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Where the boys talk about boys and the girls talk about girls.
Articles - Commentary
Written by lublub   
Thursday, 28 December 2006 00:00
same-sex union symbols

Is it just me? Or are there hordes of gay couples watching X-Men at the cinemas today?

Months ago, I was at the movies with a whole clique of gay male friends and we were there for the sneak preview of the third X-Men installment. After we came out of the cinemas, one of our friends had to use the boy’s room. Following standard protocol, we waited in a small circle at the cinema entrance for him to rejoin the group. And as we waited and created a traffic obstruction, people streamed out like a river flow to our left and right. If there’s one skill I’ve learnt after hanging around gay men so often, is that your propensity for identifying gay men just skyrockets. And there’ to my left and right, were gay men in all their ‘NUM’/tanned/muscled glory. There were groups of three to four men-only cliques, and ‘couples’ of men walking together. It seemed that there were more gay people than straight people watching X-men.

Am I dreaming or am I dreaming?

Which makes me wonder, ‘why is it so often said that gay people identify with superhero movies?’ Especially the latest X-Men movie? What is it about the storyline or theme that draws us to such shows, even though they are not explicitly homosexual?


Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 February 2010 23:08
A night out with the girls
Articles - Commentary
Written by Kelly   
Monday, 18 December 2006 00:00

Here at Sayoni, we are not just about emotive stories, sociological observations, philosophical musings and political arguments. We do get out.

For the queer woman in Singapore, there are not a lot of options in the night scene – mainly small, rather dated pubs. Self-expression is limited at mainstream clubs catering to heterosexuals and I hear the butch-looking have been refused entry at their doors too. Our only respite in this desert is the occasional queer women’s parties at larger venues.

Last night, we arrived at Zouk for a Herstory party about an hour before the musical was to begin. At the counter, pride accessories ‘imported from the US’ such as rainbow wristbands and lanyards were available for sale next to the tickets. The male bouncers in white suits guarding the entrance were an elegant touch.

Inside, most of the best tables had been reserved and there were only a few stools, so we had to stand while we waited. According to lublub, it was usually packed by this time at previous pageants, but tonight, the stale air limbered along with the music. We were waiting for the musical featuring past Butch Hunt and Femme Quest winners.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 February 2010 17:50
World Without Strangers
Articles - Commentary
Written by Jin   
Sunday, 15 October 2006 00:00

Nowadays, the catchphrase seems very often to be “minority issues”. It’s Us vs Them. A tiny minority fighting against the overwhelming majority. If you are not out, you must be in. And as queer Asian women, it feels like we are a minority of a minority of a minority. But I think this dichotomy of classification is too limiting. I propose we look at it from the perspective of “differences”. Differences which are to be accepted and respected.

Because while being a lesbian makes me part of a “minority” group, cut society along other lines, and I become part of the majority (because I’m Chinese). Cut it yet another way, and I’m in the minority again; (my flat isn’t an HDB one, and the government will never construct a covered walkway from my block to the bus-stop). Hence I think this way of defining society by polarizing it oversimplifies things. I prefer to think of people like a Venn diagram, which uses circles to represent different sets and the overlapping portions to define shared areas of the different sets. My circle will partly overlap the circles of other people who have some common traits, but their own circles will also overlap yet others with whom I have nothing in common, and there will be parts of my circle not overlapped at all perhaps because I haven’t yet met anyone who shares those traits with me.

Therefore with this illustration, it’s easier and fairer to think in terms of Differences. I think that differences should be expected as the norm, rather than an exception. After all we are not gingerbreadmen who came from the same cookie-cutter.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 February 2010 17:28
A Token of Appreciation
Articles - Commentary
Written by Guest Writer   
Wednesday, 23 August 2006 00:00

I have an issue with minority.

I have an issue with token of appreciation.

I am sure that I am appreciated sometimes – if only because I am a token.

In a man’s world, I am the token woman.

In a straight woman’s space, I am the token lesbian.

Now, I am sure all of the above are not unfamiliar to most of you, but wait – there is more.

In a room of lesbians, I am the token leather dyke.

Politically, more often than not, I am the token Indian lesbian carrying the minority of minority placard – alone.

Signs that you are a token:

1. When you are in the group yet not connecting with anyone, made worse by intentional alienation. Imagine everyone else speaking in a different language, one I do not understand even though all of us are fluent in English.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 February 2010 17:25
Tribute to My Nation
Articles - Commentary
Written by irene   
Wednesday, 09 August 2006 00:00


My first memories of National Day have always been the school celebrations, whereby we learnt to sing community songs a few weeks before the celebration. The schools in Singapore usually have the celebration one day before National Day, and we would watch the performances put up by our peers, and wave little Singapore flags. At the end of the day, we would go home with files or pens with the words ‘Happy National Day’ on them.

I never had the chance to watch the National Day Parade up close, partly because my parents were never enthusiastic about the idea. It is also partly because the tickets used to be much coveted items, which people queued up for days to obtain. However, watching the National Day Parade on television was a grand event. As a young child, I used to watch it earnestly with my cousins, and of course our favourite programme was the fireworks display, and sometimes we can see the display right outside the windows, much to our excitement.

As I grew older, the novelty of celebrating National Day wore off. However, I still have the amusing habit of counting the flags that are hung inverted, on the exterior walls of HDB flats.

Everything was simple and pretty when I was a child. I knew that I was born in a country that is ‘prosperous and flourishing’. I was promised of a bright future if I ‘study hard’. It seemed that every Singaporean has an equal opportunity to succeed in life. It seemed that nobody would be left behind. It did not take long for me to be disillusioned though.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 February 2010 17:23
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