Category Archive: identity

Gender affirming sex: Paying for sex as a non-binary person

Carving out my non-binary identity felt like going through a second adolescence. I found myself experimenting with various styles, spaces, activities and relationships – I was trying everything on for size to see if it fit. Much like my first adolescence, sexual exploration was a formative rite of passage, full of nervousness and a bit …

Sam Stoich Image Essay: Shot in the Dark

This series by 20-year-old HIV-positive American photographer Sam Stoich confronts a subject that has long been misunderstood, and remains burdened with ­stigma even today. Q&A with Jess Desaulniers-Lea   Shot in the Dark has a sense of continuum; is this series on­­going? If so, how has it evolved so far and in what direction do you see it …

Accessibility at queer events: It’s hard to have pride when you can’t access it

I am often at the mercy of my brain. My mental illness tells me that I’m worthless, pointless and that it’s useless to try and get out of bed because no one wants to associate with me anyway. I’m constantly fighting my brain. It makes it hard to function when your brain won’t let you …

Queer Muslim Futurism

Queer Muslim Futurism

A revolutionary leader, labelled a terrorist by those who des­pise her, but a hero by those who love her. She is the head of an elite band of bearded warriors who know the plains along the Indus River just as well as they do the sand dunes of the Sahara. She is known for her …

Happy Valentine’s Day, me: How being single became central to my queerness

When I was a kid, my favourite books were the His Dark Materials trilogy by Phillip Pullman. Different worlds, fantastic instruments, flying witches, and your soul appearing outside your body in animal form. It was magic, lush, creatively unbound. What impacted me most was a quote from a human character – a scientist – named …

Losing a digital home: Tumblr’s ban and marginalised sexual identities

On December 17, the popular blogging platform Tumblr enacted a ban on “adult content” uploaded to its site. What it means by adult content is images and videos of “real-life human genitals”, content that depicts sex acts, and nipples – but only, of course, ones that are “female-presenting.” Many have pointed out that the blanket …

Butch lineage: The difficulties of chronicling a subculture

Not unlike the sleeves of a T-shirt repurposed into a muscle singlet, butch lineage is often seen as dispensable. A cog in a much larger LGBTQIA+ wheel, it is seldom tracked. It sits calmly in the corner of a quiet pub, a schooner in one hand and a cigarette in the other. It swaps stories …

Ace up my sleeve: Coming out as asexual

What does it mean to come out as asexual? What does it mean to identify as something that is essentially an absence? This is what I am thinking about, seven years into a happy straight-passing relationship with a cis-het man. It would be easy to continue in this relationship without coming out: just go on, …

Trans erasure, trans visibility: History, archives, and art

How do you make a picture of something you can’t see? I’ve been commissioned to create an artwork about hidden queer histories, using the collections of local archives. At the State Library of Victoria, the search term transgender brings up zero results in the multimedia, images and scripts collections. The article and book results are …

Being queer on Tumblr: Privacy and anonymity in the age of social media

Tumblr, the microblogging social platform, has long functioned as a space where young people tend to feel comfortable enough sharing intimate personal details about themselves, particularly in comparison with other social media networks. For me, it was the first place I truly felt like I could express my queerness. I had a typical high school …

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Sexuality - Gender - Identity