Stories about: gender

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 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 – …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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Sexuality - Gender - Identity