Articles

What’s your favourite colour?  For many kids, the answer to this question is more than a preference. It’s who they are as a person. When my son was five, he loved bright orange, a colour matched to his zesty and fun personality.  But having browsed the ‘boyswear’ section of major department stores, I’ve found the …

I imagine gender as an enormous structure. Human-made buildings of every kind of architecture, material, and colour imaginable – and unimaginable – sprawling across the landscape. I may be taking the concept of gender as a social construct a bit literally, but the metaphor helps me conceptualise it in all its forms: the binary and …

Until recently, I had been abstinent for one year. Comedy-abstinent, that is. I also hadn’t had sex for about 10 months, but that was another story. Or so I thought. Sitting through a prominent male comedian’s “comeback special” at this year’s Melbourne Comedy Festival, I realised for the first time exactly how much I had …

Billy-Ray Belcourt (he/him) is a writer and scholar from the Driftpile Cree Nation. He won the 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize for his debut collection, This Wound Is a World, which was also a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award. His second book of poetry, NDN Coping Mechanisms: Notes from the Field, was longlisted for Canada …

I am 28 years old and still can’t say my name properly.  This is not from a lack of effort, but due to a deeply ingrained self-consciousness. Theoretically, my name should be easy to say. Two syllables, reasonably phonetic – but every time I say it, it comes out a little different. Image by: Jon Tyson …

Hedon House is a proud supporter of Archer Magazine. The black blindfold slips, and I catch a tantalising glimpse of my stockinged legs strapped to leather stirrups suspended from the ceiling. Between them, my red skirt is stretched and riding high up one tattooed thigh. My body and I haven’t been on the best of …

I love how sex workers call themselves simply ‘workers’.  “Are you a worker? I’m a worker.” Even clients say it: “My ex-girlfriend was a worker.” It’s both a code name for the most stigmatised work in the world, and a rebuttal against the assertion that our work isn’t “real” work. To say “I am a …

Have you ever seen a bird fly into a window? They don’t try to slow down or brace for impact, because as far as the bird is concerned, there’s nothing there – until there is.  My window, my invisible wall, is a grimace of annoyance, an exasperated sigh, an awkward silence after I speak.  A …

As a bit of an oddball child, I didn’t have a lot of friends. I was teased for a sexuality I didn’t yet realise, and for a gender identity I couldn’t yet fathom. It wasn’t until my teens, when I found my fellow queers and self-proclaimed weirdos, that I experienced a sense of community. Again …

Content warning: This article contains details of gendered violence and discussions of suicide.   When I first bled, I was sitting on my bed wearing yellow floral underwear. The pattern matched my soul. I was 12, and mature enough to know what it was. At school, students like me were taken to the dark and dusty …

Content warning: This article contains details of police violence and sexual assault.   In early 2018, I’d just experienced my bisexual awakening. It came as a result of immersing myself in several aspects of queer culture, though I didn’t realise I was doing so at the time. For years prior to my awakening, I watched …

Content warning: This article discusses transphobia and domestic and family violence.   I have been learning through voraciously consuming lived experience narratives and reflections on trans lives for years. I have remained alert to how trans identity is covered or erased in academia and research activity. Soaking up lived perspectives was part of my quest …

In 2019, I managed to get myself out of a situation that was onerous but not uncommon. It involved a man who I thought was the love of my life. I knew many individuals to exhibit the traits he displayed throughout our relationship. However, I was unaware of just how typical my experience was for …

The name is Wakim. That’s Wak-eem, not Whack-em. My childhood was filled with tabouli and hummus, and punishment was a smack with the wooden spoon. I’m Lebanese, and my features show it. The thick, curly hair on my head is what most people first notice about me. This hair was a catalyst for breakdowns in …

Content warning: This article discusses sexual assault.   During my formative years, my self-esteem and social skills were damaged by pathetically inadequate sex education and the generationally perpetuated notion that teaches young girls that their worth is dependent on male attention and validation. I endured long-term trauma during high school, which induced complex mental health …

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 …

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Sexuality - Gender - Identity