Category Archive: activism

The Religious Freedom Reforms 2019: A loophole for intolerance

I ran into a teacher from my school recently. It’s been eight years, he barely recognised me. But when he did, the first question out of his mouth was “Do you have a husband?” In the space of about three minutes, he rephrased and asked the same question twice more, finally settling for “What about …

Archer Asks: Cheryn Frost, creator of Hydraulic Fucking

Hydraulic Fucking is a queer political theatre performance that shares the wisdom, research, and humour of Yuwaalaraay woman Cheryn Frost. Created as a part of her residency at Sydney’s PACT Theatre, the one-woman show draws parallels between fracking and sexual consent, and serves as a call to arms to prevent further environmental devastation from taking place …

An open letter to the trans and gender diverse community from Mama Alto

My dear trans siblings, my gender diverse family,   Are you hurting right now, or sad, or lost, or confused, or tired? I know I am. Every day in our political and media spheres we see more and more attacks on us, and those like us, just for daring to live and exist as ourselves. …

Queering history: Brian McGahen and Bolshevik Bloomers

For this next instalment of Out of the Archives we introduce you to Brian McGahen (1952-1990). He leaves behind a complicated life which begs the question, how do we write queer legacies? Out of the archives is a series from Jess Ison looking at queer her-/their-/his-tory in Australia in collaboration with Nick Henderson from the Australian Lesbian and …

Pink-tinted glasses: After marriage equality

“It’s done! We did it,” a colleague of mine tells me in the tearoom.  I know what he’s referring to. Two days prior to this exclamation, it was announced that 61.6 per cent of Austra­lians voted ‘yes’ to legalise same-sex marriage (SSM). Eyes beaming and shoulders relaxed, he says we can finally move on and be …

Attention whores: Sex work as spectacle

I’m walking down King Street in inner-suburban Sydney with my headphones in, engaged in that detestable digital-age behaviour: scrolling through social media while walking. I come across a video posted by Juno Mac, a UK-based colleague and comrade in sex-work activism. I’ve been watching her posts closely this week because she’s where I’d like to …

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 …

LGBTQ+ rights in India: Decriminalisation, activism, and pride

It was historical. In September, India’s Supreme Court declared the unconstitutionality of laws punishing consensual sex between homosexual adults. The judgement was the result of a legal challenge by prominent members of India’s LGBTQ+ community: dancer Navtej Singh Johar, journalist Sunil Mehra, chef Ritu Dalmia, hoteliers Aman Nath and Keshav Suri, and businesswoman Ayesha Kapur, …

Out of the archives: Animal Liberation at Mardi Gras

Out of the archives is a new series from Jess Ison looking at queer her-/their-/his-tory in Australia in collaboration with Nick Henderson from the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives (ALGA).   Criticising Mardi Gras is not just an annual social media sport, but also a queer rite of passage. Whether it’s not enough portaloos in the staging …

‘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 …

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Sexuality - Gender - Identity