JD Derbyshire (they/them) is a Vancouver-based comedian, theatre maker, writer, and activist whose work examines mental health, neurodiversity, queerness, and gender exploration. JD has toured Canada as a stand-up comedian and solo performer; has written over twenty plays and co-hosts the mental health podcast Mad Practice. Their play Certified, which served as partial inspiration for their debut novel Mercy Gene, turns the audience into a mental health review board to determine Derbyshire’s sanity by the end of the show. It won two Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards. Mercy Gene is a genre-smashing work of auto-fiction that navigates queerness, gender confusion, institutionalization, addiction, and abuse through a beautiful, humorous, sometimes erratic series of vignettes, lists, anecdotes and poems. “Mercy Gene is an incredible book that lifted me right up off the ground and away to other places both hard and soft. It’s essential reading for anyone wanting to know what the agony of psychic pain is really like, but it’s also very funny. Thank you, thank you to JD for this ferocious, devastating and illuminating, tender and vulnerable, mountain peak and universal embrace of a book and for being in the world. Exquisite.” — Miriam Toews

JD’s appearance is supported by Author Patron Make Way For Me! Occupational Therapy For Children and Youth

Appearing in 14. Mercy Gene, WR4. Brave Spaces – Increasing Our Capacity for Uncomfortable Feelings