Ripple effects that I'm both proud of and very happy about:
This is a win for us all, but especially queer and trans folks. It's also a really good example of why we need to work together, and be in the same spaces.
When Curiosity started, I would have been happy for it to just turn out to be a half decent play-party. I underestimated how much self-development would come from it - I didn't anticipate that something that is on the surface just a sex event, would have so many ripples and positive knock-on effects.
I've heard from many sources about its influences, from the empowerment individuals in many parts of their lives, through to changing the ways consent plays out in wider communities.
I've insisted on keeping gender exploration as a part of the Curiosity workshop, even though it's perhaps not strictly necessary. One of the first things that happens at the workshop is that folks are asked their name, and the "gender pronouns you like using in relation to yourself". This frames gender, from the get-go, as an exploration or a discussion - rather than as a fixed or self-evident thing. (For the record, I like neutral pronouns like "they", but I'm happy with anything).
Later in the workshop, there's more content where assumptions around our's and others' gender identity is explored, about why that's important, and about how to respectfully engage with people different to one's self.
A person who doesn't identify as being part of the gender-fluidity movement came through the workshop recently, and felt welcomed and interested by the way gender issues were presented - even if they thought the topic was given a lot of time. They then happened to listen to an episode of our podcast (Curious Conversations About Sex - temporarily on hold, but more coming soon!) where myself and two guests discussed how rigid gender definitions exclude so many of us from so many facets of life, including government organisations.
It turns out that this person found themselves in a position of influence within a major state-government health organisation. As a person who identifies as more or less straight and cis, they used their position to lobby for a person's gender to be recorded as they wish - without reference to the binary if that's what they want, and without reference to whatever they were assigned at birth.
I can't name the organisation yet, but it looks like this change is coming into play in the foreseeable future, and it's huge. A lot of people that have been otherwise marginalised have just had one barrier removed; this is especially important for trans-folk, but also for any of us that are more comfortable, more ourselves, when we get to define our gender. And as the gender-fluidity movement trickles down, a lot more of us are going to start wanting to be identified as something more than just 'male' or 'female' - I believe many of us are so much more than that.
I'm really proud of the way the person used their position and privilege to improve the world for others.
I'm also really proud that Curious Creatures played a role in facilitating this. I'm proud of the importance we place on gender issues, and especially happy that we manage to present it, at least some of the time, in a way that is accessible to both the bent and the straight, and beneficial to all. It's not a version of reality that's right for everyone, but there's something exciting about seeing everyone hang out together, in the same space. There's something hopeful about it, even if it can be more challenging than just hanging out with folks like one's self.
This particular achievement is something people have been lobbying for for decades. My hope is that once this particular government department changes, others will follow.
A big thanks to elders past and present - changes like this follow on from uncountable and often invisible previous efforts.
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Rog is the driving force behind Curious Creatures, and the main author of this sexuality blog in Melbourne. They were brought up white, middle-class, mostly heterosexual, and male. They now identify as kinky, tantric, polyamorous, queer, and very, very curious. Are you curious? Read more about Rog and Curious Creatures.