I marked the day in my adolescent diary with a single blank page.
The mantle of “queer migrant” compelled me to keep going – to go further.
I never “came out” to my parents. I felt I owed them no explanation.
All I heard from the pulpit were grim hints.
I became acutely aware of the parts of myself that were unpalatable to queers who grew up in the city.
I was thirty-eight and figured it was time to come out to her.
That’s when I know it’s not going anywhere – the gay.
I felt like I had been dunked into an episode of The L Word and I wasn’t given the script.
No amount of YouTube videos and queer think pieces prepared me for this moment.
My queerness was born in a hot dry land that was never ceded.
I finally admitted what my feelings for Dirty Dancing–era Patrick Swayze had clearly been indicating for some time.
Even now, I sometimes think that I don’t know my own desire.
Compiled by celebrated author and journalist Benjamin Law, Growing Up Queer in Australia assembles voices from across the spectrum of LGBTIQA+ identity. Spanning diverse places, eras, genders, ethnicities and experiences, these are the stories of growing up queer in Australia.
For better or worse, sooner or later, life conspires to reveal you to yourself, and this is growing up.
With contributions from David Marr, Fiona Wright, Nayuka Gorrie, Steve Dow, Holly Throsby, Sally Rugg, Tony Ayres, Nic Holas, Rebecca Shaw, Kerryn Phelps and many more.