Caught in the Act

Shane Jenek

Caught in the Act Cover Image

Published: 02/11/2021
ISBN: 9780648795131
Genre: Memoir
Pages: 352
RRP: $32.99

Caught in the Act

Shane Jenek

Boy, girl, artist, advocate. Courtney is more than the sum of her parts.

Meet Shane Jenek. Raised in the Brisbane suburbs by loving parents, Shane realises from a young age that he’s not like all the other boys. At a performing arts agency he discovers his passion for song, dance and performance, and makes a promise to himself: to find a bigger stage.

Meet Courtney Act. Born in Sydney around the turn of the millennium, Courtney makes her name in the gay bars of Oxford Street and then on Australian Idol. Over ten years later, she makes star turns on RuPaul’s Drag Race and Celebrity Big Brother UK, bringing her unique take on drag and gender to the world.

Behind this rise to national and global fame is a story of searching for and finding oneself. Told with Courtney’s trademark candour and wit, Caught in the Act is about our journey towards understanding gender, sexuality and identity. It’s an often hilarious and at times heartbreaking memoir from a beloved drag and entertainment icon. Most of all, it’s a bloody good time.

Shane Jenek

Shane Jenek

Shane Jenek

Shane Jenek aka Courtney Act is a drag artist, singer, advocate and cultural provocateur. She has appeared on reality TV in Australia and overseas, including her breakout in 2003 on the first season of Australian Idol; making the Top 3 on RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 6; and taking the UK by storm on Celebrity Big Brother, which she won. When Courtney isn’t busy being glamorous on TV and stage, she’s a boy from Brisbane called Shane Jenek.

As a gender-fluid, queer person, Courtney uses her public profile to educate audiences on issues such as gender identity, sexuality, marriage equality, anti-racism and more. As a singer-songwriter she has released a pop EP and entertained audiences in her cabaret shows throughout the world. She currently splits her time following Pride parades and chasing summer between London, Los Angeles and Sydney.

More about the author

Caught in the Act is an incredibly insightful memoir of the life of one of my dearest friends. As close as we are, it actually gave me a deeper understanding of my little “Pussyface”. Personally, my favourite parts were on pages 7, 32, 204, 236, 244–249, 255, 257, 277, 278, 284, 293, 323 and 324. The pages where I’m mentioned.’

‘In a world where there are now more drag queens than pubs, it’s hard to stand out. You need to be pretty, witty and unstoppable. Courtney is all three and more. I love this book.’

‘Glorious, heartfelt, passionate and inspirational – a glamorous frock-filled adventure that explores the full fluidity of Shane’s boundless bravery, love and humanity.’

‘Funny, smart, kind and entirely addictive, this is a glorious insight into an exceptional life. A road map for anyone who feels different and wants to let that side of themself shine.’

‘Courtney is a true star. I’m so thrilled with this book and its beautiful, powerful storytelling.’

‘It’s like witnessing the metamorphosis of one of the world’s most beautiful drag queens. With vulnerability and honesty, Shane delves deep into the many light-bulb moments of self-discovery, sexual exploration and gender identity. It’s the ultimate LGBTIQA+ handbook and guide for us all to live an open-hearted life.’

‘From winning Tiny Tot pageants to winning our hearts as an inspirational icon, Shane has one hell of a story to tell. Chock-full of hilarity, honesty and wisdom, this is a classic tale of a search for identity – with masking tape, Spice Girls and RuPaul.’

‘Shane and Courtney have conspired to deliver the anatomy of a truly great memoir. It’s as camp as lashes and has balls of steel. It’s sharp tongued and eye-poppingly candid. Its head flows with beautiful ideas and its heart pounds with a fearless love. Ms Jenek presents an outrageously clear-eyed narrative on the highly nuanced universe of gender fluidity. This is essential reading for us curious but confused boomers!’

‘We already suspected it, but this fearless, candid and open-hearted memoir proves that behind Courtney Act’s make-up is an emotionally intelligent and fiercely astute human being. We’re frankly lucky to be on the planet at the same time as them.’

‘A coming-of-age story like no other. It is an honour to dive into the world of a young queer kid from the Australian suburbs and learn how they became an icon of entertainment and social politics.’