Category Archive: identity

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 …

Coming out when the labels don’t fit

It took me 25 years to come out the first time. I didn’t consciously know I was queer for a long time, so it didn’t really feel like I was ‘holding it in’ until I finally came out and thought, “wow, where’s that weird sense of indefinable tension that I’ve been carrying around for literally …

Indigenous queer elders: Stepping up for mob

Now in his 50s, Peter Waples-Crowe is a powerhouse community figure in the Aboriginal LGBT community, managing a career in public health alongside a significant body of visual art that reflects his unique intersections. After catching up over cigarettes outside the State Library of Victoria, and reflecting on the sombre irony of smoking tobacco products …

Intersex variations: Western medicine and the Hippocratic Oath

Depending on when it was you asked my parents about their children, they would tell you they had three girls and three boys or, more lately, two girls and four boys. When I was born one of twins, the attending physician wasn’t sure if I was a boy or a girl. I would later learn …

The Climbing QTs: identity on the rock climbing wall

It’s early for a Sunday, still morning, but already it’s been a day of firsts. This is my first indoor climb and first time with the Climbing QTs: ‘A queer, trans and gender diverse space open to anyone interested in a safe and friendly atmosphere to climb and socialise’, co- initiated and run by Riley …

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Sexuality - Gender - Identity