What do we mean when we use the terms queer and bisexual, and what does “plus” mean in LGBTQIA+?
Drumm asked the three about their identity and why it matters.
defying gender norms and social expectations
Kathleen Ebbs is being courted by big brands eager to be a part of their queer campaign strategy – and just as they’re prepping for interviews, another package of promotional merchandise arrives at them. I arrived at the door of
The 25-year-old is a queer artist, writer, actor and content creator from Sydney. Some describe them as influencers.
But Kathleen is conscious of who they stand for and the allure of the “pink dollar.”
Kathleen knew they were gay from an early age, but “came out” four years ago.
Being around other queer people “from every other letter in the alphabet,” Kathleen began to understand more about their identities.
“I think I was trapped in my body for a long time,” they said.
“Finally, when I accepted who I was and took steps to be part of a community and be myself, I started questioning everything.”
On the LGBTQIA+ spectrum, Kathleen identifies the L and “plus” for lesbian as “genderqueer people.”
“I think my sexuality and gender have evolved since coming out by joining the community, meeting people and learning,” they told The Drum.
Kathleen said she has unconscious biases about her community and what is considered “normal.”
“I had a lot of work to do.”
Kathleen embraces the term “queer” and describes it as an umbrella term that describes the vast nature of sexuality and gender.
“For me, it means sitting outside the norms of gender and society, and expectations of what it means to be human.
“I’m sitting nowhere and nowhere.”
Kathleen uses gender-neutral pronouns they/them and she/her pronouns, the order of which is “intentional”.
They prefer to use they/them pronouns.
“There are days when I wake up in the morning and I feel one way about my gender, and other days I see it in another way. said Kathleen.
Kathleen identifies as non-binary and goes back and forth maintaining her/her pronouns.
“I think the reason I leave them there is the honor of where I came from,” Kathleen said.
“I think we were radically gay.”
Frank Hancock lives a quiet life in the river regions of northern New South Wales, working on large-scale ink artworks.
The 69-year-old uses natural elements like water and branches to turn paper into what he describes as Rorschach-test-like ink blotches.
Frank’s life now is a world apart from the one he lived in in the 1960s and 1970s.
He was one of the 78ers, a group of queer activists who marched in a protest parade down Oxford Street in Sydney in 1978.
“As gay people, we were very angry with the laws at the time because it was illegal for us to exist. There were laws against us,” Fran told Drum.
“We could be caught and sent to prison, and at one stage even sent to psychosurgery.”
Frank told Drumm that the 1978 event was meant to be a “great” party of solidarity on the streets, but it turned into a clash with a pushy police officer.
He said the LGBTQIA+ community has evolved since then.
“Some of us have identified as queer,” he said.
“We weren’t gay, we weren’t gay – I think we were radical gay. did not.
“It seems like every decade we wear a new outfit. Now that homosexuality is legalized, new LGBTQI groups are finding their own identities.”
Contrary to stereotypes, labels make me feel uncomfortable
Poet and novelist Omar Sakr is a self-identified bisexual, Lebanese, Turkish and Muslim Australian.
“I feel uncomfortable with labels. They rarely fit me perfectly,” Omar told Drum.
Omar is married to a woman named Hannah Donnelly, whom he loves more than “he knew he could love someone.”
Omar defies bisexual stereotypes.
“It’s usually like, ‘You’re just confused,’ ‘This is just a phase,’ ‘You’re actually secretly gay,’ or ‘You’re actually secretly heterosexual.’ Thing.
Part of the reason he continues to use the term “bisexual” is to prove a point, especially when people question his sexuality because he is married to a woman.
“It’s a very reductive way of looking at a person’s life, defining life by who you’re with rather than by the full range of your desires and abilities.
Omar admitted that he has “privileges” that stem from the “seemingly heteronormative” nature of his marriage to Hannah, especially to his more conservative family.
“They can dismiss it because they happen to fall in love with a woman,” Omar said.
“They say, ‘Maybe it was an accident that I slept with a man.’ It wasn’t, and it wasn’t.”
Omar said his community also has “a long way to go” when it comes to understanding and embracing queer identities and gender fluidity.
Another book of poetry is due out soon, and Omar said he used poetry to understand himself and his place in the world.
“More and more, I identify as queer,” he said.
“I feel more comfortable with the term because it has no clear definition, is fluid and allows for change.”
Read more about Sydney World Pride and Pride across Australia at our event website.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-03-04/what-does-it-mean-to-be-under-the-lgbtqia-umbrella/102022134 What does it mean to be under the LGBTQIA+ umbrella?