Articles

The first time I became cognisant of the importance others placed on romance was when I transitioned from the children’s section of my local library to the teen section. Suddenly, all of the books were about falling in or out of love. Nobody, it seemed, was all that concerned with friendships anymore. Until that point, …

Content warning: This article discusses violence and suicidal ideation.   Having been involved in queer-led activist and organising circles for some time, I’m all too familiar with caring for people in crisis. I’ve watched as friends burn themselves to the ground caring for at-risk members of our communities, guiding them through addiction, homelessness, suicidal ideation, …

It’s a familiar story: the casual coming out. A discussion over drinks with friends. The reactions from family when you tell them. Trying to explain to a potential partner that you have a label for how you experience sexual attraction, and how you identify as a result. But the coming out story for demisexuals tends …

My adolescence began when I was 19 years old, emotionally at least. It started, as things often do, with a book. I was in my first year at university. I had been bemoaning the secondary school final exams for eviscerating my reading habits. Many of my peers complained of a similar ailment: “I miss reading …

It’s a universal truth that breakups, and being broken up with, suck. In this heteronormative world, we’re often told that you can’t be friends with your ex. But when queer friendships can quite literally be a lifeline, it’s hard to resist the urge to attempt to reconfigure and recontextualise relationships that were once exclusively sexual …

Content warning: This article discusses sexual assault.   “So, what do you do for work?” he asks as we sit on the outdoor furniture of my Marrickville neighbours’ back yard. The neighbours – muso kids – are having their regular Saturday night rager. Instead of telling the notorious party house to pipe down their 3am …

Taz Clay, a 22-year-old Kalkadoon and Bwgcolman brotherboy, has made waves by using his lived experience of homelessness and queerness to advocate for better living conditions of those navigating LGBT+ healthcare, out-of-home care and alcohol and other drugs support over the last five years. An unrelenting activist for sistergirl and brotherboy suicide prevention and child …

Some humiliations are delivered by people with good intentions. They warn you your fly is open or that the bottle of red wine you drank has turned your teeth grey. But, statistically, most humiliations are delivered for no good reason at all – and by my mother. “You completely lost yourself with that first boyfriend,” …

“No, no, no!” I was playing Chopin’s Etude Opus 25 No. 1 on my teacher’s grand piano, an expansive black instrument that filled the entire room. It twanged discordantly as my fingers fumbled, and I flinched at each reprimand. “Let’s just move on to the Bach and see if that’s any better.” For nearly twenty …

I’ll level with you, I type out. I kinda have no idea what I’m doing, so you’ll have to be patient with me. Her reply is immediate: That’s okay! As long as we both have fun with each other, that’s all that matters. It’s May 2020. Amongst everything else going on in the world at …

As a single mum for the last 16 years, summers with my kids were pretty much like those of many other divorced parents: awkward end of school concerts, Christmas across two households, and a holiday split in two. When the kids were with me, they would bundle into the car and trailer combo, and we …

Ella Baxter is a young writer who has a deep connection to ritual, art and ceremony through her small business making bespoke death shrouds for funerals. Her poetry has been published in Spineless Wonders, Gargouille Literary Journal, and Bowen St Press. New Animal is being adapted by Marieke Hardy for a television series. New Animal has also been sold to Picador …

Viewed in the most literal way, the internet is dreadfully mundane. It is a series of interconnected networks comprising many computers and servers, all using standardised communication protocols to exchange information. What makes this web of cables and computers a technological spectacle is that it allows people to invent new worlds and reside in them. …

Remembrance of poppers past

“We don’t sell that here,” the burly bearded man behind the counter of the sex shop said. “I think you’re after ‘wood varnish’.” This was pre-COVID-19, before I was forced to buy ‘poppers’ online during Melbourne’s lengthy lockdowns. At first, I looked at him dumbfounded, not getting the gist of what he was implying. “So, …

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 …

Content warning: This article discusses sexual assault.   Amidst my relaying of a story about high school parties, and what used to go on at them, my boyfriend interrupted, “That’s really messed up.” “I know, but it’s just like that. I mean, I woke up in the middle of sex once, not knowing how I’d …

Nevo Zisin is a Jewish, Queer, non-binary activist, public speaker and writer. They run gender inclusivity workshops in schools, workplaces, and in their local Jewish community. Nevo previously authored Finding Nevo, a poignant memoir on the experience of gender transitioning.   In the opening pages of The Pronoun Lowdown, you say: “I realised that I was …

I work as a social worker in a prison. It is a tough gig working in a system that is oppressive by design and marginalises the marginal. It’s even tougher as a non-binary trans person who is also an abolitionist, plugging away for a wage in a system that perpetuates ongoing violence against queer and …

Jewish, gay, and proud

Content warning: This article makes reference to conversion practices.   When I first came out over a decade ago, I became alienated from the Jewish community I grew up in. After coming out to a few close friends via text, my rabbi and rebbetzin called me to their office. They said that I’d have to …

Writing through trauma

Content warning: This article discusses sexual assault, institutionalisation and trauma.    I have found the experience of writing and performing my work about my trauma of rape and institutionalisation a healing process. Someone on Facebook, who had not spoken to me for about two years, messaged me out of the blue and said, “I’m trying …

When I wore pink for the first time since transitioning, nothing changed. Years of testosterone didn’t leach out of my bloodstream, like rivulets of sweat running in reverse. My chest stayed a glorious flat expanse, pectorals underscored by my top surgery scars as if in emphasis. The pink cotton shirt was soft, and I liked …

‘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 …

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Sexuality - Gender - Identity