“I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.”
During the postal survey on marriage equality, both the ‘yes’ and ‘no’ campaigns often used trans and gender-diverse people to make a point. Our sexual preferences, clothing, mental health and genitalia were discussed in the media but also by supposed friends and allies, often in offensive, exploitative and harmful ways.
I figured it was time to write about being non-binary and genderqueer. I wrote a piece for SBS Sexuality, and hope that it helps illuminate the experience of being gender-diverse for those who don’t understand, as well as being validating for those who have had similar experiences to mine. It is not a guide to non-binary identity, and I don’t go into detail about my realisation or pronouns. I’m happy for people to contact me, and appreciate those who have shown their love and support.
A few months ago, someone asked me to describe my gender using a gif. I knew what I wanted it to be immediately: Ilana Glazer dressed in a suit, grooving out and ignoring the surrounding chaos. So here is that gif, and I think it says a lot.
I was interviewed by Robbie Buck on ABC Radio Sydney on the day that the postal survey result was announced. You can listen to the segment below.
I’m very excited to tell you that my essay ‘Out of the closet’ has just been published in The Big Issue Australia. It’s particularly thrilling because this issue includes interviews with Björk, Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile, director Taika Waititi (Hunt for the Wilderpeople) and other awesome writers, musicians and comedians.
While the title of my essay might suggest yet another piece about coming out, fear not. It is about the fact that Rachel and I have now been married four times – yet our marriage is still not legally recognised in Australia – and plan to get married a fifth time in 2018.
Australians, please don’t become complacent about the marriage equality vote. It isn’t the most important issue going on in the world, clearly, but it still matters. You can advocate for marriage equality and for all the other issues you care about. I will be reminding people of these other issues once the survey results are released on 15 November and I have celebrated/cried enough.
If you are a straight ally and have been helping: THANK YOU! We couldn’t do this without you. It has been an awful time for our community, and I truly appreciate your support. It might be worth considering if there are any other ways you can help at this point, beyond talking to your communities, putting up posters, etc.
There are phone banks taking place all month in the lead up to the vote closing on 7 November (https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/call-party-for-equality-tickets-38370977627 and there are many others). Please send me a message if you need more information. Phone banks are essential for reaching people who have forgotten to vote or don’t currently care enough to bother. If you or someone you know needs a replacement form: https://marriagesurvey.abs.gov.au
If you are straight and generally pro marriage equality but haven’t done much or anything at all, please think about why. Are you actually pro marriage equality? If you’re voting no, that’s your prerogative. But if you are voting or have voted yes, and want your queer family/friends to have equal marriage rights (and I assure you, you have queer family and friends whether you know it or not), we could really use your help. Send me a message if you are unsure what to do next.
If you are afraid to ask your family members what they are voting – and this is something many people have told me that they feel – please message me and I’m happy to provide tips on how to approach it.
I had the weirdest and most amazing experience this week. I happened to contact Mary Lambert‘s publicist about a fortnight ago, after noticing that Mary had announced her North American tour for her new EP Bold. I asked if I could interview Mary about her EP, her upcoming tour, and her activism. I have noticed her activism in her music but also on her blog and social media platforms, on issues ranging from queer identity to mental illness and abuse, body positivity, and the Black Lives Matter movement. I suggested that it could potentially “create momentum for an Australian tour.”
Little did I know that Mary would be coming to Sydney, Australia to play with Macklemore at the NRL grand final on 1 October. And I had the opportunity to interview Mary and write a piece for Junkee about it.
The whole situation has me pinching myself because Mary Lambert was my #1 dream musician to interview. At one point, after I mentioned my own experiences as a queer writer and activist, and my struggles with mental illness, Mary said “I feel like we are kindred spirits.” OMG. Don’t worry, I didn’t overshare too much.
So I will leave you with this gif to summarise my feelings about all of this. Yes, I am over-excited and haven’t come down from this high. And I think that’s okay. ♥
Church (Melbourne Fringe Festival) held at Fringe Hub: Lithuanian Club on Sunday 17 and 24 September.
I’m thrilled to be one of the writers involved in Return Flight: MEL>EDI, a cross-continental creative exchange between twenty artists and writers in Melbourne and Edinburgh. I’m amongst writers like Tony Birch and Madison Griffiths, which is an honour in itself. You can buy the book here.