My night out at Queerstories

Last night was incredibly exciting for me (and not just because it was Halloween). I told a story at Queerstories, which is one of my favourite events in the LGBTIQA+ community.

My story was titled ‘Problematic Faves’. I spoke 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 will be able to listen to my story and all the others on the Queerstories podcast soon! Make sure you subscribe and listen to the other amazing stories.

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.

Improving healthcare experiences for LGBTIQA+ people

I was recently involved in the North West Melbourne Primary Health Network’s video about LGBTIQA+ people’s experiences with accessing healthcare.

We were asked questions about our experiences and issues with health practitioners, how they made us feel, and what we would say to providers about providing healthcare to LGBTQIA+ people.

LGBTIQ+ People Talk About Their Experiences Accessing Health Care

Is your GP practice LGBTIQ+ friendly? “My message to healthcare providers: take the time to learn about and become comfortable around issues with sexual diversity and gender diversity.” Healthcare professionals are encouraged to complete the Trans GP Module here: https://nwmphn.org.au/health-systems-capacity-building/trans-gp-module/

Posted by North Western Melbourne PHN on Thursday, July 26, 2018

 

The North West Melbourne Primary Health Network have also produced a Trans GP Module, which aims to promote more inclusive and responsive services for general practitioners, practice nurses and medical students for their work with trans, gender diverse, and non-binary (TGDNB) patients in primary health care settings. I’m so glad this has been created! I have had multiple practitioners ask me questions about the LGBTIQA+ community, the terminology we use, and associated issues, since they just don’t know enough.

I feel so excited about these resources and glad I could be a part of this, especially since I have had so many bad experiences with healthcare in the past. Health practitioners need to be informed about issues and terminology that are specific to LGBTIQA+ and TGDNB patients so that they can be respectful and ensure we have positive experiences.

Interview with Mary Lambert

I had the weirdest and most amazing experience this week. I happened to contact Mary Lamberts 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. 

 

Upcoming conferences

I’ll be presenting my research about using life writing with queer young people at the Youth, Health and Practical Justice Conference on Sunday 4th December in Sydney. The conference is organised by the UNSW Practical Justice Initiative and the UTS Faculty of Health. It is the first national interdisciplinary conference for those working to promote young people’s wellbeing and health.

In addition to presenting my research, I will be co-presenting an academic poster with my lovely wife, Rachel Chapman. She is doing important research on educators’ understanding of gender in early childhood education and how this impacts on young children. For those of you based in Melbourne, she will be presenting at the ‘Beyond the Culture Wars’ LGBTIQ History Conference in Melbourne (25-26 November 2016). I went to their conference in Adelaide last year, and I highly recommend it!