After Priscilla

Type
Reflection
Category
Culture
LGBTQI

Darl. My boyfriend says ‘darl’ a lot. He’s older than me. In his 40s. Twice my age, in fact. He jokes about us getting married and he flutters his eyelids and I say by the time this vote is over, you’ll probably be dead, and I accept his proposal. To him, Priscilla acts as a marker for how his life, and the lives of the queer people around him, changed. His life can be divided neatly into periods of ‘before Priscilla’ and ‘after Priscilla’.

Priscilla crop
hop
Type
Article
Category
Immigration
Writing

Another normal

The Vietnamese have an epithet for people like me: Việt Kiều, for a Vietnamese person who lives overseas. It can be used derisively, ironically, or endearingly. I first heard it from my aunt, who found it enormously funny, on a trip back to Vietnam in 1996. At the time I thought I was returning home, a chance to complete the broken loop of myself, but this label made it clear it wasn’t going to happen there either.

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Type
Article
Category
Aotearoa / New Zealand
Politics

New Zealand has a new government – where to now?

These unusual circumstances reflect the difficulty our political system still has in adjusting to mixed proportional representation – a difficulty echoed by today’s Australian headline ‘NZ shock: losers take power’. We are a full 21 years and eight elections into the current constitutional arrangements, but the thought that the party with the second highest vote might be better placed to form the government still baffles some.

Holmes and Watson
Type
Article
Category
LGBTQI
Reading

Heteronormativity, my dear Watson!

An undeniable joy in reading the Sherlock Holmes stories of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is the sheer number of times that Watson ejaculates at Holmes, including the most perfect five-word erotic story ever written, found in the pages of The Resident Patient: ‘“My dear Holmes!” I ejaculated.’

poli
Type
Article
Category
Education
War

Braver teachers

Context is everything, and schools are emblematic of the communities they exist in. They are each nested within broader circles of complexity. I was trained in Australia and I work in England. Each school I have worked in has been wildly different, but I never went to school to resist oppression. I never taught in an act to resist it either. My context is one of good fortune.

bed
Type
Article
Category
Death
Illness
The law

Euthanasia is in the House

It is not uncommon for dying people who are suffering badly to refuse food and fluids while they are still able to eat and drink, in order to hasten death. Some terminally ill people make the trip to an overseas jurisdiction while they are still well enough to fly and take a drink, meaning that they usually die significantly sooner than they would wish to, still in functioning health. Others choose to kill themselves while they still have the physical capacity, currently at a rate of more than one a week in Australia.

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Type
Article
Category
History
LGBTQI

‘I am your loving boy-wife’: a short history of queer letter writing

My darling pretty boy, I do love you so much & miss you every minute; as long as you were in England I didn’t mind so much not being with you, but now that you have gone right away, I miss you all day & all night. I really love you far more than any other boy in the world, & shall always be your loving boy-wife, or your ‘little bitch’ if you prefer it.

rainbow
Type
Article
Category
Equal marriage
The university

Not cool, UTas

The University of Tasmania (UTas) has repeatedly claimed to hold a position of neutrality in the Marriage Equality debate by way of advocating for ‘freedom of expression.’ But its actions in the past two months have undermined its claims to neutrality in this debate. It has undermined the value of freedom of expression for all, it has implicitly endorsed the ‘no’ campaign, and it has ignored the marginalised position of people and students in the LGBTIQ community.

Koh lunch
Type
Article
Category
Reading
Writing

Lunch with Julie Koh

Koh’s impending wedding to celebrity dentist Taylor Amberson was the talk of this year’s Emerging Writers’ Festival in Melbourne. Despite being one of Australia’s most-lauded up-and-coming authors, Koh announced at the festival that she was giving up writing to become a lady who lunches.

nazis
Type
Article
Category
Activism
Far right

Morons and oxymorons of Unite the Right

Before the rally, the hate-group monitoring Southern Poverty Law Centre reported infighting amongst rally organisers, including members of one right-wing group who accused their leader of adultery in an attempt to undercut his authority. At a prior rally in Houston, Texas, a video showed a heated interaction between right-wing groups. It showed white supremacists attack an alt-right member who pleaded with his aggressors for common ground, ‘What about the memes?!’

The Remarkables
Type
Article
Category
Aotearoa / New Zealand

Remarkable exploitation: backpackers & housing crises

Queenstown’s economy and population have been exploding for years. Houses outside of the centre are being built quickly in an attempt to meet the demands of this growing population. Even with this construction boom, real estate prices have skyrocketed over the past few years. The roughly 35,000-person town is on pace to be the most expensive place to live in the entire country – if it’s not already. That’s even more expensive than Auckland, New Zealand’s global metropolis, or Wellington, the nation’s capital.

The_New_Animals crop
Type
Review
Category
Reading

October in fiction

There is much to like in this retelling. Medea, a figure who enacts vengeance on her husband, comes to life on the page as a woman struggling not just to voice herself, but to have any agency at all. We meet her on the deck of the Argo, as she tears parts off the brother she has just murdered, scattering them into the sea. This aspect of the book dances right on the line between justified and gratuitous violence. But despite the rugged brutality, it is Vann’s language that is the true innovation.