Stories about: relationships

Heteronormativity and popular history

Caroline Newcomb lived and worked with Anne Drysdale on the Bellarine Peninsula for thirteen years, until the latter’s death. In her diary, Caroline described “my dearest and much-beloved Anne” as “the desire of mine eyes”. Upon her own death twenty years later, Caroline was buried beside Anne’s remains in their former residence of Coriyule. Historian …

‘Love in the Time of Coronavirus’ has been a source of entertainment and commentary during the pandemic. Playing on the title of Gabriel García Márquez’s novel, Love in the Time of Cholera, the hashtag has been attached to everything from questions about how to maintain healthy relationships during lockdown to stories about people ending up …

Most people don’t know exactly what their life will look like, or what they definitively want. We all have ideas about such things, but like burning incense, these ideas swirl and transform, twisting and augmenting over time. This can become more complicated amongst sexual minorities like myself. Sometimes other LGBT+ people find it problematic if …

I became single in the midst of a pandemic. Everything feels different, and not just because the process of uncoupling and change is unconventional in its slowness. I have felt a shift in the way I view all of my relationships, the ebbs and flows of connection and distance, valuing time I get with my …

In the morning light I went to my mirror and examined my ass. The heat radiating from it was enough to feel on my hand from centimetres away. Blackened rectangles puffed out against my pale backside. I pressed my index finger into my flesh and watched the colour change. My eyes shuttered close and I …

Relationship anarchy

I’ve long known that I view relationships differently when compared to most people. As a teenager, I regularly felt perplexed by the accepted practice of getting a boyfriend or girlfriend, entirely prioritising them, and moving friends to the sidelines. Why am I suddenly less important? I would wonder when close friends disappeared with their new …

Coming out as polyamorous, in my experience, has been similar to the 14 years I spent coming out as vegetarian: some people are quick to tell me they are too, or would like to be. Others get defensive, as if I’m somehow criticising their life choices (I’m not), or say it makes no difference to …

I was twenty-two when my best friend asked me to promise I’d never love my boyfriend more than I loved her. It wasn’t hard to promise. I’d met this boyfriend while Sarah and I were fighting. I wouldn’t have gone on a second date if we’d been speaking. I would have favoured Sarah’s critical observations …

Sugaring and mental health

I started sugaring for the money. Living out of home and watching your bank account decrease with every bill is a tiring experience, and after a gut-wrenching and generally nauseating break-up, I decided it was time to change that. Men my age were clearly incapable of giving me what I wanted, so I did what …

Identifying abuse or violence in relationships can be tricky for anyone, but LGBTIQA+ communities face a unique set of challenges when it comes to spotting healthy and abusive behaviours. We spoke to Karen Field, CEO of drummond street services and queerspace, and a partner in WithRespect, the first LGBTIQA+ specialist family violence service funded by …

At a party earlier this year, an acquaintance asked me if I was queer. “I don’t know,” I said. This person had been telling me about the Queer Beers event she was holding, and I was fascinated by her openness. Most openly queer people I had met looked bold. They didn’t look like Jo, with …

Content warning: This piece contains discussion of intimate partner violence. When I tell people about continued ‘low-level’ harassment in a domestic violence situation, I’m not talking about harassment that has less effect on the victim. Instead, I’m talking about a sneaky and insidious tactic used by perpetrators to maintain control over their partners or ex-partners, knowing …

Content warning: This piece contains discussion of intimate partner violence. There’s a myth of queer solidarity – an idea that here, in this community that values alliance and acceptance above everything, people have got your back. But a few years ago, when I found myself on the receiving end of violence, I realised that the …

Ronnie Scott and I sit in our respective homes, connected over Skype. He’s clean-shaven, his hair thrown back. Outside it’s overcast with a faint bloom of sunlight and the suggestion of rain later. When our video stream loads, he launches into a thought about the impacts of the pandemic. “It just hits you, how the …

A highlight of my adolescent diary was the lead-up to my birthday, when Mum and I would go clothes shopping together. I’d look forward to it as much for the quality time as for the fashion, and I was lucky to have a solid, strong mother-daughter relationship and a middle-class budget, both of which could …

Content warning: This piece describes intimate partner violence. Let me tell you when I realised you were hurting me. It was in our old house, the one filled with the type of furniture four nineteen-year-old students can afford. I sat on the two-seater lounge with my friend Iris across from me on the recliner. “How …

Monday night – hardly prime real estate for a date, but it was December, and so the days were bleeding into each other, weeknights taking on that languorous pace usually reserved for weekends. We sipped our beers, ran through the standard topics. I didn’t particularly like the way he put his hand on my thigh …

I remember my very first time. As I walked up to the house my mouth was dry. I knocked on the door, nervously clutching my character sheet and bag of dice. I was 27, going through a painful and messy divorce, and about to live out a long-held dream: I was going to play Dungeons …

  I want to show her one poem which is the poem of my life. But I hesitate, and wake. —Adrienne Rich, from the second of Twenty-One Love Poems   Of all my loves, my love for women is my most complicated. You could describe this love using phrases from psychiatry text books—hypervigilance; belief that …

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 …

It was a modern beginning. We matched on Tinder then met at a local bar where we drank enough gin to sink a ship. Summer was heating up and I was ready for anything, having finally escaped a difficult marriage. Plus, the brazen way he rested his hand on my leg beneath the table made …

In The Argonauts, Maggie Nelson reflects that ‘whenever anyone asked me why I wanted to have a baby, I had no answer. But the muteness of the desire stood in inverse proportion to its size.’ Wanting to be a mother with my partner, Claire, felt like a need. Yet, like Maggie Nelson, I couldn’t give …

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Sexuality - Gender - Identity