Articles

Happy Valentine’s Day, me: How being single became central to my queerness

When I was a kid, my favourite books were the His Dark Materials trilogy by Phillip Pullman. Different worlds, fantastic instruments, flying witches, and your soul appearing outside your body in animal form. It was magic, lush, creatively unbound. What impacted me most was a quote from a human character – a scientist – named …

LGBTIQ elders – An excerpt from “Peering Through: Sharing Decades of Queer Experiences”

“LGBTIQ elders have a strong history of breaking down barriers for proceeding generations to live more freely. Some of these stories are well publicised, such as the process to decriminalise homosexuality, while others are more personal, like our elders being role models just by living openly and honestly. Our elders represent an incredible history that …

I’m the gay teacher you want the right to fire

I have been a teacher for the better part of a decade. When I graduated, I was offered two jobs: one in a state school and one in a Catholic school. At the time, my Catholic faith formed a huge part of my identity; I had even undergone additional study to attain formal qualifications in …

How to talk about sex with your parents

The plan was to gift my mother a vibrator for Mother’s Day. She was frank in her confession that since splitting from my father ten years ago, she hasn’t had sex with anyone else. She wasn’t particularly forlorn about it. Nor does she seem especially frisky. But for me, sexual pleasure and masturbation are hugely …

Top 5 picks at Mardi Gras Film Festival 2019

Queer Screen’s Mardi Gras Film Festival is always a highlight of our Mardi Gras calendar, because who doesn’t love the chance to sit back with some popcorn and (finally) see our communities and stories projected on the big screen?! We’ve trawled through the program of 120 films (54 feature length and 66 short films across …

Trauma and homophobia: Becoming sexual in my late forties

Content warning: this story discusses instances of sexual assault and homophobia.   For most people, their only understanding of being a virgin at 40 is the Steve Carell film. Not me. After living through years of homophobia – both internalised and not – and trauma, I recently experienced my first sexual encounter, at 48. I’m …

No justice for sexual assault victims: Sex workers ‘less than citizens’

Content warning: this article discusses sexual assault. One Summer afternoon in February 2018, Anna* sat opposite a police officer in the interview room of a suburban station in Brisbane. As her husband waited at reception, Anna explained that only hours earlier, she had been sexually assaulted. The response was unexpected. “Where’s the crime? What is …

Archer Asks: DANCING QWEENS performer James Welsby

James Welsby is a VCA-trained performer, choreographer and producer with a decade of professional experience. His group Phantom Limbs won “Best Dance” and “Melbourne Festival Discovery Award” at Melbourne Fringe 2013. He is the founder and artistic director of the hit internationally touring cult cabaret YUMMY. His drag alter ego is “Valerie Hex.” In Midsumma …

Losing a digital home: Tumblr’s ban and marginalised sexual identities

On December 17, the popular blogging platform Tumblr enacted a ban on “adult content” uploaded to its site. What it means by adult content is images and videos of “real-life human genitals”, content that depicts sex acts, and nipples – but only, of course, ones that are “female-presenting.” Many have pointed out that the blanket …

Archer Asks: Velma Celli, creator and star of A Brief History of Drag

Internationally recognised UK drag queen Velma Celli – performed by West End star Ian Stroughair – chats with Belinda Quinn about vulnerability in drag, learning to like your creative self, and her cabaret, A Brief History of Drag, which comes to Australian audiences this January and February.   How did you get the idea to put …

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Sexuality - Gender - Identity