Stories about: gender

It started early, and had little to do with sexuality. Maybe it was the fact that I hung around with more boys than girls, or that frocks never caught my fancy. But I fought to choose my own clothes, and my family eventually got tired of resisting resistance. My earliest memory was after a bath …

I remember the first time I heard the word chivalry. It was said at a family friend’s barbeque, a smoky haze of miscellaneous meats filled the garden and a balding, sunburnt man was clearly mourning its application in modern-day society. He spoke of a time, “back in his day”, when men knew how to look after women. I presume now—given his age—that this must have …

When I was about 15, I was up to my neck in the fanfiction community. I had read the epics, masturbated to the smutty ones, and even dabbled in penning my own teen angst romance creations about the Canadian cartoon, Total Drama Island. They’re still online, but I’ll take my username to the grave. I …

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 …

I used to live diagonally opposite the Sly Fox Hotel on Enmore Road in Newtown, in a decrepit one-bedroom apartment above the local chicken joint. Back then, Wednesday nights in Sydney’s inner west were known as Dyke Night, during which groups of women weaved their way along the congested sidewalks, as bars and pubs hosted lesbian-targeted …

Alex Andrews is an Australian feminist from Melbourne and the Founder of Get Hairy February. Alex is a law graduate who has worked with various social enterprises, while campaigning for issues that are important to her. Alex now studies Kinesiology while continuing to develop her passion for innovative change-making.   Tell us about the campaign …

My very first images of masculinity and femininity came from the pictures that hung in my family’s prayer area, inside a small hallway closet with doors that opened like an accordion. Inside I saw gods and goddesses, either balanced on one leg in a dance pose, or standing with their palms together in prayer. At six …

I had not walked into the barbershop for three months, but the barber remembered my face. He is a Turkish guy in his late sixties. His strength and agility dance in his hands. He is a quiet man with a wide smile that appears every so often. His grin is like a slice of light, …

“You faggot, may god damn you. Alas, life is nearing end.” I will never forget these exact words from a Facebook comment, written tauntingly on a picture of a person who looked neither masculine nor feminine. What upset me was not only the comment’s homophobic language, but the fact that the man who commented is …

The persistence of gendered terms in language can be complex for non-binary people, especially those with cross-cultural identities. When you study anatomy, one of the first things you learn is that the body is divided into planes: the transverse (horizontal: the way your belt sits), sagittal (left and right: imagine a line from your forehead to …

Trans spaces: Left out

It took me five years to feel comfortable and respected in my gender. Five years of learning and unlearning, blog posts and academia, art, protest, music, grime, sweat and dancing. Five years of blood, scars, assault and forging ahead, despite a lack of understanding, even from the few trans friends I had. And it’s only in …

  I grew up in a small rural pocket of south west Sydney. Our little acreage was made up of the back paddock, the front paddock, and our house. Divided neatly by fences, it was easy to tell where you fit in your surroundings, until you had to go beyond them. Step out our front …

As a trans woman, I have a fairly different perspective on marriage equality than most people who are heard in this debate. You may not be aware of how Australian law regards trans people. I’ve spent a lot of time making sense of the bureaucracy and the absurd legal grey area I exist in. To …

The first Daddy of my trip lives just outside of Miami. I have lunch at his home one sticky Floridian afternoon in the heart of Summer. He lives off the grid in a large commune. In the shade of a lychee tree, he prepares mango, coconut and guava for me from his impressive, self-sustained backyard. My …

My whole life, I have relied on other people to help open jars for me – something conventional Western narratives of manhood, and most 90s sitcoms, would designate as a one-way ticket to Emasculation Station. A lot of guys have a problem with admitting they are physically weak, or worse still, deferring their jar-based tasks …

As an androgynous-looking person, I’m misgendered every single day of my life. Bathrooms, pubs, on the bus, at airport security — you name it, I’ve been misgendered there. Tall, masculine girl or well-dressed teenage boy? No one knows, but they sure want to find out. Perhaps I make things harder for myself by working as …

Recent reports label millennials the “gayest generation ever”. I didn’t doubt it for a second. We are producing some of the most diverse, well-rounded representations of queer folk, and these depictions are reaching the mainstream in some of the largest quantities in history. We are overwhelmingly out and, by and large, society in most of …

I was backstage at a show recently and a drag queen gushed that she’d been looking forward to meeting me. She said that I was super talented, and very ‘fishy’. My smiling face turned to confusion, and I realised she thought I was a cisgender man, and she was praising me for impersonating a woman …

It’s been eight years since I first kissed a boy, and two since gender loosened its grip on me, yet I never came out to my father. I’ve made my peace with never coming out to him, or the rest of my extended family, for that matter. For someone straddling two cultures, this is a …

I had my first instance of gender confusion when I was around eight years old. I was skiing with my family in a little snow-capped town called Ohau in New Zealand. Having just got dressed, I passed the mirror on the way out and I was startled by my own reflection. I suddenly realised that …

Krissy Kneen is a Brisbane-based author best known for her erotic fiction, including her most recent novel An Uncertain Grace, published this year by Text Publishing. Stranger in the Dark is Kneen’s ongoing project for Australian literary journal The Lifted Brow, a subscription series of 12 monthly emails being sent out over the course of …

“Nightlife operates as a zone of playful exchange. It’s a space of exposure to difference that can change your take on things, or how you feel about the world. The best nights make new things possible.” – Kane Race, Archer Magazine #8 Welcome to Archer Magazine issue #8: the SPACES issue. “Space and safety are …

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Sexuality - Gender - Identity