". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  11. ^ Hawkes, Rebecca (14 October 2015). "YA author James Dawson: 'I'm becoming a transgender woman'". The Telegraph. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  12. ^ Duffy, Nick (5 January 2016). "'This Book is Gay' author to document her transition in Glamour". Pink News. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  13. ^ Levine, Nick (31 January 2017). "Juno Dawson on her life, her novel and debunking trans myths". Evening Standard. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  14. ^ "Transgender author Juno Dawson joins judging panel for BBC Young Writers' Award". The Telegraph. 2 March 2016. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  15. ^ Kroll, Justin (4 June 2018). "Benedict Cumberbatch's SunnyMarch Banner Lands TV Rights to Memoir 'The Gender Games'". Variety. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  16. ^ Cowdrey, Katherine (10 May 2018). "Alderman and Dawson to write Doctor Who tales". The Bookseller.
  17. ^ Alderman, Naomi (11 May 2018). "New Doctor Who regenerated in fiction by Juno Dawson and Naomi Alderman". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  18. ^ @junodawson (23 December 2020). "Here's me, my old nose, some hair extensions and THE DOCTOR. This was 2016 on the set of CLASS. Had there been a s…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  19. ^ "Juno Dawson". IMDb.
  20. ^ Eyre, Charlotte (11 February 2016). "The Book People closes Queen of Teen award". The Bookseller. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  21. ^ "Dawson's Meat Market wins the YA Book Prize | the Bookseller".
  22. ^ Auld, Tim (3 March 2016). "World Book Day 2016: which stories to buy with your £1 token". The Telegraph. Retrieved 31 July 2017.

External links[edit]