2017’s Australian marriage equality postal survey shook this country to its core. Eventually common sense won out, despite the powers-that-be doing their best to delay and deter. But a vote of ‘Yes’ by 61.6% of the voting population does not suddenly undo all the distress and suffering that Australia’s queer communities experienced, and it does not mean that the individual lives of people directly affected are automatically better afterwards.
We at Brow Books are thrilled to be soon publishing Going Postal: More than ‘Yes’ or No’, a book that collects a diverse array of perspectives and narratives, a book that is a journal of record of a time when the value of human beings was debated, a book that tells an overall story that is much larger than the sum of its parts.
This forceful and poignant collection, edited by Quinn Eades and Son Vivienne, brings together a dynamic array of pieces that were all published in the lead-up to the ‘Yes’ vote on November 15th 2017. It reminds us just how traumatic and far-reaching the impacts of the survey were and still are, and foregrounds lesser-known and non-mainstream viewpoints. As the editors say, this book is “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.”
Going Postal will officially be out in stores around Australia on Thursday 15th November – the first anniversary of the historic ‘Yes’ vote in the marriage equality postal survey. You can also pre-order it here.
Editors of the book Quinn Eades and Son Vivienne:
In 2017 the queer and gender-diverse community of Australia undertook an incredible campaign of everyday activism around marriage equality. As individuals and collectives the community 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.
Contributors to Going Postal: More than ‘Yes’ or No’ include: Candy Royalle, Nayuka Gorrie, Carolyn D’Cruz, Simon Hunt, Dennis Altman, Jess Ison, Timothy Jones, Judy Horacek, Fiona McGregor, Jennifer Power, Fury, Joni Nelson, Jamie James, Quinn Eades, Stuart Barnes, Heather Grace Jones, Sarah Hart, Roxanne Wilson, Hannah Robert, Fiona Kelly, Felicity Marlowe, Jessica Cohen, Scott-Patrick Mitchell, Rebecca Jessen, Kaya Wilson, Erin Hortle, Briohny Walker, Eden S French, Susanne Ferwerda, Cynthia Huang, Kiri Bear, Chloe Sargeant, Ann Deslandes, Nina Lord, Amy Middleton, Kelly Walker, Sam Flynn, Tilly Houghton, Morgan Carpenter, Edie Shepherd, Omar J Sakr, Simon Copland, Roz Bellamy, Timmah Ball, Cee Frances, Kochava Lilit, Son Vivienne, and Behrouz Boochani.
Cover art is by Elwyn Murray.
Editors of the book
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.