From Archer Magazine

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 …

It’s been eight years since I first kissed a boy, and two since gender loosened its grip on me, yet I never came out to my father. I’ve made my peace with never coming out to him, or the rest of my extended family, for that matter. For someone straddling two cultures, this is a …

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 …

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 …

Bodies are like houses. Some are big and wide, some small and cosy, some old and broken. Like houses, bodies come in all shapes and colours, and we’re all conditioned to be judgmental about them: where we live, where we’ve come from, and the associated privilege of a postcode. More than that, our bodies, our homes, are the …

Ejaculating milk from my nipples during orgasm was not something I can say I expected, while I was expecting. It was a rainy afternoon during my third trimester and, without even aiming, I shot my partner straight in the eye. Fortunately, unlike semen, breast milk doesn’t sting and there was no burning or redness. In …

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, …

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, …

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 …

“When I was your age…” was how my Zimbabwean mother would often begin her lecture-sermons. “If God were to see you now,” she would say, in her rich and powerful African accent, and I’d know I was in for a long one. For many children growing up in the western world, the delivery of life lessons with a …

JD Samson is best known as a member of electroclash band Le Tigre and the art/performance collective MEN. She helped form the Dykes Can Dance troupe, and contributed to Broadly documentary The Last Lesbian Bars. Lottie Turner interviewed JD Samson for issue #6 of Archer Magazine, which you can buy here for the modest price …

HERE WE ARE AGAIN. Here’s a spiney train that shudders on its slippery track. It moves from Sydney, taking me home on its back. Logically, the story of Aboriginal queerness and me begins here, although, more accurately, it started immemorially before I came into the picture. I’m close to running out of life experiences I can …

“MUM, WHAT ARE BUTT-PLUGS FOR?” my 12-year-old son asks at the dinner table. I yelp at the question before admitting I’m curious myself. “Some of those things are huge,” says my 20-year-old stepdaughter, helping herself to another serving of Caesar salad and recounting her recent excursion to a sex-toy shop, to “satisfy her curiosity”. Later, as I clear …

I’LL ADMIT, I can be an impulsive person. That particular personality streak is likely the reason I came out to my parents over Thanksgiving dinner, back in 1998. I was 17, and although it may seem like a bold move to an outsider, for me it was simply a panic-induced, impulsive reveal – “Mom, Dad, I’m bisexual!” …

But I want it! I want it! I want it! He chanted like a prayer, even though his fear of the pain was enormous… The head of Fred’s cock pushed carefully into the sphincter. Slowly, lovingly, tenderly. And still Horst just couldn’t endure it. A wave of feelings swept through his body: fear, shame,anger… Since he couldn’t get a grip …

I have been thinking a lot lately about my own body hair, hair in general, and how media censorship is particularly harsh on pubic hair.   Canadian artist and writer Petra Collins had her Instagram account deleted over an image of pubic hair. She responded with a great article on censorship and the female body …

In this photo essay, photographer Charlie Brophy captures the youthful characters and playful antics of her first forays into sharehouse living.  There was a sense of youthful innocence in most of the sharehouses I entered from the age of 18. Each housemate enthusiastically explored new possibilities and ‘first times’, and I became obsessed with that freedom …

For a fat lady, sex and desire are complex beasts. I regularly refer to the time I’ve spent learning how to love and fuck as ‘work’. While not a romantic turn of phrase, it’s a fairly accurate description of how it feels. Describing adolescence or adulthood spent in a larger body feels almost redundant these …

Asexuality is the lack of sexual attraction to others. It doesn’t mean not having sex at all – in fact, many asexual people do have sex, and some enjoy it. Being asexual – or ‘ace’, as some of us call it – refers to a lack of sexual attraction, not activity. I first knew there …

Since the realisation that I was attracted to men in my early adolescence, I’ve never had any doubt that the desire was entirely innate and immutable.   I’ve never been attracted to women, and I couldn’t imagine feeling any other way. Not everybody attracted to the same sex feels this way, however. A minority of …

Bisexuality refers to someone who experiences attraction (of one or more of the following kinds: sexual, romantic, emotional or affectionate) over their lifetime to more than one gender. As with any identity, it’s important for individuals to choose their own label, if they wish to have one at all. And to respect all labels and …

 “If you’re very serious when you’re talking about taboos, you’re very unlikely to put other people at ease.” – Dion Kagan, Archer Magazine #5 launch To celebrate the launch of Archer Magazine’s fifth issue, we heard readings from three writers that appear in the new edition, and interrogated their work with a short Q&A. Their articles revolve around …

Sexuality - Gender - Identity