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Has language kept up with queer love?

Friday 4 November 2022

8:30 pm - 9:30 pm - Old Geology Theatre, University of Sydney


Did you know that Sanskrit has 96 different words for love? How do writers in countries where a queer lexicon has not had room to grow share their worlds? Explore how queer stories are mediated across time, culture, and generations with touching reflections on the challenges and triumphs of coming out and living authentically with a diverse range of queer authors. 

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Jason Om is an award-winning television reporter with the ABC’s 7.30 program, and author of his memoir All Mixed Up. Released in 2022, All Mixed Up (ABC Books/HarperCollins Australia) is a powerful story about growing up in a multiracial, multi-faith family, being gay and Asian, rediscovering love, and finding resilience. In 2017, Jason attracted widespread praise for his personal story about his Cambodian dad’s sixteen-year struggle to accept him as gay. The article and TV piece ran Australia-wide, attracting a million views. Viewers were moved to tears, and the story earned Jason a nomination in the 2018 LGBTQ Honour Awards. Jason is the winner of the 2021 Media Diversity Australia Award at the Mid-Year Walkleys, and the 2022 media accolade at the LGBTQ Honour Awards. Previously, he’s been a presenter on the ABC News Channel and a reporter for ABC News Breakfast, ABC Life, Lateline and ABC Radio. He is a vocal advocate for gay Asians, Asian Australians and representation.

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Gloria Demillo (they/them) is a poet, writer and performer. Their creative work explores the concept of memory, personal and collective histories, and the complicated nature of trauma. While they have often described their work as “sad girlboy” poetry, they are working towards writing about joy, hope, and the transformative power of love. They use a combination of research methods, personal anecdotes, and gossip to inform and influence their work. Their creative contributions include the Harana Poetry Tour for the Art Gallery of New South Wales; published works with the Australian Poetry Journal, Peril Magazine, Cordite Poetry Review, Red Room Poetry; and appearances at the Biennale of Sydney, National Young Writers Festival, Emerging Writers Festival, Melbourne Fringe, Wollongong Writers Festival, Solstice Emerging Writers Festival, Australian Poetry Slam, and the Bankstown Poetry Slam Olympics. They are a member of the theatre group Ka-llective and practice a collaborative creative process founded in kapwa (co-spirit). Gloria is currently doing a horticulture apprenticeship and really wants to talk to you about composting and worm farms.


Adrian Mouhajer was born and raised in Lakemba to conservative Muslim migrant Lebanese parents and is a twenty-seven year old non-binary lesbian Muslim Lebanese poet who explores themes of queerness, love, desire, family and cultural connection within their work. They are a member of Sweatshop Literacy Movement and won Highly Commended in the 2021 Sydney Opera House Antidote Mentorship for Diverse Emerging Writers. Their work has been published by Sydney Opera House, SBS voices, Aniko Press and Diversity Arts Australia. They also perform their poetry in local spaces and events, including the Sydney Opera House and Bankstown Arts Theatre. 

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