From Archer Magazine

Boi wonder: Hinduism, transness and masculine anger

My very first images of masculinity and femininity came from the pictures that hung in my family’s prayer area, inside a small hallway closet with doors that opened like an accordion. Inside I saw gods and goddesses, either balanced on one leg in a dance pose, or standing with their palms together in prayer. At six …

Tilly Lawless: Making space as a sex worker

She asks me: “How do lesbians have sex?” Just five minutes ago we had shared a cock together, looking up between mouthfuls to laugh with our eyes in joyful collusion at the client’s expense. I’m slightly shocked that in her years of working, she’s never come across a “real lesbian”, as she calls me; that …

In exile: finding home as a queer woman from a refugee background

Finding a home in a new place is difficult, especially when your rights to that home are constantly called into question, writes Tina Dixson for Archer Magazine #8, the ‘SPACES’ issue.   The most common question I get asked in Australia is: “Where are you from?” It is asked at a party, by an Uber …

Latinx language: Between a gender and grammatical binary

The persistence of gendered terms in language can be complex for non-binary people, especially those with cross-cultural identities. When you study anatomy, one of the first things you learn is that the body is divided into planes: the transverse (horizontal: the way your belt sits), sagittal (left and right: imagine a line from your forehead to …

Trans spaces: Left out

Trans spaces: Left out

It took me five years to feel comfortable and respected in my gender. Five years of learning and unlearning, blog posts and academia, art, protest, music, grime, sweat and dancing. Five years of blood, scars, assault and forging ahead, despite a lack of understanding, even from the few trans friends I had. And it’s only in …

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, …

Straddling the gender binary: Clothes don’t maketh the man

It had taken my boss three weeks to comment on my new look. I was glad she liked my shoes, because although I’d only owned office-appropriate heels for a few weeks, I’d dreamed of wearing them for more than 20 years. This is me now. Rewind a couple of years, and this personal unveiling would have seemed like …

Culture Clash: Exploring cultural and sexual identities from Zimbabwe to Australia

When I was your age…” was how my Zimbabwean mother would often begin her lecture-sermons. “If God were to see you now,” she would say, in her rich and powerful African accent, and I’d know I was in for a long one. For many children growing up in the western world, the delivery of life lessons with a …

Archer Asks: Q&A with JD Samson

JD Samson is best known as a member of electroclash band Le Tigre and the art/performance collective MEN. She helped form the Dykes Can Dance troupe, and contributed to Broadly documentary The Last Lesbian Bars. Lottie Turner interviewed JD Samson for issue #6 of Archer Magazine, which you can buy here for the modest price …

Religion, sex and polyamory: A cross to bear

“MUM, WHAT ARE BUTT-PLUGS FOR?” my 12-year-old son asks at the dinner table. I yelp at the question before admitting I’m curious myself. “Some of those things are huge,” says my 20-year-old stepdaughter, helping herself to another serving of Caesar salad and recounting her recent excursion to a sex-toy shop, to “satisfy her curiosity”. Later, as I clear …

Coming out: Tips for parents and families of gay kids

I’LL ADMIT, I can be an impulsive person. That particular personality streak is likely the reason I came out to my parents over Thanksgiving dinner, back in 1998. I was 17, and although it may seem like a bold move to an outsider, for me it was simply a panic-induced, impulsive reveal – “Mom, Dad, I’m bisexual!” …

Butt politics: The complexities of anal sex

But I want it! I want it! I want it! He chanted like a prayer, even though his fear of the pain was enormous… The head of Fred’s cock pushed carefully into the sphincter. Slowly, lovingly, tenderly. And still Horst just couldn’t endure it. A wave of feelings swept through his body: fear, shame,anger… Since he couldn’t get a grip …

Image Essay: ‘For the Love of Hair’ by Leila Koren

I have been thinking a lot lately about my own body hair, hair in general, and how media censorship is particularly harsh on pubic hair.   Canadian artist and writer Petra Collins had her Instagram account deleted over an image of pubic hair. She responded with a great article on censorship and the female body …

Sexuality - Gender - Identity