Articles

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, …

Making Love and Making Law

Making Love and Making Law

I was born in 1991, the year that Nicholas Toonen, a gay activist from Tasmania, sent a communication to the United Nations Human Rights Committee. He argued that criminalising sex between men in private was a violation of his right to privacy. In that year, homosexual sex was still a criminal activity in Tasmania. Under …

Being queer on Tumblr: Privacy and anonymity in the age of social media

Tumblr, the microblogging social platform, has long functioned as a space where young people tend to feel comfortable enough sharing intimate personal details about themselves, particularly in comparison with other social media networks. For me, it was the first place I truly felt like I could express my queerness. I had a typical high school …

Transgender and gender diverse representation on the big screen

As a non-binary person, I am constantly seeking films, television shows, music and online spaces where gender diversity is the norm, not the exception. They are still far too rare, and much needed in our current context. Misconceptions about transgender and gender diverse people continue to abound. In the United States, President Trump’s administration is considering defining …

The asexual spectrum: Sex education, stigma, and silence

Have you ever been part of a conversation where people talk about their sexual escapades with a brazen confidence? Ever tried to slink away from such a conversation because you don’t have anything to add, or are embarrassed to say what you feel? That’s me in the corner, losing my confidence trying to keep up …

Coming out when the labels don’t fit

It took me 25 years to come out the first time. I didn’t consciously know I was queer for a long time, so it didn’t really feel like I was ‘holding it in’ until I finally came out and thought, “wow, where’s that weird sense of indefinable tension that I’ve been carrying around for literally …

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Sexuality - Gender - Identity