Sweaty, heady, joyously queer


I’m always hungry for historical queer representation,” says Charlie Josephine, the non-binary playwright of I, Joan, a sweaty, heady, joyously queer new drama about the patron saint of France. “Because our history has been erased – particularly transgender people’s – there is very limited documentation of us throughout history, even though we have existed since the beginning of time.”

Whose history? “Queer” people’s? So the fix is to erase the history of women?

To Josephine, Joan being written as non-binary felt both obvious and natural. “I could have written this play as a cis woman who is feminist and passionate about expressing themselves in this way,” says Josephine, shrugging the idea away. “But the more I read about Joan, the more I think they’re what we would now call non-binary or trans.”

Because feminism is so yesterday, so your mama. Non-binary and trans are so much more up to the minute and exciting…until they too become your mama.

There was, however, one part of the backlash that caught Josephine by surprise. “I forgot I was blaspheming a saint!” they say with a laugh, hands lifting to their head and almost forming a halo. When first considering how to write the play, they add, Joan’s devotion did prove a challenge.

All those confusing theys – I have every sympathy.

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