The 2023 Oscar Wilde Award

Every year I sponsor the Oscar Wilde Award at Island Fringe, given to the show that “most effectively celebrates non-conformity.” The award-winning show is chosen by a jury, and evidence suggests that the process of jurying the shows is done with considerable thoughtfulness. Island Fringe is one of my favourite things, and watching the Oscar Wilde take on a life of its own continues to be a lovely part of it.

This year’s award went to Riley Jane Carson for her show Transpectrum:

Follow Riley Jayne Carson on a wonderful journey. This neurodivergent trans beauty queen explains how a love for Anne of Green Gables awakened her identity. And after over thirty years of self denial, it took another red headed Ann to help her rediscover her gender identity. Riley Jayne is a Jack (or should I say Jill) of multiple talents.  A background in theatre and very basic music allowed her to express her views, humour and attitude in a variety of forms ranging from stand-up comedy to drag.

On the way over to the closing ceremonies I was talking to Olivia about what “non-conformity” means, and used her owning her neurodivergent transness as an example of it; that the award went to “neurodivergent trans beauty queen” was a delightful counterpoint to that.