I Thought You Were A Woman.

Someone I have never met told me they thought I was a woman. I’m not. They made this assumption based on my Instagram account.

The person is a friend of a friend and stumbled upon my Instagram account, as people do within the world of social media. They requested to follow, I accepted, and they perused my photos.

The person then messaged me in surprise and told me that she thought I was female.


Because of the content of my Instagram posts.

Essentially, all of my posts depict nature or books. Once I’ve read a book that I like, I take a photo of the cover and maybe and excerpt from the book and I post it on my account. Actually, I haven’t done this for a while, I think I just forgot.

Otherwise, my Instagram account contains images of nature. When I go hiking, cycling, camping or into nature, I like to take photos of sunsets, beaches, plants, trees, skylines and animals. I’d like to have more photos of animals but they’re hard to capture with a basic smartphone lacking a decent zoom. If I do capture an animal it’s always a bonus.

Almost every one of my posts depicts lakes, rivers, mountains, trees, rocks, sand, sun and surf, because I love nature and try to spend as much time in it as possible. My account contains almost no images of myself.

I don’t like appearing on camera and I’m not vain or beautiful enough to be an Instagram model, so I don’t take many selfies. I do appear in other people’s photos or have friends take photos of me, but I just have no interest in posting them online.

I explained to the woman that I am in fact a man, and we had a good laugh about it. It did make me think, however.

Why would someone think that I was female after seeing photos of books and nature?

Have we been conditioned to think that an interest in or respect for nature is feminine? Can only women appreciate and express an appreciation for nature, and is this linked to a woman’s role as a nurturer and care giver?

If this is the case, does it explain the current state of the world’s climate and the natural environment?

Mother Earth, as we often call it, is in trouble after years and years of human abuse, and this abuse is continuing even though we now know better. We now know that previous practices are harming the planet upon which we rely for our survival but we continue with these practices.

Is this cycle of destruction perpetuated because men still rule the world? Certain organisations, businesses and countries have a woman in the top job, but the system which was created by men is still controlled by men. If a man is not expected to love nature, even via an Instagram account, protecting the environment into the future will be very difficult, because men are still making most of the decisions which determine the state of the planet.

Is it time to give women a turn? Really give them a turn. Not just appoint a few women to the position of national or corporate president, not just vote women onto boards or executive positions, but replace men in large numbers at every level of government, business and other sectors of society. Men had their turn running the world, the planet is in very bad shape, so maybe it’s time they were replaced.

If the men running the world were the starting players on a sporting team, their results suggest it’s time they were taken off and replaced by those who have been waiting their turn on the reserves bench.

Can you love nature and still be a man?

Do we have to change paradigms of masculinity to include respect for nature and pride in publicly expressing a love for the natural world?

Do we need to reach a point at which assumptions cannot be made about someone’s gender because they display images of nature on a social media account?

Can Gay people save the world?


The biggest problem facing the world at present is overpopulation. Gay people could help us solve that problem.

The number of people on the planet is placing enormous strain on resources and population numbers look set to increase. One solution to this problem is to limit the number of children being born, and gay people could play a large part in this.

Before we continue, it is important to establish that, for the sake of this article, ‘gay’ and ‘homosexual’ refer to men in relationships with other men, and women in relationships with other women. Yes, the article does use a very narrow definition of gender, but the premise of the article is based on the simple fact that ‘gay’ people cannot naturally reproduce.

This, therefore, is the starting point for our theory.

Gay people cannot naturally reproduce, and, therefore, cannot naturally add more people to the population. Even in countries in which same-sex marriage has been legalised, biology prevents couples from creating their own children.

What about artificial insemination?

Yes, gay people can turn to modern medicine to help them start a family, and this has been successful in many cases. But, remember, effective and safe insemination services are only available in wealthy countries, and sometimes only to the more wealthy people in those countries. Most people in the world are not wealthy, most people work very hard to put food on the table every day. So, while this option helps create loving families in some parts of the world, it is not a realistic option for most couples.

Plus, artificial insemination adds another human to the planet.

What about surrogacy?

Like artificial insemination, this is another successful method used to bear children. But, like insemination, it is often only realistically available to couples from wealthy countries. Many women is poorer countries do act as surrogates, but only out of sheer economic desperation. Surrogacy can place significant strain on a woman, and lead to dire results. Furthermore, many men in these patriarchal societies are unlikely to approve of their wives carrying a child for other people – unless there is significant financial compensation.

Plus, surrogacy adds another human to the planet.

A one-child policy?

China tried the one-child policy. It didn’t work, for the simple reason that any system that is created by humans can be exploited by humans.

Interestingly, in the case of the one child policy in China, apparently, the ‘one child’ referred only to the women. If a man divorced his wife, then re-married, he was apparently allowed to have another child with the new wife – therefore bringing two children into the world.

What about adoption?

Yes, gay couples can adopt, and many of them do. Through adoption, a child finds a home and a couple is gifted a child to love. It is usually a very positive outcome for all concerned, and it is a positive outcome for the planet because an adopted child has already been born. The parents of the adopted child are not creating another child and are therefore not adding to the world’s population.

Thus, gay couples adopting children is one effective solution to reducing the number of children being born, and this is clearly the most humane solution to limiting population growth.

What are the other methods of limiting population growth?

A human cull.

Extermination of people in order to reduce the number of humans on the planet.

Yes, this is a deplorable suggestion, but it has been attempted before. It has been attempted by all of those people who filled the pages of your highschool history books – Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin, Mao Zedong…many of whom deliberately attempted to eliminate particular groups of people. Surely this could never happen again, you argue, we are now too enlightened, we’ve learned from our mistakes.


Examine the rise of extremism throughout the world, and examine how many of these extremists are unemployed, poor, displaced and affected already by overpopulation.

Natural forces

Unfortunately, if population increases as it is expected, and if the world continues to operate according to the current reality, it is natural forces that will reduce population numbers.

This is not good.

Natural forces include hunger and starvation, borne from poverty, as more people compete for fewer jobs. Another natural force is environmental destruction, which is already destroying access to clean water, food sources, clean air and spaces fit for human habitation. Some people are already dying as a result of environmental destruction, and informed projections indicate that this phenomenon will only increase.

Another natural force is conflict. Conflict is inevitable in humans, but this primal trait will manifest itself more frequently and more obtusely in a world full of hungry, disillusioned people who have become economic and environmental refugees.

If gay people can help save the world, what is stopping this from happening?


Religion is an impediment to limiting population growth. Religion stigmatises or even criminalises homosexuality and same-sex relationships which not only causes harm to homosexual people, but often forces them into marriages they do not want. These marriages produce children. Often those children are loved, and provided for, but they would not have been born if one, or both, of the parents had not been heavily pressured to conform to their society’s dominant religious belief.

We might also digress and examine the fact that religion discourages contraception and many religious families bear many children. Furthermore, religion, of any kind, is often a barrier to abortion and so many women give birth to child that they either didn’t want or can’t realistically support. Legalising and providing safe access to abortion is one way to not only to control population numbers but it helps to ensure that many children do not enter the world without the love and support that they need in order to thrive.


As long as men control women’s bodies and reproductive rights, limiting population numbers will be impossible. Men still largely control legislation, relating to issues such as abortion and LGBTQI rights. Men still control religions. Men still control relationships and, in most parts of the world, men determine if a woman will fall pregnant.

Ignorance and intolerance.

Ignorance, intolerance, hate and criminalisation of homosexuality often forces many men and women to remain in the closet. As discussed earlier, many gay and lesbian people are living in marriages they would not choose if it were not for the stigma attached to homosexuality in their societies.

Removing stigma, criminalisation and discrimination against the LGBTQI community should enable more people to live as they want to live, and may, in turn, help reduce the world’s population and create a more livable planet for everyone.

Image: Vector Stock

Do Gender Neutral People Have a Sexuality?


People who identify as Gender Neutral define themselves as having no gender. They are not male, they are not female and they are not transgender. They identify as having no gender at all, regardless of the gender at the time of their birth. With this in mind, how do they classify their sexuality?

Gender Neutral people don’t necessarily fit into any of the categories encapsulated within the LGBTQIPPAK+ spectrum.

They can’t be classified as Heterosexual because, in order to be Heterosexual, one must be either male or female and be attracted to people of the opposite sex. Gender Neutral people are not male or female.

They can’t be labelled as Gay, because, according to the LGBTQIPPAK + nomenclature, Gay refers to a man who is physiologically male and is attracted to another man who also possesses all of the necessary moving parts. Gender Neutral people do not identify as male.

Gender Neutral people cannot be placed in the category of Lesbian either, because a Lesbian is a female, with female physiology, who is attracted to other women with female physiology. Gender Neutral people do not identify as female.

Gender Neutral people are not necessarily Bisexual. They might be Bi, they might not be. They can only be Bi if they are attracted to both males and females and the term Gender Neutral does not specify their preference for both men and women.

Well then, they must be Transgender.

Transgender seems initially to be the most accurate label for a person who identifies as Gender Neutral, but this is not necessarily true. The difference between these two definitions is that Transgender people self-identify with a particular gender. For example, a person who is born male, and possesses male physiology, identifies as being female because that person feels like a female – physically, mentally and emotionally. A person who identifies as a particular gender, cannot be Gender Neutral.

It is also important to remember, at this juncture, that Transgender is not the same as Transsexual. Transsexual people have made physical changes, usually through surgery, in-order-to alter their gender. Transgender people have not necessarily undertaken any physical alteration.

Gender Neutral people might be identified as Queer. Queer is a broad term which can define anyone within the LGBTQIPPAK+ spectrum. It can include anyone who is not sure of their gender or sexuality, or people who don’t want to be affixed with a specific label. This would seem to be the most appropriate label for a person who is Gender Neutral.

The sexuality of Gender Neutral people is not Intersexed. Primarily, because Intersexed does not describe sexuality, it describes gender. Secondly, because Intersexed people are those who are born with both male and female anatomy and, as we have established, the term gender neutral does not refer to someone’s physical make up, it refers to someone’s conviction that they do not have a specific gender.

They might be Asexual, but they also might not be. Asexual refers to people with a low interest in sex, or not interest in sex at all, for whatever reason. Gender neutral people may have little interest in sex, but this may not be true and, again, the designation of Gender Neutral does not indicate a lack of interest in sex.

Pansexual also sounds like a term that could be attached to Gender Neutral people, but upon further consideration, it is also not a sufficient definition. Pansexual people declare an attraction to people of any gender or sexuality and often a heightened interest in sexual activity. Miley Cyrus recently declared herself Pansexual and her public behaviour certainly places her firmly within this category. If Gender Neutral people share Miley’s proclivities, then, yes, they could be defined as Pansexual, but if they are faithful to one person, or attracted to only one gender, then they are not Pansexual. So, they may or may not be Pansexual, just as Miley Cyrus may or may not be Pansexual, depending on the sales of her latest single or album.

Similarly, Gender Neutral people may or may not be Polyamorous or Polygamous, depending on their attachment to one person or gender, or their willingness to enter into an open relationship. This depends on the individual.

Who knows, they might be Trisexual if they enjoy threesomes.

Finally, a person who identifies as Gender Neutral may or may not fall under the category of Kink. Kink refers to…yes, you guessed it…people who enjoy Kinky escapades and adopt a more open-minded approach to sex and sexuality. Gender Neutral people may or may not be Kinky, depending on their breadth and depth of their imagination or the number of times they have watched Fifty Shades of Grey or read the Kama Sutra (or just looked at the pictures).

Thus, the most accurate category in which to place a person who is Gender Neutral appears to be Queer, which actually exists in order to avoid categorisation. This, in itself, suggests that narrow and definitive labelling of people’s sexuality is perhaps futile and unnecessary and that an open mind among all members of society will allow people to discover their own gender and sexuality in their own time and space.


Australia, Stop Celebrating the Same Sex Marriage Bill.


Australia, the passing of the same sex marriage bill in 2017 is nothing to celebrate.

Same sex marriage should have been made legal in this country many years ago.

The fact that it took until 7/12/2017 demonstrates the collective intolerance, homophobia and arch-conservatism of middle Australia.

Activists have been campaigning for same sex marriage for many, many years. What’s more, the same sex marriage bill was only discussed, at length, and voted upon, after a postal survey which was a multi-million-dollar national embarrassment.

Many other countries legalised same sex marriage many years before Australia – and they didn’t rely on an expensive postal survey.

Don’t forget, if the government had not spent so much money on the survey, your internet might actually work properly.

The Netherlands legalised same sex marriage in 2001, preceding the recognition of the union in (all or some parts of) Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, The UK, The USA and Uruguay.

Crikey, even New Zealand beat us to it. Just like they beat us to recognition of Indigenous rights and female suffrage.

C’mon Straya!

Most of the countries which beat Australia to the legalisation of same sex marriage are countries with which most Australians would equate themselves on the basis of democratic rights and social freedoms.

Admittedly, most Australians would be willing to accept being surpassed on this issue by famously open-minded nations such as Sweden and its northern European neighbours. But most secular Australians would definitely consider themselves, and their beloved country, more open-minded and tolerant than countries such as Malta, Ireland and Argentina and other Latin American nations famed for the influence of religion, especially Catholicism, on the daily lives of the populace.

For further proof of middle Australia’s conservatism, consider the other nations which had not legalised same sex marriage until 7/12/2017.

Maybe Australia is not a truly secular society. Maybe the religious right still exerts a large degree of control over our minds and our lawmakers.

The exorbitantly expensive and nationally embarrassing same sex marriage postal survey indicates the power of the religious right.

Most experts agree that the survey was in reality an attempt by the ultra-conservative wing of politics to defeat, or at least delay, the same sex marriage bill.

Estimates put the cost of the survey at $AU120million. $AU120million to conduct a postal survey which achieved no definite outcome and which only served to persuade the politicians to decide whether or not they should actually debate the bill in parliament.

Many Australians celebrated the outcome of the survey and its subsequent prompting of the debate and passing of the bill. However, it is worth considering a number of factors surrounding the survey.

Firstly, the conservative, intolerant and narrow-minded element of our national parliament was strong enough to convince Malcolm Turnbull and friends to proceed with the survey. It also suggests that there are enough Australian citizens who support this element of our government – someone voted for them and someone voted for them in sufficient numbers to give these politicians a powerful voice.

Furthermore, the results of the survey demonstrate that 38% of Australians voted NO. More than one-third of voting age Australians (allowing for variations due to absenteeism, apathy, un-returned surveys etc) harbour views at odds with a modern, free thinking, liberal, democratic nation.

This fact surely destroys middle Australia’s claim to being laid-back, open minded and hell-bent on giving everyone a fair go.

What should be celebrated and applauded, apart from the eventual passing of the bill, is the social media campaign conducted by the LGBTQI community and their supporters throughout the years leading up to the bill.

It was brilliant.

The masterminds of the social media campaign, in all its manifestations, conducted a patient, colourful, trendy, happening, fun, substantial, persuasive, headline grabbing, youthful, thoughtful and well-targeted social media campaign which went a long way to winning over the minds of many Australians.

The campaign featured posts, across every current social media platform, ranging from the presentation of the ramifications and technicalities of the law change, to a day encouraging people to wear rainbow coloured laces in their shoes in order to show support for the cause.

Hey, who doesn’t like a bit of colour in their life?

Colour was central to the campaign and the true genius of the campaign was owning the rainbow. Whoever first decided to publicly use the rainbow as a symbol of the LGBTQI community and its struggle for equal rights, is owed a massive debt of gratitude.

The appropriation of the rainbow symbol allowed for so many colourful and palatable presentations across all mass media. The campaign was so successful, in fact, that any presentation of a rainbow, in any context, anywhere in Australia these days is likely to prompt thoughts of same sex marriage and equality for LGBTQI people.

Advertising executives must be livid with jealousy.

Academics should also cite this campaign if they are searching for a case study of the use of social media in modern day activism.

So, Australia, pop open the bubbly and celebrate the eventual passing of the same sex marriage bill, but chase it with a rather sobering question, why did it take so long?