‘My story is for everyone’: Danielle Laidley talks memoir Don’t Look Away before local bookshop appearance

Hannah CrossSound Telegraph
Danielle Laidley is touring with her new memoir, Don't Look Away.
Camera IconDanielle Laidley is touring with her new memoir, Don't Look Away. Credit: Tina Smigielski/Supplied

Former footballer, senior coach and now a published author, Danielle Laidley is embarking on a tour around the country to promote her new memoir, Don’t Look Away.

Laidley will be making an appearance at popular independent Rockingham book store My Little Bookshop on Thursday night to talk about her journey and encourage more open discussion about transgender experiences.

With her story now out in the world on her own terms, Laidley said she was excited by the opportunities it would present.

“It’s been a whole range of emotions, from very excited that we’ve come up with a book that I think will resonate with a lot of people, but at the same time (there has been) a nervousness about it,” Laidley told the Sound Telegraph.

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“It’s no longer my story anymore, it’s for anyone to read who wants to.”

During her appearance at My Little Bookshop, Rockingham personality Heidi Anderson will interview Laidley about her transition after years of gender dysphoria and a battle with addiction.

“There’s a whole range of issues in it (the memoir): gender dysphoria, themes of addiction, transgender issues,” Laidley said.

“I’m hoping it will reach a large group of people and that they take something out of it and (they can) understand that you’re not alone and you can have these conversations.”

Danielle Laidley's memoir, Don't Look Away.
Camera IconDanielle Laidley's memoir Don't Look Away. Credit: Supplied

With her memoir now on bookshelves around the country, Laidley is also finishing up shooting a documentary about her life, due for release in the first quarter of next year.

“It’s sort of a continue on from the book — it has a little bit of my life story in it and (it’s also about) the education of society,” she said.

“And it’s about our life together, (my partner) Donna and I . . . I’m really looking forward to it coming out.”

Laidley is also working with Victoria Police, creating educational videos for new police recruits after photos of her in custody were leaked online in 2020.

For now, Laidley is leading discussion around trans experiences through her memoir and spending time with her partner and family.

“We are spending as much time as we can with our families,” she said.

My Little Bookshop owner Kerry Ridley said she was thrilled to be hosting the newly published author.

“An event like this for Rockingham is fantastic for the community and raising more awareness in the area,” Ridley said.

Laidley will appear at My Little Bookshop on Thursday, September 15 at 7pm. Tickets are limited. For more information visit: www.mylittlebookshop.com.au/bookshop-events.html.

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