Stories about: identity

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, …

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 …

Some humiliations are delivered by people with good intentions. They warn you your fly is open or that the bottle of red wine you drank has turned your teeth grey. But, statistically, most humiliations are delivered for no good reason at all – and by my mother. “You completely lost yourself with that first boyfriend,” …

“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 …

I’ll level with you, I type out. I kinda have no idea what I’m doing, so you’ll have to be patient with me. Her reply is immediate: That’s okay! As long as we both have fun with each other, that’s all that matters. It’s May 2020. Amongst everything else going on in the world at …

Viewed in the most literal way, the internet is dreadfully mundane. It is a series of interconnected networks comprising many computers and servers, all using standardised communication protocols to exchange information. What makes this web of cables and computers a technological spectacle is that it allows people to invent new worlds and reside in them. …

Heteronormativity and popular history

Caroline Newcomb lived and worked with Anne Drysdale on the Bellarine Peninsula for thirteen years, until the latter’s death. In her diary, Caroline described “my dearest and much-beloved Anne” as “the desire of mine eyes”. Upon her own death twenty years later, Caroline was buried beside Anne’s remains in their former residence of Coriyule. Historian …

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 …

I work as a social worker in a prison. It is a tough gig working in a system that is oppressive by design and marginalises the marginal. It’s even tougher as a non-binary trans person who is also an abolitionist, plugging away for a wage in a system that perpetuates ongoing violence against queer and …

‘Love in the Time of Coronavirus’ has been a source of entertainment and commentary during the pandemic. Playing on the title of Gabriel García Márquez’s novel, Love in the Time of Cholera, the hashtag has been attached to everything from questions about how to maintain healthy relationships during lockdown to stories about people ending up …

The first time I looked up my natal chart, I was in the computer lab at high school. It was around 2003, when whole class periods were still allocated for ‘computer studies’; we were let loose in a room of bubble-shaped, candy-coloured iMacs, and told to see what we could find. I found astro.com, though …

Most people don’t know exactly what their life will look like, or what they definitively want. We all have ideas about such things, but like burning incense, these ideas swirl and transform, twisting and augmenting over time. This can become more complicated amongst sexual minorities like myself. Sometimes other LGBT+ people find it problematic if …

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 …

Hetsplaining male bisexuality

I was standing on the balcony of Bondi Golf Club at a straight wedding, a glass of champagne in my hand. My girlfriend at the time was introducing me to a number of her friends who I hadn’t yet met throughout our year-long relationship. One friend, Anna, was telling us a story of a recent …

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 …

Last Christmas Day driving from Melbourne to Adelaide, my partner and I stopped in my country hometown. It was empty, dusty, sunny – just as I remembered. As we drove past my old church, the full car park – an unwanted flashback of a thousand Sundays- made my stomach turn. Yet, a few hours later, …

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, …

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 …

Bisexual Visibility Day, held annually on 23 September, is nominally about bi+ people being able to be seen. Bi+ advocates often note that the “B” in LGBTQIA+ is “silent” – listed within the acronym, but rarely attended to. Even though many surveys show that we are the largest slice of the LGBTQIA+ pie, there is …

Misty is a non-binary first-generation Australian of Anglo-Indian ethnicity. Duc is a Vietnamese-Australian who, as a toddler, arrived in Australia with her family under a refugee program. Both of us have lived experience of mental health problems. Therefore, as activists with multiple intersecting identities, we aim to interrogate white privilege, class discrimination, ableism and male …

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Sexuality - Gender - Identity