Stories about: bodies

I went this week to pick up a new script for my contraceptive pill, which I have to do every 12 months. I waited 30 minutes to be called in, have a script printed out, and then be sent on my way; all done in two minutes tops. It’s the same on every occasion, and …

In those heady days, when I first shaved all my hair off, I remember feeling a jolt every time I caught the edge of my reflection. I looked so different that my brain would alert me that there was an imposter standing far too close. I also remember vacillating wildly between ebullient feelings of freedom …

Katy O’Brian (Z Nation, Black Lightning) represents a kind of queer-coded strength we rarely see in our on-screen heroines. Z Nation – the SyFy channel’s quirky, diverse and compassionate zomcom series – amassed a keen and brainy cult following over its five-season run (now available in full on Netflix). For the uninitiated, O’Brian joined Z …

I gave up on shaving two years ago. Clumsy by nature, I had so often slipped while hurriedly reaping the dark hairs on my legs that I no longer trusted myself not to end up with a few cuts and scrapes. Not to mention the existential climate guilt I felt as I consigned another infantile-pink …

Content warning: This article discusses eating disorders. This time last year I was struggling to stand. If you asked what I was having for dinner, it would be something the size of a canapé, except devoid of any excitement (or seasoning even). Forming simple sentences required every ounce of effort imaginable, and still my words …

It’s one o’clock. There’s a pile of work in front of me that only seems to be getting bigger. My Spotify playlist has just come to an end. I feel a tingle down there. I could do with a break. I deserve a break. I disconnect my phone from the Bluetooth speaker and head into …

Dramageddon is a genre-bending choose-your-own-adventure podcast set in the year 2050. Created by Jean Tong (playwright) and Lou Wall (comedian), each episode pits two queer women or non-binary guests against the climate apocalypse. We were lucky enough to chat with Jean and Lou. Tell us about yourselves and Dramageddon – how did it come about? Jean is a writer, …

Franz Kafka’s seminal literary work, The Metamorphosis, has crept into my world at three crucial points. It’s tangled with my psyche and influenced the course of my life as an observer, a performer and a writer. I was a naïve and impressionable thirteen-year-old student at an all-boys high school on Sydney’s Northern Beaches when first …

A highlight of my adolescent diary was the lead-up to my birthday, when Mum and I would go clothes shopping together. I’d look forward to it as much for the quality time as for the fashion, and I was lucky to have a solid, strong mother-daughter relationship and a middle-class budget, both of which could …

Queer and femme

In Year 3, Lisa Andrews calls me a lesbian. We are down the bottom of the playground, a group of girls gathered by an alcove in the hedge. We have been playing ‘Witches Boarding School’ and I am excelling at my role as the evil headmistress. Lisa has broken some arbitrary rule and I am …

My initial thought when Special came up in my Netflix recommendations was ‘Ugh, not more of this bullshit.’ I had reason to feel this way – after all, its algorithm keeps throwing Atypical and To the Bone in my direction, while free television shoves schmaltzy ads for The Good Doctor down my throat. Physically-abled and …

I’ve always loved to read. So after making the long laboured over decision to medically transition, I began to seek out the stories of other people like me, those assigned female at birth who had decided to live in a more masculine form. I was hungry to know if they initially felt ambivalence like I …

When Hannah Gatsby asked ‘Where do the quiet gays go?’,  I thought, ‘Finally, someone else feels my pain!’ I had never felt more heard. Between being bisexual, being more disabled by my environment than by the disabilities themselves, and in my existence as a person of colour, my queerness has never been seen as fluorescently bright, …

We’ve made it to the end of 2019 already. How did that happen?! We’ve published some really great pieces this year, and we’ve seen some of our old favourites maintain their popularity. To celebrate the end of 2019, we’re sharing with you some of our editors’ picks: a combination of our most-read pieces of 2019, …

Content warning: This piece contains highly graphic descriptions of abortion   My mental health plan says I suffer from anxiety. I don’t think that quite covers it but it’s all there is to say. The words are hard to find, hard to choose. I’m not victimised. It’s not grief in its popular sense, but it’s …

Something shifted two years ago, when the first #MeToo found itself pinned to an alluding tweet. Unwittingly, we had stumbled into a new uprising: one laced with belated anger and hot breath. One that was necessary and tingling. One itching to be found in the pages of future history books. Art, business, hospitality, sport: every …

Human bodies are trouble. They’re frightening and chaotic and often riddled with insurmountable paradox. All at once they are us – the site of our sensations, experiences, identities – not us – governed by unconscious, primordial systems, sometimes fiercely at odds with our desires and internal self-concepts – and perhaps most frighteningly, ours – like …

This article was first performed under the title ‘Unity’ at Queerstories for Newcastle Writer’s Festival.   That space between leaving high school and starting the next thing is bizarre. Whether that be uni, work or just, you know, taking up residency on a couch with a bong in one hand and a pipe dream in …

In The Argonauts, Maggie Nelson reflects that ‘whenever anyone asked me why I wanted to have a baby, I had no answer. But the muteness of the desire stood in inverse proportion to its size.’ Wanting to be a mother with my partner, Claire, felt like a need. Yet, like Maggie Nelson, I couldn’t give …

The clenched buzzing of machines, music, innumerable knickknacks and bric-a-bracs, embellished walls, the aroma of disinfectant and glare of LED mag lamps—entering a tattoo studio can assault the senses. It’s the kind of sensory barrage neuroqueer artist, activist, and academic, Alison Bennett, habitually guards against. “A lot of neuroqueer people find it difficult to be …

The first time I walked into a tattoo parlour, a brawny and stand-offish middle-aged man was scoffing at a young female client, telling her that her tattoo idea was never going to happen. I could barely hear him over the aggressively loud metal blasting through the shop speakers. Disheartened, she left, and I was next …

In the morning I study piano and in the afternoon I lift weights. The piano part is unremarkable for me. My childhood home had a piano, and I studied music through high school. Playing music isn’t just a thing I do: it’s part of how I see myself. It’s part of how I want to …

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Sexuality - Gender - Identity