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An afternoon with Carly Findlay and Ginger Gorman

Carly Findlay is an Australian writer, speaker and appearance activist using her platform to discuss disability and her own skin condition ichthyosis.  This year marks the release of her first book ‘Say Hello’ which is all about her personal story. Ginger Gorman is an Australian journalist and online hate expert who has released her first book this year-‘Troll Hunting’ which I highly recommend. I came to the event more familiar with Ginger’s work than Carly’s, but it soon became apparent I was in the minority. Their Street Theatre was buzzing despite the events lazy afternoon timeslot with everyone excited to hear Carly talk for an hour. Hosted by bookshop and restaurant Muse they had decided to host the event here instead of in store as ticket sales had started to pass their capacity.

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Here we go! My dear friend @gingereatspho is interviewing me for the #SayHello launch in Canberra – we are both wearing our pyjamas! Ginger interviewed me for her book Troll Hunting in my hotel room, so we are continuing the theme today! 💗🧡 Images: 1. Two women standing, smiling on stage, they’re both wearing pyjamas. 2. A selfie of two women – one has a white face and the other has a red face. They’ve both got short dark hair, and are both smiling.

A post shared by Carly Findlay (@carlyfindlay) on

After we were seated, Carly and Ginger came out to a warm round of applause, wearing their pajamas. The two are friends having first met in pajamas when Ginger was interviewing Carly for her book. It was a good entry point to launch a discussion, comfort for most of us is only considered a luxury, but for many Australian’s like Carly, it is a necessity to be able to navigate the world.

The conversation format was Ginger asking questions about Carly’s experience and her book, with an opportunity for questions at the end which much of the audience jumped at. Carly is uplifting, positive and open but some of the topics discussed were somewhat dark. She endures rude questions regularly, some examples mentioned being “How long is your life span?” and “Can you even have sex?”. She depicted her childhood as mostly spent solitary in the library as her classmates wouldn’t invite her to play. But she was able to point to how things are slowly improving, and how now as an adult she has finally been able to find her “tribe”.

One of the most interesting topics was how she has been treated by the Australian Media. She discussed that having such a visible skin difference the normal civility offered to other guests is forgotten by hosts, feeling they can ask her anything no matter how invasive. Often the first thing she gets asked if on the radio is to describe what she looks like, an irrelevant question for most guests.

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Double book signing today for #sayhello by my friend @carlyfindlay and me with my book #trollhunting via @musecanberra @thestreetcbr Wine and good times! 💃🏽💃🏽💃🏽 This was a great moment for me because we were writing our books at the same time and often discussed the hard slog during that process! Then our books came out at around same time too and were frequently on bookstore shelves around the country side by side. Now we’ve had a double signing too. Perfect. 🙌🙌 #disability #cyberhate #amwriting #amreading

A post shared by Ginger Gorman (@gingereatspho) on

After the talk, everyone who didn’t bring Carly’s book had the opportunity to buy it before the signing. The line was least 30 people long before they arrived. Watching her take the time to talk to her fans answering any other questions, It was easy to see why everyone had been so excited to hear her speak.

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