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Event Details

Something That May Shock and Discredit You

14 June 2022
6.30pm – 7.30pm AEST
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Daniel Lavery | Christy Newman

Daniel Lavery is very clear about one thing, he does not owe an explanation about himself or his gender to anyone.  

His deeply personal new book, Something That May Shock and Discredit You is a funny, gentle and self-deprecating exploration of how Daniel sees the world, and how the experience of coming to know and affirm his gender has affected the lens through which he experiences that world. 

Taking direct aim at the cultural canon, Daniel’s work leaves no literary or philosophical stone unturned, spanning everything from the cast of Mean Girls to the beauty of William Shatner and whether or not Greek goddess Athena was a tomboy - a truly unapologetic exploration of all the intricacies of reimagining gender, faith, and family. 

Join UNSW social researcher Christy Newman in conversation with Daniel to explore how this vital combination of courage and humour might help us resist efforts to discredit community knowledge of our own bodies, desires and needs, and become more honest about the awkwardness and ambiguities in our intimate lives. 

You can order a copy of Something That May Shock and Discredit You by Daniel Mallory Ortberg online through the UNSW bookshop here

Please be aware that this event discusses sexual abuse and trauma which may be distressing for some people. Resources and support can be found here:

The Centre for Ideas’ International Conversations series brings the world to Sydney. Each digital event brings a leading UNSW thinker together with their international peer or hero to explore inspiration, new ideas and discoveries. 






This event will be available on the UNSW Centre for Ideas website and UNSW YouTube channel. Closed captions will be available on each platform.

A link to watch the event will be sent just before the event to registered attendees.


For event enquiries or to discuss your access requirements, please call the Centre for Ideas on 02 9065 0485 or email

The Centre for Ideas is happy to receive phone calls via the National Relay Service. TTY users, phone 133 677, then ask for 02 9065 0485. Speak and Listen users, phone 1300 555 727 then ask for 02 9065 0485. Internet relay users, visit, then ask for 02 9065 0485. 

Daniel Lavery

Daniel Lavery

Daniel M. Lavery is the author of Something that May Shock and Discredit You, Texts From Jane Eyre, and The Merry Spinster. He is a co-founder of The Toast and a former Dear Prudence at Slate. He runs The Chatner newsletter and lives in New York.  

Christy Newman

Christy Newman

Christy Newman (they/them) is a Professor of health, sexuality and gender at the UNSW Centre for Social Research in Health, and Associate Dean Engagement and Impact in UNSW Arts, Design and Architecture. Over the last two decades, Christy has had the privilege of documenting the lived experience of people whose ways of ‘doing’ gender, sexuality, relationships and families are considered diverse or unconventional, including queer and trans communities, and those intimately affected by HIV and viral hepatitis. Christy is endlessly inspired by the cultures of care and courage these communities bring to the intersecting tasks of looking after one self, and looking after one another, often in the face of ongoing social and political hostility.

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