Category Archive: sexuality

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 …

Public intimacy: Reclaiming my identity as a bisexual woman

“Oh, that’s hot. Can you kiss for me?” These words, in different orders and intonations, have been said to me more times than I can count. I’m fifteen, flirting properly with a girl for the first time at a friend’s house. She whispers in my ear, and it is something cute and innocent. I’m experiencing …

Corporate rainbow-washing: The truth behind awards and accolades

Content warning: This article discusses homophobia and transphobia   At my first job, when I was a high school student, my boss was openly homophobic. Once, he told me that being gay was disgusting and wrong, at a time when I was a teenager, closeted, and already convinced I was inherently wrong in some way. Now …

Parenting and sexuality: The time my son found my FetLife profile

Parenting is the ultimate headfuck.  Nothing strips you as bare, nor finds you as wanting. You want to get it so right, and yet you are so goddamned imperfect. From the moment my son was conceived, I knew I wanted to raise him with a healthy sexuality that he could one day enjoy, as I …

Self-censorship at work: The queer ‘hush’ factor

I felt the need to shield my screen the other day. It was my lunch break at work and I was reading an article about the world of lesbian dating on my work computer. I had the screen minimised and my cursor hovering over the tiny x in the right hand corner. If I was reading …

Bisexual visibility in 2019: Why we need to ‘be the change’

Bisexual Visibility Day is a day of celebration that really turns into a month of celebration when all is said and done. After kicking off in the USA in 1999, this year, September 23rd marks the 21st official annual celebration of bisexuality, an event that now reaches across the globe. But September 23rd isn’t all …

OCD and sex: When ‘pure O’ isn’t so pure

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 …

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 …

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 …

Girlfriends, gal pals or partners? Language and queer visibility

I was recently caught in the revolving door of the closet. During small talk with an acquaintance, I’d mentioned my girlfriend. After a meandering chat about household chores, she dropped the word ‘friend’ into the conversation, the cogs turned, and I realised we were on different wavelengths about what my girlfriend was to me. As …

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Sexuality - Gender - Identity