Stories about: mental health

The portrayal of trans and gender diverse people in mainstream media can be described as woeful at best. The lack of positive representation can lead to feelings of inadequacy, shame and isolation for many. Conscious of the need for people to stand up and make a difference, proud transgender woman and advocate Cassy Judy decided …

Content warning: This article discusses eating disorders. This time last year I was struggling to stand. If you asked what I was having for dinner, it would be something the size of a canapé, except devoid of any excitement (or seasoning even). Forming simple sentences required every ounce of effort imaginable, and still my words …

Content warning: This story contains details of sexual assault. As a young teenager, I knew my queerness. It was as real to me as the floor beneath my feet, and the freckles spotted across my face. I knew who I was despite my homophobic school, despite very few people around me detecting anything about my …

In a hilarious skit about the exclusion of women from barbershops, comedian Geraldine Hickey mocks the idea that women are so threatening to these spaces that they need to be barred from them. Arguing against the notion that barbers should charge women more for haircuts, Hickey quips, “it’s not like you’ve got to cut around …

When I was too young to know what a crush really was, I had a crush on the new boy in my class. Short brown curly hair, a British accent, and a crooked smile. Everyone liked him, so I did too. I wanted to hold his hand and dance with him at the end of …

When Hannah Gatsby asked ‘Where do the quiet gays go?’,  I thought, ‘Finally, someone else feels my pain!’ I had never felt more heard. Between being bisexual, being more disabled by my environment than by the disabilities themselves, and in my existence as a person of colour, my queerness has never been seen as fluorescently bright, …

Human bodies are trouble. They’re frightening and chaotic and often riddled with insurmountable paradox. All at once they are us – the site of our sensations, experiences, identities – not us – governed by unconscious, primordial systems, sometimes fiercely at odds with our desires and internal self-concepts – and perhaps most frighteningly, ours – like …

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 …

It was a Thursday and I was at work, sitting at my desk in a second-floor open-plan office with no windows. I walked over to the printer, swiped my staff card and waited while the pages of my report assembled themselves into a neat pile. Then it happened again, more powerful than before. Images flashed …

Navigating PTSD and the sexual self

Content warning: this article discusses sexual assault and trauma.    Flat on my back in a dark, unfamiliar room. The door is shut but a crack of light seeps in from the corridor. A hand reaches to unzip my jeans. My pussy’s wet, my nipples hard. A heavy breath heaves and a deep voice whispers …

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 …

I’ve been crying in the bathtub for the past half-hour. The tub is bone dry, but the sink is running in hope to stop my sobs from passing through the paper-thin walls and into the bedroom next door. I’m completely naked, covered in a stranger’s semen. A knock at the door forces me to lift …

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 …

A good friend of mine recently asked me to write a piece on the way that depression has impacted my life for a friend’s blog. Thinking about it, I came to realize that the psychological illnesses I have incurred over the years are situated within the history of postcolonial trauma. My ancestral heritage goes back …

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 …

Ruby Mountford will speak about bisexuality and women’s health at the 2018 LGBTIQ Women’s Health Conference, July 12 & 13 at the Jasper Hotel, Melbourne. For more information and to register for the LGBTIQ Women’s Health Conference go to lbq.org.au   It started with a mention of The L Word. I was sitting at the …

Content warning: this article discusses eating disorders.   I was having dinner with two friends. Well, they were having dinner; I was going to eat something when I got home, made within the safe confines of my small kitchen, where I was able to meticulously measure every last element before it passed my lips. One …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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

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 …

Sexuality - Gender - Identity