From Archer Magazine

Drag and gender: Performing as a non-binary human

I was backstage at a show recently and a drag queen gushed that she’d been looking forward to meeting me. She said that I was super talented, and very ‘fishy’. My smiling face turned to confusion, and I realised she thought I was a cisgender man, and she was praising me for impersonating a woman …

The whiteness of ‘coming out’: culture and identity in the disclosure narrative

It’s been eight years since I first kissed a boy, and two since gender loosened its grip on me, yet I never came out to my father. I’ve made my peace with never coming out to him, or the rest of my extended family, for that matter. For someone straddling two cultures, this is a …

The medicalisation of gender fluidity: Forget me not

I had my first instance of gender confusion when I was around eight years old. I was skiing with my family in a little snow-capped town called Ohau in New Zealand. Having just got dressed, I passed the mirror on the way out and I was startled by my own reflection. I suddenly realised that …

Versatile tricks: transitioning as a sex worker

When the average American girl turns 18, she typically does one of a few things to celebrate: smoke, binge-drink, or maybe hang out with older men. The day I turned 18, however, I was skipping school to meet a submissive with my pockets full of partially-eaten Snickers minis, birthday money from my grandma, and a …

Gender, fashion, and family: Generation gaps

Ever since I was very young, I noticed that the feelings I was having about my identity, my body and my gender, were not being echoed by the wider culture. For years, I have turned over ideas in my head, like: if gender is socially constructed, why does it feel so starkly relevant and present? Why …

Queerness and Indigenous cultures: One world, many lives

HERE WE ARE AGAIN. Here’s a spiney train that shudders on its slippery track. It moves from Sydney, taking me home on its back. Logically, the story of Aboriginal queerness and me begins here, although, more accurately, it started immemorially before I came into the picture. I’m close to running out of life experiences I can …

Life under shadow: Exploring bisexuality as an Arab-Australian

Bodies are like houses. Some are big and wide, some small and cosy, some old and broken. Like houses, bodies come in all shapes and colours, and we’re all conditioned to be judgmental about them: where we live, where we’ve come from, and the associated privilege of a postcode. More than that, our bodies, our homes, are the …

Motherhood and sex: Navigating post-birth desire

Ejaculating milk from my nipples during orgasm was not something I can say I expected, while I was expecting. It was a rainy afternoon during my third trimester and, without even aiming, I shot my partner straight in the eye. Fortunately, unlike semen, breast milk doesn’t sting and there was no burning or redness. In …

Transgender stories: Jordan Raskopoulos under the spotlight

I recall blowing out four candles on my birthday cake and wishing that I’d wake up the next day as a girl. I can remember making that same wish with five candles, with six, with 16 and even with 32. There’s a lot that held me back from transition earlier in life – shame, guilt, …

Q&A with Alok Vaid-Menon of Darkmatter

Member of poetry duo Darkmatter, Alok Vaid-Menon, chats to us about performance, faggotry and being freakishly queer. This is an excerpt from Archer Magazine #7, the THEY/THEIRS issue. Q: How has your trip to Australia been so far? Politically and racially, everyone has a different idea of what’s going on here. US frameworks around race, …

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The Australian journal of sexual diversity.