Articles

Deadnaming and transgender people: The pain of a name

Names. Labels. Decisions… We, as human beings, do love to put neat little labels on nearly anything. We have a deep-seated need to create well-balanced order out of the endless amounts of chaos that this universe tends to fling our way. Your name is there, sometimes even before you’re born, just waiting to slap a …

School’s out: Catholic schools and the Sex Discrimination Act

It’s been ten years since I finished school. A decade since I definitively declared “School’s out for summer, school’s out forever”. Between that day, the beginning of the rest of my life, and now, I came out. Returning to my Catholic high school in Sydney’s inner west to see what had changed, I expected better …

Shifting beyond the binary: Periods, gender and identity

The first time I got my period, my mum cried. I had woken up to find a red stain on my cotton briefs when I went to the bathroom, quickly hauled my PJ pants back up and dashed to the front door where Mum was just about to leave for work. ‘Mum, it came, I …

Girlfriends, gal pals or partners? Language and queer visibility

I was recently caught in the revolving door of the closet. During small talk with an acquaintance, I’d mentioned my girlfriend. After a meandering chat about household chores, she dropped the word ‘friend’ into the conversation, the cogs turned, and I realised we were on different wavelengths about what my girlfriend was to me. As …

Changing the story of living with HIV

HIV for me has always felt simultaneously impossible and inevitable. Impossible, because like so many of us who are young and privileged with good health, we feel invincible. Although we know something could happen, we doubt that it will happen. This is where impossibility sat, in the arrogance of youth and the privilege of good …

The ‘good’ and ‘bad’ feminist: Coming to terms with my kinks

“Are you choking me?” my partner asked me, pausing in the middle of sex. His expression was somewhere between shock and confusion. Caught off guard while on top of him, I found both my hands wrapped, perhaps a little bit tightly, on his neck, so I quickly released them. He laughed and, in my embarrassment, …

Trauma and victims of the patriarchy in the aftermath of #MeToo

Content warning: This article contains discussion of sexual assault, suicide, and therapy   Although there have been shifts and tides since the onset of the #Metoo movement, it remains deeply pertinent and personal to so many of us, triggering memories of our own  sexual traumas, causing us to speak to the interiority of our experiences …

Being a stealth trans man when transphobia is on the rise

The election of Jair Bolsonaro as president of Brazil isn’t an isolated phenomenon. As a politically compromised transgender man, I can’t help but interpret it as part of a worrying reactionary backlash. I live in Argentina, the first country in the region to recognise trans people’s right to change our names legally and access gender …

Being queer and body positive

Being queer and body positive

Growing up in Australia in a time when fad diets and homophobia were all the rage, for me, the 90’s and early 00’s meant crash diets and sneaking off to Sydney to make out with girls on the weekend. I hid my sexuality and forced myself to have relationships with men to appease society, I …

Another way to transition: Holistic pathways to gender affirmation

When it comes to transitioning, the most well known approach is down the medical path. Hormones and surgery seem to be the “go to” options. But there are other paths as well. I came out as non-binary when I was 32, but my physical transition started when I was 28. At the time, I lived …

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Sexuality - Gender - Identity