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Support my work on Patreon

If you appreciated the Ballarat queer history display and tour, you’ll be pleased to know I’m doing more work on this subject! I’ve got a few things in the works, ranging from a blog post about how to do colonial-era queer history research in Trove, to digging deeper into Chinese-Australian queer history during the Gold…

permaculture garden

How I adjusted to the “new normal” a decade ago

I haven’t written much — not even working on my interminable drafts of articles that are piling up — since the pandemic kicked off. Not because I don’t have much to say, but because priorities have changed so much, and all my pandemic-related thoughts are things that I’ve been talking about for ages, and I…

artichoke linocut in green ink on white paper, by alex bayley

Artichoke linocut

I made a thing the other day (then fucked it up experimenting with backgrounds.) Something something ephemerality, I guess.

a rumpled bed with a visible foot, after a hookup

Book review: “The Art of the Hook-up”

When I heard about Georgie Wolf’s “The Art of the Hook-up: Your Ethical Guide to a Successful Sex Life” and requested a review copy, I was thinking, “Yes! Maybe my confused trans ass can finally get up the nerve to try Grindr!” This is not that book, or not for me, anyway. This book is…

phrenology model

Annotated bibliographies of the insides of our collective heads

About two weeks ago I invited people to post about the books they can’t shut up about, aka an annotated bibliography of the inside of their heads. This is the roundup post linking to the blogs of everyone who participated. Edward Shaddow’s head is full of sci fi and ethical non-monogamy. Beth Winegarner recommends books…

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Things I want to get rid of

Dahon 7 speed folding bike, in reasonable working order. Purchased with dreams of vacations by V-Line coach, never used for said purpose. Two lawnmowers, somewhat functional though noisy and stink-belching. I’ll always appreciate the kindness of the people who gave them to me. A king-sized sheet, blue cotton, purchased in mistake for a double-sized one,…

foucault bondage

I Told My Mentor I Was a Dominatrix

The academic sex worker illuminates the insidious class tension of academia. Look at me, whip in one hand, Foucault in the other.

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Google, democracy and the truth about internet search

I’m pretty sure I read this article in 2016 when it first came out, but I’m reading it again now with the eyes of someone thinking hard about why and how progressives should extract themselves from social media. I’m realising that search engine optimisation – fighting back against the forces that seed Google with horrifying…

antique books

Books I Can’t Shut Up About

I’m running a little blog carnival titled, “An Annotated Bibliography of the Inside of My Head,” and the following is my contribution: the books I can’t stop thinking about, won’t shut up about, and keep pressing on my friends to get them to read. If you’d like to join the blog carnival, you can post…

phrenology model

An Annotated Bibliography of the Inside of My Head

Join us for a one-off blog carnival about the books you can’t stop thinking about, won’t shut up about, and wish everyone around you would read.

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World AIDS Day Reading: “An Open Letter to the Person Who Gave Me HIV”

If I didn’t get HIV, if I hadn’t taken the step to ask you to get tested, that this could have been a very different story. A story of hospitals and death. This is how the silence brings harm.

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Queer sex ed and queer history – come see my stuff at Frolic Festival!

Just a quick note that I’m doing two things at this year’s Frolic Festival (Ballarat’s annual LGBTIQ+ arts and culture festival). Queer sex ed First of all, “Let’s Talk About (Queer) Sex” is a panel discussion and Q&A featuring sex educators from around the central Victorian goldfields, talking about queer sex, sex education, and all…

ballarat queer cooperative

I’m stepping back from Ballarat queer and trans community work

For many decades I’ve volunteered my time and skills working in the open source software, kink, fandom, tech feminist and sustainability communities. In all those endeavours, I have stood by the principles of openness, inclusivity, information sharing, and grassroots direct action (also known, at least in software development circles, as “Just F*cking Do It” or…

chinese on the gold fields

The story of Ah Chew, convicted and flogged for attempted sodomy

Ah Chew (alias Ah Munn) was tried and convicted for attempted sodomy in Ballarat in 1871. His judicial flogging was the first ever performed at Ballarat Gaol, and was closely reported in the Ballarat press.

diverse stock photography

New Resource: Diverse Stock Photography

Just a quick note that I’ve recently added a new page to the “resources” area on my site: Diverse and Inclusive Stock Photography – a categorised, sortable list of sources of images including people of colour, queer and trans, disability, and body diversity. I’ve also listed licensing terms and other handy information. (The Ballarat transgender…

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Review: “Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language”

I don’t know what I expected from “Because Internet,” but the thing that delighted and surprised me most was the language used in the book itself. It’s written in Internet language, in a way that feels comforting and familiar to me, like a knowledgeable Tumblr post that makes you mash the repost button two nanoseconds after reading it.

ballarat queer cooperative

Ballarat Queer Cooperative: What’s a Cooperative?

A week or so back, we started to put the word out about our plan to create a Ballarat Queer Cooperative (that’s the working name, for now). This is the event announcement: We are a group of queer/LGBT+/etc people from the Ballarat region who are coming together to build a stronger community. On Sunday 11th…

melbourne housing

101 Notes on the LA Tenants Union

1. First of all, there is no housing crisis. 2. Housing is not in crisis. 3. Housing needs no trauma counselors. 4. Housing needs no lawyers. Housing needs no comrades or friends. Housing needs no representatives. Housing needs no organizers. 5. When we call this crisis a housing crisis, it benefits the people who design…

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A highly opinionated taxonomy of librarianship

To think radically is to get to the root (radix) of something. Six years ago Erin Jonaitis made a proposal on Twitter that I still think about regularly: “If knowledge is power, then a key part of professional ethics for info professionals should be: Who are you empowering?” In some ways, it’s the only question in librarianship…

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Against realism

Dystopia does not require much imagination; as I have said elsewhere, it already has a postcode. It is Nauru, Manus Island and Don Dale. It is deaths in custody. It is the NT Intervention. It is family violence, defunded shelters, no escape. It is punitive welfare systems and robo-debt (all debt). It is feudalism in…

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Beyond Buggery

Beyond Buggery: Digging Up Stories of Sex Between Men on the Victorian Goldfields. An exploration of the language used for queer acts in colonial era newspapers, including many stories from the Victorian gold rush era.