Category Archive: family

Queer birth stories: Diversity in families

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 …

Family, cars and finding autonomy: Unpacking complexity in homelessness

I didn’t think of myself as homeless when I finally did stop going home. It didn’t happen overnight and it didn’t feel bad. Over New Years my partner and I went camping. Some nights we were so lazy setting up a tent that we slept in the middle of a private farm under just the …

Unconventional relationships: Doesn’t every family have a Leon?

The rumour around the suburban street was that Nan was a hussy; strangely, having two men in your life wasn’t the norm. For me, though, growing up around the three of them, I knew nothing different. Visiting my grandparents for dinner consisted of Nana, Zaida (the Yiddish word for grandfather) and Leon. I had a wonderful …

How to talk about sex with your parents

The plan was to gift my mother a vibrator for Mother’s Day. She was frank in her confession that since splitting from my father ten years ago, she hasn’t had sex with anyone else. She wasn’t particularly forlorn about it. Nor does she seem especially frisky. But for me, sexual pleasure and masturbation are hugely …

Transgender children: doing it for the kids

The words to Macklemore’s ‘Same Love’, being performed during the rugby league grand final telecast, resonated across Sydney Airport. They were cheered on with pride, joy and hope by Australians from all walks of life, united in defence of equality. En route back to Melbourne, I watched surrounded by other parents of transgender kids, tired yet …

Raising a rainbow family: slowly becoming visible

“Sisters?” asks the dishevelled guy in the sweltering hot elevator. My girlfriend has gold flecked blue eyes, straight blonde hair and a small round tummy—she’s five months pregnant. I’m half a foot taller with wavy auburn hair, deep set eyes and a larger frame. We’re both sweating as we look at each other, then at …

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 …

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 …

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!” …

Choosing to live: Family, sacrifice and domestic violence in a lesbian relationship

Trigger warning: story contains a personal and sometimes graphic recount of family violence. For 24/7 support, please contact the National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800respect.org.au. Alternatively, see QLife for early intervention and counselling support specific to LGBTI people.  I remember one night, the final night, I sat on our …

Sexuality - Gender - Identity