This pride month we harnessed the collective magic of our massive little team to create this collection of media for queer people as chosen by queer people.
Celeste is a fiendishly difficult indie adventure platformer that tells a tale of stubborn persistence, self acceptance and retrying the same screen for 20 minutes because you can’t time a jump right. Celeste has a vibrant and active community around it both for those with a casual love of the game and hardcore speedrunnners, and is one of the best $30 I have ever spent.
Dykes to Watch Out For was a comic strip that ran from 1983 until 2008. It’s a ‘serialised Victorian novel’ kind of strip, with characters who are both frustrating and relatable, whose problems are strikingly similar to those of queer people today. I like it because it’s really funny, but also because there’s something comforting about that relatability. Even decades later, queer people are still arguing about a lot of the same stupid stuff.
In Girls Can Kiss Now Jill Gutowitz delves into the intricacies of lesbian representation in the media, drawing from her own experiences growing up in the early 2000s and the impact it had on her identity and sexuality. With a blend of pop culture analysis and personal anecdotes, this timely collection of essays navigates the contemporary landscape of queer representation and personal exploration. I wish a book like this had been around when I was younger. Isolated by my own internalised homophobia, I longed for representation and understanding. These essays offer solace and validation to those who have walked similar paths.
Behind the delicately layered soundscapes, there is an inherent intimacy in these songs as Amber Bain, the creative force behind The Japanese House, transforms her personal narrative into captivating lyrics. The lyricism in this album illuminates the complex landscape of queer love, identity, and the journey towards resilience. Each verse acts as a step forward as she navigates the intricacies of life after grief and paves the way towards healing and acceptance. Bain’s introspective writing, delving into the ebbs and flows of her personal growth, resonates deeply with her listeners, forging a powerful connection that lingers long after the music fades.
Handsome Devil by dir. John Butler & Dating Amber by dir. David Freyne
These are two truly beautiful films, both starring the amazing Fionn O’Shea. Both films highlight important relationships for queer people which are often not displayed in general queer media, which has traditionally focused on romantic relationships (and often unhealthy ones). They focus on friendship between and for queer people and the power of this friendship for its encouragement and support. The stories portray love and betrayal between friends, and the mending of these friendships. These films move towards a normalisation of queer people in film free of fetishisation or tokenisation, by not relying on a love interest to explore identity.
Mythic Meetup is a messaging visual novel created for Otome Jam that features four love interests with nonbinary and asexual representation. The characters hail from different cultural backgrounds and each has their own realistic and grounded issues, which are explored amazingly even despite their fantastical and mythical nature!
Next Thing is an album for delusional girls with big feelings. These dreamy tracks are a candid homage to the complexities of navigating identity and relationships. Frankie Cosmos (AKA Greta Kline) shows us that limerence transcends sexuality. This is an emotionally complex album offering frank discussions of self-doubt, existential longing and being in love with your best friend – echoing the queer experience in its rawest form.
Of an Age perfectly encapsulates the pining, unknowing space that is a queer crush. It captures 24 hours between Kol, a young and closeted Serbian immigrant, and Adam, his best friend’s older brother (played by Thom Greene – AKA Sammy from Dance Academy – need I say more?). Nothing has come close to the way this film made me feel. It was an accurate representation of queer cultural norms as well as the realities of growing up poor in an unaccepting Australia. I know that feeling. I live and have lived varying degrees of being poor and lonely and queer, and this was a fantastic and heartbreaking representation.
This beautiful story follows the upbringing of Fahad as his father forces him to come home to Pakistan for the summer, and details the way this summer impacts his life in consequent years. We get to uncover more about his relationship with his father, and watch him come to terms with how his upbringing and heritage shaped his perspective on what love looks like. A book that explores queer identity but doesn’t follow the same stereotypical coming of age arc – I couldn’t recommend anything more.
I still rewatch the scene from Pride where the miners turn up to the march. Between Welsh accents and gay people, this film is the empowering and inspiring take needed amidst rising trans- and homophobia. For me, I loved seeing multiple queer people on screen, engaging in politics and forming friendships, without that focus on romance. A reminder as well of the queer community’s roots in activism, union solidarity and intersectionality.
Revolutionary Girl Utena is a dark, surrealist, sapphic 90’s shoujo anime, and if that sounds like your vibe then you owe it to yourself to watch it. It’s foundational queer media history. The vibes are insane and the art and music are bizarre and enchanting. It’s barely literal and the best of times, and because it refuses to ever say what it means, it gets to talk earnestly about sexuality and gender (and lots else) in a media space that characteristically didn’t let that stuff onto screens. There is nothing like it!
Okay so hear me out: yes, this is a band of heterosexuals creating music about their heterosexual relationships. But is there anything more quintessentially queer than tumultuous romances between friends who become exes and exes who become friends? Everyone slept with everyone in Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks spun her heartbreak into the gold that gilds this album, providing anthems for sad femmes and witchy wannabes (this venn diagram is a circle) everywhere.
Supernormal Step by M. Lee Lunsford & Bloom Into You by Nio Nakatani
As someone who would consider themselves somewhere on the aromantic spectrum it is incredibly difficult to find any representation. The ‘representation’ that is out there is usually never explicitly stated, just implied. Sometimes aromanticism is shown to be a character fault, portrayed as being unloving and abjectly against intimacy. So it’s always refreshing when I come across media that both explicitly says that a character is aromantic, and that that is not a bad thing. I would say Supernormal Step and Bloom Into You are pretty great examples of this.
The Sister of Dorley is a series that is both a love letter and homage to the terrible force femme webnovels of the 2000s and a fantastically well written and deep exploration of identity, how gender shapes existence and what it means to be a trans woman.
The Song of Achilles is that stereotypical queer novel that deserves its fame. Fast-paced but with the most beautiful writing and scenes that alternate between gut-wrenching and uplifting, it produces a queer story that is not about homophobia or AIDS, but about love. Humanizing in a world of Gods and ancient Greek heroes, it’s a fantastic read for anyone, but it is just wonderful for queer people.
Where’s Tess is another dating sim with bisexual, pansexual and lesbian representation. The game centres around modern influencer culture, how it can make or break someone; the experience of being queer in a conservative environment; and how the corporatisation of the arts can create ethical or moral conflicts in your personal and professional life. Nevertheless, Where’s Tess is quite light hearted and the art is great.
We acknowledge the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people, who are the Traditional Custodians of the land on which Woroni, Woroni Radio and Woroni TV are created, edited, published, printed and distributed. We pay our respects to Elders past and present and emerging. We acknowledge that the name Woroni was taken from the Wadi Wadi Nation without permission, and we are striving to do better for future reconciliation.