Category Archive: gender

The harm of gender stereotypes: Nail polish and the fragility of masculinity

At lunch time, the mother and daughter behind me in the queue pointed and whispered. They thought I couldn’t hear them, but I could. On my walk home from work I got stares – a few of them were accompanied by winks or smiles, but most felt highly judgmental at best, hostile at worst. It …

The expansion of gender identities is not just because of the internet: A brief look at the role colonialism has on gender

“The gender renaissance is upon us!”   These might be your thoughts if you’ve ventured out into select parts of the internet lately, or if you have a keen interest in the fashion world. There’s been extensive media coverage of public figures like Caitlyn Jenner, Laverne Cox, Nina Poon, Miley Cyrus and Carmen Carerra, and …

Street harassment and transphobia: Invisibility as an accidental privilege

I’ve been having a lot of discussions with people about the recent bashing of a friend of mine, a transwoman, an incident that received a great deal of attention in the media. For my friend, this has meant that her safety in the street is in question even more so than before, because suddenly everybody …

Tangerine: Trans voices speak up on the big screen

Fresh from screening at both the Sydney Film Festival and the Melbourne International Film Festival, Sean Baker’s latest indie sensation Tangerine stars trans actress Kitana Kiki Rodriguez as Sin-Dee, a sex worker scorned and on the hunt for the cisgender woman who stole her pimp boyfriend. Set on Christmas eve, it also features the fabulous …

Gendered Ties: Misreading masculinity

Breaking gender norms by existing as a masculine-of-centre female presents far more challenges to other people than you’d think. It contributes to awkward situations, from enthusiastic thumps on the back from blokey blokes and playful physical flirtation from women (more unnecessary and often unwanted physical contact), to an expectation to take the lead romantically, which …

On the importance of safe spaces, and the power of the queer community

I am trans. I started hormone therapy four months ago, so I am still in the early days of my transition. This means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. To me, it means I’m trying my hardest to live an open, proud and authentic life. To some people, it means …

Trans people, popular culture, and me

This article contains Orange is the New Black Season Three Spoilers. The first time I can remember seeing a trans person on TV was Silence of the Lambs. It was at a movie night with friends and we gasped and laughed and hid behind our hands as Buffalo Bill sneered “it puts the lotion in …

The hidden harm of gendered language in medicine

For all its downfalls and erasures, the coming out of Caitlyn Jenner did bring the discussion between the language of medicine and transgender people into my lab. A colleague recently approached me, I’m guessing because of my gay aura, to ask some questions about transgender issues. They didn’t have any opinions or judgements. They just …

Gender neutral pronouns: ‘hen’, and why we should put ‘they’ to wider use

Good news for English speakers: the OED is considering admitting ‘Mx’ to the next edition – a gender-neutral alternative to Mr/Ms/Miss/Mrs. I’m generally pleased for the success of Mx (full form ‘Mixter’), as it is surely a mark of progress. I worry that it misses the issue, however, in being confined to bureaucratic purposes. If …

So “brave”

So “brave”

I was born a blank canvas, a little grub writhing around on a bed of expectations. I grew up in a world attempting to socialise me to be a woman – to match the junk I had between my legs and that later grew upon my chest. Instead I grew up completely confused by what I was and wanted to be – I …

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Sexuality - Gender - Identity