Stories about: bodies

Being queer and body positive

Growing up in Australia in a time when fad diets and homophobia were all the rage, for me, the 90’s and early 00’s meant crash diets and sneaking off to Sydney to make out with girls on the weekend. I hid my sexuality and forced myself to have relationships with men to appease society, I …

This series by 20-year-old HIV-positive American photographer Sam Stoich confronts a subject that has long been misunderstood, and remains burdened with ­stigma even today. Q&A with Jess Desaulniers-Lea   Shot in the Dark has a sense of continuum; is this series on­­going? If so, how has it evolved so far and in what direction do you see it …

Nothing to Lose is a cinematic celebration of the possibilities and capabilities of fat and queer bodies. The documentary follows a powerful cast of performers as they train and rehearse for an award-winning groundbreaking dance production entitled Nothing to Lose. Seeing the film on its opening night at ACMI  late last year, you could feel the …

Wading into the deep end of the pool as a trans woman athlete has been fraught with problems. I was only three years into my transition when I made the decision to return to sport in 2004. Prior to this, I had been a competitive athlete since my 5th grade of school. All I had …

Society teaches us the word fat is a negative: something to be gawked at, and to shame each other for. Fat people like me are seen as lazy, judged for eating in public, and ignored by our doctors for serious health issues that aren’t related to our weight. We are told again and again that if …

I loathe horror films. I was never able to sit down and watch the trailer for films like Paranormal Activity or The Conjuring. That small glimpse is enough to keep me up at night and afraid to look in mirrors (because everyone knows that’s when the creepy thing appears behind you, especially if you have …

For 35 years, gay men have been told one thing: wear a condom. In my work as a journalist and broadcaster, I have specialised in covering gay men’s sexual health issues, and have always encouraged listeners to be responsible for their own health and wellbeing. Now, new forms of protection that do not involve latex …

I recently upgraded my bodybuilding regime because I wasn’t hitting certain muscle groups, and today I’m getting on with the new program. After my warm-up I completed four sets of pullups, before heading to the Smith Machine for a weightless squat session. And then the day goes to shit. Green-arm Tattoo Guy walks away from …

A love letter to stripping

I’ve only been in Japan two weeks and I miss you so much already. I’m not saying I didn’t think I’d miss you, but I definitely didn’t think I’d miss you this much, this quickly. The girls called me from the dressing room at the club last night, and I was so jealous. They were …

Nic Holas is a writer, activist and the co-founder of The Institute of Many (TIM), an advocacy platform and grassroots movement for People Living with HIV. TIM has the largest membership of any HIV organization in Australia. We chatted with Nic to talk about U=U, TIM’s latest campaign aiming to highlight the message that an …

When I was about 15, I was up to my neck in the fanfiction community. I had read the epics, masturbated to the smutty ones, and even dabbled in penning my own teen angst romance creations about the Canadian cartoon, Total Drama Island. They’re still online, but I’ll take my username to the grave. I …

  Clarence Chai is a gay Singapore-born Australian fashion designer and vintage clothing dealer. Prominent in Melbourne and Sydney in the 1970’s and ‘80’s, he was the only Chinese designer in Melbourne for a time. Some of his garments are housed in the National Gallery of Victoria and the Powerhouse Museum Sydney. His fashion label …

He’s been paddling in the pool for 20 minutes, locking eyes with every member of the water polo team. I’m reclining by the edge of the water with my shirt unbuttoned. When he gets out to sit on the grass, I get up slowly and walk towards the showers. A few minutes later, he follows me …

Alex Andrews is an Australian feminist from Melbourne and the Founder of Get Hairy February. Alex is a law graduate who has worked with various social enterprises, while campaigning for issues that are important to her. Alex now studies Kinesiology while continuing to develop her passion for innovative change-making.   Tell us about the campaign …

When I was 17, I cut off all my hair for the first time. I was freshly out of high school, freshly queer, and thrilled by the promise of finding queer community at university. I remember nervously holding my own gaze in the mirror as a hairdresser, with a magenta undercut and pierced septum, asked …

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 …

Long before I even realised I was attracted to women, I had been well versed in straddling two different worlds. My mixed identity stretches across the globe and the sexuality spectrum, which has afforded me a sense of fluidity when it comes to adapting to the different circles I operate in. For a while, I …

I keep interrupting him to ask if the condom is still on. He pauses for a second. “Yeah dude, I’ll let you know if it comes off.” We started speaking on Grindr two hours ago and now I’m in his apartment in Carlton North, long hairy legs sprawled open around his neck. Something about the …

When I realised the man in the bed next to mine thought I was a cisgender man, I thought it might be safer to play along, in case his reaction to the truth wasn’t positive. Worst case scenario, he could turn violent or aggressive. Even though he showed me no aggression whatsoever, I was instantly …

“You faggot, may god damn you. Alas, life is nearing end.” I will never forget these exact words from a Facebook comment, written tauntingly on a picture of a person who looked neither masculine nor feminine. What upset me was not only the comment’s homophobic language, but the fact that the man who commented is …

I was sexually active for ten years before I donned a dick. It wasn’t that I was adversely opposed to doing so, and more that I was never given the opportunity to explore this aspect of my sexual identity. I spent the first five of those ten years engaging with cis men, all of whom …

I never dated in high school and I didn’t at University, either. I was unhappy with my weight, awkward, painfully shy and self-sabotaging, which is something I’ve always wanted to address. I’d never realised that sexuality is a spectrum and that you could identify as anything but straight or gay. Is it any wonder I …

Sexuality - Gender - Identity