Stories about: family

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 …

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 …

“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 …

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 …

Blends of blues and greens shimmered back up at me from the palm of my hand. Lightly brushing sand off little pearlescent jewels, I looked into what was very recently a home for a little saltwater friend, but was now lying in the company of many other colours and shapes. Every trip to the beach …

  I want to show her one poem which is the poem of my life. But I hesitate, and wake. —Adrienne Rich, from the second of Twenty-One Love Poems   Of all my loves, my love for women is my most complicated. You could describe this love using phrases from psychiatry text books—hypervigilance; belief that …

In The Argonauts, Maggie Nelson reflects that ‘whenever anyone asked me why I wanted to have a baby, I had no answer. But the muteness of the desire stood in inverse proportion to its size.’ Wanting to be a mother with my partner, Claire, felt like a need. Yet, like Maggie Nelson, I couldn’t give …

I didn’t think of myself as homeless when I finally did stop going home. It didn’t happen overnight and it didn’t feel bad. Over New Years my partner and I went camping. Some nights we were so lazy setting up a tent that we slept in the middle of a private farm under just the …

The rumour around the suburban street was that Nan was a hussy; strangely, having two men in your life wasn’t the norm. For me, though, growing up around the three of them, I knew nothing different. Visiting my grandparents for dinner consisted of Nana, Zaida (the Yiddish word for grandfather) and Leon. I had a wonderful …

The plan was to gift my mother a vibrator for Mother’s Day. She was frank in her confession that since splitting from my father ten years ago, she hasn’t had sex with anyone else. She wasn’t particularly forlorn about it. Nor does she seem especially frisky. But for me, sexual pleasure and masturbation are hugely …

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 …

“Sisters?” asks the dishevelled guy in the sweltering hot elevator. My girlfriend has gold flecked blue eyes, straight blonde hair and a small round tummy—she’s five months pregnant. I’m half a foot taller with wavy auburn hair, deep set eyes and a larger frame. We’re both sweating as we look at each other, then at …

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’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!” …

Trigger warning: story contains a personal and sometimes graphic recount of family violence. For 24/7 support, please contact the National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800respect.org.au. Alternatively, see QLife for early intervention and counselling support specific to LGBTI people.  I remember one night, the final night, I sat on our …

Following the release of her memoir, Reckoning, actor and comedian Magda Szubanski chats to us about sexuality, creativity and family. This article was originally published in Archer Magazine #5, buy your copy here. A: When was the first time you saw a gay or lesbian character that you identified with in a positive way? MS: …

Sexuality - Gender - Identity