Stories about: sexuality

“Did you know that Madison is a… bisexual?” my aunt harps during the heart of Australia’s ill-famed plebiscite debate in 2017, locking eyes with my mother as she mouths the word. The transgression, rather. Bi-sex-ual (|bʌɪˈsɛkʃʊəl|): something that is neither here nor there, a kind of “duplicity” that Iranian-American filmmaker Desiree Akhavan knows well. “You’re …

It’s been ten years since I finished school. A decade since I definitively declared “School’s out for summer, school’s out forever”. Between that day, the beginning of the rest of my life, and now, I came out. Returning to my Catholic high school in Sydney’s inner west to see what had changed, I expected better …

I was recently caught in the revolving door of the closet. During small talk with an acquaintance, I’d mentioned my girlfriend. After a meandering chat about household chores, she dropped the word ‘friend’ into the conversation, the cogs turned, and I realised we were on different wavelengths about what my girlfriend was to me. As …

Being queer and body positive

Growing up in Australia in a time when fad diets and homophobia were all the rage, for me, the 90’s and early 00’s meant crash diets and sneaking off to Sydney to make out with girls on the weekend. I hid my sexuality and forced myself to have relationships with men to appease society, I …

The most wonderful time of the year in Melbourne is upon us: International Comedy Festival time. Each year my dad and I watch the televised MICF events – usually the Gala performance and opening night. Comedy is one of the things that Dad and I bond over the most, sharing a similar sense of humour …

This series by 20-year-old HIV-positive American photographer Sam Stoich confronts a subject that has long been misunderstood, and remains burdened with ­stigma even today. Q&A with Jess Desaulniers-Lea   Shot in the Dark has a sense of continuum; is this series on­­going? If so, how has it evolved so far and in what direction do you see it …

Content warning: this article discusses drug use.  It’s widely acknowledged that drug-use in LGBTIQ+ communities is high. It also happens that many of the drugs we take are recreational, and illegal. This doesn’t seem to be deterring queer communities, who consume ecstasy alone at a rate almost 6 times that of the general population. What …

I am a lucky one. In many ways I never really ‘came out’; I was always openly bisexual. I never questioned that aspect of myself, I was who I was and as a rough and tumble tomboy it seemed entirely acceptable. I kissed a girl at the age of eight and kissed a boy that …

When I was a kid, my favourite books were the His Dark Materials trilogy by Phillip Pullman. Different worlds, fantastic instruments, flying witches, and your soul appearing outside your body in animal form. It was magic, lush, creatively unbound. What impacted me most was a quote from a human character – a scientist – named …

“LGBTIQ elders have a strong history of breaking down barriers for proceeding generations to live more freely. Some of these stories are well publicised, such as the process to decriminalise homosexuality, while others are more personal, like our elders being role models just by living openly and honestly. Our elders represent an incredible history that …

I have been a teacher for the better part of a decade. When I graduated, I was offered two jobs: one in a state school and one in a Catholic school. At the time, my Catholic faith formed a huge part of my identity; I had even undergone additional study to attain formal qualifications in …

Content warning: this story discusses instances of sexual assault and homophobia.   For most people, their only understanding of being a virgin at 40 is the Steve Carell film. Not me. After living through years of homophobia – both internalised and not – and trauma, I recently experienced my first sexual encounter, at 48. I’m …

On December 17, the popular blogging platform Tumblr enacted a ban on “adult content” uploaded to its site. What it means by adult content is images and videos of “real-life human genitals”, content that depicts sex acts, and nipples – but only, of course, ones that are “female-presenting.” Many have pointed out that the blanket …

This article contains spoilers for Seasons 1 and 2 of Big Mouth. It is recommended that you watch before reading. I have a conflicted relationship with animated shows intended strictly for adults as they often seem to lack substance beyond the realm of offensiveness for its own sake. Big Mouth surprised me – despite focusing …

I didn’t come out publicly as bisexual until I was an adult with my own family. I never felt rejection for loving anyone, but I also did not honour that part of myself. Instead, I sought understanding for the queer side of who I am in the fantasy world of science fiction where anything felt …

What does it mean to come out as asexual? What does it mean to identify as something that is essentially an absence? This is what I am thinking about, seven years into a happy straight-passing relationship with a cis-het man. It would be easy to continue in this relationship without coming out: just go on, …

Making Love and Making Law

I was born in 1991, the year that Nicholas Toonen, a gay activist from Tasmania, sent a communication to the United Nations Human Rights Committee. He argued that criminalising sex between men in private was a violation of his right to privacy. In that year, homosexual sex was still a criminal activity in Tasmania. Under …

Tumblr, the microblogging social platform, has long functioned as a space where young people tend to feel comfortable enough sharing intimate personal details about themselves, particularly in comparison with other social media networks. For me, it was the first place I truly felt like I could express my queerness. I had a typical high school …

Have you ever been part of a conversation where people talk about their sexual escapades with a brazen confidence? Ever tried to slink away from such a conversation because you don’t have anything to add, or are embarrassed to say what you feel? That’s me in the corner, losing my confidence trying to keep up …

Sometimes, queerness is associated with sexual freedom and experimentation, often in the form of promiscuity. This assumption is used in very different ways: on the one hand, it’s an idea perpetuated by those who fear queerness as a threat to the ‘natural order’, chaotic and radical, lacking structure. But on the other hand, this sexual …

Content warning: this article discusses suicide.  In 1926, a headline in the New York Times newspaper boldly asserted that: “Only man is gay in bleak Greenland.” Fast forward nine decades later and this article remains a common Google result for anyone who is curious to learn what — if any — gay scene exists in …

Now in his 50s, Peter Waples-Crowe is a powerhouse community figure in the Aboriginal LGBT community, managing a career in public health alongside a significant body of visual art that reflects his unique intersections. After catching up over cigarettes outside the State Library of Victoria, and reflecting on the sombre irony of smoking tobacco products …

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Sexuality - Gender - Identity