One year ago today polling closed for the Australian Marriage Postal Survey. After months of gruelling activism by Australia’s queer and gender-diverse community, there was nothing but to wait uneasily for November 15th and the announcement of the final tally.
In 2018 the wait for November 15th is of a different kind. Next Thursday is the official release of Going Postal: More than ‘Yes’ or ‘No’, a collection of writings and artworks edited by Quinn Eades and Son Vivienne. Featuring the work of almost 50 contributors, Going Postal provides a counter-narrative to the simplified joy of the 2017 Australian ‘Yes’ vote.
With dual holographic covers reflecting the complexity of the issue and the dark and light moments of the controversial campaign, this striking book honours a difficult time that brought out the best and the worst in Australians.
You can order Going Postal now or find it in bookshops. You can also pick it up from one of the events we are hosting around Australia (listed below).
About the book
In 2017 the queer and gender-diverse community of Australia undertook an incredible campaign of everyday activism around marriage equality. As individuals and collectives we shared our personal stories with our networks – from social media, to workplace to school playground. We purged our tears and our rage – documented as poems, articles, photos, short stories, status updates, tweets, blog posts, political cartoons, and short videos. Many of us were shocked at the vitriol directed at us, to our faces, in our letter boxes and online, even in ‘secret’ Facebook groups. Many of us were hurt by the unspoken tensions and the conversations we couldn’t have with some of our nearest and dearest. By the end, we were truly exhausted.
Yes, the vote was for equality. Yes, the legislation went through. Yes, we can get married now. But many of us have been left wondering whether it was worth it. Many of us are living with the ongoing grief of having our lives, and those of our children, be up for public debate.
Whether you are ‘gay, straight, black, or white’ — or beyond reductive binaries — this edited collection guides the reader through the highs and lows of the marriage equality postal vote. Combining serious scholarship, humour, manifestos, and simple tales of childhood, readers are flung into the emotional melting pot that constitutes a definitive turning point in Australian queer histories. These feelings are sticky and sometimes traumatic, but there is also catharsis in this compilation. This is also a counter-archive, one that consciously amplifies some of the voices that were drowned out by dominant campaigns, including those that questioned the value of marriage as a patriarchal institution or resisted the ‘we are just like you’ discourses that obscured complex families and queer ways of loving.
To celebrate the launch of the book we’re having events all around the country, starting this Sunday (11 November) in Canberra. If you’re in Melbourne, Canberra or Sydney, check out the events below and help us launch this excellent book:
‘Going Postal: Reflections on the Marriage Equality Vote’ at The Wheeler Centre
Wednesday 14th November 2018, 6.15pm-7.15pm
Free, but bookings essential
’Letting kids be kids’. A special Going Postal family-focused launch event with readings, live music and food at Hares & Hyenas bookstore
Friday 30th November, 5:30pm (6pm start), 8pm finish.
Free, all ages welcome
Sydney launch of Going Postal with readings, and a special DJ set at The Imperial Hotel
Sunday 9th December, 3-6pm.
About the editors
Quinn Eades is a Tracey Banivanua Mar Research Fellow and Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Studies at La Trobe University. A writer, researcher, gutter philosopher and poet, his book Rallying was awarded the 2018 Mary Gilmore Award for best first book of poetry. Quinn is the author of all the beginnings: a queer autobiography of the body , and he recently published a co-edited volume of life-writing, poetry, and scholarship titled Offshoot: Contemporary Life Writing Methodologies and Practice . When he’s not working, Quinn is hanging with his kids, cuddling his pups, and watching reruns of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt or drag makeup tutorials on youtube.
Son Vivienne is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at Creative Agency@RMIT and the Digital Ethnography Research Centre. Their principal expertise is digital self-representation, online activism, queer identity, and rhetorical strategies/feminist practices for speaking and listening across difference. Son is also involved in community development and arts as an activist, workshop facilitator and media-maker. Son is author of Digital Identity and Everyday Activism: Sharing Private Stories with Networked Publics and co-author/co-editor of Negotiating Digital Citizenship: Control, Contest, Culture
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i just found the first book i am ACTUALLY IN in a REAL LIFE BOOK STORE you guys, what a MOMENT!!! i’m glad it was at my favourite bookstore @betterreadbookshop!! i am EMOTIONAL so yeah anyway i have two stories in ‘going postal: more than yes or no’ so buy it if you want ty
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My fiancee Joni is in this collection! It is all things that were published during the postal survey. It was not a fun time for me so I don't think I can read the collection right now but I'm really glad it exists, and I'm so proud of her!!! 😍 . . I'm going to start doing this thing where I say where I got books from, because I know a lot of ppl can't afford them and I'd like to be transparent and also maybe make people feel a little better about their situations. I got this for free because Joni is a contributor, so this is her contributor copy that was mailed to us. . . . . . . . #queer #queerbooks #anthology #auspol #auspol #book #books #bookstagram #bibliophile #reading #amreading
So excited to receive my copy of #GoingPostal, edited by @quinn_writes & @sonasterisk, featuring stories, poetry & art by @NayukaGorrie, @OmarjSakr, @CandyRoyalle, @FelicityMarlowe & many many more! Comes out on Nov 15, it's amazing! Honoured to be a part of it 🏳️🌈❤️🧡💛💚💙💙💜 pic.twitter.com/76hCyaRAaX— Pauline Pantsdown (@PPantsdown) November 2, 2018
It’s arrived! This incredible collection is a beautiful read of a time I never want to repeat but am so glad to have seen written into life by so many powerful writers. Am so proud of @quinn_writes❤️ @Brow_Books @sonvivienne #GoingPostal pic.twitter.com/U7osUlGgxY— Felicity Marlowe (@FelicityMarlowe) November 5, 2018
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Got my copy of GOING POSTAL today, a collection of writing about the marriage equality survey we were all put through last year. This is a beautiful book, brought into the world by Quinn Eades and Son Vivienne by way of @brow_books and I'm proud to have an essay and poem in here. Cannot wait to read this anthology cover to beautiful cover. #GoingPostal #lgbtq #marriageequality