Sam Elkin is a writer, lawyer and radio maker.
His essays have been published in Antithesis Journal, Bent Street and Overland, and he is the co-host of the podcasts Transgender Warriors and Transdemic.
In 2019 he was a Wheeler Centre Next Chapter fellow, and is currently at work on a collection of autobiographical essays.
War of words
GR OnlineDuring my first news break at 6.30 am, I read the news reports about Israeli airstrikes out verbatim. But as I spoke into the mic, I felt unsettled by what I was saying. I had naively thought that this kind of bare-bones style of ‘raw’ AAP reportage is simply factual, and free from linguistic sleights of hand. But of course, I was wrong.
GR OnlineWhat was in the tubs that was worth saving, anyway? The journals had already done their job by helping me process my emotions and, perhaps, become a better writer. Really, I could just chuck them out. But as I transferred them into the filing cabinet, my heart rate returning to normal, I began referring to my new storage system as ‘the Elkin Archive’.
Calling it out
GR OnlineBut the best thing about an intriguing new call-out is that it’s near impossible to not write something new if you want to submit. You can’t jam your shitty old story no other journal wanted into a niche call-out about the pleasure of weekend garage sales. Whether that journal accepts your work or not, at least you’ve got a new piece to play around with at the end.
Beware the funky murals
GR OnlineYet increasingly murals are rolled out by local government with the aim of rapid redevelopment and gentrification of traditionally working-class areas... The broader function of officially sanctioned public art like this is to make a place more attractive to developers...and middle-class home buyers.
Non-fictionThree years into my transition during the 2021 lockdowns, my online shopping habit became a full-blown addiction. One of the weirder things that I purchased was a petite crocheted penis and testicles, hand-stitched by a crafty ‘bear’ called Devon. Each package was made-to-order, so I could choose everything from the shaft length to colour and testicle size. I could’ve even added ball hair.
The sad stats
Essay IN 2018 I was hired to work as Victoria’s first dedicated LGBTIQ outreach lawyer, to be based at a queer health service. I had just started transitioning, and the opportunity to leave the large city law firm where I worked...