Stories about: race faith and culture

“Hello, welcome!” said Loona Teek, a pastel pink-haired queen wearing a tight vintage dress and a wide, purple lipstick smile as she swept us into a bar in Haebangcheon. At first glance it looked like most Korean dive bars. A rickety old wooden staircase led to a tiny basement, where mismatched chairs were strewn across …

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 …

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 …

The name is Wakim. That’s Wak-eem, not Whack-em. My childhood was filled with tabouli and hummus, and punishment was a smack with the wooden spoon. I’m Lebanese, and my features show it. The thick, curly hair on my head is what most people first notice about me. This hair was a catalyst for breakdowns in …

“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 …

Jewish, gay, and proud

Content warning: This article makes reference to conversion practices.   When I first came out over a decade ago, I became alienated from the Jewish community I grew up in. After coming out to a few close friends via text, my rabbi and rebbetzin called me to their office. They said that I’d have to …

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 …

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, …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Archer asks: SJ Norman

SJ (Sarah-Jane) Norman (b. 1984) is a cross-disciplinary artist and writer. Their career has so far spanned 15 years and has embraced a diversity of disciplines and formal outcomes, including solo and ensemble performance, installation, sculpture, text, video and sound. They are a non-binary transmasculine person and a diasporic Koori, born on Gadigal land.  I’ll …

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 …

Archer asks: Diimpa

Musician and artist Diimpa chats to Rose Chalks about endurance, enlightenment and climate change. Your main influences are from the minimalist movement, removed from the traditional classical landscape. How is classical music different from the minimalist movement for you? The minimalist movement in music sprung up around the 1960s, removing itself from the classical scene …

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 first saw The Miseducation of Cameron Post – a film about a same-sex-attracted (SSA) teenager sent to a Christian facility to ‘reorient’ her sexuality – in August 2018, though I didn’t think much of it at the time. It was technically part of a job, just necessary research so I could edit the reviews …

Franz Kafka’s seminal literary work, The Metamorphosis, has crept into my world at three crucial points. It’s tangled with my psyche and influenced the course of my life as an observer, a performer and a writer. I was a naïve and impressionable thirteen-year-old student at an all-boys high school on Sydney’s Northern Beaches when first …

Asian Ambition is a movement and platform designed to highlight Asian artists, embrace Asian sub-cultures in all their complexities, and negate the stereotypes propagated by the media of Asian people being timid, stoic and academically excellent. I’d followed the Asian Ambition account for a few months and their previous photoshoots always left me feeling grateful …

Queer and religious freedoms can co-exist

Pseudonyms have been used and some details have been changed to protect the privacy of the research participant.   Najah’s path to self-acceptance was a long and winding road but led to a peaceful place. When she accepted she was exclusively attracted to other women in her late teens, Najah felt she could no longer …

Meryl McMaster is a Canadian artist and a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD U). Through her distinct approach to photographic portraiture and self-portraiture, she explores questions of identity in relation to land, lineage, history and culture. Her work has been ­included in exhibitions throughout Canada and internationally, including the National …

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Sexuality - Gender - Identity