Last event before lockdown

I’m sure you’re sick of hearing people say “it’s a weird time!” so I’ll spare you any of those sorts of comments.

Instead, here’s my wife’s video of me reading at the launch of issue four of Matters Journal on 14th March. It’s an excerpt of an essay I wrote called ‘What I learned about the future from my students’ about sci-fi, dystopian and apocalyptic stories, climate change, robots and what the future might look like. Enjoy!

The launch was wonderful and the last public event I attended before the lockdown. It’s quite nice to watch the video and remember the feeling of sharing words and wine with others!

My Instagram Live debut

I had the best time storytelling on One On One Stories, an Instagram Live event curated by Madison Griffiths. I can’t even tell you how it felt to be part of an event featuring storytellers, poets, comedians and artists like Ellen Van Neerven, Evelyn Araluen, Darlene Sobrana, Bec Jessen, Claire Sullivan, Alistair Baldwin, Sean Whelan, James Colley and Elizabeth Flux among other brilliant artists. Here is the video of my segment about my school experiences (as an English teacher and as a high school student), mental illness, bullies and even Kosher butchering! Let me know what you think! xx

Hear me roar

I have done a number of Podcasts, radio segments and other fun things on audio mediums lately. I get a bit nervous but it’s nothing that a cup of tea and a friendly interviewer can’t fix!

The first is “Queer Sex Education in Australia”, a radio segment on Triple Bi-Pass: Sex Bi the Bi on JoyFM, where I discuss queering sexual health and sex education with Nat. We talk about approaching sex education in ways that promote a healthy understanding of queer sexual health and issues.

The next is “Problematic Faves”, the story I told at the Queerstories live storytelling evening, which I previously wrote about here. My story is about my love of Enid Blyton, Homeland and The X-Files. I just love the Queerstories podcast as you get to hear so many great stories from the community!

The first of a few radio segments I did over the last month was when I was interviewed by Madison Griffiths on 3CR Tuesday Breakfast about Archer Magazine missing out on funding and our community fundraising campaign. I’m on the show, “The fight against trade union repression in the Asia-Pacific, Archer Magazine’s funding cuts and Love and Thoms v Commonwealth”, around 42 minutes in.

The next radio segment, “Archer Magazine and Gender Perspectives on the News”, was when Sally Goldner and I discussed the latest news on 3CR Out of the Pan.

Finally, Kel Butler interviewed me and my wife Dr Rachel Chapman for the Writes 4 Women Podcast about gender, sexuality, education and writing. Listen to our episode, “The Language of Gender” here.

Image: Austin Distel

LGBT+ writing project

I’m a PhD candidate at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society, which is based at La Trobe University, and I’m really excited to get started with my research project. I’m researching the impact of life writing on young LGBT+ people.

My research study is open to anyone aged 16-20 who lives in Melbourne and identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or queer (all genders welcome). Involvement includes attending a writing workshop, filling in a brief survey, and submitting short pieces of writing in response to prompts.

If that describes you or someone you know, please email me to get involved or share the flyer below!

Thoughts, not prayers: It’s time for action

There’s a necessary grieving period after certain elections. There’s nothing like conservatives winning an “unwinnable” election to remind you of your priorities, values and hopes. But it can take a bit of time before you’re ready to take action.

I found myself suffering from an election hangover that lasted for a week with no alcohol or illegal drugs involved. I got sick and had to take time off. I listened to a lot of Kate Bush, Lizzo, Halsey, Taylor Swift and Kanye West, and hugged my wife and our dogs.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what caused the ‘hangover’.

It could have been the Tweets about the multiple self-harm and suicide attempts amongst refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru since the election. Alternatively, it could have been hearing from friends about their children’s terror – about climate catastrophe, about their safety, about their futures. Maybe it was hearing the fears of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people of colour, queer people, transgender and gender diverse people, poor people, women, and those from other marginalised communities. Maybe it was reading about some people’s total disregard for human rights and animal rights.


I’m not ‘over’ my hangover but I am ready to show up again, as an activist and as a writer.

I returned to my manuscript of the memoir I have been working on for a few years. It has changed so much in that time. Even though I wanted to have a published book earlier, I realise now that it wasn’t time yet. There’s a lot that I can add now and can explore with more complexity. It’s a book about mental illness, the gender binary and queer identity. All of these issues have a lot at stake as the popularity of far-right and fascist politics grows.

It’s also time to return to freelance writing about political issues. I don’t even know where to begin – there are so many issues to address – but I suppose I can start anywhere.

At the moment, I’m writing, editing, thinking and plotting with a fresh and furious post-election lens.

Ultimately, I’m ready for action, even though I’m tired and sick (and sick and tired). Who’s with me?

Launching Going Postal: More Than ‘Yes’ or ‘No’

Check out the panel that I got to be part of last weekend at the Queer Legacies, New Solidarities conference. I can’t think of a better panel and audience than all the amazing queers in the room on Saturday.

Photo credit: Polly Bennett

The book will be launched at Hares & Hyenas on Friday 30th November. It will be a family-friendly event that centres kids and young people (since they were greatly affected by the postal survey in 2017). I’d love to see you there!

My night out at Queerstories

Last night was incredibly exciting for me. I told a story at Queerstories, which is one of my favourite events in the LGBTIQA+ community, on Halloween of all nights. My story is titled ‘Problematic Faves‘ and I talk about Enid Blyton, The X-Files, The L Word, Homeland and many others.

I got to drool over my favourite characters in front of an understanding  and supportive audience. My wife, Rachel, was sitting up there front and centre. I couldn’t see anything because of the bright lights except for her gorgeous smiling face, which was ideal. Also, my beautiful family and friends were there in the audience. Thank you all so much for coming! <3

Also, the night was made even better by the fact that I was part of a dream line up of queer dreamboats: Yen EriksenCharles O’GradyTara SuambaMarisa WikramanayakeGeraldine Hickey and Maeve Marsden.

You can listen to my story and all the others on the Queerstories podcast; make sure you subscribe and listen to the other amazing stories.

Presenting at #OAWeek

I was invited to present on a panel at La Trobe University’s Open Access Week by La Trobe University Library’s Senior Learning Advisor Clare O’Hanlon. If you want to know more about Open Access, and some of the issues associated with equity in higher education and research, Clare wrote a wonderful post that I highly recommend reading.

I spoke about Open Access in relation to the three main disciplines I work and research in: education, sexual health, and writing/journalism. I discussed how access to research can impact on various populations, including the most marginalised, and what editors and ‘gatekeepers’ of knowledge could do differently to ensure research reaches its intended audience.

I really enjoyed having the opportunity to get down and nerdy with other academics, researchers and librarians on this year’s theme, Designing Equitable Foundations for Open Knowledge. It was great to talk to Lauren Gawne and Paul Kelly about our research and thoughts on possible future directions for Open Access.

I am looking forward to seeing what discussions and research emerges in response to these events!

Finalist for the LGBTI Awards

I am really honoured to be a finalist in the artist category for the Australian LGBTI Awards 2019. Voting has opened for the awards, and I’d really appreciate it if you would register and vote for me.

The Awards will take place at The Star Event Centre on Friday 1 March 2019.

Thank you so much to those who nominated me and to everyone who votes for me!

Gold Laurel that says "Australian LGBTI Awards Finalist"

Book launch excitement

‘Living and Loving in Diversity’ was launched this Friday at the Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council’s national conference. It is an honour to be part of a book that contains writing from so many amazing queer writers. I read an excerpt of my piece, ‘My Helmet’, at the launch, and had the opportunity to sign books for the first time in my life. It was very thrilling!

You can buy the book through Hares and Hyenas, Fitzroy, and directly through the publisher, Wakefield Press.