Hey gal, this is me… My name is Tash Gillezeau (@tashgillezeau on Insta), I’m 24, I studied media and law at the University of Sydney. I should be entering my final year of law this year but I’m deferring this semester to study yoga and tantra in Thailand. I work as an online writer for GQ and I’m the editor and co-founder of sex education project Bits and Bods (@bitsbods on Insta).
My deal is… I was born in London then grew up on the Northern Beaches of Sydney. Growing up near the beach has very much shaped my outlook and love of nature. Recently, I’ve been coming back to a lot of things I loved when I was a kid like dancing, surfing and drawing. I went to a high school that was more academically orientated than my primary school, so the concept of just doing things purely for the fun of it fell by the wayside a bit. Having said that, going to a high school where caring about your grades was the done thing was a revelation to me. All of a sudden, it was cool to read. I was lucky to experience the laid back lifestyle of the beaches combined with the more ambitious culture of a school closer to the city. My deal now is about trying to strike a balance between those two modes of living.
If I were to describe myself in three words… Freakishly hot, obviously.
I always blow my pay check on… I’m not a spend-it-all-at-once person… but I can’t say no to acai bowls and travel.
I’m currently… I’m at a juncture in life – I’ve realised more and more that I’m not interested in being a lawyer. My passions are writing, performing and being creative. With only one year left of the old law degree, I admit, it’s a weird time to defer. Most people would say: “just get it done”. But last semester was the first semester of my five years I didn’t enjoy. I started getting very anxious in class and would sometimes be literally holding back tears. I’d be like, what the fuck? I’m a happy person generally so any deviation from that is not a feeling I am used to.
In the middle of last year, I went to Mexico. It was a very dreamy, loving holiday and I started learning about tantric yoga and sexuality and understanding my power as a woman more and more. Coming back from that holiday, attending stale law lectures felt off. The classroom had this dead energy and I felt like I wasn’t learning anything of value.
The thing that energises me now is working on Bits and Bods and through that granting young people the license to talk about sex stuff we often have so much shame and anxiety around.
Why I am doing it… My dream is to connect as many young people as possible through Bits and Bods. Our team, which includes the amazing Bethan Mooney, Isabella Connelley and Joanna Williams, are hard at work creating an incredible web series about puberty and sex which is truly unlike what the world has ever seen before in terms of diversity of voices and honesty.
What I loved about it / love about it… What I loved about uni was the people I met – hands down this is the best takeaway. What I love about working at GQ is it has taught me not to be so precious about my writing because being paid to write means you have to produce content no matter what.
What I love about interviewing people for Bits and Bods is seeing them open up around taboo topics and release so much pent up bullshit. I learn a lot just by talking to people. We live in a very repressive society in many ways and if we don’t challenge the weight of social norms they break our backs until we conform anyway. We live in such fear of judgement, and a lot of the time this fear holds us back from doing what we really want to do. It’s a constant process but learning to tune out other people’s perceptions, even people who love you and want what’s ‘best’ for you, is a very important skill to refine.
What I don’t love about it… Law? It leaves little room for individuality and sensitivity. Bits and Bods? There’s nothing I don’t love about it. Even the people who troll us by sending ‘mean’ comments on our Tumblr help me understand where people’s psyches are at around the issues we want to address.
What I learnt from the experience… Studying law I learnt the discipline of sitting in a chair to study for twelve hours straight. Starting Bits and Bods I’ve learnt how much understanding and being comfortable about our sexuality is the key to so many other things. If every politician was truly comfortable with themselves, the world would be a different place.
My advice to anyone pursuing this pathway is… My advice is similar to any person on any pathway. Be kind to people. Don’t be fucking lazy and expect that people won’t notice. I’ve run a few things over the years, like directing the Sydney Law Revue, and you learn a lot about people’s work ethics and attitudes. I’ll be courteous but on the inside I’ll think “I would never work with that person or recommend them on to anyone.” Finally, if you’re like me and addicted to being busy, it is okay and in fact a good thing to do things that are purely fun and not towards anything in particular.
P.s I am passionate about… Feminism, the ocean, boys (they’re so damn cute) and my friends.
*Photo cred (of Tash looking like a babe in the cover image): Fi Noble (@fi_noble on Instagram)