Stories about: gender

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 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 …

Like many gay men, Christian and I became friends in a colourful way. I doubt we would have connected had we not been on the same flight travelling from Sydney to Los Angeles to attend the Cleveland, Ohio 2014 Gay Games, both of us part of the Sydney Silverback Wrestling Club. That trip established the …

I am non-binary but at my girls’ school I am a “she/her”. School makes me feel like I am trapped inside a caricature that only flaunts its femininity, forcing other parts of my identity to emerge in unhealthy ways. That is why I find relief in suburbs such as Fitzroy, where I get lost amongst …

I went this week to pick up a new script for my contraceptive pill, which I have to do every 12 months. I waited 30 minutes to be called in, have a script printed out, and then be sent on my way; all done in two minutes tops. It’s the same on every occasion, and …

My first couple years of practising self-love were soaked in orgasmic bliss. Touching myself felt so right, and it never occurred to me that later in life someone might vilify this practice in my mind. Image: Cris Trung   I started masturbating around the age of 11 or 12. At the time, I did not …

In those heady days, when I first shaved all my hair off, I remember feeling a jolt every time I caught the edge of my reflection. I looked so different that my brain would alert me that there was an imposter standing far too close. I also remember vacillating wildly between ebullient feelings of freedom …

Katy O’Brian (Z Nation, Black Lightning) represents a kind of queer-coded strength we rarely see in our on-screen heroines. Z Nation – the SyFy channel’s quirky, diverse and compassionate zomcom series – amassed a keen and brainy cult following over its five-season run (now available in full on Netflix). For the uninitiated, O’Brian joined Z …

In the past, transgender dancers couldn’t compete in Irish dancing competitions in Australia. I changed that in 2018. In December of 2017, after years of hiding my true self and feeling an overwhelming sense of disconnection from my outward presentation, I decided to undergo a gender transition. I formally began my gender transition in February …

I gave up on shaving two years ago. Clumsy by nature, I had so often slipped while hurriedly reaping the dark hairs on my legs that I no longer trusted myself not to end up with a few cuts and scrapes. Not to mention the existential climate guilt I felt as I consigned another infantile-pink …

There aren’t many structures in society that the LGBTIQ+ community are meant to be able to rely on. A long history of discrimination, marginalisation and violence means that many of us are suspicious of organisations that others might trust, like doctors, judges or teachers. The development of LGBTIQ+ inclusion awards over the last few years …

Jehnny Beth, the charismatic lead singer and co-writer of UK band Savages, recently launched her first album as a solo artist: To Love is To Live. In addition to the album, Jehnny Beth will also be releasing Crimes Against Love Memories (C.A.L.M.), her first book, featuring a collection of erotic short stories along with photography …

The portrayal of trans and gender diverse people in mainstream media can be described as woeful at best. The lack of positive representation can lead to feelings of inadequacy, shame and isolation for many. Conscious of the need for people to stand up and make a difference, proud transgender woman and advocate Cassy Judy decided …

Transitioning in lockdown

Colorado went into lockdown six days before I was scheduled to get top surgery. I’d been on testosterone for six months, and I’d changed my legal name in court, but the slip of paper decreeing the change was like a meta-permission without any tangible manifestation: my IDs and credit cards still read Rebecca Rose. As …

An Arrernte drag artist based in Narrm/Birrarung, Stone Motherless Cold is a combination of blak excellence and club kid aesthetics, here to celebrate and highlight WOC and blak queerness. She was part of disrupt at Hamer Hall and was one of the winners of the Vic NAIDOC LGBTQIA+ Pride Crown in 2019. Trè Turner is …

I most frequently find kinship with bodies unlike mine. In this space between my body and theirs are shared ways of moving, shared language that describes us in archetypes, not individuals. It is from this space that I have picked up the language I use to describe myself, from this space that I can draw …

I roll over and get out of my single bed. It’s the only piece of furniture in a large white room, with old wooden floorboards, a high ceiling and a bay window. I go outside to catch some sun and stretch my body. I am surrounded by valleys of pasture and cattle. Not a house …

The interplay of identity and place is fresh in my mind after re-reading Bronwyn Fredericks’ ‘We don’t leave our identities at the city limits’ (2013). In this article, she argues that space and place are never neutral in the sense that there is an ongoing cultural, social and political struggle at play. This was also …

“I’m Pretty and I’m Handsome” – Jesswar, Savage (2017) I had used tape to strap down my chest for the first time earlier that day. It was my first live drag performance at Hamer Hall for disrupt, a show for the Yirramboi Festival. When I was 11 I would use bandages from the first-aid box …

Content warning: This piece contains discussion of intimate partner violence. There’s a myth of queer solidarity – an idea that here, in this community that values alliance and acceptance above everything, people have got your back. But a few years ago, when I found myself on the receiving end of violence, I realised that the …

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Sexuality - Gender - Identity