Real Life

The life in India Latika Bourke might have had

Returning to the orphanage in Bihar.

LATIKA BOURKE 12:00am Journalist Latika Bourke writes about the teenage Indian mother she never knew.

Life as a transgender woman in Sydney

Kate Doak A few months ago, a shiver went down my spine. It was a feeling that, as a young transgender woman, I never thought I'd experience again.

The perils of being critical while female

Tina Fey

NATALIE REILLY It seems to me that all a girl has to do is call shit out and look plain doing it to be considered hateful.

Real life

What life is like when you are allergic to everything

I was a

Diane Thomas I was a "universal reactor" – allergic or sensitive to everything on earth except porcelain, glass and steel.

Making my daughter's outfit: expectations vs reality

GW.  Portrait Dinkus of Amanda Hooton Good Weekend Writer. Photographed at Sun Studios.  Pic by Nic Walker.  Date 22nd November 2014.

Amanda Hooton "The inside of the dress seemed to be ominously scratchy. And scratchiness to a child is sartorial death."

Grammar jerks who find imperfect English hilarious

cr: James Brickwood
Benjamin Law, columnist photo for Good Weekend

BENJAMIN LAW I don't have time for people who snicker at bad English while getting tattoos in foreign languages they can't even read.

Starting over

What it's like to start your life over and over again

Cathryn Hein in the snow in Lyon.

Cathryn Hein Starting your life from scratch means losing a lot. But you can also lead to profound gains in unanticipated ways.

In praise of women only spaces

The magic of female friendships depicted in the film Frances Ha.

CLEMENTINE FORD I like the company of women. Given a choice, I probably value it more than the company of men.

Cerebral Palsy

Taking care of my sister wasn't a burden


Kellie C. Murphy "We didn't need you to feel sorry for us. We never pitied her, and we never pitied ourselves."

I didn't 'always know' I was gay

JOEL MEARES Everyone’s journey out of the closet is different, and it’s important to hear – and welcome – all of them.

The five words most people dread hearing from friends

Fossicking for problems in other people's lives isn't friendship.

KASEY EDWARDS It’s arrogant to assume you know a friend better than they know themselves, so leave the therapy to the experts.

Domestic violence

Teaching men respect is the only way to prevent violence against women

The reality is there is nowhere for women and girls to be safe.

Nelly Thomas All credible researchers and qualified health professionals will tell you that the so-called "personal safety" strategy we force down the throats of young women is irrational nonsense.

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Street harassment is one of the "most pervasive forms of sexualised violence"

<i>Illustration: Michael Mucci</i>

JUDITH IRELAND It's one of the most pervasive forms of sexualised violence so why isn't street harassment taken more seriously, asks Judith Ireland.


Asperger's Syndrome

Asperger's isn't just a 'male condition'

Women are often better able to adapt and mimic social cues - but it's exhausting trying to play a game when you don't know the rules.

Kay Kerr "I'm not a Zooey Deschanel character, I was born with a complex neurological condition."

Newly divorced

Why are married couples afraid of the newly divorced?

ANDIE FOX "For some couples, I sensed my new state was perceived as dangerously contagious."

Fraidy Reiss

I help women get out of arranged marriages

Fraidy Reiss, founder of Unchained At Last, a nonprofit group that helps women extricate themselves from arranged marriages.

SAMUEL G. FREEDMAN "I wanted to do something to give back. I wanted to use my pain to help others in the same situation."

The accidental mementos left to us by loved ones

In clover: is life a series of sliding-doors moments?

Susan Orlean "I was shaken up realising that the way my life turned out was just a series of tiny, incremental bits of chance and choice."

Does being patient make you a happier person?

I made this vow about a week ago, and it's going okay so far.

Amanda Hooton I made this vow about a week ago, and it's going okay so far.

Real life

This is what it's like to have a seizure

Imagine waking up from a blackout and you have no idea where you are.

NATALIE REILLY Unfortunately, when you're a theatrically-inclined person, it can take a moment for people to catch on.

The challenge of changing gender while in a relationship

We stick together: Greens senator Janet Rice (at left), with partner Penny Whetton.

BENJAMIN LAW Changing from one sex to another clearly involves an enormous physical and emotional upheaval, but for the long-term partners of transgender individuals the process often has an equally profound impact.

Great sabbaticals

I took a year off from my 'normal life'


Evelyn Lewin Evelyn Lewin speaks to three women who donned their backpacks and came away transformed.

Meet Afghanistan's first female taxi driver

Sara Bahayi has had her taxi license for two years. The $10 to $20 she earns each day is enough to provide for her 15 relatives, including her ailing mother.

Sudarsan Raghavan 'If you don't feel shame, I feel shame for you,' a man told her when she went for her licence. She passed. He didn't.

Domestic violence

Our shelters for domestic violence victims are in crisis

Domestic violence support services are in crisis.

Louise Pascale Under-funded crisis shelters are doing the best with the little they have. But it's a daily struggle.

I accidentally fed my mum magic mushrooms for dinner

Jana Hocking with her mother.

Jana Hocking I have a confession to make. I fed my mother hallucinogenic mushrooms.

Unexpectedly expecting

Surprise pregnancies: When you're unexpectedly expecting

Researchers discovered that one in every 2455 births occurred where the mother was unaware she had been pregnant at all.

How do you adjust when suddenly, without warning, you’re someone’s mum or dad?

Can happily married parents be a burden?

To love and to cherish: Lionel Shriver's parents, Donald and Peggy, with their grandson Alan in 1993.

Author Lionel Shriver's parents have been besotted with each other for 61 years, inspiring her to hold out for her own happily ever after.

Intimate-partner violence

Starting a new relationships after intimate-partner violence

Helga and Don 65 have been in a defacto relationship for 31 years.

Danielle Binks Before she met my uncle, my aunt Helga was in an abusive relationship for 13 years and it took her another 31 to be comfortable with even the idea of marriage.

The death of Barbie has been greatly exaggerated

In spite of falling sales, the end is not yet in sight for the Barbie doll, created 56 years ago.

Leonid Bershidsky Barbie is not going down without a fight.

Hey jealousy

When being envious of your friends can be a good thing


KASEY EDWARDS New research suggests that not all envy is dastardly; some of it might even make you a better person.

Real life

'Growing up, my mother was a chronic hoarder'

Sick, not slack: hoarding is now recognised as a mental-health disorder.

Erin O'Dwyer The psychological trauma from growing up in a hoarder's house.

Bad breakups

When your ex spreads toxic gossip

Barton Goldsmith After a breakup, it is not uncommon for past partners to do some trash talking about their exes...

Emily Ladau

I won't run your child over with my wheelchair

Writer Emily Ladau

Your children are watching you, mum and Dad. Who do you want them to be?

Breaking up with alcohol

I broke off a 20-year relationship in an hour

Bryony Gordon What it feels like to break up with alcohol -- and how.

2015 will be the year of no apologies about my skin

Writer Carly Findlay

Carly Findlay For years I’ve apologised about my skin interfering with others. And now I will stop.

What I learnt from throwing away my wedding ring


Lisa Pryor I threw away my wedding ring. Not the marriage, I should clarify. Just the band of scratched white gold that has been with me for the past nine years.One morning it was there. Then in the afternoon I reached for it absentmindedly and felt nothing.

We need a positive guide to grieving

No one would want you to compound your grief any further, least of all the person you’ve loved and lost.

CLEMENTINE FORD Our bodies and minds are much better equipped to deal with grief than we might imagine.

The most awful lie I've ever told is...

Economical with a lie: the author prefers to save her big lies for her fiction writing.

Years after she told it, Alexandra Cameron is still struck by the power of a fib.

Modern minimalists

Does having less make us happier?


Libby Hakim talks to people who have culled their way to an incredible lightness of being.

Benjamin Law: It's time to stop the Speedo shaming

Ben Law at a cafe in Spring Hill Brisbane. Ben has written an essay for AFR about how youg people are disenchanted with the Labor party.
Picture by Paul Harris.
Monday 14 May 2012

BENJAMIN LAW God help me, I will defend the right of our PM to wear his whatever he wants while swimming.



What your frenemies are doing to your health

DL woman

ALICE WILLIAMS Is it time to let go of that lingering half-friendship?

29 cats who are really enjoying Christmas


Behold the 2014 Furry Friday collection of cats enjoying Christmas time.

Friends with exes

The truth about being friends with the ex-love of your life


MIA TIMPANO "The final time we broke up, we promised to be 'best friends'. This was by far the worst and most damaging incarnation of our friendship."

Bromance was born: why do guys find it 'weird' to be enthusiastic about new friendships

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper shakes Tony Abbott's hand.

DOM KNIGHT Dom Knight thinks it's time for men to drop their guards and show some affection. Tony and Stephen are forging the path ahead.

Grief at Xmas

What to give to someone who's grieving this Christmas

In the first few weeks of shock post her death I foolishly thought I could control when or where the tears would hit.

Rachael Oakes-Ash You'll be surprised what a difference it makes.

Letters behind bars

I have a death row pen pal

Nicola Cameron and her pen pal Damon.

Nicola Cameron as told to Annabel Stafford Aussie Nicola Cameron has been writing to an American prisoner since 2006.

I pretended to be a male gamer to avoid harassment

Brittany, as told to Alice Williams "I never thought of it as being deceptive, because why should anyone care?"

LGBTI inequality

Facing the anniversary of my 20 hour marriage

Kylie Gwynne and Annette Cairnduff (author) on their wedding day last week.

Annette Cairnduff For the 31 LGBTI couples whose marriage was declared invalid last year, this week is an emotional one.

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Why I petitioned to have Grand Theft Auto V removed from Target

Nicole* In GTA 5, I would have been the character who gets left by the sidewalk, bleeding and unconscious.

How to deal with everyone's end-of-year bragging

Pinch of salt: round-robin Christmas letters often bear only a passing resemblance to the truth.

Monica McInerney Monica McInerney makes a plea for tolerance when it comes to the annual family Christmas brag-a-thon.

Pekay's story

I met an Afghan girl sold into an abusive marriage at age 9


Sudarsan Raghavan This month, I set out to find her.

Why you shouldn't ask people to delete their 'bad' photos of you

CLEM BASTOW Our ability to create our own image is challenged, however, when somebody else posts a photo of us that we don’t like.

Married with children

The disagreement that could break a marriage


Marina Kamenev Marina Kamenev yearns for another baby, but her husband is adamant that two is too many.

Real life

I work as a men's behavioural change practitioner


As told to Clementine Ford In honour of the global 16 Days of Activism and Daily Life's #shinealight campaign on men's violence against women, Daily Life recently spoke with family violence expert, Ada Conroy. As part of her work in addressing family violence and men's violence against women, Ada co-facilitates behavioural change groups with men perpetrating intimate partner violence. Here is part of her story, as told to Clementine Ford.

Space invaders

Why do men take up so much space on public transport?


NICOLE ELPHICK "Most of us are familiar with the ‘man spreaders’, guys who feel the need to sit legs akimbo so their fellow passengers are forced to shrink into themselves to make way for the overspill."

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Meet the women who marry prisoners

Charles Manson, 80, and his 26-year-old fiancee, Star.

Daniel Genis Why do people hitch themselves to convicts?

I was the first Aboriginal woman to represent Australian netball

 Marcia Ella-Duncan

Marcia Ella-Duncan Olympic netball player Marcia Ella-Duncan recalls being called a ‘skinny, black kid’ on the field.

Benjamin Law: A love letter to local grocers

Author Benjamin Law poses for a portrait in his apartment in Brisbane. 3rd of December 2012. Photo: harrison saragossi

BENJAMIN LAW It's lovely seeing every sector of the community happily shopping together: students; families; gays; dogs; gay dogs.

Transitioning to a woman at the age of 72

My way: Robyn Thorne at home in Gundaroo.

Scott Hannaford "It's like a tornado that levels everything you've ever done, everything you ever were, and you've got to start again."

An all girl-school made me a better person


NATALIE REILLY In defense of the delicate ecosystem of single-sex classrooms.