Love, Pronouns and Navigating the Australian Dating Sphere as Non-Binary

Assignment 2: Online proposal

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I’m interested in writing a piece exploring the challenges associated with navigating the Australian dating scene, particularly the online dating scene, as a non-binary person. I want to include raw conversations with non-binary people regarding the ignorance they have faced in the pursuit of dating.

Please refer to the following videos for a touch-up on being non-binary:

This article will start an interesting conversation concerning the ways we treat non-binary people when it comes to dating apps, and dating in general, in Australia. For example, do these apps privilege a certain type of body? What can we do to ensure non-binary folk feel safer when venturing into the dating world?

Why is this topic timely? Why now?
The experiences and perspectives of non-binary folk continue to be marginalised by online media. Following 2017’s progression in terms of the plebiscite and same-sex marriage, we need to be placing out efforts on those who feel even more ostracised. According to LGBTI National Health Alliance Statistics, 41% of Trans or Non-Binary people over the age of 18 “report thoughts of suicide or self harm in the last 2 weeks” alone. This article comes at a time when the voices of non-binary persons are literally dying to be heard.

Desired publication?
My feature piece is imagined for Out, one of the leading news publications that specifically targets LGBTQ+ and non-binary folk. Out’s reading audience are already well-informed with queer and gender issues, so this means that I would not have to spend time explaining terms such as non-binary, queer and LGBTQ+. Out’s writing style, news articles fused with op-eds and social commentary pieces, works well the informative, yet personal, tone of this future article.

Having acted as an Australian correspondent for Out in the past, writing about Australia’s response to marriage equality, I believe that writing about non-binary dating from an international, Australian standpoint works well, adding greater novelty and impact. An extensive look through Out’s archives relating to the term “non-binary” fails to show any current articles exploring the dating scene for non-binary people, let alone for Australian non-binary folk. This is an untapped topic that has potential to inform and promote visibility.

Structure?
One of my non-binary friends, James, has a lot to say about their experiences dating and using Grindr as a non-binary person, particularly concerning the masculine privileges that still permeate throughout the Australia gay community. I would also like to include the thoughts of other non-binary folk around Melbourne and Sydney. I want to include a day-in-the-life, portrait slideshow of thr interviewees, and their embedded Instagram posts, to add greater insight into their lives.

Regarding structure, I plan to begin my article with specific scenarios and quotes from James and non-binary folk, before extrapolating these experiences to discussions with LGBT+ organisations like minus18 or QLife, as well as professionals in the field of Gender Studies. I would then seek to tie the piece up with final thoughts from James.

In the shape of a diamond, here’s a potential plan for the structure:

 

About Louis Hanson 2 Articles
Contributor to SBS, Out Magazine, The Guardian, The Huffington Post and Fairfax Media, among others. Author of children's picture story book "Ben, the boy who paints his nails". Student at University of Sydney.

1 Comment

  1. The dialogue surrounding non-binary persons is increasing in a multitude of ways. Based on this pitch, I believe that this piece will be a well considered addition to the conversation.

    Your diamond structured diagram is fantastic! Not only did it help me better understand the scope of your piece, but I can imagine it will provide you with clearer parameters when you begin writing.

    The videos you have included offer great insight into the human interest element of your story. Have you considered putting together a video of your own to compliment your words? Perhaps video James’ interview?

    Overall, the proposed multimediality of this piece is highly inspired. Visually, it reminds me of the calibre reportage from The New York Times profiles, with the nuanced sincerity of a smaller publisher. I wonder though, have you considered publishing this piece on a more general platform? The increased visibility that this article will provide within the LGBTQ+ community is undeniable. That said, I’d be curious to see how the cis community would respond to this piece. Are they ready?

    I would encourage you to list your piece on our site under additional categories, such as ‘non-binary’ to make it easier to find.

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