Bent TV – Monday 16th September 2013

Monday September 16th, 2013, 10pm, Channel 31 (C31 is on Digital Channel 44).

Queer Young Thing delves into what it means to be young and queer in Australia today.

Host: Dylan Adler

Topic: Social media and bullying

We look at social media and bullying, aiming to empower anyone to seize control from those who try to bully them. Our young quests introduce the topic explaining their interactions and experiences. Included are some woops moments, which highlight what can happen as a result of placing innocent content onto social media.

This episode’s elders explain the common types of bullying, who are being bullied, who are doing the bullying, and how bullying can affect an individual.

Susan McLean disperses the myth that you can be forever anonymous on the internet.

The conversation of our guests is peppered with Vox Pops where we ask, “What is the best defence against Internet Bullies?”

Actions which anyone who is being bullied, their friend(s) or some-one who sees something

inappropriate, can do to STOP bullying – is the underlying message of this episode.

Guests, Youth: Anthony, Kassy

Guests, Elders: Malitha Perera (Headspace), Susan McLean (Cyber Safety Solutions), Nate Reid (Gay & Lesbian Switchboard)

Bent TV is a volunteer organisation that aims to produce engaging visual media affirming sexual and gender diversity to contribute to an inclusive society. For more information about Bent TV Incorporated, please visit:


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Information Evening – women’s exploration of same sex attraction

Information evening:
Open invitation to learn about ‘Your Place’ – women’s exploration of same sex attraction. A taste of what is explored in the six week support group. Presented by psychotherapist Mary Matthews

Cost: $30 – reimbursed if you sign up to the six week support group.
Date: Tuesday 30th July 2013
Time: 7pm
Bookings: contact Mary Matthews via email: or (m) 0409 567 233

Place: Thornbury Women’s Neighbourhood House, 131 Shaftesbury Parade. Thornbury.

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Punk rocker Tom Gabel to become a woman called Laura

Tom Gabel ... considering gender reassignment.Tom Gabel … considering gender reassignment. Photo: Getty Images

Tom Gabel, the married lead singer of punk rock band Against Me!, is to become a woman.

The 31-year-old, whose new name will be Laura Jane Grace, tells Rolling Stone magazine’s June issue that as a child he felt disconnected from his body and has a condition called gender dysphoria.

He says he plans to take hormones, undergo electrolysis and is also considering gender reassignment surgery.

“Growing up, my experience with transsexualism was nothing but shame,” he says.

Gabel says he is not attracted to men and will still be married to his wife Heather. They have a two-year-old daughter.

He told Rolling Stone: “For me, the most terrifying thing about this was how she would accept the news. But she’s been super-amazing and understanding.”

This is the first time a major rock star has come out as transgender, the singer made a point of speaking openly about it. “I’m going to have embarrassing moments,” says Gabel, “and that won’t be fun. But that’s part of what talking to you is about – is hoping people will understand, and hoping they’ll be fairly kind.”

Against Me! is best known for the song Thrash Unreal. The group will go on tour with The Cult later this month.

The June issue of Rolling Stone hits US news stands on Friday.

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An inner battle of the sexes

Nice to see The Age doing a story of the transition of gender. I applaud people who have the courage to be who they are, even when the world feels so dark and scary, I hope more of these stories come to light for all to read and understand that at the end of the day, we are all human, regardless who we are!!!!

See below the article….

Chaz Bono’s female-to-male transition has been more than purely physical, writes Philippa Hawker.

”THE difficult part,” Chaz Bono says, ” is what you didn’t see. The years that it took to make the decision to finally be myself.”

He is at the centre of Becoming Chaz, a documentary that charts his transition from female to male, a transformation that he says he knew would become a news story. As the child of Sonny and Cher, Bono has been in the public eye for as long as he can remember. This time, he says from Los Angeles: ”I wanted to tell my story myself.”

So he teamed up with Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, experienced documentary filmmakers who like to have a collaborative relationship with their subjects. They chronicled a process that took two years, beginning with hormone treatment and breast removal surgery. In 2010, Bono legally changed his name and gender.

Becoming Chaz screens at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, which runs until March 25. The documentary begins with images of childhood, when The Sonny And Cher Comedy Hour was a TV hit in the early 1970s and their infant daughter, Chastity Bono, was a tiny blonde moppet who made regular appearances on the show. Chastity came out as a lesbian in 1995, became an activist and wrote several books.

But, Bono says, he still wasn’t the person he knew himself to be. Looking back, during the making of the film, he says: ”I was putting a magnifying glass to my life and realising how difficult so much had been.”

He felt sad, he adds, ”that the decision took so long to make”, that he waited until he was 40. There are experiences he will never have – he’ll never know life as a young man, for example. But he’s aware, he says, that the climate has changed a great deal: ”Twenty years ago, I could have suffered a lot for it.”

When he decided to transition, Bono had been in a relationship for five years. The film shows some of the tensions that arose between him and his partner, Jenny, as the ground shifts under their feet (they split up last year). He says he wasn’t entirely ready for changes that were not purely physical. As Chaz, he says that ”emotionally and spiritually I am in a better place. For a lot of my life I settled for crumbs and I was OK with that.” Yet, he notes, it’s not just about feeling comfortable with who he is. ”There is definitely a way in which testosterone changes how I express myself. I am not as verbal as I used to be. I’m a little bit more in my head, more reserved.”

What he has been through makes him particularly interested in the science of sex and gender. ”So many of the traits that we think of as conditioning or socialising are really biochemical.” He says he’s doing research on hormones and brain chemistry for a book he’s planning to write. ”I think it’s important for people to know about it. Men and women would get along better if we knew that certain things about our behaviour weren’t really up to us.”

Bono’s mother, Cher, is a significant presence in the film, even though she kept her distance during the time he was becoming Chaz. She gives an interview to the filmmakers, explaining how she feels about the transformation of her child, using a family nickname and hesitating between the masculine and feminine pronoun.

”She participated in a way that she felt comfortable with,” Bono says. ”One of the areas my mum and I disagreed on drastically was that I really felt that the mainstream press – not the tabloids – would be respectful and that we could have an open dialogue about this issue. And my mum felt we weren’t at that point yet.” Bono turned out to be right, he says.

Last year, he was a competitor on the 13th season of Dancing with the Stars. He weathered some harsh words at times from judges but he’s upbeat about the experience, the camaraderie with fellow competitors and the reception he received from viewers. He travels regularly, doing public speaking, and says that at airports, where ”you meet a real cross-section of America, I get a great response from everyday people, men and women from all over the US. So many people watched it and for the first time saw and got to know a transgender person.”

For more information, see

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Word is Out at Hares and Hyenas

Fitzroy’s gay and lesbian bookshop is celebrating with 100 writers and a poetry slam.

EMERGING writers face a gargantuan task getting their work read. But the job is even harder if you happen to be gay, lesbian or transgendered.

Behind every Chris Tsiolkas and the late, great poet Dorothy Porter, is a queue of queer writers jostling for space on the bookshelves.

And thanks to shop owners Crusader Hillis (yes, his real name) and his partner Rowland Thomson, these days they are getting the chance.

This year the pair celebrates 20 years of running the peculiarly titled Hares and Hyenas, one of only a handful of gay and lesbian bookshops in the world, in the heart of Fitzroy. (The idea for the name came from the book, Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality, by John Boswell, in which we learn that hyenas were once considered homosexual and hares were thought to have multiple vaginas.) To mark the occasion, Hillis and Thomson are hosting The Word Is Out – 20 events ranging from book launches, readings and performances to a poetry slam, as part of the 2012 gay and lesbian Midsumma Festival.

Emerging gay writers from all over Melbourne will get their six minutes of fame and a chance to step into the spotlight as the shop pushes back its bookcases (literally, as it turns out, because they are all on wheels) and morphs into a snug venue, complete with purple flock wall paper, theatre lights and seating for 75.

They will appear next to well-known trailblazers such as Noel Tovey, author of Little Black Bastard, who will read from his work-in-progress, Sydney author Jesse Blackadder, and Brisbane writer Benjamin Law.

The literati will also include Tsiolkas himself – who launched his first novel, Loaded, at the store at its first home in South Yarra – joining editor Sophie Cunningham, professor of politics and novelist Dennis Altman, Neal Drinnan and Kim Eastwood.

”We have always mixed well-known writers with unpublished ones,” Hillis says. ”It is really a starting ground for some people.”

For the first time, the event has been funded by the City of Yarra, which means the pair can pay industry fees to the 100 writers appearing. This year they have their first intersex guest, the mayor of Hobson’s Bay, Tony Briffa. Says Thomson: ”Transgender writing and performance would be one of the real strengths that has emerged in the 20 years since we started.

”We are calling it a transcultural explosion. It used to be men to women but now there’s a lot of female to male people represented.”

While Hillis and Thomson have never encountered any obvious prejudice regarding their sexuality and the shop has never been the target of vandalism (unlike others in Britain) the pair recognised early on that discrimination or simple ignorance is not always so overt. Gay and lesbian writers were not getting much of a look-in at mainstream bookstores and punters didn’t have many places to go to find the literature they wanted.

On the face of it, Hares and Hyenas looks much like any normal bookstore, except for the explicit comic section and the coffee table books that might make granny blush. There’s a big romance and crime section rolled into one – (lesbian readers love both these genres, says Hillis) and sensitive books explaining artificial insemination and surrogacy to children.

With Australia having come a long way in its understanding of normality, Thomson is asked if that might make the need for a gay festival like Midsumma redundant? No, he says. ”There is a gay rights aspect, but it is also a celebration and a chance to learn from each other.”

The Word is Out: until February 4. For more information,

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Dude Magazine Events

Dude Magazine is a creative resource presenting information on transitioning, safer sex and personal stories by transguys from around the world, aimed at the wider community.

Creator and editor-in-chief Jez Pez introduces Dude. 2: “Delve deeper into this complex abyss of body image where we uncover a world where not everyone
thinks it’s hot to be a muscular, tattooed, post-op, bro type trans guy… I long for a world where anyone and everyone can feel included, attractive and sexy”.

 About Dude. 1

“a sexy and fabulous transmale magazine”

“[DUDE] took Melbourne by storm and it was a huge hit.
There had never really been anything like it before in Australia…”

Dude. is free. Download it at


  • 3PM / FREE
  • Edinburgh Gardens St Georges Road


  • SATURDAY 11TH FEB 2012
  • 3PM / FREE
  • Camperdown Memorial Rest Park (Lennox Street side) Newtown


  • SATURDAY 18TH FEB 2012
  • 8PM / $10
  • ‘Between the Walls’ 42 Manning St. South Brisbane

High res images and press copies of the new issue available on request.

Media inquiries:
0425 539 995 |

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