Category Archive: gender

Queer, brown and mentally ill

Queer, brown and mentally ill

I had my first depressive episode when I was 17. Every day, I would walk through a busy intersection frequented by cars, buses and beast-like trucks on my way to school. For three months, I could not shake the thought of walking right in front of them. As a queer person of colour, disentangling the …

TERFs uprising: Trans exclusionary radical feminists gatekeeping womanhood

I am worried about attending my first International Women’s Day march. What will the public on the train think of me? My hat is emblazoned with a scribbled slogan that reads “feminism without trans women is not feminism.” Looking back, I shouldn’t have even worried about stares from TERFS on the train, because there was …

Pole dancing: Ageism, skilfulness and finding sexiness in sport

Most people are surprised when I tell them I do pole. There is nothing edgy about me. I don’t dye my hair, don’t have fake lashes, tattoos or piercings. I don’t even wear makeup and I hate G-strings. You’ll never see me in skintight clothes, short skirts or see-through tops. This is perhaps what people …

Navigating the nasty and confusing territory of teenage femme-femme relationships

If a cat lands on its feet and toast always lands buttered-side down, sticky taping the toast (buttered-face-up) to a cat’s back and shoving the two off a counter would no doubt create confusion. The two could not exist in tandem without causing a cosmic rip in our universe’s pants. My pants and universe have …

Examining queer young adult fiction: Systemic discrimination in the publishing world

This is the third instalment of a four-part series on the state of queer young adult fiction in Australia. Read part one, and part two. The We Need Diverse Books movement has done a lot to highlight the need for greater representation of marginalised people and communities in young adult (YA) books. But with the …

Archer Asks: Justin Shoulder and Bhenji Ra, performance artists and community organisers

Justin Shoulder and Bhenji Ra are two irreplaceable icons of Sydney’s queer scene. They collaborate on projects such as Ex-Nilalang, a genderfluid folklore-inspired video series, and Club Ate, a QTPOC performance arts club space. Sharing a Filipinx-Australian identity, they are performing new work at Asia-Pacific Triennial Performing Arts (Asia TOPA 2017) in Melbourne. Angela Serrano talks …

Gay failure: Body image, conditioned inadequacy and queering photography

I spend the most time with myself, running my fingers over my stomach and agonising over the parts that are soft. I guess all queer and trans people feel the way I feel at some point, because our bodies become associated with a very specific type of failure. In Vito Russo’s The Celluloid Closet, he …

Examining Australian queer young adult fiction: there’s not enough queer in AusQueerYA

This is the first instalment of a four part series on the state of queer young adult fiction in Australia. I grew up in libraries. My mother was a librarian, so any time I wasn’t at school I was at the library. I’d pore over the shelves, set up camp in the corner behind of …

Embracing the femininity of my gayness

As a child, I remember thinking about getting married. In my mind, I always pictured a woman by my side. I was socially conditioned to think this way from an early age because I never felt like I had any role models outside of the traditional representation of what it meant to be a man …

Transgender stories: Jordan Raskopoulos under the spotlight

I recall blowing out four candles on my birthday cake and wishing that I’d wake up the next day as a girl. I can remember making that same wish with five candles, with six, with 16 and even with 32. There’s a lot that held me back from transition earlier in life – shame, guilt, …

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The Australian journal of sexual diversity.