Category Archive: identity

Buddhism, diaspora and the challenge of faith in queer communities

Late last year, I attended a forum on queerness and faith. The event was supposed to be multi-faith, but five Christian chaplains came and no other faith groups were represented at all. Even when I talk about Buddhism, which is my own faith, Christianity is always the elephant in the room. As much as we …

Face to face with my queer hero, Carlos Celdran

“Cruel mothers are still mothers… are humans. Who sometimes give birth to their pain. Instead of children.” Nayyirah Waheed wrote these verses in a poem titled hate, and I wonder if that is what being Filipino means to me. I grew up in a three-bedroom house in an upper-middle-class suburb, with a Brother I was …

Drag and gender: Performing as a non-binary human

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 …

Outside, looking in: sex at 65

Pushing 65 years old, I seem to carry about with me that feeling you might have if you arrive at a party and discover that it’s over. Yet in the detritus left behind, you see the ghosts of all you have missed. Or, the party is still going on and you’re stuck outside, only able …

Gay shame: Orlando and the Muslim community’s response to tragedy

Exactly one week after the Pulse nightclub shooting, my cousin Tariq and I drive into downtown Orlando for a drink. I’ve just flown into Florida for a writing workshop, and my Dad reached out to his old friend Tariq to show me around in the meantime. In Afghan culture, we refer to people like Tariq …

Learning to be selfish: The quest for a fulfilling sex life as a 43 year old Uruguayan woman

Right around the time when I discovered masturbation, me, my sister, and my cousin found a VHS copy of Caligula. This was the late 80s, so, porn was really hard to come by, especially if you were a girl. To be honest, I don’t remember much about Caligula. My ex was a big fan, but …

Painful love: Sex, disability and vaginismus

I lost my virginity at the age of twenty-eight. I hadn’t planned on waiting that long, but I did always plan on waiting till the right man came along. It just took longer than expected. I was glad I waited, because it was everything I had expected. Four years down the line and we are …

Astrology and the importance of queer spirituality

Like queerness, astrology has always been written into and out of history, depending on who’s documenting it. Both have been denied existence, succumb to institutional fear and persecution, and have had glorious times of celebration and reverence. The juxtaposition of living in queer bodies under the heteropatriarchy is that we are continually forced to locate …

Twink, bear, sub, Dom: How gay classification reinforces heteronormativity

On my first night out in St Kilda when I first moved to Melbourne, I downloaded Tinder and Grindr and self-advertised the hours away. While I built meaningful relationships through both apps, optimism slowly slipped away after cross-examination. A white cisgender gay man like myself does not have too much trouble fitting in with online …

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 …

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The Australian journal of sexual diversity.