Category Archive: sexuality

Trauma and homophobia: Becoming sexual in my late forties

Content warning: this story discusses instances of sexual assault and homophobia.   For most people, their only understanding of being a virgin at 40 is the Steve Carell film. Not me. After living through years of homophobia – both internalised and not – and trauma, I recently experienced my first sexual encounter, at 48. I’m …

Losing a digital home: Tumblr’s ban and marginalised sexual identities

On December 17, the popular blogging platform Tumblr enacted a ban on “adult content” uploaded to its site. What it means by adult content is images and videos of “real-life human genitals”, content that depicts sex acts, and nipples – but only, of course, ones that are “female-presenting.” Many have pointed out that the blanket …

Bi Mouth: Queer Representation in Netflix’s Big Mouth

This article contains spoilers for Seasons 1 and 2 of Big Mouth. It is recommended that you watch before reading. I have a conflicted relationship with animated shows intended strictly for adults as they often seem to lack substance beyond the realm of offensiveness for its own sake. Big Mouth surprised me – despite focusing …

Finding Family in Science Fiction Fandoms

I didn’t come out publicly as bisexual until I was an adult with my own family. I never felt rejection for loving anyone, but I also did not honour that part of myself. Instead, I sought understanding for the queer side of who I am in the fantasy world of science fiction where anything felt …

Ace up my sleeve: Coming out as asexual

What does it mean to come out as asexual? What does it mean to identify as something that is essentially an absence? This is what I am thinking about, seven years into a happy straight-passing relationship with a cis-het man. It would be easy to continue in this relationship without coming out: just go on, …

Making Love and Making Law

Making Love and Making Law

I was born in 1991, the year that Nicholas Toonen, a gay activist from Tasmania, sent a communication to the United Nations Human Rights Committee. He argued that criminalising sex between men in private was a violation of his right to privacy. In that year, homosexual sex was still a criminal activity in Tasmania. Under …

Being queer on Tumblr: Privacy and anonymity in the age of social media

Tumblr, the microblogging social platform, has long functioned as a space where young people tend to feel comfortable enough sharing intimate personal details about themselves, particularly in comparison with other social media networks. For me, it was the first place I truly felt like I could express my queerness. I had a typical high school …

The asexual spectrum: Sex education, stigma, and silence

Have you ever been part of a conversation where people talk about their sexual escapades with a brazen confidence? Ever tried to slink away from such a conversation because you don’t have anything to add, or are embarrassed to say what you feel? That’s me in the corner, losing my confidence trying to keep up …

Queer monogamy and sexual liberation

Sometimes, queerness is associated with sexual freedom and experimentation, often in the form of promiscuity. This assumption is used in very different ways: on the one hand, it’s an idea perpetuated by those who fear queerness as a threat to the ‘natural order’, chaotic and radical, lacking structure. But on the other hand, this sexual …

Out from the cold: The growth of gay Greenland

Content warning: this article discusses suicide.  In 1926, a headline in the New York Times newspaper boldly asserted that: “Only man is gay in bleak Greenland.” Fast forward nine decades later and this article remains a common Google result for anyone who is curious to learn what — if any — gay scene exists in …

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Sexuality - Gender - Identity