Category Archive: identity

Gender, fashion, and family: Generation gaps

Ever since I was very young, I noticed that the feelings I was having about my identity, my body and my gender, were not being echoed by the wider culture. For years, I have turned over ideas in my head, like: if gender is socially constructed, why does it feel so starkly relevant and present? Why …

On queer aesthetics and not feeling ‘queer enough’

I once dated a person with terrifying friends. They were loud and confrontational and—in my eyes—terrifying. Still, I was in love, so I made the effort to get to know them. They all hung out in one of those big, run-down share houses where anything goes. They threw massive parties fueled with drugs and sexual …

Examining queer young adult fiction: The way forward

This is the final instalment of a four-part series on the state of queer young adult fiction in Australia. Read part one, part two, and part three.   For young adult (YA) literature to be truly representative of queer identities, there needs to be greater queer representation across both the writing and publishing industries. Own Voices  needs …

BoJack Horseman and positive representations of asexuality

Three years into my six-year relationship, I realised I was (and am) asexual. I’d been grappling with my sexual identity for a long time before that, without really knowing what I was. I knew I wasn’t gay, but that’s about the only option outside of the suburban heteronormativity that I was aware of. I didn’t …

Queerness and Indigenous cultures: One world, many lives

HERE WE ARE AGAIN. Here’s a spiney train that shudders on its slippery track. It moves from Sydney, taking me home on its back. Logically, the story of Aboriginal queerness and me begins here, although, more accurately, it started immemorially before I came into the picture. I’m close to running out of life experiences I can …

On Tasmanian queerness, and (not) going to the mainland

Francesca is counting the months until they can move to Hobart, or, preferably the Mainland. They paint me a picture of their regional hometown in northern Tasmania as a repressive place, full of churches, with a gossipy, small town mentality. From passing cars, people offer up profanity just for wearing purple Doc Martens or having …

Life under shadow: Exploring bisexuality as an Arab-Australian

Bodies are like houses. Some are big and wide, some small and cosy, some old and broken. Like houses, bodies come in all shapes and colours, and we’re all conditioned to be judgmental about them: where we live, where we’ve come from, and the associated privilege of a postcode. More than that, our bodies, our homes, are the …

Straddling the gender binary: Clothes don’t maketh the man

It had taken my boss three weeks to comment on my new look. I was glad she liked my shoes, because although I’d only owned office-appropriate heels for a few weeks, I’d dreamed of wearing them for more than 20 years. This is me now. Rewind a couple of years, and this personal unveiling would have seemed like …

Lesbian femininity: Understanding the legitimacy and erasure of queer femmes

It’s the last days of summer, the night air still warm although the sun absented itself hours ago. I am very pleased with my outfit for the party. Orange flowers on a navy dress, nipped in at the waist and full at the hips. I am talking to a woman, edgy haircut, big eyes. Really, …

Intersex awareness day: Thinking outside the box

This is an extract of a longer article available at the Intersex Day Project. Twenty years ago, Morgan Holmes, Max Beck and friends demonstrated as “Hermaphrodites with Attitude” outside a conference in Boston, and I had no idea. It wasn’t the start of intersex activism, but it was the first public demonstration that intersex people …

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The Australian journal of sexual diversity.