Category Archive: identity

Abortion and ambivalence: The parthood model and sadness (but not guilt)

Content warning: This piece contains highly graphic descriptions of abortion   My mental health plan says I suffer from anxiety. I don’t think that quite covers it but it’s all there is to say. The words are hard to find, hard to choose. I’m not victimised. It’s not grief in its popular sense, but it’s …

Sex in New York City: It’s All About Aly (Part 2)

This is the second part of our new memoir series by Finnegan Shepard. “It’s All About Aly” details a time in Shepard’s life in which he lived in a tiny studio apartment in New York City with a cis man and shared a kind of merged identity with him. Part one can be read here. This …

Corporate rainbow-washing: The truth behind awards and accolades

Content warning: This article discusses homophobia and transphobia   At my first job, when I was a high school student, my boss was openly homophobic. Once, he told me that being gay was disgusting and wrong, at a time when I was a teenager, closeted, and already convinced I was inherently wrong in some way. Now …

Self-censorship at work: The queer ‘hush’ factor

I felt the need to shield my screen the other day. It was my lunch break at work and I was reading an article about the world of lesbian dating on my work computer. I had the screen minimised and my cursor hovering over the tiny x in the right hand corner. If I was reading …

Bisexual visibility in 2019: Why we need to ‘be the change’

Bisexual Visibility Day is a day of celebration that really turns into a month of celebration when all is said and done. After kicking off in the USA in 1999, this year, September 23rd marks the 21st official annual celebration of bisexuality, an event that now reaches across the globe. But September 23rd isn’t all …

Fa’afafine: All Hail the Queen (Samoan Sashay)

Western constructions of gender and sexuality can be restrictive for individuals who are Fa’afafine, whose identity goes beyond the binary. Amao Leota Lu, as told to Bobuq Sayed, former Archer Magazine co-editor and deputy online editor.   Anxiety levels for trans and gender-diverse people are high. It used to be about sexuality stuff, but people still don’t …

Memoir: It’s All About Aly (Part 1)

This is the first part of our new memoir series by Finnegan Shepard. “It’s All About Aly” details a time in Shepard’s life in which he lived in a tiny studio apartment in New York City with a cis man and shared a kind of merged identity with him. Part two can be read here. “The …

Being bisexual and mixed: Preserving culture through a queer lens

“Did you know that Madison is a… bisexual?” my aunt harps during the heart of Australia’s ill-famed plebiscite debate in 2017, locking eyes with my mother as she mouths the word. The transgression, rather. Bi-sex-ual (|bʌɪˈsɛkʃʊəl|): something that is neither here nor there, a kind of “duplicity” that Iranian-American filmmaker Desiree Akhavan knows well. “You’re …

Homelessness services must strive to understand and support nuanced identities

My identity is made up of different identifiers. I identify as being male, was perceived as effeminate when young, and grew up in public housing in western Sydney with my iTaukei (indigenous) Fijian father and Anglo Australian mother. I was brought up in a relatively conservative Christian family, and now I have much more progressive …

The great interracial divide: Long distance relationships, language and truths

To celebrate my resignation from my first full-time job after college, I booked a flight from the Philippines to Singapore for a break. I brought one bag with me for a month-long stay. When I landed I realised how reckless my decision was. I had no idea what I was going to do there. I …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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Sexuality - Gender - Identity