An Investigation into Autism and Sexuality

Dating etiquette is largely unwritten, and for someone with autism, unwritten rules can be confusing and overwhelming… Romantic relationships are hard enough to navigate when one is fluent in the language of love. Imagine how hard they are when one’s not a native speaker.

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A Pride of Lionesses: the Queer Culture of Women’s Football

“She’s out.” My friend whispered, as we watched the Lionesses run onto the pitch. “So’s she. She used to date one of her teammates.” This commentary preceded the Lionesses’ stunning 4-0 semi-final victory over Sweden, which we watched at my local sports pub. My friends and I had been invited to join the table of two women, who we had met at the previous England game. We’d bonded with the couple over not just our love of the Lionesses (after all, half of our group had been loudly cheering for Spain) but through a tacit acknowledgement of our shared queer identities…

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The Clitbait guide to turning discourse into action 

A frequent critique of our generation is that we’re all talk and no action. All about aesthetics, never about tangible change. We are told that we are lazy; we participate in politics that isn’t considered meaningful – we participate solely in ‘slacktivism’.

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“Do you enjoy what you do?”: George Michael, Beyoncé, and the Right to Rest

“The right to rest”, or resting as somehow radical, political, or subversive, are thoughts that I’ve been mulling over since January of this year. In my mind, January is a particularly fraught moment when it comes to rest, leisure, and relaxation. Conventional wisdom dictates that the new year is the time for setting goals and dreaming of future productivity — I’ll exercise more, I’ll finally write that article — but, in reality, lots of us are still hungover and languishing in the post-Christmas lull…

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COMING HOME

Despite the murky comments sections, snide remarks, relentless sexism, and dated denial, the Lionesses have done it. They have brought football home.

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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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On a Date with Neurodiversity

“The more I read, learn and experience from the other side of my diagnosis, the more I realise that a lot of the complex emotions I feel around dating are very understandable.”

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GOOD NEWS: A Win for Wild Places

Welcome to the first Good News instalment. Each month we will bring you some happier and
lighter news in relation to climate change and wild places. We are often shrouded with bleak
stories about the climate crisis, and in turn, this can create a negative space in our heads.
By also including some good news in your lives, we can instead choose to reclaim a sense
of hope and belonging…

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Soil isn’t Brown, it’s Green.

When you think of ecosystems, what comes to mind? Rainforests, coral reefs, thick woods full of life. What about the stuff beneath your feet? For too long we have dismissed what lies below as mere dirt and dead matter-this unknown and untapped universe is on the brink of extinction.

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Harnessing the Green-Eyed Monsters

It’s clear that politics and emotions are inseparable across the political spectrum. How could they not be? After all, when we vote, we’re voting based on which candidates and policies best bolster our hopes, assuage our fears, and share our anger. After each election, we see the same images time and again: overtired candidates and campaigners, crowded in some church-hall-turned-polling-station, moved to both elation and tears. It’s just the colour of the rosettes that changes between the photos…

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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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‘Darling, I have no dream job, I do not dream of labour’

James Baldwin, discussing the mythology of the American Dream, spoke the words ‘I have no dream job, I do not dream of labour’. Decades later, these words are a popular TikTok soundbite comically backing memes and skits poking fun at work for our generation. Though comic, this satire is evidence of a larger sentiment surrounding work and labour for Gen Z, particularly the disillusionment many feel with the precarious prospects available to us…

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Dreams and Nightmares in Audrey Diwan’s Happening

The night after we watched L’événement (Happening), a 2021 French drama currently receiving a British release, two of my friends had dreams about being pregnant. This, I think, is the greatest testament to the power of Audrey Diwan’s direction and Anamaria Vartolomei’s leading performance: we began dissecting the film the second the cinema lights lifted; carried on for the whole walk home; through three rounds in the pub; and still we couldn’t get the story out of our heads…

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Luna

Luna

My mother used to live on the moon. 
She orbited my planet and controlled my weather. 
She smiled in my sunshine, and soothed my monsoons
Until they were drizzle on my cheeks.
During the days she turned to smoke,
But like the tides she always came back. 
She pleated my hair and spoke 
Of faraway lands before bedtime. 

She was forever leaving gifts on my doorstep, 
And remembering my favourite colour. 
She listened to my stories, and she spent
Her time on me, despite the distance.
My small arms reach out into the night and it seems 
As though I could clutch that white speck in my palms.
My spaceman mother, a woman of dreams. 

Robyn Barclay (she/her)

Instagram: @rxbynelena 

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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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Transfeminine masculinities – structural [trans]misogyny

I feel that the label ‘transmisogyny’ is a bit opaque. It often describes many of the moments where transfemme people are understood and treated as ‘biologically male’ by one means or another; an intersection between misogyny and transphobia. I want to talk through a little of what’s going on in the different moments and processes that make up these interactions and situations of transphobia, to give an insight into my world of masculinities. Within the bounds of transmisogyny, there is no room for me to explore my gender nonconformity; no room for my experimentation with pronouns, presentation, or personality; no room for any subversive tendencies without or beyond the original sin of my transfemininity. There isn’t a lot of room in people’s consciousness for masculinity from transfems. It’s hard for us to embody our masculinities as non-men without the people around us eroding, invalidating, and redefining us.

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