Category Archive: race faith and culture

Famili: The electronic music project from Pasifika and First Nations communities

Midsumma Festival is Australia’s premier queer arts and cultural festival, bringing together a diverse mix of LGBTQIA+ artists, performers, communities and audiences from 19 Jan to 9 Feb 2020. Midsumma Festival is a proud supporter of Archer Magazine.  FAMILI is a collaborative electronic music project highlighting contemporary artists from Pasifika and First Nation communities.  Arising from …

Aboriginal queer motherhood

Aboriginal queer motherhood

I’ve always known I wanted to be a mum. The only other parts of myself that I’d ever been so sure about were that I was black and queer. I became a mother in January 2016 to a healthy, gorgeous daughter. My Napanangka Nangari, a skin name given to her by two of her aunties. Becoming …

My Catholic guilt: The regrets of a former youth leader

I used to have a job teaching kids not to be themselves. I was a Catholic youth leader, running activities and leading prayer circles every Friday night, organising events and outings, and acting as an extremely unqualified counsellor for a collection of 13-18 year olds. I held a seat on my parish council, and I …

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 …

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 …

School’s out: Catholic schools and the Sex Discrimination Act

It’s been ten years since I finished school. A decade since I definitively declared “School’s out for summer, school’s out forever”. Between that day, the beginning of the rest of my life, and now, I came out. Returning to my Catholic high school in Sydney’s inner west to see what had changed, I expected better …

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 …

I’m the gay teacher you want the right to fire

I have been a teacher for the better part of a decade. When I graduated, I was offered two jobs: one in a state school and one in a Catholic school. At the time, my Catholic faith formed a huge part of my identity; I had even undergone additional study to attain formal qualifications in …

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 …

Identity, mental health and postcolonial trauma

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 …

In detention: Gay on Nauru

At the moment, my partner and I are in the room not going out. We always live in fear. I studied engineering at university. I worked as an elevator technician until I left Iran. I really liked that job. I would like to start my own small business, that is my goal. When I was …

Coming out in my Greek Orthodox family: Rejecting the sexless heterosexual

Television is America. America is sex. And sex, of course, is the biggest sin of them all. Those were the reasons my parents gave me for prohibiting the viewing of Sesame Street in our home. I was raised in the church by my ultra-Greek Orthodox parents, and I remember from a young age feeling at …

Archer Asks: Jazz singer and activist, Mama Alto

Mama Alto is a gender transcendent diva, cabaret artiste, and community activist. She is a non-binary trans femme person of colour who works with the radical potential of storytelling, strength in softness & power in vulnerability. Bobuq Sayed sat down with them at Hares and Hyenas to talk queerness in the arts and the challenges …

Skin contact: Respectability, desire and the repression of sexuality

Women in my family do not talk openly about sex. Talking about sex openly is perceived to be unacceptable, impolite and crude. The place a woman occupies in Sri Lankan society is complex, and even more complex is the place her sexuality occupies. Sri Lankan society has carefully regulated women’s bodies to separate the acceptable …

Archer Asks: André Aciman, author of Call me by your Name

André Aciman is the critically acclaimed author of Call Me By Your Name and the sprawling Enigma Variations. Ava A spoke with André at the Sydney Writer’s Festival about the thematic elements he uses to produce his powerful prose and the novel-turned-movie that tugged the world’s heart strings. Ava: Can you speak to the significance of exploring queer, …

Aboriginal families: Beyond flesh and blood

The black family is a contested and colonised concept; my own family has never been a fixed and permanent entity. We have always been ephemeral. Some people are added and some are cut out. I have one mum, but heaps of other mothers. Sometimes, my mum feels like a sister. I have two sisters, but many …

It started early, and had little to do with sexuality. Maybe it was the fact that I hung around with more boys than girls, or that frocks never caught my fancy. But I fought to choose my own clothes, and my family eventually got tired of resisting resistance. My earliest memory was after a bath …

Archer Asks: Fashion Designer Clarence Chai

  Clarence Chai is a gay Singapore-born Australian fashion designer and vintage clothing dealer. Prominent in Melbourne and Sydney in the 1970’s and ‘80’s, he was the only Chinese designer in Melbourne for a time. Some of his garments are housed in the National Gallery of Victoria and the Powerhouse Museum Sydney. His fashion label …

Archer Asks: Allan Clarke and the First Nations history of Mardi Gras

Allan Clarke is a Muruwuri man and an investigative journalist with the ABC. He has previously reported for BuzzFeed, NITV and SBS. The Mardi Gras magazine recently published his article about the First Nations history of Mardi Gras, commemorating 40 years of black queer protest and celebration.   How important is the Sydney Mardi Gras …

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Sexuality - Gender - Identity