Articles

The first time I looked up my natal chart, I was in the computer lab at high school. It was around 2003, when whole class periods were still allocated for ‘computer studies’; we were let loose in a room of bubble-shaped, candy-coloured iMacs, and told to see what we could find. I found astro.com, though …

Content warning: This article discusses sexual violence and ways of healing.   Dear Queer Survivor, I am a queer woman working in research and community work with LGBTQA people who have experienced sexual violence. I wanted to write to you to share some hope and words of wisdom from a group of queer and trans survivors …

Most people don’t know exactly what their life will look like, or what they definitively want. We all have ideas about such things, but like burning incense, these ideas swirl and transform, twisting and augmenting over time. This can become more complicated amongst sexual minorities like myself. Sometimes other LGBT+ people find it problematic if …

I think about sex a lot. If you could take a microscope and peer inside my brain, you’d assume I was obsessed with sex and, in a way, I am. But it’s not the thought of actual sex that runs rings around in my head and tortures me in my sleep. It’s the fact that …

It looks reasonable in writing: the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) standards dictate that for a trans woman to have surgery, she needs two letters from two different mental health professionals. You might skim past that in text and not give it another thought. It might not sound like a big deal – …

Content warning: This article discusses rape, trauma, and ways of healing.   A year ago, I was raped by two men I went home with after a party at Sydney’s Vivid festival. Afterwards, I denied my trauma until I finally hit breaking point. Something within me felt wrong, and that feeling hasn’t changed even now. …

This year has been hectic, to say the least. To round out the year that we’d rather forget, we have put together a top 10 list of our editors’ picks for 2020. You will see some of the excellent pieces published this year, the most-read pieces and our older favourites. Our online editor Roz Bellamy’s …

Hetsplaining male bisexuality

I was standing on the balcony of Bondi Golf Club at a straight wedding, a glass of champagne in my hand. My girlfriend at the time was introducing me to a number of her friends who I hadn’t yet met throughout our year-long relationship. One friend, Anna, was telling us a story of a recent …

I am a male-presenting non-binary individual: I have stubble, body hair, a deep voice, a balding head. All of these align with society’s acceptable image of masculinity. However, I also wear makeup, which deviates from an acceptable form of masculinity. For me, wearing makeup in public gives me a lot of anxiety, though I’ve done …

Last Christmas Day driving from Melbourne to Adelaide, my partner and I stopped in my country hometown. It was empty, dusty, sunny – just as I remembered. As we drove past my old church, the full car park – an unwanted flashback of a thousand Sundays- made my stomach turn. Yet, a few hours later, …

Content warning: This article discusses sexual trauma.   Around a year and a half ago, after experiencing sexual trauma in a relationship, I thought I would never enjoy sex or masturbation again. I couldn’t bear the thought of kissing someone or being touched in any way. Even non-sexual touch triggered panic attacks. I thought I …

I became single in the midst of a pandemic. Everything feels different, and not just because the process of uncoupling and change is unconventional in its slowness. I have felt a shift in the way I view all of my relationships, the ebbs and flows of connection and distance, valuing time I get with my …

As a child, I gravitated towards whatever connected with me on an emotional level. The first film I remember loving was High School Musical at around age nine. I only discovered the reputation the film had when I entered secondary school a few years later. At best, it was considered an embarrassing thing to like, …

In the morning light I went to my mirror and examined my ass. The heat radiating from it was enough to feel on my hand from centimetres away. Blackened rectangles puffed out against my pale backside. I pressed my index finger into my flesh and watched the colour change. My eyes shuttered close and I …

Relationship anarchy

I’ve long known that I view relationships differently when compared to most people. As a teenager, I regularly felt perplexed by the accepted practice of getting a boyfriend or girlfriend, entirely prioritising them, and moving friends to the sidelines. Why am I suddenly less important? I would wonder when close friends disappeared with their new …

In the window between lockdowns, I go to a friend’s birthday. A bunch of touch-starved gays sit together on the same couch. We joke about what kind of Cottagecore, polyamorous transqueer commune we would hope to live on, once the rich were dead and climate apocalypse averted somehow. “In all likelihood,” someone says, “we’ll just …

I write about gender a lot. Usually I do it through fan fiction, stepping into the shoes of the few well-represented trans characters in the media to explore how they experience their gender. One such character lives in the far future, a gender utopia where nobody’s transition is questioned, and gender roles are a figment …

Ah, beauty norms, my least favourite oxymoron. There is nothing ‘normal’ about heteronormative beauty. What we’re told are ‘beautiful’ characteristics usually represent the outliers of the diverse toolbox of human features. And this thing – ‘beauty norms’ – seems to predominantly hang itself off those of us who identify as femme. It drapes itself over …

When I first came out to my parents, I couldn’t bring myself to use the term bisexual. There was something about it that felt so confirmed and definite. I knew that I had my own internalised stigma around the term that I hadn’t quite worked through yet. Labelling what I was feeling as anything legitimate …

Gender-affirming surgery occupies a strange place within the Australian medical system. It is ‘elective’, which simply means that it happens for non-life-saving reasons. Gender-affirming surgeries are often mired in the language of ‘choice’, involving judgement around what kinds of pain, disability, and dysfunction are urgent, which are necessary, and which are deserving of public funds. …

Coming out as polyamorous, in my experience, has been similar to the 14 years I spent coming out as vegetarian: some people are quick to tell me they are too, or would like to be. Others get defensive, as if I’m somehow criticising their life choices (I’m not), or say it makes no difference to …

As continuing lockdown conditions in Melbourne and other parts of Victoria impact heavily on marginalised communities, the CEO of drummond street services, Karen Field, spoke to Archer Magazine about the support they provide for those doing it tough. Drummond street are supporting vulnerable communities who are particularly affected by the pandemic, including sex workers, international students, …

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Sexuality - Gender - Identity