Real Life

There's a reason we need time to be bored

Embracing boredom can make the world seem all the more appealing.

Rosecrans Baldwin 12:15 AM   How embracing boredom can make the world seem all the more appealing.

Why loving your mother-in-law is a feminist act

"That very first day, I was terrified. I remember sitting in the passenger seat of my boyfriend's Morris Minor and ...

Jenna Price   37 years after meeting her mother-in-law, Jenna Price is now on the other side of the fence.

Why it's so hurtful when friends complain about feeling 'fat'

Writer Rebecca Shaw

Rebecca Shaw   We can't stop drunken men on the street being awful. But we can stop participating in the vicious fatphobic cycle.

I followed the habits of famous creatives for a month

"There's something fascinating about discovering the routines of accomplished individuals."

Madeleine Dore   And this is what happened.

How I came to terms with anger and vulnerability

Koraly Dimitriadis: "I am warm, shy and timid. Yet if someone pushes my vulnerability button, I can explode."

Koraly Dimitriadis: "I am warm, shy and timid. Yet if someone pushes my vulnerability button, I can explode."

Why you can't always nurture a loved one out of depression

"At some point, I'd decided I couldn't be OK until he was. I wanted to nurture us both back to life."

Dani Fleisher   "At some point, I'd decided I couldn't be OK until he was. I wanted to nurture us both back to life."

True grit: Deng Thiak Adut, the Blacktown lawyer inspiring a generation of new Australians

From child soldier to refugee lawyer ... Deng Thiak Adut.

Mark Dapin   Child soldier-turned-Blacktown lawyer Deng Thiak Adut who touched hearts with his 2016 Australia Day address says derogatory comments by a law professor in 2005 inspired him to succeed.

Pipe dreams

Why hasn’t my band made the Hottest 100 yet?

Red Hot Chili Peppers bass legend, Flea.

Dom Knight   Dom Knight reminisces about the band he never had, and the rock 'n' roll dreams unfulfilled.

Reproductive rights

I'm a successful lawyer and mother, because I had an abortion

"I never felt compelled to talk about it publicly until now, as I witness the erosion of the very freedoms on which I ...

Janice Mac Avoy   "To the world, I am a lawyer who had an abortion, and, to myself, I am a lawyer because I had an abortion."

Body image

Struggling with weight in a fatphobic family

"It's not rude in Vietnamese culture to comment bluntly on other people's appearances."

Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen   What Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen's fluctuating weight has taught her about thin privilege.

House mates

What nobody tells you about living with female friends

friends

Rebecca Varcoe   Why does the prospect of women sharing a home always come with the same warning?

The irony of not wanting to be seen as a 'typical Asian'

"Only now that I'm older do I fully recognise how troubling my younger self's attempted erasure of cultural identity was."

Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen   As a teen, Giselle Nguyen took pride in not being a 'typical Asian'. That is, until she learns a heartbreaking truth.

Ben Law: A lazy person's guide to keeping a diary

Benjamin Law

Benjamin Law   As far back as i can remember, my new year's resolution has been the same. "From now on, Benjamin, you're going to keep a diary!"

Toxic grieving

Why do we turn to vices in times of grief?

"My mum's advice of 'trust your responses' took a back seat once she realised my grief involved a daily ritual of booze ...

Amy Middleton   For Amy Middleton, 2015 was a year of loss, death and grief. And with it, booze and chain-smoking became a daily ritual.

Birth trauma

How PTSD from a traumatic first labour changed my second pregnancy

Researchers in the UK found that women could keep increasing their chances of having a live birth through up to nine IVF ...

Priscilla Blossom   Losing her daughter after a highly traumatic hospital birth left Priscilla Blossom open to anything that might result in a diferent outcome.

Living in exile

The unanchored grief of losing loved ones while in exile

"We wept without a body, without a grave site to focus our attention," writes Huda Al-Marashi.

Huda Al-Marashi   "We wept without a body, without a grave site to focus our attention," writes Huda Al-Marashi.

Name's sake

I won't have my heritage erased by your inability to say my name

Saman Shad is tired of laughing off pronunciation failures of the lazy and insensitive.

Saman Shad   Why Saman Shad is tired of laughing off pronunciation failures of the lazy and insensitive.

Unkown home

The pain of seeing travel snaps from a home I cannot visit

Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen: "It's a strange feeling to miss something you've never had."

Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen   "My heritage shines brightly in my life and yet, I've never been to this place that holds all of my history."

The joy (but mostly embarrassment) of learning a new language on holiday

"Occasionally, a Roman will hear me say ciao and immediately start speaking in perfect English."

Jenna Price   "Occasionally, a Roman will hear me say ciao and immediately start speaking in perfect English."

Day in the life of a pro-choice counsellor

"When people ask about the work I do, it can be difficult to capture it in just a few words."

Sian Jones   "When people ask about the work I do, it can be difficult to capture it in just a few words."

Self Made Project

'How photographing trans guys encouraged me to transition'

A portrait from Parker Blain's series about young trans men.

Amy McNeilage   When Parker Blain began taking portraits of transgender men, the project was as much about his story as theirs.

Invisible disabilities

What it's like to live with an 'invisible' disability

What does disability look like? This might seem like an absurd question. But here's why it matters to me.

Natalie Rose Corrigan   What does disability look like? This might seem like an absurd question. But here's why it matters to me.

On Writing

How I learned to stop writing for old white men

Claire Vaye Watkins is the author of Gold Fame Citrus.

Claire Vaye Watkins   Claire Vaye Watkins admits she used to want people to say 'she writes like a man', which in our culture means 'writes well'.

Why I am keeping my great-grandmother's wedding dress

Why I am keeping my great-grandmother's wedding dress

Heather L. Hughes   "I've never had wedding fantasies, not even as a little girl playing dress-up."

How casual hookup helped me overcome painful sex

Giselle Nguyen: "With every new hookup, it became less difficult to relax. I became more confident, caring less about ...

Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen   "With every new hookup, it became less difficult to relax. I became more confident, caring less about people's opinions."

Girls to Men

Why I decided to go through surgical transition on national TV

Billy now and then.

Billy-Joe Newington   Billy-Joe Newington has become the first person in the world to have phalloplasty surgery filmed and broadcast.

Lisa Bryant

How a loved one's chronic illness affects your identity

"I used to be a writer, an advocate, a consultant, and a mother. Now I am just a mother."

Lisa Bryant   "I used to be a writer, an advocate, a consultant, and a mother. Now I am just a mother... I'm the intensive care mum."

Paul Chai

If men were better at being friends, would they be better men?

Why is this important? Because men need to lift their game when it comes to friends.

Paul Chai   Is it true that men are bad at making, and keeping, their friends?

Can anxiety cause hypochondria?

Amanda Hooton.

Amanda Hooton: "I've developed what I call a "displacement identifier". I know I'm anxious when I become convinced I'm suffering a terminal illness."

Benjamin Law: Who cares about 'straight voice' v 'gay voice'?

Ben Law

If you have a problem with the way anyone speaks – lisps, accents, impairments or general fabulousness – you're the one with a problem.

The day I finally got out of a violent, abusive relationship

The 100 Alice Stories Project wants to hear from survivors of domestic violence so their stories can be shared.

The story of my life with a violent crazy man, who hit me, nearly killed me, psychologically destroyed me and mentally drained me, is true and very real.

Why my autism diagnosis was such a relief

Until I was diagnosed with high-functioning autism this summer, I had spent my whole life feeling different

Laura James   Until I was diagnosed with high-functioning autism this summer, I had spent my whole life feeling different.

Moving on

'Why I stopped treating my post-breakup home as a temporary shelter'

"The years have rolled on, and I've been in this state of flux. There has to come a point where you embrace what you've got."

Koraly Dimitriadis   Home is where the heart is - but a broken heart is in even more need of a home, writes Koraly Dimitriadis.

On missing a parent years after they are gone

Jenna Price (L) and her mother at the same age.

Jenna Price   Jenna Price: "I had absolutely no idea what it is I wanted to speak to my mother about. Just that I did."

Summer Guide

A Fat Lady's Guide To Summer: The beach

The fabulous Tess Holliday flexing at Mooloolaba.

Maeve Marsden   Maeve Marsen goes beyond those well meaning "get a bikini, put it on your body" memes in her first instalment of this summer countdown.

Can you force yourself to become an 'outdoor type'?

Can you force yourself to become an 'outdoor type'?

Britni de la Cretaz   I'm writing this from an idyllic setting that many people would call "heavenly."

First person

I shouldn't be terrorised for providing abortions

Diane Horvath-Cosper says threats and violence are not the appropriate way to debate.

Diane Horvath-Cosper   Diane Horvath-Cosper says threats and violence are not the appropriate way to debate.

Benjamin Law: How I switched to a 'standing desk' at home

Benjamin Law.

Benjamin Law   At the end of the day I'm essentially a lump who rapidly hits buttons for eight hours straight.

Why a connection to country is so important to Aboriginal communities

""Connection to country is inherent, we are born to it, it is how we identify ourselves, it is our family, our laws, and ...

Catherine Liddle   "Connection to country is inherent, we are born to it, it is how we identify ourselves, it is our family, our laws, and our legacy."

I'm sick to death of being afraid of walking alone at night

"No one can see how tough I am. It's too dark."

Sian Prior   Thirty years ago, I marched in Reclaim the Night rallies. But how far have things come since then?

In the dark

"No one can see how tough I am. It's too dark."

Sian Prior   Sian Prior is trying to reclaim the night, but fear keeps getting the better of her.

First person

What I have learned from a decade with diabetes

Chronic illness has helped Sarah Vedomske to embrace life.

Sarah Vedomske   Chronic illness has helped Sarah Vedomske to embrace life.

What it feels like to 'go viral'

Writer and disability activist, Carly Findlay.

Carly Findlay   Here's the thing about going viral: it also makes you feel out of control.

Young, handsome and insecure

Amanda Hooton: Finding out that insecurity is a universal feeling

Amanda Hooton.

Amanda Hooton   Even the young and handsome have their insecurities - which only adds to their appeal.

The 'vault'

The day I was given an unexpected 'vagina-ectomy'

After a radical hysterectomy for cervical cancer, doctors now call Emma Jane's vagina a 'vault'. She wants to reclaim it ...

Emma Jane   This is a story about a surprise vagina-ectomy. It's also a story about an abnormal pap smear.

Is there such a thing as being 'too old' to rent?

I'm not a sharer but, at the unseasonable age of 44, I am one of those "still renting", as the smug mortgaged will ...

Hannah Betts   Dinner parties can often be a bore, but there are few things more tedious than being the lone renter at the table.

Benjamin Law: Confessions of a chronic scatterbrain

Benjamin Law.

Benjamin Law   My superpower is: I can make things disappear.

The economics of gratitude

Ms

Jenna Price   If you appreciate the people who look after you – in any way – let them know.

What it's like to face a difficult diagnosis with my sister

A young Melanie Maizels and her sister.

Melanie Maizels   Hysterectomy. Mastectomy. Mammogram. These are words that have never been part of my daily vocabulary until now.

The unique awkwardness of tattoo regrets

Stocksy

Andrea Catherwood   I was in my 20s, and I thought it was the perfect symbol of my time in Asia. You know how the rest goes.

Why I changed my mind about joining a 'brag thread'

Rule number one of 'brag thread': Brag must be directly about YOU. None of this deflection B.S.

Ruby Hamad   Rule number one of 'brag thread': Brag must be directly about you. None of this deflection B.S.

Benjamin Law

Benjamin Law: The joy of learning that the kids are alright

Benjamin Law.

Benjamin Law   It's so disorientating visiting your old high school as an adult. But it can also be a pleasant surprise.

Should you ever give up on who you said you wanted to be?

Sometimes we lie about what we want because we don't know whether we have what it takes to get it.

Lonnae O'Neal   Sometimes we lie about what we want because we don't know whether we have what it takes to get it.

Fighting the loneliness of an invisible disease

It started with period pains. Not the kind you mask with a false smile and pop of Panadol, but the sort that leaves you ...

Chelsea Brunckhorst   It started with period pains. Not the kind you mask with a false smile and pop of Panadol, but the sort that leaves you in a crying mess on the floor.

Benjamin Law: We need to learn more about Indigenous Australian culture

Ben Law.

Benjamin Law   By the end of the day, I'd learnt a lot, but also felt embarrassed by how little I'd known about my own country's First People.

It's time to stop homogenising people with disabilities

Lucia (9) and Carly Findlay

Carly Findlay   Much to some well-meaning folks' surprise, constantly being mistaken for someone else can be tiring.

Bitchy resting face

Is a 'resting bitchface' an asset?

PARIS, FRANCE - MARCH 06:  Kanye West and singer Lorde attend the Christian Dior show as part of the Paris Fashion Week ...

Clem Bastow   Should you correct your 'resting bitch face' or celebrate it?

Intimate relationships

Is it possible to fast-track intimacy?

The one thing guaranteed to make you bond with friends and family.

Frank Bruni   The one thing guaranteed to make you bond with friends and family.

The constant fear of being harassed for not 'fitting the norm'

I wanted to rid myself of negative thoughts and feelings and be free.

Jenna Price   Anyone who has ever experienced racism will know how terrifying Border Force's Operation Fortitude could be.

When white people shame your culture's food, then make it trendy

We are increasingly interested where our food comes from. Surely, that should extend to a meal's cultural roots, right?

Ruth Tam   We are increasingly interested where are food comes from. Surely, that should extend to a meal's cultural roots, right?