Articles

The most read stories of 2018: Sex, relationships, and mental health

It’s been a big year for many in our communities. We’ve seen our first legal same gender marriages across Australia, and, with that, the end of forced divorce (in most states and territories) for transgender people wishing to change the gender on their birth certificate. But with the good comes the bad, and this year …

Bi Mouth: Queer Representation in Netflix’s Big Mouth

This article contains spoilers for Seasons 1 and 2 of Big Mouth. It is recommended that you watch before reading. I have a conflicted relationship with animated shows intended strictly for adults as they often seem to lack substance beyond the realm of offensiveness for its own sake. Big Mouth surprised me – despite focusing …

LGBTQ+ rights in India: Decriminalisation, activism, and pride

It was historical. In September, India’s Supreme Court declared the unconstitutionality of laws punishing consensual sex between homosexual adults. The judgement was the result of a legal challenge by prominent members of India’s LGBTQ+ community: dancer Navtej Singh Johar, journalist Sunil Mehra, chef Ritu Dalmia, hoteliers Aman Nath and Keshav Suri, and businesswoman Ayesha Kapur, …

Finding Family in Science Fiction Fandoms

I didn’t come out publicly as bisexual until I was an adult with my own family. I never felt rejection for loving anyone, but I also did not honour that part of myself. Instead, I sought understanding for the queer side of who I am in the fantasy world of science fiction where anything felt …

Out of the archives: Animal Liberation at Mardi Gras

Out of the archives is a new series from Jess Ison looking at queer her-/their-/his-tory in Australia in collaboration with Nick Henderson from the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives (ALGA).   Criticising Mardi Gras is not just an annual social media sport, but also a queer rite of passage. Whether it’s not enough portaloos in the staging …

Personal, professional and deeply political: On being femme and non-binary

A few months ago, I was asked to give a presentation for this year’s Transgender Day of Visibility. It has taken almost a decade and a lot of practice for me to feel confident asserting myself in these settings, and to feel assured in what I can offer others who want to expand their knowledge …

Prevention or pleasure: Sex after vaginismus

“Are you okay?” “Yeah, are you okay?” “Yeah.” “Okay, keep going. It’s okay, I promise.” It was hardly the lustful, passionate exchange I had imagined would accompany my ‘first time’ (an archaic concept that needs to be erased from our collective conscious). But it was the exchange I needed. Since I was diagnosed with vaginismus, my …

The domestic violence trap: Trauma bonding

The domestic violence trap: Trauma bonding

Content warning: this article discusses domestic violence in great detail I remember sitting in my psychologist’s office, my bum perched on the edge of her couch as I leant towards her, begging her to tell me why I couldn’t leave my abusive boyfriend, to explain what the hell was wrong with me. All the logic …

‘Yes’ one year on: Choosing marriage

The anniversary of the 2017 postal survey returning a ‘Yes’ result commemorates a complicated legacy. Many in our community will celebrate this day as a great moment in the history of gay rights, while for many others it is overshadowed by the bitter experience of those difficult months. Contrary to much of the commentary during …

Ace up my sleeve: Coming out as asexual

What does it mean to come out as asexual? What does it mean to identify as something that is essentially an absence? This is what I am thinking about, seven years into a happy straight-passing relationship with a cis-het man. It would be easy to continue in this relationship without coming out: just go on, …

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Sexuality - Gender - Identity