BETWEEN November 24 to 29, Melbourne’s Wheeler Centre will host one of the city’s most anticipated events on the cultural calendar: Queer Week.

As one of the most active idea hubs in the city, the centre has long hosted talks on LGBTI life but for the first time it has dedicated a week to mull over queer writing and ideas.

With the support of Fitzroy’s Hares and Hyenas bookshop, there will be a range of forums and discussions to attend, and a bit of a party for good measure.

The theme of the week is Middlesex, a reference to the eponymous novel by Jeffrey Eugenides. Like the Eugenides’ epic, there will be much exploration of gender and sexuality, covering a lot of ground within a week.

Things begin with a Women on Women discussion Monday night, then Men on Men on Tuesday and as the week goes on, the gender binaries will be examined closely. This includes discussions on Trans Body Politic, The Future of Sex and Intersex Bodies and the Society that Shapes Them. In between, there will be also discussions on Queering the Margins and a writing workshop, Queer Writing Unconference.

The week climaxes in a soiree of dance, drag, slam poetry, performance art and music in the Melba Tent on the Saturday night.

The Wheeler Centre has brought out some big names in the LGBTI community and with them many of their counterparts. ABC radio presenter Emma Ayres is up on Monday, author Christos Tsiolkas is around on Tuesday, trans* porn star Buck Angel is up Thursday, SBS’ Anton Enus is on board for a stint on Friday, cultural commentator Benjamin Law on Saturday, and more in between.

If you’re around Melbourne for the week beginning the November 24, and you like books, or if you like the crux of books but not necessarily for the reading stuff, mark your calendar and begin to massage your brain. There is a whole lot of good thinking in store for you.


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