Category Archive: sexuality

Twink, bear, sub, Dom: How gay classification reinforces heteronormativity

On my first night out in St Kilda when I first moved to Melbourne, I downloaded Tinder and Grindr and self-advertised the hours away. While I built meaningful relationships through both apps, optimism slowly slipped away after cross-examination. A white cisgender gay man like myself does not have too much trouble fitting in with online …

On queer aesthetics and not feeling ‘queer enough’

I once dated a person with terrifying friends. They were loud and confrontational and—in my eyes—terrifying. Still, I was in love, so I made the effort to get to know them. They all hung out in one of those big, run-down share houses where anything goes. They threw massive parties fueled with drugs and sexual …

“The only Asian deaf gay guy in Melbourne”: Alvin’s story

This story was first published on Staying Negative, a website that aims to emotionally engage and inspire gay/bisexual men, including trans men, through the sharing of personal stories. I was born and grew up in Hong Kong. When I was a few months old, my mum found out that I couldn’t hear anything when she …

Navigating the nasty and confusing territory of teenage femme-femme relationships

If a cat lands on its feet and toast always lands buttered-side down, sticky taping the toast (buttered-face-up) to a cat’s back and shoving the two off a counter would no doubt create confusion. The two could not exist in tandem without causing a cosmic rip in our universe’s pants. My pants and universe have …

Examining queer young adult fiction: Systemic discrimination in the publishing world

This is the third instalment of a four-part series on the state of queer young adult fiction in Australia. Read part one, and part two. The We Need Diverse Books movement has done a lot to highlight the need for greater representation of marginalised people and communities in young adult (YA) books. But with the …

Mardi Gras and pride: the vulnerability of dismantling shame

Every year, queers from around Australia descend on Sydney for the annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade. For gay men it is a pilgrimage, one that leaves a trail of glitter and the smell of amyl nitrate in its wake. The parade is one of the most recognisable gay pride events worldwide, dwarfing smaller …

Queer young adult fiction: examining the underrepresentation of queer voices

This is the second instalment of a four part series on the state of queer young adult fiction in Australia. Read the first instalment here.  There’s a particular kind of pain that comes with the realisation that even within queer stories for Young Adults (YA), queer voices are a minority. It’s a double-punch of feelings of …

Gay failure: Body image, conditioned inadequacy and queering photography

I spend the most time with myself, running my fingers over my stomach and agonising over the parts that are soft. I guess all queer and trans people feel the way I feel at some point, because our bodies become associated with a very specific type of failure. In Vito Russo’s The Celluloid Closet, he …

Examining Australian queer young adult fiction: there’s not enough queer in AusQueerYA

This is the first instalment of a four part series on the state of queer young adult fiction in Australia. I grew up in libraries. My mother was a librarian, so any time I wasn’t at school I was at the library. I’d pore over the shelves, set up camp in the corner behind of …

Bi in the public eye: The erasure of bisexual women from the celebrity biopic

A few months ago, I was given the opportunity to indulge in the delightful collision between popular culture and minority politics at the Melbourne International Film Festival screening of Little Girl Blue. As the title may suggest to loyal fans, Amy Berg’s 2015 biopic presents a sprawling map of Janis Joplin’s life, her incomparable talent, …

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The Australian journal of sexual diversity.