Stories about: gender

My first couple years of practising self-love were soaked in orgasmic bliss. Touching myself felt so right, and it never occurred to me that later in life someone might vilify this practice in my mind. Image: Cris Trung   I started masturbating around the age of 11 or 12. At the time, I did not …

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 …

In the past, transgender dancers couldn’t compete in Irish dancing competitions in Australia. I changed that in 2018. In December of 2017, after years of hiding my true self and feeling an overwhelming sense of disconnection from my outward presentation, I decided to undergo a gender transition. I formally began my gender transition in February …

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 …

There aren’t many structures in society that the LGBTIQ+ community are meant to be able to rely on. A long history of discrimination, marginalisation and violence means that many of us are suspicious of organisations that others might trust, like doctors, judges or teachers. The development of LGBTIQ+ inclusion awards over the last few years …

Jehnny Beth, the charismatic lead singer and co-writer of UK band Savages, recently launched her first album as a solo artist: To Love is To Live. In addition to the album, Jehnny Beth will also be releasing Crimes Against Love Memories (C.A.L.M.), her first book, featuring a collection of erotic short stories along with photography …

The portrayal of trans and gender diverse people in mainstream media can be described as woeful at best. The lack of positive representation can lead to feelings of inadequacy, shame and isolation for many. Conscious of the need for people to stand up and make a difference, proud transgender woman and advocate Cassy Judy decided …

Transitioning in lockdown

Colorado went into lockdown six days before I was scheduled to get top surgery. I’d been on testosterone for six months, and I’d changed my legal name in court, but the slip of paper decreeing the change was like a meta-permission without any tangible manifestation: my IDs and credit cards still read Rebecca Rose. As …

An Arrernte drag artist based in Narrm/Birrarung, Stone Motherless Cold is a combination of blak excellence and club kid aesthetics, here to celebrate and highlight WOC and blak queerness. She was part of disrupt at Hamer Hall and was one of the winners of the Vic NAIDOC LGBTQIA+ Pride Crown in 2019. Trè Turner is …

I most frequently find kinship with bodies unlike mine. In this space between my body and theirs are shared ways of moving, shared language that describes us in archetypes, not individuals. It is from this space that I have picked up the language I use to describe myself, from this space that I can draw …

I roll over and get out of my single bed. It’s the only piece of furniture in a large white room, with old wooden floorboards, a high ceiling and a bay window. I go outside to catch some sun and stretch my body. I am surrounded by valleys of pasture and cattle. Not a house …

The interplay of identity and place is fresh in my mind after re-reading Bronwyn Fredericks’ ‘We don’t leave our identities at the city limits’ (2013). In this article, she argues that space and place are never neutral in the sense that there is an ongoing cultural, social and political struggle at play. This was also …

“I’m Pretty and I’m Handsome” – Jesswar, Savage (2017) I had used tape to strap down my chest for the first time earlier that day. It was my first live drag performance at Hamer Hall for disrupt, a show for the Yirramboi Festival. When I was 11 I would use bandages from the first-aid box …

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 …

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Sexuality - Gender - Identity