Stories about: gender

Content warning: This piece contains discussion of intimate partner violence. There’s a myth of queer solidarity – an idea that here, in this community that values alliance and acceptance above everything, people have got your back. But a few years ago, when I found myself on the receiving end of violence, I realised that the …

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 …

In a hilarious skit about the exclusion of women from barbershops, comedian Geraldine Hickey mocks the idea that women are so threatening to these spaces that they need to be barred from them. Arguing against the notion that barbers should charge women more for haircuts, Hickey quips, “it’s not like you’ve got to cut around …

The first time I experienced street harassment, I was wearing my school uniform. I was 14 and walking to my mum’s office after school when a man wolf-whistled at me. At the time, I didn’t have the words to describe what had happened. All I knew was that a strange man had found it appropriate …

Queer and religious freedoms can co-exist

Pseudonyms have been used and some details have been changed to protect the privacy of the research participant.   Najah’s path to self-acceptance was a long and winding road but led to a peaceful place. When she accepted she was exclusively attracted to other women in her late teens, Najah felt she could no longer …

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 …

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 …

The L Word: Gen Boring

This article contains spoilers for The L Word: Generation Q. It is recommended that you watch before reading. Okay, I have so much to say about the reboot. But, to be honest, I had to look up what everyone’s names were for this review. I was just so bored. Here goes: That. Opening. Scene. I don’t …

  I want to show her one poem which is the poem of my life. But I hesitate, and wake. —Adrienne Rich, from the second of Twenty-One Love Poems   Of all my loves, my love for women is my most complicated. You could describe this love using phrases from psychiatry text books—hypervigilance; belief that …

This is the fourth part of “It’s All About Aly”, a series about friendship between a trans man and a cis man living together in New York City. Read parts one, two and three. This article contains graphic sexual content and discussion of body dysphoria. Please use reader discretion.   Two weeks later, Aly, Emily and I …

Aboriginal queer motherhood

I’ve always known I wanted to be a mum. The only other parts of myself that I’d ever been so sure about were that I was black and queer. I became a mother in January 2016 to a healthy, gorgeous daughter. My Napanangka Nangari, a skin name given to her by two of her aunties. Becoming …

This is the third part of “It’s All About Aly”, a series about friendship between a trans man and a cis man living together in New York City. Read parts one and two. This article contains graphic sexual content and discussion of body dysphoria. Please use reader discretion. For the next few weeks, every time …

Patriarchy and gender in the Australian imaginary

A friend confessed to me recently that she felt our friendship group rather conservative in their assumptions about gender and sexuality. You know the deal: everyone is supportive… up to a point. Until you begin to question romantic ideals, or social roles and expectations. At that point, dominant ideas leak through our progressive stances, since …

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 …

I’m standing in the middle of my aunt’s living room in my underwear. My belly, breasts and limbs are covered in course black hair, echoing the dark stubble along my jaw. My secret revealed. I’m 13 years old. My mother is holding my arm with one hand and pointing at me with the other. “Do …

It was only when I stopped calling myself a woman that I started bleeding like one. Ever since I’d first started menstruating, aged 13, I’d gone years at a time without regular periods. First there was the anorexia-induced amenorrhea that lingered for much of my teens. In my 20s, when I swapped food restriction for …

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 …

I used to have a job teaching kids not to be themselves. I was a Catholic youth leader, running activities and leading prayer circles every Friday night, organising events and outings, and acting as an extremely unqualified counsellor for a collection of 13-18 year olds. I held a seat on my parish council, and I …

This is the second part of our new memoir series by Finnegan Shepard. “It’s All About Aly” details a time in Shepard’s life in which he lived in a tiny studio apartment in New York City with a cis man and shared a kind of merged identity with him. Part one can be read here. This …

Writer, speaker, executive editor of Out Magazine and former organiser for the Transgender Law Center, there’s no denying that Raquel Willis is an impressive force for good. Based in the U.S, Raquel is a Black queer transgender trailblazer backed by a formidable CV, with her work in community organising to lift up the voices of …

Australia’s biggest line-up of trans and gender-diverse performers is coming together to flip gender dysphoria on its head and explore the distinctive joys that can come with being trans: this is GENDER EUPHORIA! We recorded a conversation between two cast members, Harvey Zielinski and Mx Munro, discussing performance, celebration and empowerment of Trans communities and …

Content warning: This article discusses homophobia and transphobia   At my first job, when I was a high school student, my boss was openly homophobic. Once, he told me that being gay was disgusting and wrong, at a time when I was a teenager, closeted, and already convinced I was inherently wrong in some way. Now …

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Sexuality - Gender - Identity