Stories about: mental health

Content warning: this article discusses depression.    In 2015, I forgot who I was. Like a reverse Wizard of Oz, the world suddenly went from vibrant colour to black and white. I felt as though there was a storm cloud behind my shoulder. Joy was being sucked out of my every move.  Depression wasn’t a …

My hairdresser says there’s a different kind of freedom from living out of home, and I finally understand what he means. Since moving out, I’ve recognised a part of my identity that’s come as a surprise for me. Even though I’ve been attending queer book events at the library, and have two copies of Guidebook …

Have you ever seen a bird fly into a window? They don’t try to slow down or brace for impact, because as far as the bird is concerned, there’s nothing there – until there is.  My window, my invisible wall, is a grimace of annoyance, an exasperated sigh, an awkward silence after I speak.  A …

As a bit of an oddball child, I didn’t have a lot of friends. I was teased for a sexuality I didn’t yet realise, and for a gender identity I couldn’t yet fathom. It wasn’t until my teens, when I found my fellow queers and self-proclaimed weirdos, that I experienced a sense of community. Again …

Content warning: This article discusses sexual assault.   During my formative years, my self-esteem and social skills were damaged by pathetically inadequate sex education and the generationally perpetuated notion that teaches young girls that their worth is dependent on male attention and validation. I endured long-term trauma during high school, which induced complex mental health …

Content warning: This article discusses sexual assault.   Amidst my relaying of a story about high school parties, and what used to go on at them, my boyfriend interrupted, “That’s really messed up.” “I know, but it’s just like that. I mean, I woke up in the middle of sex once, not knowing how I’d …

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 …

Writing through trauma

Content warning: This article discusses sexual assault, institutionalisation and trauma.    I have found the experience of writing and performing my work about my trauma of rape and institutionalisation a healing process. Someone on Facebook, who had not spoken to me for about two years, messaged me out of the blue and said, “I’m trying …

Content warning: This article discusses sexual trauma.   Around a year and a half ago, after experiencing sexual trauma in a relationship, I thought I would never enjoy sex or masturbation again. I couldn’t bear the thought of kissing someone or being touched in any way. Even non-sexual touch triggered panic attacks. I thought I …

As continuing lockdown conditions in Melbourne and other parts of Victoria impact heavily on marginalised communities, the CEO of drummond street services, Karen Field, spoke to Archer Magazine about the support they provide for those doing it tough. Drummond street are supporting vulnerable communities who are particularly affected by the pandemic, including sex workers, international students, …

Sugaring and mental health

I started sugaring for the money. Living out of home and watching your bank account decrease with every bill is a tiring experience, and after a gut-wrenching and generally nauseating break-up, I decided it was time to change that. Men my age were clearly incapable of giving me what I wanted, so I did what …

As a raging homosexual who is also Hard of Hearing, I’m sorry to tell you that disabled people and queer people have once again been failed by our society. Not for the first time, we have been overlooked and left behind. It seems to be a never-ending cycle to me – we argue for our …

Content warning: This story contains details of assault, homophobia and experiences of psychosis. As I write this article, there are several voices in my head urging me not to. The most prominent of those voices is what I used to believe to be the voice of God. It’s a loud, male voice that seems forever …

Growing up in an Islamic household, I had no clue what sexuality entailed.  Love wasn’t really about love – it was about making your parents happy. My grandmother’s desire was for my mother to have an arranged marriage, and so my mother dutifully complied. All I knew about love was that it occurred within a …

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 …

Content warning: This article discusses eating disorders. This time last year I was struggling to stand. If you asked what I was having for dinner, it would be something the size of a canapé, except devoid of any excitement (or seasoning even). Forming simple sentences required every ounce of effort imaginable, and still my words …

Content warning: This story contains details of sexual assault. As a young teenager, I knew my queerness. It was as real to me as the floor beneath my feet, and the freckles spotted across my face. I knew who I was despite my homophobic school, despite very few people around me detecting anything about my …

In a hilarious skit about the exclusion of women from barbershops, comedian Geraldine Hickey mocks the idea that women are so threatening to these spaces that they need to be barred from them. Arguing against the notion that barbers should charge women more for haircuts, Hickey quips, “it’s not like you’ve got to cut around …

When I was too young to know what a crush really was, I had a crush on the new boy in my class. Short brown curly hair, a British accent, and a crooked smile. Everyone liked him, so I did too. I wanted to hold his hand and dance with him at the end of …

When Hannah Gatsby asked ‘Where do the quiet gays go?’,  I thought, ‘Finally, someone else feels my pain!’ I had never felt more heard. Between being bisexual, being more disabled by my environment than by the disabilities themselves, and in my existence as a person of colour, my queerness has never been seen as fluorescently bright, …

Human bodies are trouble. They’re frightening and chaotic and often riddled with insurmountable paradox. All at once they are us – the site of our sensations, experiences, identities – not us – governed by unconscious, primordial systems, sometimes fiercely at odds with our desires and internal self-concepts – and perhaps most frighteningly, ours – like …

I hold the thread and pinch one strand free from the four. I pull high and slow the way Mum taught me. This is a lie. I embroider quite well but YouTube was my main teacher. I consider the harshness of the word ‘lie’ as I stitch this thread with others of different colours: hues …

Sexuality - Gender - Identity