inside : harriet de kok gives us a dating masterclass , ivory rose comes
out to her mother and dylan rowen explores uofaâ€™s queer history.
uofa student magazine
issue 84.8 - queer dit
Editorial Correspondence President Reports Whatâ€™s On Vox Pop Articles Artist Profile Creative Diversions
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On Dit is a publication of the Adelaide University Union. We recognise that the Kaurna people are the landowners and custodians of the Adelaide Plains. Ngaldu tampinthi Kaurna miyurna yarta mathanya Wama Tarntanyaku. Editors: Riley Calaby, Reem Ernst, Thuy-Anh Le, and Holly Nicholls with Lur Alghurabi, Natalie Carfora, and Celia Clennett Sub-Editors: Karolinka Dawidziak-Pacek, Grace Denney, Brydie Kosmina, and Seamus Mullins Designers: Chelsea Allen, Anna Bailes, Daniel Bonato, and Georgia Diment Social Media: Nicole Wedding Proof reading help by Naomi Williams Front and Back Inside Cover: Matthew Smith
Hiya! I’m so excited for the first Queer Dit. I’m such a strong believer in the power of allowing queer people to tell our stories in our own words. Disappointingly, the value of outlets for queer expression is often questioned: ‘surely we have equality by now’, ‘why do we even need a queer issue?’, and so on. While progress is happening (at a glacial pace), many of the benefits of developments such as marriage equality mainly accrue to the most privileged members of our community. Hopefully this can be a space for all queer students: queer women, queer people of colour, trans and non-binary people, queer people with disabilities. Thanks so much to Lur, Nat, and Celia for conceiving this issue and all of their hard work, advice and encouragement in putting it together. It’s been amazing. Riley
Last summer break, entirely unconsciously, I managed to read 4 or 5 books in a row which included queer themes or characters. Impressive! I thought, until I reflected on the fact it probably took me about 15 years to read a book that wasn’t entirely heterosexual. Unless you count Harry Potter because of Dumbledore, which you shouldn’t.
A week ago, the Pokémon Go team leaders were revealed. The Internet reacted accordingly. So far, it’s been headcanonned that: 1) Candela is a major babe 2) she and Blanche are in a romantic rivalry 3) Blanche is nonbinary (‘Are you a boy or a girl?’ ‘How dare you speak to me.’) and 4) Spark is an egg-loving meme lord who’s probably taught Pikachu to dab.
All bar one of the books I read was by a queer author. The writing world has perhaps historically been more welcoming of queer people than other areas of life, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Representation in all areas of life, not just on the pages but typing them out, is important. I hope Queer Dit can help contribute to this, giving a voice to queer students who may otherwise be excluded. It’s been an honour to guest edit.
I was having a sucky break. You know, some days, I feel bent out of shape and split in half. But this sudden outpouring of art and Tweets (honestly, that ‘smad’ one by @batsugeemu was just beautiful) has lifted my spirits in a way that I am sort of embarrassed about because it’s so corny. I’ve grown to be less ashamed, though, and have decided to dedicate my existence to Team Instinct and change the spelling of my name to ‘Reme’.
I recently watched Brokeback Mountain, a staple of meainstream media’s preoccupation with Tragic Dead Gays, and the thought that stood that stood out the most to me while watching this movie was, “Holy shit, he’s going in dry!”. No prep? No lube? Assholes aren’t self-lubricating! This is why I’m a huge advocate for diverse, and comprehensive sex ed. Jack Twist’s posterior would be intact by the end of the movie if I had a say.
Sex education is poor enough already for straight people, let alone queer people. I spent about a fornight back in high school researching safe queer sex, and queer issues... and maybe an extra week researching safe straight sex as well, because high school barely covers the basics. While Queer Dit may not be a comprehensive guide, it hopefully provides queer students the queer narratives that we’re lacking. Thuy-Anh/Jim
CORRESPONDENCE Dear editors, I can’t believe that you are forcing compulsory homosexual marriage AND ALSO publishing this entire issue. Students should be able to trust in their magazines without worrying if they are being exposed to controversial political and social agendas. The leftist university Marxist conspiracy strikes again! Without respect, Vile Lyle
The two best responses we received to the Drake on Bonython Hall cover: @anzelledk Let’s cut to the chase: that Drake/Bonython Hall @OnDitMagazine cover of yours is super cool. Great job! ^BO - @UniofAdelaide, Twitter Ever since I left this campus youuu / you got exactly what you asked for / running out of pages for your vox pop / hanging out with some eds I haven’t seen before / you used to call me on my On Diiiit / late night when you need. some. good reads. - @brydiekosmina, Instagram
QUEER SERVICES IN ADELAIDE PRIDE CLUB A social club for queer and questioning students which organises fun events throughout the year. Like the Facebook page to keep up with whatâ€™s happening, or email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the mailing list. As a social club, Pride is unable to offer counselling or crisis support. Facebook: www.facebook.com/Adelaide.University.Pride.Club FEAST QUEER YOUTH DROP IN A drop-in space for queer and questioning young people between 15 and 25, run by Feast. Open 6-9pm every second and fourth Thursday of the month. Located at Experience CafĂŠ, 13 Hutt St (look for the purple building with the rainbow flag out the front). Facebook: www.facebook.com/feastdropin TRANSCLUSIVE Community by and for trans and non-binary youth between 13 and 25. Holds regular meet-ups and has a private Facebook group with information and support. Message them on Facebook or email email@example.com for more details, including locations of meetings. Facebook: www.facebook.com/transclusive BFRIEND Established in 1995 and working with the Uniting Church, Bfriend has been through a lot. They offer mentoring, support, information, and referral for people coming out and their families. Their support includes matching people with a trained peer volunteer; facilitating groups with other newly-identifying people; workshops and training for service providers; and information and referrals. Facebook: www.facebook.com/BfriendUC QSPACE NORTH EAST Do you live in the North Eastern suburbs and do you want to meet some more cool queers in your area? QSPACE organise a monthly activity on the last Friday of the month for ages 12-25. August 26 - Challenge Night September 30 - Video Games October 28 - Horror Movie Night, Lesbian Vampire Killers TBC November - Picnic in the Park Contact Fiona 0418 854 638
STATE OF THE UNION
A lot of stuff has been done on campus for students who identify as queer. We have the Rainbow Room, we’re working toward increasing the number of all-gender bathrooms on campus, we have the Pride Club and we’ve got our own edition of On Dit this year! However, these things don’t just magically pop out of the university. They are achieved because students advocate and fight for them. In the case of queer students, this comes from the Student Representative Council’s Queer Officer. The Queer Officer’s role is to advocate for queer students, by planning events and running campaigns. I was the Queer Officer in 2014 – if you’ve been around uni reading On Dit that long, you’ve probably seen my face or name a handful of times – but unfortunately the Queer Officer role on the SRC is currently vacant, and it’s a shame because it’s important to have a representative of queer students to provide relevant services to students. A recent National Union of Students (NUS) campaign against transphobia was run in the last few
years, with the Adelaide Uni Queer Officer rolling it out at a campus level, which led onto the internal Adelaide Uni campaign to create all gender bathrooms on campus – we now have a few, and hopefully there will be more to come. Organising the yearly George Duncan Memorial is also a large part of the Queer Officer’s role. George Duncan was a lecturer at Adelaide Uni whose murder led to the decriminalisation of homosexuality in South Australia, and it was the first Australian State to do so. It is important to hold this memorial, so that every year we remember what happened to George Duncan and how far we have come in terms of acceptance, but also how far we have yet to go. The Queer Officer also works with the Pride Club, and although the club is mainly social rather than political; having a queer community on campus is extremely important. The Pride club and the Queer Officer look after the Rainbow Room, which is on level 6 Union House, and free for any queer student to use. It’s a great place to chill out, do some work, or hang out with friends.
If you’re being discriminated against because of your gender or sexuality, a good place to access help would be Student Care. You can find more information about them on the AUU website. I look forward to seeing the position of Queer Officer being filled by someone passionate and enthusiastic about queer rights on campus. Enjoy Queer Dit! Sarah Tynan Board Director @Sarah_Tynan
Hello, I’m Claudia, the education officer on the SRC. I’m a queer activist, and I’m interrupting your usually scheduled programming for this edition of Queer Dit. I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about the link between queer issues and education issues students have fought for in the past, and what we are facing today. At the moment students can study issues of gender and sexuality at uni, with a whole discipline dedicated to gender studies and social analysis. In my studies in a Bachelor of Teaching, we have discussed the issues of gender equity and homophobia in schools, and there are spaces and services on campuses to support and accommodate queer students. But it hasn’t always been like this… South Australia was the first state to decriminalise homosexuality, and this wasn’t even until 1975. We only saw this reform after Adelaide Uni academic George Duncan was murdered by homophobic police on the bank of the River Torrens behind campus. But this was also an era of struggle. Australia had the highest strike rate in the world in the early ‘70s. There were constant protests and occupations on campuses, movements for gay liberation and women’s liberation, struggles for Aboriginal land
rights, and campaigns against the Vietnam War. And of course, often these movements would connect. A great example of this happening was at Macquarie University. Following the Stonewall Riots in the United States, a Gay Liberation Club was established. After being outed, Gay Liberation Club treasurer Jeremy Fisher was ordered by the homophobic residential collage to undergo celibacy and conversion therapy. The student council worked with the Builders Labourers Federation to fight back. The BLF banned all construction work at the college until the university brought in anti-discriminatory policies. These rights didn’t come from the enlightenment of the university. Queer activists, students and workers fought for them. Whenever there are restructures or cuts interstate, programs like gender and sexuality studies are often the f irst to go. Federally, conservative politicians have torn up the Safe Schools program. Parts of our education that are established in a time of protest, such as CASM, are cut by administrations in times when the student movement is less powerful. At
is trying their darndest to push through restructures that would see five faculties merged down to three. It’s areas like gender studies and social analysis that find themselves first on the chopping block, simply because they don’t make the Big Bux for Bebz, who runs our university as a business. Our universities are increasingly organised to make as much profit as possible, with no serious regard for the importance of these areas of study. If we want to keep our freedoms to study and research our sexuality and gender then we need to fight. And there are more things we have to win. It wasn’t the university’s initiative that brought in gender neutral bathrooms recently, it was thanks to work done last year by queer student activists. We are still a long way from the sexual and gender liberation that motivated those fighting in the 1970s. For me, the fight for education and the fight for queer rights are connected. We should learn from the fighters of the past, defend their wins, and fight on for more! Claudia Keogh Education Officer SRCEducation@auu.org.au
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On Dit Issue 10 deadline 19th August
Friday 16th September 7:30pm Hotel Tivoli Tickets $88 via Eventbrite, or the ABBS Facebook page. Art History Club does SALA The Art History Club are celebrating SALA with their premier exhibition and a weekly Friday night event! Second Nature Exhibition Opening Night 5th August 7pm Exhibition continues over the whole month of August. Film Night 12th August 6:30pm Life Drawing Class 19th August 7pm
Adelaide Uni bands battle it out for the chance to compete on a national level. Heat dates: 16th, 17th, 18th August Final: 19th August
HUNGRY? BROKE? SRC Free Breakfast Every Tuesday and Thursday 8:30-10am Mayo Café
All nights kick off at 7pm at UniBar
GAME OF THRONES FAN? Adelaide Roller Derby Pyjama Party Quiz Night Saturday 20th August 7pm Gilles Street Primary School
Quiz Night 26th August 6:30pm
Snuggle up with Adelaide Roller Derby at their annual quiz night!
All events are held at the Eco Caddy warehouse. Check out Facebook events for Eventbrite links and more details!
$15 or $120 for a table of 10. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Titus Andronicus 18th - 24th August Thursday to Sunday only 7:30pm Holden Street Theatres To celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, his bloodiest play comes to Adelaide. This is next level. Concession $15 Adult $21.50
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Plum Green Karma EP Launch
Finders Keepers Markets
Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year
Saturday 12th August 7:30pm La Bohème Tickets $11.50 online, see their Facebook page for more details
Adelaide Guitar Festival 11th - 14th August Adelaide Festival Centre The Adelaide Guitar Festival is a biennial festival that is curated this year by Slava Grigoryan. There are both free and ticketed events, so check out their website or Facebook page for more details.
Friday August 12th 6pm-10pm Saturday August 13th and Sunday August 14th 10am-5pm Wayville Showgrounds Finders Keepers come to Adelaide and bring with them fashion, handcrafted ceramics, letterpress stationery, bespoke leather goods, sweetly scented candles, terrariums and so much more. $2 entry and under 12s free!
From the 19th of August 10am-5pm daily SA Museum The Australian Geographic competition celebrates the beauty and natural heritage of Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica and New Guinea.
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JENNY 4TH YR, COMMERCE/SCIENCE
2ND YR, HEALTH SCIENCES
3RD YR(ISH), ARTS
1. Probably looking forward to see Cory Bernardi to pick on a new person in the Senate now that Rob Simm’s out… Probably Sam Dastyari – Cory tweeted him saying he had nice hair, so I’m looking forward to that sexual tension.
1. I’m not sure if it quite counts, but I really want to get more comfortable in my skin and make more contact with the community.
1. Pride march is coming up this semester – picnic in the park and march; ensuring that the bigots in parliament don’t keep denying equality and tearing up programmes like safe schools.
2. Frida Kahlo.
3. Not that I can recall, we had some pretty crappy sex ed. I once had an awesome PE teacher who sat the class down and told us all not to use the word gay as an insult. It was really great and I think it struck a chord with a few students.
3. No. I think it could’ve been in place of religion lessons that taught us things like ‘get married and then have kids.’ I think it would’ve helped students at the time who were questioning their beliefs. 4. I would do a nude calendar or something… Cover people up in glitter and do a nude calendar. 5. I used to wear a lot of body glitter, but my skin’s sensitive, so not so much nowadays. I have a pair of glitter boots.
2. Conchita Wurst – may we all rise like a phoenix!
4. I’d want to work pretty closely with the Pride Club and support the events the group felt were important and wanted to do. 5. Not enough! But I do try to dazzle people with my ever changing hair!
2. Mark Ashton – leader of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners. 3. No, nothing like that at all. Yeah, definitely, there was a lot of casual bigotry at school. 4. It would be great to actually go through the SRC archives. None of these things were gifted – they were all fought for. 5. Given the events with Bernardi I think my lawyers would encourage me not to answer that question.
1. WHAT’S ON YOUR GAY AGENDA FOR THIS SEMESTER? 2. WHO’S YOUR FAVOURITE HISTORICAL QUEER? 3. DID YOU HAVE SOME THING LIKE SAFE SCHOOLS WHEN YOU WERE A STUDENT? IF NOT, WOULD IT HAVE HELPED YOU? 4. IF YOU WERE THE SRC QUEER OFFICER WHAT’S THE FIRST THING YOU’D DO? 5. HOW OF TEN DO YOU GLIT TER IT UP?
3RD YR, ARTS
4TH YR, LAW/INTL. STUDIES
11TH YR, POSTGRAD HISTORY
1. Get more queer friends. It’s hard when 90% of the people around me don’t understand my gay jokes and lingo.
1. Not failing at being human.
1. Writing, writing, coffee, writing, coffee. Maybe not in that order.
2. The first that comes to mind is Anne Frank.
3. No, but I think it would’ve helped me figure out why I wasn’t interested in boys much sooner.
3. Going through the Catholic school system there wasn’t really anything like that, and if there was it certainly wasn’t extensive or well executed. I definitely think is something that should be taught in all schools, so that children are educated correctly and queer children are not victim to ignorant bullying. 4. Fly the rainbow flag from the top of Bonython Hall. 5. Absolutely on the daily my friend.
2. Do TV shows count? Willow Rosenberg.
4. Move the rainbow room to somewhere less cold, more wifi friendly and more visible. 5. I don’t do glitter. It’s the herpes of craft supplies.
2. Oh, but there are so many! James Buchanan was probably the first queer president of the United States. But I’d have to go for Frederick the Great, obviously. Magisterial leader, excellent flautist, and his erotic poetry is brilliant! 3. There was never any mention of anything except straight sex ed. It would definitely have helped to destigmatise queerness. 4. More campus services and amenities for trans and nonbinary people. It’s 2016 and universities are supposed to be at the forefront of progress. 5. I’m too serious! But fortunately I’m surrounded by lots of people who more than make up for that.
UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE’S QUEER HISTORY WORDS AND PHOTOGR APHY BY:
Being Australia’s third oldest university, you’d expect the University of Adelaide to have a long succession of gay cultural markings. It’s not like one out of every ten people are gay, right? According to lgbtuniguide.org, there is no policy that protects LGBT+ students from discrimination and harassment, and no welfare and support systems for queer and questioning students on
campus. However, we do have events and groups that are specialised for LGBT+ students, so this is a start. Our cultural legacy can be traced through the common person, one of us, rather than the institution itself. Ever since the murder of Dr George Duncan, an Australian law lecturer at this university, in 1972, our campus has been shadowed by homophobia.
Duncan’s murder at the hands of homophobes - just behind the campus on the Torrens - triggered reforms that led to South Australia being the first state to decriminalise homosexuality. This date is too close for comfort for the gay students of today; a date still fresh and tangible within the collective Adelaideian conscience. Even though the legal impact of George Duncan’s murder
is still felt today, it is strange and slightly terrifying to know that the “gay panic” defence is still a justifiable reason to kill someone who has made homosexual advances on a particularly aggressive and virulent heterosexual. After the war, a crackdown on homosexuals was initiated by the government. We found ourselves once again hiding and using pubs and venues designated through word-ofmouth as gay haunts. We entered “Boston-marriages” and fake marriages to ensure our safety. A whole generation of queer voices was again destroyed during the rise of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s and 90s; a whole generation of gay voices that were cut short, which could have contributed far greater cultural artefacts compared to what we have now. But now, we have something unique, a new millennium with change on the horizon. Queer youth and culture found in the streets, galleries, shops, and safe-spaces show that our budding LGBTIQ community is once again thriving. I’ve found my curriculum and subjects adopting new approaches that encourage post-modern, feminist and queer readings of texts. I’ve noticed tutors and teachers living happy, thriving homosexual lives. The campus is full of people with brave new identities and genders that make Adelaide the vibrant culture hub that it is now.
In 1973, Adelaide had its first and only Gay Pride March until its 30th anniversary in 2003, dates that, to us young queers, are too foreign for us to remember, or have attended. The historical significance of this march marked a significant reappraisal of conservative values that permeated Australia’s homophobic consciousness. Through the Adelaide radical gay liberation group, Gay Activist’s Alliance, a new generation of gay, lesbian and trans history was unearthed. We can peruse Adelaide’s gay cultural heritage headed by the Gay Activist Alliance in the Mortlock Wing of the Adelaide State Library. Also, unfitforpublication.org is a handy website to explore when discovering the sullied voices of our cultural heritage is. The constructions of gay “vice and sin” have largely been dictated through societal norms and attitudes towards burgeoning sexuality and the projection of fears of homosexuality, lesbianism and cross-sexuality etc. The Criminal Law Consolidation Act of 1876 stated that a ‘male person who, in public or in private, commits … an act of gross indecency with another male person shall be guilty of a misdemeanour and shall be liable to imprisonment for any term not exceeding three years, with hard labour’ (samemory. sa.gov). This law was only slightly amended in the 1930s, and largely
left unchecked until the murder of George Duncan in Adelaide in 1972. After the Dunstan Labor government was formed, a series of policies was headed and eventually passed, making South Australia the first state to decriminalise homosexuality. The late 1970s and early 80s then saw a resurgence of our voices and stories, with setbacks in the 90s, and now, slowly but surely our cultural heritage and foothold within Australian contemporary society is being firmly established. The proposed upcoming plebiscite on gay marriage would only allow hate preachers to focalise their homophobic attacks through a very expensive hate campaign with absolutely no thanks to Malcolm Turnbull. If this comes to fruition, please stay safe and know that consolation can be found in the stories of resilience and survival enshrined in our queer cultural heritage. It is comforting to know that we are still here. We are strong in our diversity. We can make our own cultural marks on history through little acts of kindness, and big acts of bravery.
Dylan is a voracious reader and Art History aficionado who can often be found daydreaming about a brighter future.
MASCULINITY AND FEMMEPHOBIA WORDS BY: JOSH CORKE ART WORK BY: THUY-ANH LE
‘WHAT, YOU’RE GAY?! I NEVER WOULD’VE GUESSED! I GUESS YOU’RE ONE OF THE GOOD ONES.’ I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard this. I’ve lost count of the amount of people I’ve known who’s acceptance of my sexuality is conditional on my not being ‘that gay’ - on a superficial view that because I’m a big guy with a deepish voice and an interest in the footy that nah, I’m ok. That gay men in general are kinda gross, but not me. And that’s something that I struggle with. I’ve even had that disbelief directed at me in a gay context. In Amsterdam I scored a Tinder date. He wanted to take me on a tour of the city’s gay scene, and who am I to say no to that? We arrive at a bar. There’s a bouncer at the door. We have our arms around each other. ‘Are you sure you want to come in here? This is a gay bar.’ This is a
moment I still struggle with a bit. I’m uncool enough that this was neither the first nor last time that a bouncer hasn’t let me in somewhere, but to not be gay enough? In the midst of being publicly affectionate with another man? What? What this experience doesn’t take away from is that there is an immense privilege to being a gay male and presenting as masculine. I’m broadly spared the threatening kind of homophobia I often hear about from friends (incidentally, my most recent experience happened probably an hour after that other story). But while I acknowledge this, and am eternally thankful that I can catch a bus at night or walk down Hindley Street without being abused, I go out of my way to refuse to endorse masculinity. Why? Because it’s damaging. There are so many non-masculinepresenting people out there who don’t have the same luxury of not being a target. Who, even in a
community in which they are the most visible members and have been at the forefront of the movement for rights, are maligned by sections of the queer community for being insufficiently ‘straight-acting’. That’s not even to mention the harm a perceived need to be ‘masculine’ does to the individual. The refusal to seek help for health issues, both mental and physical. The fear of being seen to openly have strong feelings. The constant secondguessing of your actions. Should I maybe skip the pink cupcake even though that’s what I really want? Can I buy this toothpaste even though it doesn’t say ‘for men’ on it? What happens if my friends find out that I religiously watch The Bachelor? Constantly asking if you’re being manly enough in the back of your mind. That’s a cycle I feel so liberated for breaking out of. Straight-acting. That’s a term anyone who has ever spent time on any of the websites and apps that gay men use
to date will be intimately familiar with. It’s also a term that, in its usage, overflows with self-loathing, with internalised homophobia, with an extraordinarily skewed vision of what makes someone a respectable human being. It is an acknowledgement that heterosexuality is innately superior in the eyes of the user and a rejection of an element of the self that, far more than in straight people, will always be a defining characteristic of who you are. I should mention at this point that I don’t seek to take away from people for whom masculinity is, instead of an oppressive structure, actually something to be embraced and be liberated by. I speak purely as a cis gay man, for whom masculinity is not that. So that’s the tension that exists in my identity. I want to oppose a construct that, for no good reason at all, deems that my identity is more valid and ascribes more privilege to me than to others. I could say ‘well,
I’m just me, this is who I am’ – and while that’s true, it’s a copout. It’s the line I used coming out in the first place in an unnecessary effort to be reassuring to my straight friends. It’s disingenuous and it’s defensive. Which I guess brings me around to the questions I’ve yet to resolve with myself. How do I work to dismantle something that privileges me, that I’m complicit in upholding? How do I reject the privilege I have? What can I do besides block the ‘masc4masc straight acting’ boys on Grindr? ...besides not letting the straight people who tell me I’m ‘one of the good ones’ use me to absolve them of responsibility for saying homophobic things? Is that all I can do? Seriously, I’m asking.
Josh is like a televangelist but for spicy food. He is most assuredly very gay.
BUT I’M A CHEERLEADER WORDS BY: HOLLY NICHOLLS ART WORK BY: R ACHEL WONG
So, what’s your root? It’s a question But I’m A Cheerleader, the delightfully kitsch 1999 film from Jamie Babbit, asks with tongue planted firmly in cheek. What made you gay? For me, it’s a toss up between my mum listening to Sinead O’Connor while giving birth to me, or the first CD I owned being Missy Higgins. Further analysis is clearly required to nut out the exact cause. In the film, character’s roots are no less ridiculous – Graham was clearly destined for lesbianism when her mother got married in pants, while Joel was turned gay by ‘traumatic breasts’. We’ve all been there. As a queer woman, it’s no secret that finding a genuine representation of yourself on the big screen can be difficult. Most films feature an entirely straight cast of characters; those that don’t tend to focus on gay men. Films with lesbians are either so depressing you need a full week to recover, or play out as the movie version of grown men who think lesbianism is super cool because something, something their dicks. But I’m A Cheerleader is neither of these. It is genuinely heartwarming and hilarious, and when it feels like
the whole world is up against the identity you occupy, it is genuinely affirming to watch. But I’m A Cheerleader is one of my favourite films. It contains three of the most important ingredients for cinematic genius: 1) lesbians, 2) played by Natasha Lyonne and Clea DuVall, and 3) who don’t die. What more could a girl want? (Number 3 is a depressingly difficult criterion to meet). I’ve recommended this movie to basically every lesbian I’ve ever met, and they all love it. What’s more, they all say it’s so relatable. From the opening shots – close ups of cheerleaders jumping, somersaulting, bouncing – it’s like watching your high school years played out on film. Except your high school years probably (hopefully!) didn’t feature the least effective gay conversion therapy camp ever. Enduring boyfriends kissing us, with way too much tongue, while looking so bored someone might mistake you for being at a Coldplay concert – we’ve all been there, right? And so has Megan, the leading lady of the film, played by my imaginary girlfriend, Natasha Lyonne. Posters of gay icons on our walls? Megan
had Melissa Etheridge; I had Missy. Magazine cutouts of girls in bikinis were blue-tacked to my wall, and inside Megan’s locker. Like Megan, I too tried to convince my parents to eat more tofu. Fortunately on that front I was more successful, which is perhaps why I was not shipped off to True Directions to ‘rediscover my gender identity.’ The film follows Megan and a bunch of other gay teenagers doing just that, learning how to be real hetero men and women. Helping them achieve this is True Directions staff member, RuPaul, who first appears in the film in a t-shirt which reads ‘straight is great’, proclaiming ‘I myself was once a gay.’ Let me be clear: this film is one huge, sarcastic mockery of gender roles. Its low budget cinematography creates a pastel, 1950s inspired aesthetic. The students of true directions wear bright pinks and blues as they learn to do womanly things, like the dishes, or manly things, like changing a tyre. And yes, to do this the film heavily relies on the use of stereotypes – but this should not be mistaken as an endorsement of them. Why am I telling you all this?
Because positive representations of queer women are so important, and this movie delivers on that. We’ve made steps since 1999, particularly on television, where shows like Orange Is The New Black focus squarely on the lives of queer women, but I still can’t think of a movie or show, with a lesbian main character, which is just so fun. When Megan and Graham change nappies together, they look like adorable lesbian mums. When the boys are using power tools, well… there’s a lot of thrusting. The ridiculousness of it all is just perfect. The idea of gay conversion therapy may not seem to be the fodder of comedies, but honestly, it deserves to be laughed at. I have watched so many films for no reason other than the fact they feature queer themes in some way or another. When I was younger and unsure of my identity, I craved films with characters I could project onto my experiences and myself. And in But I’m A Cheerleader, I found a cracker. Long-haired and dress wearing, Megan showed me I didn’t have to be masculine to be a lesbian. It sounds almost childish, but this movie genuinely helped me feel comfortable with who I was. It gave
me a romance between two girls with a happy ending. It showed me that having had a boyfriend (it really was easy to be a prude when I wasn’t attracted to him) didn’t mean I was straight. When faced with step one of the True Directions program – admitting you’re a homosexual – Megan is forced to face up to her attraction to her fellow cheerleaders. ‘I thought everybody had those thoughts!’ she exclaims. And so did I. It’s probably no coincidence that But I’m A Cheerleader was downloaded to my computer in August of 2013, and I finally accepted that I was queer in September. So thank you, Jamie Babbit, for this film. Thank you, Clea DuVall and Natasha Lyonne. And thank you Sinead O’Connor and Missy Higgins, for bestowing upon me the beautiful gift of lesbianism.
When Holly was in the third grade she thought that she was straight because she couldn’t draw.
DATING AS A CONSERVATIVE’S NIGHTMARE WORDS BY: HARRIET DE KOK
Recently I realised that for the past six years all of my romantic or sexual relationships were with people I had met on the internet. Relationships of all forms sprung from Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook and Tinder. When I mention this, people my age usually respond indifferently, but those older than me react with surprise and astonishment. I’m often asked an onslaught of questions about my methods and the safety issues involved, but it seems that meeting people from the internet has become the norm for those of us raised with it. As a native to the digital world, communicating online comes naturally. But even though I’ve formed relationships of various forms online, like any other medium, they still have the same issues as other relationships. Dating with labels means bringing baggage along with me. When I bring these labels into a relationship, there are assumptions made about my body, my intentions and who I am as a person. This baggage doesn’t belong to me, it comes from other people, but it is inevitable that I will encounter these assumptions while navigating the dating world. When I tell people that I’m a transgender woman, there are assumptions made about the way my body looks, about how my
body should look; about how I have sex, and how I’m supposed to have sex. When I label myself as queer, there are a multitude of assumptions made about my sexuality. When I tell people I’m polyamorous, people project assumptions about what my relationships look like, how they function, and why I’m polyamorous. While labels do come with unwanted assumptions they are important because they give people a sense of identity and allow for communities to form, cultivating solidarity between people who have similar life experiences. On Tinder, I don’t mention being transgender in my profile, and instead disclose my trans status to people in conversation after we match. While I don’t think trans people are obligated to disclose their trans status while dating, the reality is that we need to: not for the benefit of other people, but for our own safety. Violent reactions to someone disclosing that they are trans are not uncommon. While I’ve thankfully not had any violent reactions to my disclosure, I’ve had plenty that are disrespectful, dehumanising and misogynistic. Most frequently, people respond to what they assume my genitalia are and make a snap judgement based
on that assumption. More than a few times people have immediately unmatched me without saying a single word in response, which can happen even after a really good conversation. Sure, some people have preferences for certain kinds of genitalia but when we live and exist in a society steeped in cissexism, transmisogyny and other forms of kyriarchy, sometimes we need to step back and critically examine those “preferences” and what they say about us. You don’t date a set of genitals, you date a person. Unlike my trans status, I do acknowledge that I am polyamorous in my profile on Tinder; for me, polyamory and ethical nonmonogamy bring with it a set of politics in regards to how I conduct myself in relationships and how I treat those I am currently in a relationship with, or hoping to form a relationship with. That said, I still always bring up being polyamorous in conversation too, more than anything to make sure that people know that I have a girlfriend: informed consent is important in ethical non-monogamy. Thankfully, most of my experiences of disclosing being polyamorous have not been negative, but it will come as no surprise to queer, non-monogamous women who have used online dating
apps that the response from men often involves some variation of the question ‘can I join?’ This is easily the most common assumption made about polyamorous relationships; that my partner and I are just out there to find a third person to join us for casual sex, and it’s related to a whole string of assumptions based on the oversexualisation of polyamory. Some people practice non-monogamy as couples, but many do not; my partner and I are polyamorous simply because we believe and acknowledge that love is not a finite resource that should be constrained in its expression. Negotiating the world of dating while carrying the baggage of all these labels and assumptions can be difficult, and that’s why many people with marginalised identities, myself included, end up dating primarily within their own communities. When I date other poly, queer and/or trans people, I feel a degree of safety knowing that they are less likely to be holding onto oppressive assumptions about my identity. Relationships formed between people with shared identities can also be strengthened by bonding over common life experiences, fostering solidarity that intertwines with support, love, and romance. While there is a stereotype of queer friendship groups being full of ex-partners, these communities
often start out as networks of friends, no different to any other friendship circles that nurture romantic offshoots. It’s not an experience unique to my own labels that romantic or sexual relationships that form from friendships can be incredibly beautiful, lovely, and healthy, especially when they are allowed to grow, change and take shape in an organic way. People with marginalised identities commonly rely on communities formed online for support and friendships, after all, finding people like you is a lot easier online; but these communities and friendship groups don’t form on traditional dating apps. These communities more often than not form on social network sites like Twitter, Tumblr or Facebook. Communities on these social networks often organically form sub-communities within them, such as trans women who also like to play or design video games, or musically talented queer women. Inside these clusters, people can talk about shared life experiences and shared interests, and cultivate beautiful relationships which may remain friendships or may grow into something more. Harriet is a public health nerd in the streets, and a sexual health nerd in the sheets.
DO YOU DO YOU? WORDS BY: JAMES FINNIS ART WORK BY: ROSALYNA AMES
THOUGHTS ON GAY STEREOTYPES Ironically, ‘…I’m gay!’ is not a phrase that occasions gaiety. Well… not every time. That’s because “being gay” is something much more than a throwaway line. It’s an intensely personal identity. Telling someone you’re gay (or any other of a veritable rainbow of identities) is an important personal milestone – but far more significant is acknowledging it yourself. Whether you’re Capital-G Gay or lowercase gay; selfacknowledgement and eventual acceptance is a long journey. Coming to understand this aspect of yourself can be a difficult, if not downright awful process, which often leaves you altered in the eyes of others – and I mean this in both a positive and a negative sense. Years after “coming out” to my friends and (certain) family members, it’s still something I’m coming to terms with. I zealously shun bars and clubs, limit the spread of knowledge about my gayness, and positively cringe if my Mum asks me, ‘So do you have a boyfriend at the moment?’ (NO! And surely my wanton carb abuse would tell you that!) Am I uncomfortable with my identity? Nope! Do I find my attraction to men unpleasant? HELL no! I more have a problem with the prescribed nature of being
“Capital-G Gay” and how this affects my identity. When I came out to people, a process which always began and often ended with me feeling hollow, vulnerable, and denuded, lots of people said to me: ‘Yeah…I know?!?’ That’s funny, I’d find myself thinking, because I didn’t! Why didn’t you TELL ME? Would’ve saved me a lot of time and angst! But would knowing have allowed me to be myself, unafraid to appear different and understanding this had nothing to do with who I’m attracted to? Could I have dated that (one) guy who actually hit on me? I never got the chance. For all I know he was my soul mate. Now I’ll never know. What a selfish gesture on their part, right? Total dick move from my friends. Then again I’ve had worse – I’ve been outed, told I’m a disappointment, a failure, and that being gay is “bad”. Just…bad. You can kinda see where I get some issues here. On the other hand, I’ve also been told that, being Gay, I must be fun and witty and have great fashion sense (which I am and sorta do, but that’s beside the point). The point is coming out leaves you invariably exposed to stereotyping based on what you are rather than who you are – conveniently compartmentalised to fit into a prescribed view people suddenly have of you. Truly weird ideas of being Capital-G Gay float to the surface:
Gays are catty, Gays are funny, Gays are feminine or flamboyant, Gays are fashionistas, Gays are abhorrent, Gays are ruining society with their pristine eyebrows, arselesschaps and bleached buttholes. As a disclaimer, I have absolutely NO ISSUE WHATSOEVER with different identities or forms of selfexpression. I’m not in the business of policing Gay frontiers – you do you! (And trust me, you’ll be great!) I just don’t want to be typecast and don’t feel others should be either. Just like we no longer endow blondes with character-traits linked to their hair colour, we shouldn’t create caricatures of gayness, which we assess people against. People need space to be themselves, whatever that looks like. I feel that stereotypes only stifle the capacity to fully realise that unique self. For instance, it was very emotional to talk to a particular friend about being gay. We hugged. She said she knew (fuck, not you too!) but that it didn’t change the way she viewed me. That’s what she said. The following day I was asked to give my (Gay) opinion on her new outfit. Harmless? Fairly. Disappointing? Definitely. Why, you may ask? Well, I wanted her to know, but I wanted it to complement her view of me, not change it. So the ease with which she slipped into seeing me as Gay was difficult to digest – even if it was just telling her that ankle-straps are heinous (which they are).
What’s my message through all this? Like some mediocre after-school special, it’s know yourself (because people can be shit), and trust in that self. In coming to terms with your identity; don’t feel the need to conform to something which isn’t “you” simply because you have it or it’s imposed on you. What I’ve learnt through people vying and arguing and contesting what I can do, how I can be Gay or gay, contesting me – all this othering of me by people – is that there is NO right way. The person who knows best is you. I hate feeling at all pre-judged. Judge me later. Other people, some I gladly and proudly call friends, find it a great comfort that they can walk into a room, boldly mincing their way to early-onset hip dysplasia, knowing full well others will immediately mark them as “Gay” and revelling in that. Lots more fit in-between. Although I am proud to be gay (and it’s been a journey), I’ve never thought of my sexuality as anything but a sidenote to who I am and how I express myself. Despite this, I have only profound respect for people who own that identity. Because being “Gay”, whatever that looks like, is great. Really!! I’d just rather be James. James’s strong opinions saw him mortally wounded in a duel with his long-term rival in 1804.
BOOK OF GENESIS WORDS BY: GR ACE MORGAN-COCKS PHOTOGR APHY BY: L AURE LEBER
Writing about Genesis P–Orridge in any way that more than scratches the surface of their life, means discussing their art and gender as inextricable from each other. Born Neil Megson in Manchester in 1950, Genesis found an early interest in the avant– garde, the occult, and experimental music. This first manifested itself in COUM Transmissions, a confrontational performance art group that attempted to deal with taboo subjects in an effort to change societal norms associated with sex, lust and violence. Vilified in the press and dubbed ‘the wreckers of civilisation’, the group was not the last project of Genesis’s to court controversy. Performance art transitioned into a more typical, yet not any less confronting, emphasis on music. Throbbing Gristle, pioneers of industrial music, produced passionate, ecstatic and transcendent work that truly found its voice in live performance, befitting for a group who relied on the participation and awe of their audience. While later albums reflected many musical genres, Genesis still attracted and perhaps welcomed controversy – death threats made to them were used as part of backing tracks on numerous songs. Other forays such as ‘Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth’, which explored the occult, were
particularly contentious during the ‘Satanic Panic’ media scare campaign of the 1980s. The occult has formed an influence throughout all of Genesis’ works and life, dubbed ‘Industrial Paganism’ – even now in the context of their other work they are devoted to the exploration of religious entities as they relate to early psychology and human thought. In essence, an attempt to understand and explore human nature has always been at the centre of P– Orridge’s work – some might argue that that is the only real aspiration of art itself. Yet, P–Orridge’s greatest project has never been about shock and awe. It was, and remains, the most natural human pursuit: the pure expression of love. In 1993, P–Orridge married Lady Jaye Breyer, and began one of the most transformative and deeply personal works of performance art in the contemporary art canon. The Pandrogyny Project involved the two undertaking heavy body modification to resemble each other, thus coming to identify themselves as single pandrogynous being, a third gender, that goes by “Breyer P–Orridge”. This gender experiment was heavily influenced by the experimental literary ‘cut–up technique’, notably used by infamous
beat generation author William S. Burroughs, in which text is cut up and used to form new text. While the project seemed confusing and even upsetting to some, Breyer P– Orridge explain that it was really the natural joining of two parts of one whole, similar in form to a marriage. Even upon Lady Jaye’s devastating death from stomach cancer in 2007, which P–Orridge states was merely the “dropping” of her body, Genesis continues the Pandrogyny Project, including the body modification and the use of the pronoun “they”. P–Orridge’s legacy will be noted for its fearless dedication to a life of art on the cutting edge of the avant– garde, and yet quite possibly the most miraculous and inspirational element was the honest and true pursuit of happiness and love, devoid of pretence or shame – and that, no matter sexual orientation or gender, is an ambition every person should strive to embody.
Grace really wanted to write something for this bio, but couldn’t come up with anything.
ARTIST PROFILE: MATTHEW SMITH Art has always been in my life. Even if it was the bright poppy colours from the Teletubbies on television in my childhood or being forced to use pointillism in primary school or watching my grandpa paint in his backyard studio, art has been there beside me: stubborn, strong and generous. Currently in my art I like to explore female iconography through contemporary photography, audio and collage. I love the idea of creating a world in which you can completely immerse yourself into. Another aspect of my art is that my self-portraits are created with just me, the character and the camera, alone in my room. There is a real sense of intimacy in self-portraiture that you can’t achieve with having someone else take the photograph. I think my fascination with the female archetype came from a story I heard a couple years back. There was a mother who lived a couple streets away from me who supposedly hung herself. I found it so fascinating that her life could just vanish, turning into neighbourhood whispers and rumours. I find that in a lot of art people try to preserve moments in time, attempting to keep ideas alive forever and that is how I feel about my art. I want to tell those stories, even though they are tragic and sometimes hard to swallow, I still think they should be given a platform on which to speak. I believe that the female energy and presence is so much more powerful than the male. Admittedly, I’m scared that my art may come across at ‘anti-feminist’, that I am making fun of women but I’m not; that’s never my intention. In my latest series I’m really interested in having the female face translate into objects. For example my piece ‘All Work, No Play’, which is showing at SALA with Collage Adelaide this year, follows the life of a business woman. I’ve captured her in a moment in her life where she is at the peak of her career, and she slowly but surely transforms into common objects within the office. I wanted this piece to represent the learning of new skills and habits, how hard overbearing work can become easy with time and resilience. For more artworks follow me on Instagram @matth.ewsmith
JANELLE MONÁE: NOT FOR MALE CONSUMPTION WORDS BY:
Janelle Monáe is the latest in a line of musicians, like Sun Ra, David Bowie and Prince, who push the boundaries of identity categories, namely gender and race, in their music. These artists exist in the overlap of pop music and science fiction, and synthesise them together to explore social issues in one of the most preeminent realms of pop culture. Almost all of Monáe’s discography fits into the Metropolis series; a series of concept albums following the android, Cindi Mayweather, in the futuristic city of Metropolis. Throughout these albums, androids function as a metaphor for the Other, encompassing marginalisation based on gender, race, sexuality, class, and mental health. CONSTRUCTED IDENTITIES One of the key methods we use in the discussion of identity in academia is exploring how identity groupings such as race, gender and sexuality are socially constructed. The android metaphor that Monáe uses literalises this concept; in the world of Metropolis, the Other is literally constructed by society. This
fictional parallel highlights the way in which humanity and personhood are denied to the equivalent of the Other in our own society. Cindi and the other androids in the Metropolis suite stand in for various forms of social alienation. Cindi is a black, queer woman from a poor background, and likewise, we see androids throughout the series whose experiences overlap and intersect with all of these diverse forms of marginalisation. THE SUITE LIFE The central story of the series has Cindi become a fugitive for falling in love with the human Anthony Greendown. This culturally forbidden act results in her becoming an icon for other androids; being talked about as ‘the ArchAndroid’, a messianic saviour figure in the vein of Neo from The Matrix. Although this story runs throughout all three of the Metropolis albums, the focus shifts greatly as Monáe’s thoughts about oppression evolve over time. The video for “Many Moons”, one of the songs off the Metropolis:
The Chase Suite EP (the first entry in the series), features an android auction where Monáe plays all of the androids, including Cindi, who is performing at the event. It is clearly symbolic of a slave auction, but the tone of the clip shifts when Cindi ascends into the air and is struck by a light as if from the heavens. This scene is representative of Monáe’s later approach to the narrative in the Chase SuiteArchAndroid era, where Cindi is treated as a singular agent of change with a possible divine role in society. However, even while this approach continues in ArchAndroid, we begin to see the androids diversify, as in the video for ‘Tightrope’ where Cindi/ Monáe (there is some blurring of the two in a way that could probably fill several thousand words without the possibility of a satisfying conclusion) leads a revolt among the patients of the Palace of the Dogs Asylum. We see a range of different androids, and begin to see the impact Cindi has on them. The real shift in how Monáe approaches issues of social change
comes with 2013’s The Electric Lady, where instead of following Cindi further along the high-concept, time-travelling, metaphoricalgodhood-achieving narrative arc of the first two albums, we are given background to her life before the Chase Suite. However, we also get to see how Cindi functions as a symbol for the broader android community. Monáe uses the tropes of the civil rights movement to introduce this, with some incredibly effective worldbuilding in short interludes of a pirate radio broadcast. The enormous shift that happened with Electric Lady was because Monáe shifted from thinking of social change as a product of singular, powerful individuals to the product of communities and movements working together. MANY MONÁES Monáe’s creative work and her politics have always been tightly entwined. Early on in her career, she founded Wondaland Records, a creative collective to foster musicians from racially and culturally diverse backgrounds, which led to the release of their Eephus EP last year. She also collaborated with her Wondaland artists on a song called ‘Hell You Talmbout’ last year, to draw attention to black deaths from police brutality in America and particularly in response to the death of Sandra Bland. She has also resisted the media
ART WORK BY: ELLEN SCHULZ
pressure that is placed on women, black people, and black women in particular. One example of this is her decision to wear a suit in all of her public appearances. It is also seen in her response to questions about who she was dating, where for a long time she simply responded ‘I only date androids.’ She has said ‘I feel like I have a responsibility to my community and other young girls to help redefine what it looks like to be a woman. I don’t believe in men’s wear or women’s wear, I just like what I like.’ NOT SUITABLE FOR MALE CONSUMPTION As I mentioned, in the early days of her career, Monáe was known for wearing impeccably tailored suits in all of her public appearances. She has faced criticism throughout her career for this choice, largely for not being feminine or fashionable enough. She responded to this in her ‘Tightrope’ Wondamix, where she said “t-t-talkin’ ‘bout ‘why don’t she change her clothes’/ well they don’t seem to mind the last three times I posed in Vogue,’ as well as on Twitter early last year where she simply said ‘sit down. I’m not for male consumption.’ She explained that she wears the suits because ‘When I started my musical career, I was a maid, I used to clean houses. My parents, my mother was a proud janitor. My stepfather, who raised me like his very own, worked
at the post office and my father was a trash man — they all wore uniforms. And that’s why I stand here today in my black and white and I wear my uniform to honor them.’ This respect for her parents, particularly for her mother, is shown especially clearly in the Electric Lady song ‘Ghetto Woman’, where she praises her mother, the eponymous ghetto woman, as ‘the reason that I’m even writing this song.’ STRAIGHT TO JANELLE Janelle Monáe’s music is her method of approaching social change, and shows her thoughts on how marginalisation happens. Her politics are avowedly progressive, unsurprising for someone who has experienced so many forms of social alienation, as shown in the alignment of herself with the Other in her creative work. She not only approaches these issues through her music, but also through the business side of her career, providing support for other musicians who suffer from social biases and for her community more broadly. She is also keenly aware of her role in pop culture and her power to provide a role model for young black girls in particular, and to help fight against the misogynoir (the unique combination of racism and sexism affecting black women) they face. Max Cooper is too busy with his Honours to come up with a clever bio. He’s not too busy to tweet @MaxIvanCooper.
I’M AUTISTIC... AND I’M GAY WORDS BY: JAR AD MCLOUGHLIN
Not worrying about what the outside world thinks of you or what makes you emotional or comforted, is a warm glowing feeling. Sadly, for some, that blissful avoidance doesn’t last after you turn thirteen, when your body, identity, and sexuality undergoes a physical and psychosocial transformation. It can be even more said so if you grow up not sexually attracted to women. Those thoughts of same-sex attraction do restrict how you approach someone in an intimate setting. Self-loathing and selfshaming denigrates a person, when it comes to finding somebody to have sexually charged encounters with. When you become marginalised as autistic, it is an unfortunate hindrance. Worse still I had no friends or family members I could talk to about feeling this way towards other men. There were no resources or services available for someone who was coming out as gay who identified as disabled and struggling with this in my adolescence was not a pleasant experience for me. I saw nobody within popular culture – television, film, and politics – who shared what I was experiencing. What I have loved seeing in recent years though is more diverse representation of disability and sexuality, both in media and political activism. From the age of nineteen, I took on a quest to find more knowledge
in LGBTIQA+ culture, and had a yearning for kinship so that I could belong somewhere. Throughout my twenty-something years I discovered who I was and whom I was sexually attracted to. Visibility for queer people in the disability sector was non-existent. As a matter of fact, all of the government and non-profit service providers I was a client with treated the concept of queer-sexual activity as a taboo subject never to be mentioned to anyone. No organisation or group was professionally trained to counsel me about diverse sexual orientations or living as an out and proud gay man and some sexual health services were inadequate or underfunded in providing any form of support for disabled queer people just like myself. Until recently, educating those with any disability or impairment about the ‘birds and bees’ wasn’t attempted. Up until the mid-2000’s, to be aware of or taught about LGBTIQA+ media, politics, or culture meant secrecy and avoiding speaking to your parents about your sexual orientation. Thus the internet was my teacher, my best friend and confidante who linked me to adult pornographic pictures and films, and erotic fanfiction. I googled sites including Solo Touch, Nifty and Just Us Boys, which helped me to understand that being attracted
to other men was not a perversion. Also YouTube introduced me to foreign queer films and television soaps and dramas with queer themes/ plots like EastEnders, Hollyoaks, Monster Pies and Shelter. I found those queer characters (predominately male) irresistible to watch but none of them were portrayed as having a lived experience of disability. Reading erotic fanfiction did distract me away from the loneliness, but my body always craved for something more outside of the cyber dimension. Only recently, I was interviewed on ABC News about the taboo-ish issue of the intersection of disability and queerness. As a now thirty-something, single, forward-thinking, autistic gay man, I enjoy using the television/radio medium to unravel how cis-hetero sex education curriculums, queer identity and queer-sexual intimacy affected me from my own perspective. Chris McLoughlin who was the reporter (same surname but of no relation) had a great friendly demeanour when he got me involved with his report on disability service providers such as CARA, who plan to adopt ‘an open approach to sexuality with its client base.’ While recording the interview, I left no stone unturned when I spilled my deepest and darkest secrets to him. I said that I had to learn everything about homosexuality and queer visibility on my own, thus
affirming that queer disabled people up until CARA and SHine SA produced their own resources had no access to help or support. Most of what was said didn’t survive the cutting room floor and I was reduced to a ten second soundbite. However, I did get to chat with Chris about seeing nude men for the first time at fourteen years old in the centrefold of a back issue of Cleo magazine and watching episodes of Queer as Folk on SBS with the television on mute. But the seedy depths of the Internet weren’t the only places I found a sanctuary for my homosexual proclivities. Online dating apps like Grindr and Badoo gave me another outlet to sexually interact with other men, but I haven’t had any success in picking anyone up. Perusing one night stands and no-string attached trysts are pointless if you get a response back saying that you are not the right type or get mysteriously blocked without a reason as to why he ‘blacklisted’ you. Yes, I’m high functioning, but even non-high functioning autistic individuals are capable of being sexually autonomous or have sexual needs, rather than being desexualised and asexual as expected from the public. Ralph Brew and SHine SA helped me enormously with learning the basic mechanisms of LGBTIQA+ sexual health/behaviours, political activism and community
engagement. We connected with how I saw homosexuality and autism being underrepresented within medical institutions, service providers, and family households. Films including Rain Man were not a proper representation of autistic culture, because they supported the stereotype of non-verbal, subservient autistic people. No offence to Dustin Hoffman and many television and film actors who pretended to inherit quirky characteristics of an average autistic person, an inadequate portrayal of autism laden with mistakes that has promoted a misinformed public image of autistic individuals. Factoring in sexuality also, portrayals of disability are deceitfully absent or erased from the sociocultural psyche. Dating or getting somebody to explore your homosexual proclivities is challenging. And most able-bodied adult men don’t find disabled men sexually arousing. It is a sad reality that I have learned through my personal experiences. Luckily I’ve met a few autistic men and women who clearly identify as being out and proudly queer too. They see misinformation in media and political sectors implying that disabled people can’t consent to sexual relationships. This is one area me and other activists are determined on addressing. Euan
and shares similar experiences to mine. He felt shame, social stigma, and academic failure after being diagnosed on the spectrum at age nineteen, and hid this facet of himself until he learned more about autistic culture, and as I did befriend several autistic individuals. Euan broke out of the trappings of societal conformity and embraced his atypical quirkiness. After reading his story, I related to him so strongly in embracing my true sexual identity and atypical behaviours. Next year is my sixth and last year of being a media undergrad at Adelaide Uni. I embrace my positive and negative quirky characteristics so I can graduate as one of the few members of my family to obtain a higher educated accolade. I will keep my eyes glued to Grindr or another dating app for a bloke or blokes who aren’t repulsed by having someone disabled cracking onto them. I refuse to let hatred halt me in breaking the limitations imposed on me by a neurotypical society, which poorly understands sexuality and disability. I’m proud to be autistic... but also to be gay! Jarad McLoughlin is a third year, part time media student, an out homosexual, autistic, ‘die hard’ radio broadcaster, and a student activism enthusiast.
BEING BISEXUAL AND PICKING SIDES WORDS BY: HANA JACOB ART WORK BY: THUY-ANH LE
I’m a bisexual woman. I’ve been a bisexual woman for a really long time now. I don’t think there was a point in my life where I went ‘oh! I only like girls now!’ or ‘I only like guys!’, but apparently that is something I should have experienced, because now I’m twenty four and I’m in a real, grown up, serious relationship. Apparently that means I have picked a side. And I’m here to tell you that I haven’t, and exactly why that idea is a load of five day old festering garbage. There’s a lot of damaging, preconceived notions about bisexuality floating around. Young kids (myself included) being told that their attraction to two genders is ‘for attention’ is a popular one. Having loads of threesomes is another. Being promiscuous is a good one. Being more likely to cheat is always a fun one to hear. But the one that really, really rustles my jimmies is this idea of picking sides. I was sixteen when I first encountered this idea. I had just been dumped by a guy (he took my name out of his MSN screen name) and I was heartbroken. I swore off men, I didn’t need them. I listened to a lot of angry music. I wore more eyeliner than usual. Then I met a girl. I’m not going to mention her name, but she was awesome. I thought she was the prettiest person I’d ever seen. All I could think about was holding her hand. I made her a mix CD of Tegan
and Sara songs. I told my friends about her. And they responded with: ‘Oh, so you’re gay now?’ and ‘you’re just doing it for guy’s attention!’ Gay? Now? What the fuck? Instead of thinking I needed to get new friends, I started to wonder if they were right. I did like this amazing girl after all. But I also kissed that guy last week at that party. I had a crush on the drummer of my favourite band, who was a dude. I also had a crush on Angelina Jolie. Jesus Christ, was I gay? Was I straight? Was I actually pretending to like girls? It was a confusing time. Fast forward a few years and I’m a bit less confused and dating a guy. A really great guy. We talk about owning dogs together one day and we cook each other breakfast and it’s all bloody adorable. One day I’m out for dinner and I get hit with: ‘Bi people always pick a side, I knew you would!’ This was another pretty big what the fuck moment in my life. As far as I knew, I hadn’t picked a side. I’d picked my partner. I’d picked a stable, healthy relationship with someone who makes me happy. I have never thought about any of my relationships, crushes, flights of fancy or whatever as picking a side.
It’s picking the person. By picking a partner, I was shattering the ideas that people had projected onto me as their friendly neighbourhood bisexual. I’m not in the relationship for attention. I’m not straight. I’m not gay. I’m just a woman dating someone who she loves, and statements like what I have mentioned in this article serve only to invalidate my sexuality and the relationships that I have. A bisexual person in a loving, healthy relationship is an idea that most people cannot seem to wrap their heads around because of all these preconceived notions about what it means to be bisexual. Bi people aren’t inherently less trustworthy, or more attention seeking, or more likely to sleep with more people, or more likely to pick sides. I don’t want to see another generation of bisexual kids get told these kinds of things. I want to see them strong. I want to see them dating who they want without fear of picking sides. I want people to put their notions of what it means to be bisexual in a box and I want that box to never be opened again. I want bisexual people to pick their partners. Because that’s what we do. We pick who we love.
Hana is a 24 year old student/hospo worker studying creative writing and art history. She’s a bisexual lady who likes reading, watching Parks and Rec, hanging out with her dog and drinking enough coffee to fuel twenty five small humans.
COMING OUT: IS IT WORTH IT? WORDS BY: STEPHEN HOK ART WORK BY: NATALIE CARFOR A
Being in the closet is often a term used by many LGBTIQ people to signify how comfortable they are with themselves in the public sphere, which lead to ‘coming out’ narratives that explain how that person has developed the courage, or reasoning to reveal themselves publically. I however, still find myself confined to being in the closet. I am twenty years old, bisexual, and currently identify as gender-fluid. I have been questioning my biological gender for three years, since just after I finished high school. I was born male, but many of my interests and hobbies are traditionally female-oriented, such as girly fashion, make-up, and cute things. I am only ‘out’ to a few of my friends, who are mostly female. I have struggled to reveal myself to any of my male friends; I am not entirely sure why I struggle to tell my male friends, but I feel as though it is because they would stigmatise me as ‘a failure to masculinity’, and would disregard me as a friend altogether. Also, I feel that if I eventually come out as a transgender woman, it will limit my opportunities to succeed in life. Take job opportunities for example, which often ask if you are male or female on applications
or in interviews; I would not feel entirely comfortable revealing to them that I am transgender. Dating is another aspect that I feel I would have conflicts in. For example, if I were to date a male who identified as heterosexual, what would he think of me if I told them that I was not a biological woman? Lastly, legal and political worries are a significant barrier that almost all transgender people face. I have heard from some transgender friends that it took them months, or even years for them to change their name and gender on various life documents. This begs the question to many of us who are still in the closet, is it really worth coming out to the public as your true self ? At this point of my life, it doesn’t seem so. Almost on a daily basis, I am faced with the conflict of wanting to be myself without fear, versus being accepted in society. My envy grows stronger towards cisgender women every day, who are able to dress, present, and act in a feminine manner without second thought. One day in the future I hope that I can just be myself, without worry, or fear. Indeed, society as a whole, says that everyone should be unique, and yet when someone differs from the norm, society questions their legitimacy.
Stephen is one of the most complex psychology students you will ever meet.
COMING OUT TO MY MOTHER WORDS BY: IVORY ROSE
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been attracted to women. I never thought there was anything weird about liking the same sex, not until I was older and my very conservative, born in the ‘50s mother and I had a conversation about being gay.
life. ‘Well, that’s a surprise.’ ...and that’s all she said.
Until later. Until a few more brandy and cokes. Until she was too drunk to care what I thought. I came to say goodnight to her and she said ‘You know how…you have a girlfriend now? Well. I don’t think you like girls. I think I was about fourteen and was planning on telling her I you’re just copying your best friend. That’s what you do. liked women as well as men, but wanted to gauge the You copy people.’ situation so I knew what I was up against. I asked her outright one day what she thought of same-sex couples. Now it was my turn to be shocked. I couldn’t believe she She told me she didn’t really mind because it didn’t affect had said that to me. She didn’t understand what it was her directly. As far as I could tell, she would be fine with like for me to discover that I liked women all by myself. It me liking both genders but I wanted to get some moral would have been great to feel like I could talk to her about support just in case, so I thought I’d tell my best friend that. To tell her I was confused and needed help figuring of the time. this stuff out. But instead I got the ‘it’s just a phase’ talk because she was uncomfortable with her only daughter I had a best friend that I idolised. She was the perfect liking women as well as men. She asked me every day for amount of rock star mixed with not giving a fuck, the the next six months if I still liked girls. kind of person I wanted to be. I went to her house one day after school and we sat on the chest freezer in her kitchen Safe to say, my mother was never the most supportive while our mothers had a game of Scrabble. and a lot of the time when I was growing up I felt like I couldn’t talk to her about important things, but she grew ‘I have something to tell you,’ She told me. I replied, to accept me the way I am. ‘Same, but you go first.’ She smiled at me and told me she was bisexual. ‘Me too!’ I exclaimed. She smiled and said, When I told my father, he said, ‘As long as you bring the ‘I knew you were! You’re the only person that didn’t!’ I cute girls home.’ I liked his reaction better. was surprised at this. If it was so obvious, why hadn’t my mother picked up on it? Some advice if you’re planning on coming out to your parents: more often than not they only want you to be The next day, my best friend told her mother, who happy, and they will accept you sooner or later. So don’t apparently had known since she was four. I thought worry about a thing. Tell them if you like the same sex, about telling my mother for a few months after that day, and I hope their reaction is closer to my dad’s as opposed because I knew she wouldn’t take it so well. I waited to my mum’s. It will all work out in the end. Trust me. almost three months. By this time I had started dating my first girlfriend, who convinced me one night to ‘fess up. I took a deep breath and went to the kitchen where my mother was and said ‘Mum!’ In a voice that sounded more confident than I felt. ‘You know my friend, Emma?’ She nodded along. ‘I’m dating her. She’s my girlfriend and I like women too.’ My mother was silent for the longest ten seconds of my It’s not the way you plan it, it’s how you make it happen.
ON PRIDE WORDS BY: JUSTIN MCARTHUR
On April 25 2015, SBS soccer reporter Scott McIntyre posted a series of tweets calling ANZAC Day celebrations ‘poorly-read, largely white [and] nationalist’. He accused Australian soldiers of carrying out executions, rape and theft in Egypt, Palestine and Japan, and referred to bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as ‘terrorism’ in which Australia was complicit. The tweets offended a number of commentators, including the current Prime Minister,1 which ultimately led to McIntyre’s sacking by the SBS. Maybe there was some merit to their offense. But was he actually wrong? To figure that out, I guess we have to tackle ‘pride’ head on. Time to put on my philosophy hat. It’s hard to be proud of yourself. Becoming an adult, after all, goes hand in hand with the creeping sense that everything you do and say is probably wrong in a large number of ways, and that tends to make us apathetic. It’s hard to feel like you’re doing/saying/being the right thing, surrounded by so many ways to be wrong; and so a sense of self is a really tough thing to find, and an even tougher thing to hold onto. In particular, it’s quite difficult for me to feel comfortable in myself because I suffer from Anxiety with a capital ‘A’ (specifically Social Anxiety
Disorder, the kind of anxiety aptly abbreviated to ‘SAD’). Perhaps it’s ironic that the same obsession with self-editing that makes me a halfway decent writer 2 is a consequence of the same mental condition that makes many days an immense struggle to write anything at all. For me, finding pride in anything is a hard-fought battle – but I actually quite like that. I wouldn’t want to be proud of something unworthy of my pride, like my gender or my ethnicity or the social strata into which I was born. I didn’t put any work into being born. Perhaps my sexuality is a more worthwhile source of pride – I have to make an active effort to cope with the apparent invisibility I’m afforded as a bisexual man. Being ‘proud to be queer’ is something I’ve achieved, despite some deal of adversity; it’s not just some backpatting acknowledgement of a fact about myself. It also seems rather natural to be proud that I write, I’m contemplative, and I care. I’ve worked on caring and writing and contemplating, so they’re qualities, but also achievements, in a sense. It seems far more natural to be proud of one’s achievements. But how, then, can I consider myself ‘proud to be Australian’, as though I’ve achieved something by virtue of
my nationality? And in particular, why should I be proud of the Australian military? Was I simply born proud? I respect those that choose to join the army, albeit with a bit of begrudging leftie ire. In principle, I support people that would be willing to give up their lives in the defence of the lives of others, and in the pursuit of solutions to world crises. Even though I abhor violence, believe in the power of strong civil diplomacy, oppose a lot of our military intervention, and worry that our political rhetoric encourages twodimensional military fictions – those sound like pretty good people to have around. I reckon we need more people like that. They sound handy. I’m quite reluctant, on the other hand, to accept that I should be proud of the historic sacrifices of the ANZACs as though I too am a part of our nation’s extensive military history – as though I too should be proud of everything we’ve done, overlooking any and all nuance, in the hope that we can blindly unite behind fairytales. When we start to class every Australian over the past century as a part of a single, mono-cultural, largely-white ‘Us’, it becomes far too neat to class everyone else as a ‘Them’. And it
suggests that the main thing holding Us together is our military, as though Australia might have disbanded as a nation by now if it weren’t for the sacrifices of the diggers.
According to Dr Dale Kerwin of Griffith University, Queensland, ‘these men had to pay their own way back and get permits to get back into the country.’
On ANZAC Day, being Australian is treated as a badge of honour unto itself. But there are consequences of acting as though there is no shame to our nation’s military history. And so we return to Scott McIntyre’s incendiary collection of tweets.
Tweet #3: Remembering the summary execution, widespread rape and theft committed by these ‘brave’ Anzacs in Egypt, Palestine and Japan.
Tweet #1: The cultification [sic] of an imperialist invasion of a foreign nation that Australia had no quarrel with is against all ideals of modern society. Tweet #2: Wonder if the poorly-read, largely white, nationalist drinkers and gamblers pause today to consider the horror that all mankind suffered. These two tweets are opinions more than facts, so I don’t have a great deal to say about them – except that it’s true that Australia’s military history largely erases the role of nonwhite Australians. After the Boer War, the ANZACs left behind their own Aboriginal trackers because of the White Australia Policy.
Here we get to the meat of McIntyre’s allegations; this is the point where a number of people started to take real offence. In the first few responses on Twitter, McIntyre was called a ‘moron’, a ‘piece of shit’, and a ‘parasite’, and told he ought to respect the people that fought for his freedom of speech. But the worst part? These comments are factually correct. Consider that the so called Battle of Wazza in Egypt saw the rioting of 2500 Anzacs in the Wazza district of Cairo – “‘sacking and setting fire to brothels, terrifying the locals, and clashing with military police who tried to intervene.’3 Consider that the Surafend Affair saw the massacre of the entire village of Surafend in Palestine – in response to the murder of a soldier from New Zealand, two hundred soldiers entered the village,
kicked the women and children out of their houses, and killed more than 40 of the remaining villagers, while setting the village on fire. Consider that the ‘Battle of the Bismarck Sea’ saw Japanese survivors shot while struggling in the water – Captain James Murphy recalled, ‘I wanted to vent some of my anger and kill every Japanese son of a bitch I could find.’ And these are far from the only atrocities committed by Australians and New Zealanders abroad in the name of our military. In the Beaufort Episode in Borneo, Japanese prisoners of war were forced into a death march and killed. In the Boer War, ANZACs openly shot Boer civilians. On 6 August 1945, around 135,000 people were killed when the United States Air Force, allies of the ANZACs in World War II, dropped an atomic bomb in Hiroshima. Nearly two-thirds of Hiroshima was destroyed. On the most conservative death-toll estimates, Japan suffered the equivalent of 44 September 11 attacks in a single day. Three days later, the US dropped another bomb in Nagasaki, killing over 50,000 – some estimates are as high as 74,000. Tweet #4: Not forgetting that the largest single-day terrorist attacks in
1. Malcolm Turnbull (now the Prime Minister, at least as we go to print), the Communication Minister at the time, publicly told McIntyre to apologise, tweeting that the remarks were ‘despicable’ and ‘deserve to be condemned’. Turnbull also personally brought the remarks to the attention of the managing director of the SBS, Michael Ebeid, who went on to publicly distance the SBS from the comments and sack McIntyre the next morning. 2. And indeed, the doubt and fear that made me most want to take up academic philosophising, which brought me to writing in the first place. 3. According to Prof. Philip Dwyer of the University of Newcastle, writing in The Conversation.
history were committed by this nation & their allies in Hiroshima & Nagasaki Tweet #5: [photo of concrete stairs in Hiroshima] Innocent children, on the way to school, murdered. Their shadows seared into the concrete of Hiroshima. Even those that retrospectively believe the attacks were justified believe that they ended the war by ‘causing maximum devastation’ – they were literally performed to inspire terror. ‘When you deal with a beast you have to treat him as a beast,’ said US President Truman, in a letter defending his actions after the Nagasaki strike. These attacks, right or wrong, were terrorist in nature. And Australia’s allies were responsible. It isn’t hard to be proud of those that fight for us, that defend us, and do so with honour – and no doubt many soldiers across our history have done precisely that. But ANZAC Day calls upon us to be more than that – it calls us to be unquestioning. It’s very hard to be proud while we’re considering these stories about our soldiers, and about our military in general. ANZAC Day is supposed to be the day we honour memories of our soldiers. But it is fast becoming the day we overlook the uncomfortable ones. From the get-go, the factual content of McIntyre’s tweets was undercut by the exact pride he sought to challenge. And maybe it’s not wrong
that these things gut us. I guess I rather desperately do want to be proud to be Australian – not proud of my nation in itself, but proud of the Australian communities that have fostered me, and proud to be an active (if minor) participant in our cultural and political discussions. But I can’t possibly be proud of our nation if that means remaining ignorant of the facts; if that means cutting down people that speak prickly truths. Whether it was right or wrong for McIntyre to say these things on ANZAC Day, many of the things he said were correct. And that should make us all question whether we ought to be proud of our history. So we need to repeat these stories, alongside the romantic tales; historians, more than romantics, should have a monopoly on memory. Otherwise, we do no justice to the values that our soldiers are supposed to have died for – the freedom to define our own direction as a society, the hope that we can one day bring an end to war. The sorts of things mentioned by Scott McIntyre aren’t all of the stories we need to hear, and maybe we shouldn’t discuss them on ANZAC Day itself. But we do need to hear these ones. Lest we forget.
Justin McArthur is a user of semi-colons; a fan of non-sequiturs; an ardent admirer of psephologist Antony Green. This work originally appeared on his blog, Three Word Slogan, to which he rarely posts these days.
BLOOD AND HONEY
ANDREW WATSON we sisters are a trickle of honey in the night-time forest blood drips from fingers (ours and yours running together) that dip and smear, hands that hold aloft a wand my wand - thyrsus - rough against open palm and clenched fist made from vine, ribbon, seed and staff late in the night i stumble, feet tangled in vines grasping more tightly than ribbons in my hair but our song and drink carries me on Dionysus walks these roads tonight, singing paths towards dawn i think i have seen him dancing there, though it may have been a maenad in epiphany throes our god, young god, old god, god of what isnâ€™t, born/e aloft by our hands and teeth sudden fear drives my gaze towards the city walls and i feel the way that stubble paints my chin clutch my thyrsus close - it wounds me there, in the doorways of a proud city clutch my thyrsus close - this fennel wand guards me here made with pine cone, spear, nectar, wine we feast, we feast, we kill, we drink meanings die and we raise unknowns we die meanings and rise unknown our girlish god marks us, dances behind/before us an uproar; a proud king dies at our hands, lies down beside our thyrsi we dream of crashing against those walls, singing them down with these gifts we made made as woman weapon, wand, gift and sign young face smeared with honey, a lionâ€™s head joins the parade there is no more left of the young king only sisters, and we sisters sing of blood and honey Originally published in liminality
ART WORK BY: THUY-ANH LE
AMORE EST VITAE ESSENTIA WORDS BY: LEWIS HODKINSON
LOVE IS THE ESSENCE OF LIFE Go to the football game, cheer loud. Go to action movie, buy the girl popcorn. Buy the plain shirt, it makes you look normal. Don’t sing too loud, dad will hear and call you queer again. Leave your hair as it is when you get out of bed, product draws attention. Don’t look at him too long, it makes him uncomfortable. He had gotten so good at being something he wasn’t he didn’t know who he was anymore, did he ever? Growing up wasn’t easy, hiding in plain sight. Watching his mother apply her makeup, he wasn’t allowed to touch it. Watching his father shave, it made him uncomfortable. How will they accept him, if he can’t accept himself ? Sexual identity isn’t one’s only identity, it should not define who we are as humans, he thought, maybe they’ll understand? Maybe it’ll be okay? Start small, talk to mother. Her eyes fill wet, the beautiful make ruined. She’s happy though, she embraces her boy for what feels like the first time, in a long time. She can see the fear, she can feel the pain as he chokes out the words that have consumed his entire
existence. ‘I’m gay’. That went well, better than expected. Now, how can he tell the man who scares him more than life itself ? He looks into his father’s eyes, the man who calls the neighbour ‘a faggot’ for wearing a purple robe when he waters the lawn. He looks into those eyes, terrified, alone, ready to be beaten. The words kiss his tongue goodbye, it’s over – he’s said it. “Dad, I’m gay”. He opens his eyes, his own cheeks wet with tears. He can taste the salt pour from his face. Ashamed of what he is, ashamed to let his old man down. His father, looking at his only boy, his son. Stands and walks towards him, slowly and deliberately. Standing over his scared little boy, the boy hears something for the first time in his life. His father is crying, his father is human, his father loves his son. ‘You, you are my boy. I love you.’ The single worst moment of his life, had now become the best. He was alive for the first time in his entire life. He was himself. People, we are all human. Gay, lesbian, transgender, straight - these labels matter not. What matters is this and only this. That you have love in your heart, not hate. Love...
YOU’RE NOT A CANDLE, YOU’RE A FLAMETHROWER WORDS BY: CL ARY TERRELL
He worries that my love for him lacks passion I don’t know how to tell him that a hearth and a forest fire are the same But only one is safe to curl my heart up next to and sleep I carry the warmth from his bed through my day In the lightness of my step, the ballooning in my lungs Seeping heavy through my shoulders, straightening my spine His kiss stokes embers in my gut that spread through me Firing in my fingertips and tingling with the need to touch To press my palm to his narrow chest and feel His heat through his clothes, his surprising softness I don’t think my love for him could burn brighter Than the honey spread of his smile across his lovely face He is every bit of good I’ve ever seen in a man No day could break my spirit when I warm his bed at night
21 YEARS WORDS BY: CHRISTEN TORMAY PHOTOGR APHY BY: ANGUS YALLOP
Written on my 21st birthday, this poem is about having to hide myself for 21 years, and growing up in a body and in a life that wasnâ€™t my own. Coming out and accepting myself as trans at 21 years old was the best thing I have ever done.
Imagine 21 years. I do. 21 years you missed me. 21 years you sat by, wrapped in a skin. A lion of a different coat. 21 years you missed the summers, with the sand between the folds of your dress. 21 years you lied to me and you. Remember 21 years. I do. 21 years your skin weighed you down. A bird in the rain, sinking from its nest. 21 years and your soul escaped through cuts and bruises. Unsealing an unbroken package. Now 21 years and youâ€™ve escaped. A parched throat is met with sand. A mirage in the distance beckons. Look to the stars, dream your life ahead, make it the unreachable dream. Remember those 21 years. I do.
RANTSPACE WORDS BY: RILEY CAL ABY
‘Curb destructive or challenging behaviours by ensuring access to more constructive activities’ – Taming Your Toddler, 2nd ed. Hi Warren. I know that you’re busy right now axing (sorry, ‘merging’) faculties, but I thought that if you had something else to do, you might be able to keep your hand off it for more than a minute at a time. After all, a person’s got to have a hobby. And there’s always the chance that you’ll have a lot more spare time from the middle of next year. To help you f ind something to do other than cutting staff and courses, I’ve prepared this guide… FUN HOBBIES FOR VC WARREN BEBBINGTON TO TRY SCRAPBOOKING We already know that you love to cut things – faculties, professional staff, Radio Adelaide... Scrapbooking is a fun and creative pastime that would allow you to channel that passion to less destructive ends. Given your storied history of media appearances, you could even start with a scrapbook of those – from appearing to believe that there’s still a country called Bohemia in 2k15 in these very pages, telling the Fin Review that you’re keen to abolish lectures, and making the front page of the Tiser the other week with your million dollar salary. Speaking of which…
SWIMMING The measly nine hundred thousand dollar salary you used to have would never have been enough for this, but now that you’ve cracked the full mill, why not go to the bank and withdraw it all as two dollar coins? This would be perfect for taking a Scrooge McDuck-esque bath in gold. You might need to give yourself another pay rise or two to make the full Olympic swimming pool, but you’d easily f ill a backyard inf latable at the moment. You can always dream of bigger pools… that’s one thing you’d be able to do with the ‘eff iciencies’ from axing two faculties. THE OCCULT You told staff, Warren, that the reason we need to abolish two faculties in the university was that they create ‘siloes’ which prevent academics in different faculties from ever talking to one another. Of course, the real reason for this is the strange and ancient curse laid into the very pebblecrete of Napier, which aff licts all that have ever set foot on the Barr Smith
Lawns with an inability to ever talk to anyone in any other faculty. Ever. This, of course, is why noone ever does a double degree like Law/Arts. PSR already sounds like it could be some sinister and shadowy band of conspirators, so I’m sure you’ll feel right at home dabbling in the occult. I hope these suggestions are helpful. Remember, next time that you feel the urge to ‘restructure’ a programme or ‘reform’ someone out of a job – you can always take up one of these fun hobbies instead. I’m sure the No Adelaide University Cuts page on Facebook will have some suggestions, too – check it out.
GAME COMING OUT SIMUL ATOR | NICKY CASE REVIEWED BY: SEAMUS MULLINS 5/5 | Throughout our lives some of the most uncomfortable moments are when we want to talk about something important, but end up dancing around the issue, with endless attempts to bring up a topic in conversation but failing to broach the issue naturally. This can so often be exacerbated when trying to bring up a sensitive topic with your parents, especially one as sensitive as coming out about being bisexual. The feeling of wanting to tell the truth and not having to hide your true self, but not wanting to face confrontation is a feeling, which Nicky Case addresses brilliantly, with his small indie hit, Coming out Simulator 2014. In this unique twist on the simulator genre, you play as a semi-fictional version of Nicky, on the night which
changed his life forever, and particularly his relationship with his parents. The game itself was born out of a gamejam, created within two weeks, and therefore the story and game is quite short (rounding out to around 20 minutes) and the artstyle quite simple. However, the decisions you will be forced to make have such consequence and impact that you’ll be compelled throughout and be on edge every minute of this FREE web based game. And despite not being LGBTI myself, Coming Out Simulator was incredibly relatable, as we’ve all experienced dancing around a topic, and knowing deep down, you’ll have to address it sooner or later.
BEING HONEST WITH MY EX | PETER C. HAYWARD & HONOR EASTLY
REVIEWED BY: NATALIE CARFOR A 5/5 | My favourite thing about podcasts is feeling like I am making new friends (don’t judge me). It feels like I am hanging out with cool different people every time I get on the bus to go to uni or when I am riding my bike home.
you have to get up to go to work in four hours and you don’t even care. Except you get to have them every week and not feel like a zombie after you listen to them. I really love this podcast and I am so attached to Peter and Honor that it’s kind of strange? I don’t know. They emphasise vulnerability and honesty and it’s really nice to be privvy to conversations that are just so honest.
Peter C. Hayward and Honor Eastly are my favourite new ‘friends.’ Their podcast, Being Honest with my Ex, is not really about anything in particular. It’s about themselves and their lives, and their opinions and beliefs and arguments about living as a creative person, what makes a film successful, whether or not Cards Against Humanity actually a good game, polyamory, sexuality, and mental illness.
A bonus they don’t just make the podcast so it’s a great way of learning about new cool art and music and web content. Honor makes music and writes and is an artist and Peter is super into board games and makes other podcasts and writes erotica for a living.
Each episode is like being a part of one of those really good conversations that you have every now and then with your friends. The kind where it’s after 2am and
If you have never listened to podcasts before this is a great one to start with. It’s funny and serious and tbh it’s even made me shed a tear.
FULL DISCLOSURE AND NO DETAILS | GABRIELLA COHEN REVIEWED BY: HOLLY NICHOLLS 4/5 | Gabriella Cohen, former front woman for Brisbane band The Furrs, has emerged on the solo scene with gusto. Her debut effort channels the sleek, retro sounds of classic 60s pop, with a hint of grunge on the edge. Having relocated to Melbourne to kick off her solo career, Cohen joins the likes of Courtney Barnett, another Melbourne adoptee, in leading the way for women in Australian music. The death of guitar music is often lamented, but in Australia it is these women keeping it alive.
also features a 5 minute guitar led jam in Dream Song, and uses AutoTune to great effect on Feelin’ Fine. Cohen’s voice is full of soul, and it is her vocal performances which really shine as she shows off a wide range of influences over the course of the album. This is perhaps the one fault of the album - the sheer diversity of genres and influences do not make for the most cohesive listening. But the talent on display, and the quality of the songwriting, more than makes up for this.
Standout tracks include the singles I Don’t Feel So Alive, with its slacker rock guitar line building into a singalong crescendo, and Yesterday, a gorgeous psychedelic slow jam. Not afraid of a challenge, Full Closure and No Details
A very impressive album from an artist on the rise, this may well be one of the Australian albums of the year.
CARMILLA | U BY KOTEX REVIEWED BY: REEM ERNST 4.5/5 | Have you ever thought to yourself, hey, wouldn’t it be cool if there was like, a Count Dracula, or Edward Cullen, for lesbians? Or maybe you always wanted Princess Bubblegum and Marceline to be a Thing, which they totally were, but you know, our poor and impressionable children. Look no further than U by Kotex’s fantastic web series, Carmilla. The show, hosted on the Vervegirl YouTube channel, is a modern twist on the 1871 novella of the same name by Sheridan Le Fanu. The story is set in an Austrian university and is told through a series of vlogs that Laura Hollis, the protagonist, uses to document the disappearance of her roommate and the arrival of the mysterious and broody vampire, Carmilla Karnstein. Thus far, there are two seasons, with additional content released to appease the hordes of fans (Cream Puffs, they’re called) who eagerly await the third season. Each episode is around three to seven minutes long: perfect for binge-watching.
The show is often caught up in its almost clumsy plot-lines (I don’t care about a monstrous chasm in the middle of campus, I care about Laura and Carmilla’s UST), because despite the one-room setting being charming, it also limits our emotional connection to the world outside it. However, the incredible cast chemistry and quirky humour of the script leaves your insides feeling warm and tingly and hooked. Laura is endearing and naive, a Lois Lane meets Veronica Mars meets Buffy heroine, and I haven’t decided if Carmilla is life goals or wife goals yet. Furthermore, Carmilla is positive and much-needed queer representation. Laura liking girls is as intrinsic as her need to solve mysteries. LaFontaine is a non-binary character and they’re absolutely kick-ass. While the show is rough around the edges, it’s feel-good and has five thousand works on AO3. What more could you want from a web series sponsored by sanitary pads! Become a Cream Puff today.
DODGY CRAFTS WITH MADDY AND EM
WORDS BY: MADDY SEXTON AND EMILY HART
This is a tutorial to make you work flowers into your springtime awakening time. Flowers are nice but they die, so this is also a tutorial to make the beautiful flowers that you lovingly grew or got presented as a token of love last a lifetime. If you are not good at nurturing plants/ affection, then you could buy flowers or nick them from someone else’s garden or a café vase. This is also a tutorial to put the many hundreds of dollars you’ve spent on textbooks to a real tangible use. Between that and the flowers, this is technically our most expensive tutorial yet, but think of the increased cost per use of your textbooks and you’ll find you’re the real winner here.
1. Collect a decent amount of brightly coloured flowers and nicelooking leaves (illegally or otherwise) to press. Flowers in full bloom are the best for shape and end result. Make sure all of your selected flora (please do not press any fauna, you freaks) is not especially wet from rain or beer etc. as this can encourage mould during the drying process.
DAVID ATTENBOROUGH SAYS YOU WILL NEED: A bunch of flowers and maybe also leaves Good sharp scissors Baking paper Textbooks (the heavier the better)
2. With your sharp scissors, cut off the exciting bits of the flowers and leaves. Once you’re happy with the amount and range of flora you’ve massacred, line page 129 of Accounting: Business Reporting for Decision Makers or another heavyweight, content-light textbooks with baking paper and arrange your precut flowers on top so that they lie as flat as possible. Place another piece of baking paper over the flowers, shut the book, then put all your other giant books on top of that. 3. Leave the flowers here until they’re completely dry. We estimate that this will take until about the mid-semester break, which is probably the next time you’ll even think about the textbook anyway.
4. There is no step four! The second half of this tutorial will come to you when your f lowers are dry and we have learned to stop half-assing things! Once you have actually completed this tutorial (suspense! uncertainty!), you may choose to present it as a gift to someone in your life who does not hate you (or perhaps they do?). If so, you could use some meaningful flowers, because everyone speaks flower nowadays, so they will definitely get the message! Forget-me-not: True love Violets: Sapphic desire Bergamont: Your wiles are irresistible Geraniums: Service station Parsley: Festivity Aster, double: I share your sentiments Mistletoe: I surmount difficulties Soursob: Piss off *** (Credit for most of these to www. meaningfulmarriages.com, some specifically from a section entitled ‘Flowers that Symoblise Useful Phrases’. Hm.) #LoveisLove
Support your Uni bands and watch them battle it out for the chance to represent Adelaide Uni at a state and national level. Heat Dates: August 16-18 — Final Dates: August 19 AT THE UNIBAR — LEVEL 5, UNION HOUSE