Queer safety or queer joy?

This article is based on research conducted in the summer of 2021 as part of my undergraduate Geography dissertation. I would like to thank all those who volunteered their time…

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Conversations on Disability with Jennie Carmichael

Speaking to Jennie was electric and although she is only in her early twenties, her story demands to be written about. She is an academic, passionate woman who campaigns against ableism on her social media platforms – and I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I loved speaking to her.

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Conversation with Ellie Williamson

Perhaps it was knowing her mother was living a full life at an older age or just because Ellie has honey-tones in her voice – either way this interview is brimming with positivity and may shift your own perception of MS. 

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Conversations on Disability

Looking back now, it was steeped in a strange loneliness because although my phone was buzzing with messages of love and care – I was alone. But MS is not unique, in fact around 1 in 500 have MS and there are approximately 7000 new
diagnosis each year in the UK .

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Women’s Fashion in the Work Place and How it dictates sexist stereotypes

When I asked my friends the question ‘what should someone wear to work’ the resounding response – after the initial grunt of confusion – was simply their ‘uniform’. But if I dared to press them more, asking specifically what a woman should wear to work, their faces couldn’t disguise the conversation’s trajectory towards the controversial.

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Queer Dating Stories

It’s Pride month! In addition to the over-commercialisation of Pride by brands and companies, it’s also a time of reflection for the queer community on our experiences and what being queer means to each of us. 

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What’s the point of sexual fantasies?

For many, their sexual fantasies are a source of shame, a well-kept secret or even a source of anxiety. For others, sexual fantasies are no different from the sex they are already having. The transition from one to another requires much unlearning of sexual norms, personal growth, and open communication with sexual partners. Although challenging, it allows us to expand our understanding of sexual pleasure and explore our sexuality both within and outside of relationships…

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Talking anxiety with Nin-ja

Most alt-R&B tracks are centred around more or less the same thing – love. Love in all its agony, love in all its euphoria. But Nin-ja wants to dig deeper than that. The singer-songwriter’s just released her new single Lockjaw where she sings candidly about her struggles with anxiety. Nin-ja’s been in the music game for about four years now, but after taking a brief hiatus, she’s back with a new single and more honest than ever. 

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Awards Shows are for the Boys

For the majority of the 2000s and the decades before them, awards shows have been a cultural concept distinctly owned by the feminine. The prestige of the Academies, the swelling of romantic music after every award, and of course, the unparalleled glitz and glamour of the evening’s most decadent stars. Remember the running joke of the Oscars being the “female Superbowl.” Imagine groups of housewives prepping parties and organising bets on who would be wearing Chanel while their husbands stand stiffly in the kitchen over beers. Joan Rivers in gold, poking at the ribs of underaged starlets as camera click and waves of taffeta turned to fodder for tabloids…

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Reclaiming the Dildo

Dildos have a long and controversial history, and have existed for much longer than many of us think. Despite this, they continue to be a taboo topic of conversation. However, dildos can also bring a lot of joy, freedom, and liberation to those who use them. To write this article, I collected responses from a variety of individuals with different gender and sexual identities, and different opinions on dildos. In doing this, I wanted to explore the contested opinions and complex emotions that many have about dildos…

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Art Under Fire: Ukrainian Cultural Institutions 

I have a friend who is currently working in Kiev. He asked me not to share his name, to protect his safety and identity. He was originally on his semester abroad, but since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, he has been working in a local art gallery and cultural museum with his fellow classmates…

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You almost ruined my favourite song 

You almost ruined my favourite song 

I listened to the Wombats today
Only to be taken back 
To the dimly lit parking lot behind your flat in Cowgate
Pushing me against the wall and whispering into my ear 
You say I am the best thing that you’ve ever seen 
My bare back digging into the wall but 
I could have stayed there forever 
My very own New Jerusalem

The chorus of the song I sing to day and night 
echoes from inside 
So do cheers of people playing beer pong 
They awaken us from our trance 
There’s nowhere to hide 
1,2,3, time to dance

When we enter everyone takes out their flashlights pointing them at us 
My head is in the clouds and my Converse in the gravel of the parking lot
You on the contrary 

are on one knee 

can hear my heart breaking 

is cheering
This is all that I used to want 
And now all I can think of is
You just ruined my favourite song

The greek tragedy of all of this is 
You thought you were buying tickets 
To see a romantic comedy 
But I turned out to be your Antigone

Flash-forward and I’m walking through the all too familiar streets
As a prisoner sentenced to live my life 
On the land from which you’ve been exiled 
The smell of smoke 
From when we burned with bad intentions 
Still fills my nose 

On days like these
I write you endless poems you will 
never see

My headphones blasting that one song by the Wombats 
On repeat 
On repeat 
On repeat 

If you ever see this 
Please let me know
When you hear that song 
Do you still sing along? 


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The Curator

The Curator

The scene has been set: museum opening,
The artist: Chinese, come to London last spring,
The decor’s exquisite, all gold and Art Deco,
Trays of canapés, tall-stemmed flutes of Prosecco,
At the room’s centre, she’s not hard to spy
With her red ruby mouth and her bright topaz eye
Head thrown back and laughing, with her hand at her neck, 
Hair a tight bob, hands with gold rings bedecked
In a fur coat and brocade (all vintage – all thrift)
Wrists jangle with bangles (Tracy Emin’s – a gift)
She’ll glide through a room like she’s riding a breeze,
Kiss and cry “My, I’ve not seen you since Frieze!”
She’ll hug and address you with “darling” and “dear”,
But don’t flatter yourself: she knows everyone here. 

She’s up at Tate or she’s down at the Met,
At Cornelia Parker’s, smoking french cigarettes,
Or out in South London, where that new Dutch film’s showing, 
Or a night out in Hackney – if Grayson Perry is going. 
Hostesses and hosts supplicate at her feet,
Beg her presence at this show or that meet-and-greet,
With her social grace, though, this isn’t so shocking,
Her sparkling wit keeps enchanted mobs flocking. 
She’ll check the black book where her diary’s kept, 
Ignore it, smile archly, then warmly accept. 

A crowd is a challenge, but she fears not the test:
For these are her people; this is what she does best.

By Levi J. Richards (he/they)
Instagram: @levijrichards and @doorajarcomics

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Glitter makes us blind: A critique of Euphoria

The idea of a child has always been available for corruption. It’s not a fact we like to talk about, but it’s something we’re all aware of. Nabokov’s Lolita, Jodi Foster’s precocious Iris, Youtube compilations of under-aged girls dancing, curated faithfully by anonymous men…

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Dispelling the myth of the ‘indulgent’ orgasm

Despite the leaps made in popular representations of the female orgasm, the orgasm gap is very much still present for many straight women. Why is it that the myth of female sexuality as deviant, excessive, and indulgent still impacts our sexual experiences?

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a game to play when you can’t find the strength to shower

when you’re feeling down

and don’t know how to take care

of yourself, go to where they sell plants.

quiet your heart. let the smell

of their freshness fill you.

reach out and touch their leaves.

one will find you.

don’t force it to, just

let it commune with the hurt inside you.

take it home. find it a spot in the sun.

water it, feed it, nurture it, let it grow.

let it take care of you as much as you

take care of it.

by august (in the wake of) dawn

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Can you walk down the street without being aware of your body? Simple question. And I don’t mean the physicality of walking. I mean feeling reduced solely to a body. If you can, you are, most likely, a man. A woman only has to walk down the street braless, or wearing something mildly short or low-cut, to be instantly reduced to a body. To flesh to be ogled by whoever feels so inclined. This may sound like an exaggeration, but, trust me, it is not. Every single time I leave the house wearing clothes that I feel comfortable in, I am leered at (or worse) by at least one man. Actually, whatever we are wearing, we are still not left alone. I’ve been harassed wearing ‘going out clothes’, but just as often I’ve been wearing dungarees. It is about the men, not the clothes, and pretending we can change our clothes to reduce harassment gives a false sense of control over our safety.

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