bushfires cut off mallacoota for weeks

Resilient communications in a time of crisis

Back in January, everyone watched as the residents and tourists at Mallacoota, on Victoria’s far east coast, were forced down to the beach under blood-red skies to escape bushfires that had surrounded the town. Over the next few days, many were evacuated by naval vessels. Those who stayed were cut off for weeks. The roads…

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…

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,…

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.

queer sex ed banner image - peach

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…

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…

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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.

newspaper - alex bayley in the media

How can we lower Ballarat’s suicide toll?

Content note: suicide. There’s a Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System going on at present. Yesterday, I spoke to the Ballarat Courier about statistics that show high rates of suicide in Ballarat, especially among men. Ballarat’s Alex Bayley, who identifies as non-binary, also believes that communication could be an issue, saying: “When I see…

map of new south wales, 1871

“The Gay Lothario of Wagga Wagga”

I was following a trail from an alleged diamond thief caught promenading in drag around Melbourne’s Exhibition Building, to a well-known gang of queer larrikins in Sydney, when somehow I wound up in Wagga Wagga. This story seemed too good not to share, so here’s an article from the Toowoomba Chronicle and Queensland Advertiser, circa 1871.

newspaper - alex bayley in the media

Disgusting, degrading and hateful: we need to stop the online abuse

Content note: transphobic abuse Today the Courier posted a followup editorial, after the article in which I spoke about transgender rights received hateful comments on the newspaper’s Facebook page. Mx Bayley had spoken with The Courier about the proposed changes to the way the gender diverse, transgender and intersex community in Victoria may soon be able to…

alex bayley - transgender advocate - standing against a fence wearing a rainbow scarf

‘The more legal recognition we get, the safer we are’: proposed changes welcomed by gender diverse community

‘The more legal recognition we get, the safer we are’: proposed changes welcomed by gender diverse community Gender diverse, trans and intersex Victorians who wish to alter the sex listed on their birth certificates will soon be able to do so without surgery, if the state government votes in favour of amending an out-of-date legal…

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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…

two diggers reading a newspaper. sketch by S. T. Gill.

Ballarat’s queer history: two recent projects

Two queer history projects presented as part of Ballarat Heritage weekend: a visual display on the theme of “We Have Always Been Here”, and a walking tour around central Ballarat covering the town’s queer past during the gold rush era.

research tools and resources for independent scholars

Autodidacts Anonymous

My name is Alex, and I’m an autodidact. (“Hi, Alex!”) I spent the summer break setting goals for my side-project(s), as I think of this work I’m doing: the writing, the educating, the community building, and whatever comes along with it. It turns out that if you want to write the sort of things I…

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Here I am.

The only thing more boring than blogging about how you haven’t blogged lately is blogging about how boring it is. And yet here I am. I’ve had a rough few years. Very rough. Finally, in the back half of 2018, it started to turn around. Without the oppressive weight of anxiety and depression I managed…