FWF Q&A: Alison Evans

Alison Evans is the author of Euphoria Kids.

What does feminism mean to you?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and I don’t know. I think it is listening to other people. I have been trying to make the mental shift from being someone who identifies as a feminist but rather as someone who does feminist things. I think this distinction doesn’t really matter to anyone but me, but I think it’s a way for me to keep questioning what I know and to listen to other people’s experiences. I think it’s very easy to get caught up in your own stuff, and I’m definitely guilty of doing that.

Was there a particular moment you can pinpoint that was crucial to the development of your perspective on feminism?

I think my perspective is always changing. I think it’s important to keep actively and consciously educating yourself, and to keep seeking out these moments that have the potential to change your view of the world. There are so many different ways of seeing the world, I don’t think that I could pin it down to any one moment.

What attracts you to the intricate worlds of magical realism? Is there something about fantastical genres that allow richer explorations of gender and identity?

I’m not sure – I’ve been thinking about this recently with Euphoria Kids coming out. I think for me, it is easier to describe the joyous nature of existing in a queer body with ideas like magic. These things are linked in my mind, and so when I want to describe this experience, magical ideas seem to be what I grasp at.

You work on several zines – what does this format offer that traditional publishing avenues can’t?

It’s thoroughly fun, it’s not about money, it’s about sharing your art and your thoughts with other people. And you can just make one! Photocopy it and then it’s done. I like how simple zines can be. I recently made one about the lessons I’ve learnt about asking for payment for writing related work. It felt good to be able to pass those lessons on to whoever decides to read it!

Why is it important for YA texts in particular to represent a diversity of experiences of gender and sexuality?

For me, my teen years are when I really figured out my sexuality (gender identity came later). There were barely any books for kids like me, and I felt so alone. If I had known what being nonbinary meant when I was a teen, it would have saved me a lot of trouble. I write so that hopefully, other teens can find my books and know that they’re not alone, too.

Which women or non-binary writers do you think everyone should read?

This is an interesting question, and it’s one I get asked a lot. I think the lumping together of nonbinary people and women is complicated and I don’t necessarily endorse it. I think it alienates a lot of nonbinary people, and it perpetuates a gender binary to make nonbinary people more palatable to the general population. Putting us together does everyone a disservice – women should be celebrated, and so should nonbinary people.

Nonbinary writers whose work that I really enjoy are Nevo Zisin, Jes Layton, Jordi Kerr, JY Yang, Fury, Alex Gallagher, Rae White, Lee Pepper, Jonno Revanche, Ivan Coyote, Maddie Godfrey, Maddison Stoff, Alec Te Pohe. They’ve all taught me a lot.

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