Category Archive: transgender

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 …

Transgender children: doing it for the kids

The words to Macklemore’s ‘Same Love’, being performed during the rugby league grand final telecast, resonated across Sydney Airport. They were cheered on with pride, joy and hope by Australians from all walks of life, united in defence of equality. En route back to Melbourne, I watched surrounded by other parents of transgender kids, tired yet …

Boi wonder: Hinduism, transness and masculine anger

My very first images of masculinity and femininity came from the pictures that hung in my family’s prayer area, inside a small hallway closet with doors that opened like an accordion. Inside I saw gods and goddesses, either balanced on one leg in a dance pose, or standing with their palms together in prayer. At six …

A transgender man in the barbershop: Passing, masculinity, and aftershave

I had not walked into the barbershop for three months, but the barber remembered my face. He is a Turkish guy in his late sixties. His strength and agility dance in his hands. He is a quiet man with a wide smile that appears every so often. His grin is like a slice of light, …

Latinx language: Between a gender and grammatical binary

The persistence of gendered terms in language can be complex for non-binary people, especially those with cross-cultural identities. When you study anatomy, one of the first things you learn is that the body is divided into planes: the transverse (horizontal: the way your belt sits), sagittal (left and right: imagine a line from your forehead to …

Trans spaces: Left out

Trans spaces: Left out

It took me five years to feel comfortable and respected in my gender. Five years of learning and unlearning, blog posts and academia, art, protest, music, grime, sweat and dancing. Five years of blood, scars, assault and forging ahead, despite a lack of understanding, even from the few trans friends I had. And it’s only in …

Marriage equality and being trans: The legal grey areas in gender and the Marriage Act

As a trans woman, I have a fairly different perspective on marriage equality than most people who are heard in this debate. You may not be aware of how Australian law regards trans people. I’ve spent a lot of time making sense of the bureaucracy and the absurd legal grey area I exist in. To …

Drag and gender: Performing as a non-binary human

I was backstage at a show recently and a drag queen gushed that she’d been looking forward to meeting me. She said that I was super talented, and very ‘fishy’. My smiling face turned to confusion, and I realised she thought I was a cisgender man, and she was praising me for impersonating a woman …

The medicalisation of gender fluidity: Forget me not

I had my first instance of gender confusion when I was around eight years old. I was skiing with my family in a little snow-capped town called Ohau in New Zealand. Having just got dressed, I passed the mirror on the way out and I was startled by my own reflection. I suddenly realised that …

Extracting queerness from a narrative of suffering

I will confess that when I transitioned, I struggled to come to terms with my burgeoning privileges. Growing up as an awkward, gangly, heavyset girl in the 90s, I was aware of my place as ‘other’. At primary school I gravitated towards friends who were the odd-ones out. At high school the rift between myself …

Versatile tricks: transitioning as a sex worker

When the average American girl turns 18, she typically does one of a few things to celebrate: smoke, binge-drink, or maybe hang out with older men. The day I turned 18, however, I was skipping school to meet a submissive with my pockets full of partially-eaten Snickers minis, birthday money from my grandma, and a …

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 …

Transgender stories: Jordan Raskopoulos under the spotlight

I recall blowing out four candles on my birthday cake and wishing that I’d wake up the next day as a girl. I can remember making that same wish with five candles, with six, with 16 and even with 32. There’s a lot that held me back from transition earlier in life – shame, guilt, …

Q&A with Alok Vaid-Menon of Darkmatter

Member of poetry duo Darkmatter, Alok Vaid-Menon, chats to us about performance, faggotry and being freakishly queer. This is an excerpt from Archer Magazine #7, the THEY/THEIRS issue. Q: How has your trip to Australia been so far? Politically and racially, everyone has a different idea of what’s going on here. US frameworks around race, …

Trans erasure: Misgendering, murder and remembrance beyond TDOR

Remembrance day always elicits mixed reactions from me, mostly because I vividly remember having red poppies pinned to my shirt in primary school every 11th of November. I remember standing around a monument, while politicians placed wreathes on the steps, celebrating the same wars and soldiers that displaced my own people from Afghanistan. Veterans in …

Straddling the gender binary: Clothes don’t maketh the man

It had taken my boss three weeks to comment on my new look. I was glad she liked my shoes, because although I’d only owned office-appropriate heels for a few weeks, I’d dreamed of wearing them for more than 20 years. This is me now. Rewind a couple of years, and this personal unveiling would have seemed like …

The ‘THEY/THEIRS’ issue – Archer Magazine #7 out in December!

“I don’t mind confusion about my gender, but I do resent cisgender people who make that confusion my problem.” – Bani Amor “At this point, the precise title is less important to me than the fact that I don’t fit into the binary.” – Mariana Podesta-Diverio In this groundbreaking edition of Archer Magazine, we curate …

Trans and non-binary fashion: Archer photo shoot sneak-peek

You may have heard the whispers: our next issue (out December) is themed THEY/THEIRS, and spotlights transgender and non-binary folks. As usual, we brought together a bunch of creatives and models for a fashion shoot, to showcase a couple of our partner brands. For this issue, our models were transgender and non-binary, and our product included a lot of latex (thanks Max …

Transgender children in the media: telling responsible stories

Transgender children have been the focus of considerable media attention in Australia over the past two years. Two examples this year are episodes of Australian Story and 60 Minutes, where viewers shared in the journeys of Georgie, Emma and Izzie, three transgender teenagers. The episodes highlight how the media can either contribute to or inhibit the …

Shifting Trans narratives: envisioning a better future for all Transgender people

From the pathologising times of trailblazing European psychotherapists of the 1930s, through to the more personal accounts of modern transition in the writing of Transgender people like Jenny Boylan and Janet Mock, or the more academic work of sociologist and Trans man Jamison Green, the Trans narrative has been significantly refined, reinterpreted and refocused. At …

‘The SHE/HERS issue’ – Archer Magazine #6 out now

ORDER ARCHER MAGAZINE #6 HERE “We know what ‘she’ isn’t. ‘She’ is not a uterus. ‘She’ is not having a child, or being a daughter.  ‘She’ is not always paid less, though she is more likely to be. ‘She’ may change her pronouns; perhaps many times. We do know that gender is highly complex, entirely individual, …

Beyond the coming out narrative: The transphobia the media doesn’t represent

On International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, it’s important to consider how the representations of homophobia and transphobia in our news and fictional media are impacting how we view these issues, and how they affect queer youth. The way we position trans youth in relation to their families paints a particularly one dimensional narrative. In …

Sexuality - Gender - Identity