Category Archive: mental health

Writing for catharsis: The art of reworking negativity

I hold the thread and pinch one strand free from the four. I pull high and slow the way Mum taught me. This is a lie. I embroider quite well but YouTube was my main teacher. I consider the harshness of the word ‘lie’ as I stitch this thread with others of different colours: hues …

Dead canaries: Gaslighting in relationships

I had always considered myself a very empowered person who was able to be assertive in my relationships and maintain healthy boundaries with the people around me. Actually, my boundaries could sometimes be described as more robust than healthy. It often took people months to get beyond arm’s length. A year or so ago, I …

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 …

Staying Positive: Condoms, stigma and HIV advocacy in the age of PrEP

For 35 years, gay men have been told one thing: wear a condom. In my work as a journalist and broadcaster, I have specialised in covering gay men’s sexual health issues, and have always encouraged listeners to be responsible for their own health and wellbeing. Now, new forms of protection that do not involve latex …

Marriage equality debate: Self-care and love at a tender time

For those affected by the marriage equality debate, VAC offers a free counselling service, along with a list of helpful resources and tips for self-care.   Outside Victoria, phone support can be accessed through QLife. My dear queer, Are you tired, frustrated and hurting? I am too. Our communities are under siege, and while this …

The socio-sexual landscape of scars

If you were to Google my story, you would find some lovely photographs exhibiting some “hideous” scars that make up 70-80% of my torso, front and back. I was told that I was lucky that the scars can be hidden by clothing and that my handsome face was left unmaligned. These battle scars are detritus …

Bodywork: The erotic art of wellbeing, embodiment and somatic sexology

Pleasure moved from his genitals and expanded further throughout his body. He was surprised about the amount of sensation he was feeling erotically. He felt his body had been awoken. He had never experienced erotic sensations anywhere other than his genitals before and bodywork opened his mind up. Days later, he reports that, after masturbating, he …

Whose side?: Sexual violence in queer communities

Content warning: This article discusses sexual violence and assault, as well as suicidal ideation and eating disorders. We have a problem in our communities, and you need to do something. Most of the sexual assault and violence I have faced as an adult is from queers. And it has mostly been met with disbelief or …

Queer, brown and mentally ill

Queer, brown and mentally ill

I had my first depressive episode when I was 17. Every day, I would walk through a busy intersection frequented by cars, buses and beast-like trucks on my way to school. For three months, I could not shake the thought of walking right in front of them. As a queer person of colour, disentangling the …

Intimacy and Anxiety: Natural Enemies

The clouds are grey and heavy, compressing the ground and my mood with their weight. I’m sitting by an electric heater, drinking pale ale, in Eleanor Dark’s studio at Varuna, in Katoomba, where she herself sat and wrote, trying to find uninterrupted time to write amongst the demands of work and home. I’ve put aside …

Sexuality - Gender - Identity