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What's the next queer film to hit our shores?
Articles - Entertainment
Thursday, 16 August 2012 00:01

The Secrets

An oldie but goodie, apparently.

Here's a shoutout to the Israel Film Festival (in its 20th iteration) which again is bringing us queer content. What's up: The Secrets, a 2007 film about the journey of two Jewish women to find themselves.

The film comes recommended by the Israel Embassy, as one that would be of interest to this demographic. We haven't seen it yet, so can't comment on that either way, but The Secrets is highly lauded on the internet, as above all a film about strong women, with The New York Times calling it a "feminist cri de coeur" -- "cry from the heart".

Vietnam's Gay Marriage Debate and a Pride Parade
Articles - LGBT Rights, Politics & World News
Monday, 06 August 2012 01:49

In the past few weeks, there's been a good buzz coming from Vietnam. The Associated Press reported on the Justice Ministry's proposal on same-sex couples, and the Justice Minister said some very reasonable words that show a respect for LGBT rights that have never come from our local Singapore ministers.

Even longtime gay rights activists are stunned by the Justice Ministry's proposal to include same-sex couples in its overhaul of the country's marriage law. No one knows what form it will take or whether it will survive long enough to be debated before the National Assembly next year, but supporters say the fact that it's even being considered is a victory in a region where simply being gay can result in jail sentences or whippings.

"It's time for us to look at the reality," Justice Minister Ha Hung Cuong said last week in an online chat broadcast on national TV and radio. "The number of homosexuals has mounted to hundreds of thousands. It's not a small figure. ... They may own property. We, of course, have to handle these issues legally."

The Poser
Articles - Coming Out
Written by Melissa Tsang   
Monday, 30 July 2012 05:01

Image from sxc/linder6580

I grew up in an affluent, privileged, Chinese family in Singapore, complete with enrichment classes and Sunday school. I loved Barbie and Pokémon with equal intensity, and I would try to fit in with the girls while having no qualms about hitting a boy. I often thought about death when I was a child, but I suppose I had most of it figured out – eternity was taken care of by faith, and I would try to be a clever girl, marry a boy who would think my fat body beautiful, never have children, and die happy.

By the time I was sixteen, the issue of sexuality was close to my mind; not that I doubted I was straight – I just could no longer find any emotional conviction in the biblical truth I grew up with, that alternatives to heterosexuality were neither natural nor morally acceptable. Some of my closest friends weren't straight and I would not accept that they were going to hell because they weren't sorry about their sexualities. I fell silent about that which I used to protest with a vengeance, because I feared damnation for challenging the authority of the bible. Yet the taste of that silence in my mouth was that of remorse, resentment and the deepest sense of shame.

In my own small ways, I was beginning to question the legitimacy of heterosexism, like when I challenged my mom to consider the hurtful implications of 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, or when I spoke against the use of "gay" as a term of ridicule in class. I dare not say that I was an ally then, neither was I familiar with the LGBT community – but that was when I started to throw out my prejudice.

At the end of my junior year in high school, however, I made a most unusual observation – I, a hitherto straight girl, was attracted to my butch-identifying soccer teammate. For all the months I spent scouring Google, however, I found no answer that hit home, being unable to trace any "classic" signs. There were no childhood crushes on older girls, or lack of attraction to boys. Neither was I able to identify with any of the "butch", "femme" or "andro" (androgynous) labels, further frustrating my novice attempt to find my place in the world of lesbian attraction. I was therefore ashamed to take on the identity "gay", "bi", or "queer", because those were for the self-assured individuals who got detected on "gaydars". Not I – I was in question; I was a poser.

IndigNation 2012: Airing the Closet
Articles - Announcements
Written by editor   
Monday, 30 July 2012 04:02

IndigNation 2012 Event: Airing the Closet


What's it like to come out as a gay person in Singapore? How do the themes of our hopes, guilt and silence play out, both in and out of the closet?

Coming out can be painless for some but stressful and even traumatic for others. Through sharing from our guest speakers and the audience in a talk show format, Sayoni hopes to delve into the complexities of how every LGBTQ person reveals their sexual orientation -- for the first time, and each subsequent time -- in the coming out process.

If you're thinking of coming out or have questions or stories of your own to share, come and join us for an evening of chit-chat!


Airing the Closet: Our Very Own Chit-Chat

Date: 7 Aug 2012 (Saturday)

Time: 7-10pm

Location: KICKstart BREWiches (50 Armenian Street)

Who's invited: Everyone!



Airing the Closet on Facebook / IndigNation 2012 Facebook page / More IndigNation events

18 women (a V-Day poem)
Articles - Activism
Wednesday, 16 May 2012 02:47

This post is by guest writer Bianca, written in celebration of V-Day 2012 Singapore, held at the Arts House on 22 April. V-Day is a global activist movement to stop violence against women and girls through the use of creative events to promote awareness and action.


18 women

In swashes of pink, red and black

Red shoes, or black or barefoot with pink painted toes

Red roses, pink hairclips, lipstick, rouge, glitter

On sacred stage

Eager to show, talk, listen, laugh, moan, cry

To tell the story on sacred stage

Celebrating 6 Years of Sayoni
Articles - Announcements
Friday, 04 May 2012 01:31

[Click for bigger version]

Sayoni is throwing a birthday bash! Join us on 19 May (Sat) to celebrate 6 years of community and advocacy with a party at PLAY. The theme this year is “6 is Sexy”, so come in your sexiest outfit – whatever that is to you – and have a great time.

As usual, it’s queer women only, with male allies as guests.

Coming Out… My Way
Articles - Coming Out
Saturday, 14 April 2012 02:20

This post is by guest writer Ellen the Generous. It is tongue-in-cheek humour that's not intended as coming out advice, but the writer does hope you have a good laugh over it!

I thought I would share my coming out experience with readers, since I successfully came out to my parents. If the following fails, have a good laugh about it and then go get a better coming out guide. There's one by Sayoni.

Step 1
On the day you’ve decided to make the leap, take your parents out for a great dinner.

Step 2
Choose a day when a movie with a gender-bending/gay/lesbian theme is being screened. Take them to it.

Note 1: Ensure that the movie is still being screened. Buy tickets early!

V-Day Singapore Presents "The Vagina Monologues"
Articles - Events
Sunday, 01 April 2012 04:38

Update: Tickets for this event are sold out! Thank you for your support. For those going, we hope the performance makes an impact.

[Click here for bigger version]


V‑DAY Singapore presents Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues at the Singapore Arts House!

Comprising Sayoni and friends, V-Day Singapore joins the global effort to stop violence against women and girls. The ‘V’ stands for Valentine, Vagina and Victory over Violence. Further information about V-Day and its other campaigns to end violence against women and girls worldwide can be found at

LGBTIQ People's Caucus Statement for SOGI Inclusion
Articles - LGBT Rights, Politics & World News
Sunday, 01 April 2012 03:26

The LGBTIQ People's Caucus in Cambodia has issued the following statement, also endorsed by Sayoni, calling for sexual orientation and gender identity to be included in the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration.


Inclusion of SOGI Issues and Rights in the ACSC/APF and in the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration

The second convening of the ASEAN Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) People’s Caucus at Phnom Penh, Cambodia was not only to celebrate diversity but moreso, to remind the governments and members of civil society that the recognition, promotion and protection of LGBTIQ rights are still long overdue.

For the second year, issues pertaining to sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) have been given equal priority and attention as other struggles and issues at the ASEAN Civil Society Conference/ASEAN People’s Forum (ACSC/APF). While we appreciate the long overdue acknowledgement and opportunity, we need the ACSC/APF to do more than just lip-service.

Malaysia Court Upholds 'Seksualiti Merdeka' Ban
Articles - LGBT Rights, Politics & World News
Tuesday, 13 March 2012 02:58

Following on the last update, Malaysia's courts, unfortunately, did not think the LGBT rights festival ban was up for debate.


Yahoo! News: AG objects to 'Seksualiti Merdeka' ban review

The Attorney-General’s Chambers today objected to the judicial review application filed by the organisers of Seksualiti Merdeka on the police ban of its programmes last November.

This comes after the matter came up at the Kuala Lumpur High Court (Appellate and Special Powers Division), before judge Rohana Yusuf.

Last Updated on Thursday, 05 July 2012 02:36
Post-SlutWalk SG event in collaboration with Sayoni: Courage Unfolds
Articles - Events
Written by sayoni   
Saturday, 25 February 2012 02:36



Last year, SlutWalk Singapore planned to screen the documentary Courage Unfolds together with Sayoni as part of our fringe programme. However, due to the noise SWSG started to make, MDA approached us and told us that the film had to be rated by the Board of Film Censors, despite it being a private event. We have finally paid for, and received the license to screen this film.


Courage Unfolds is a video highlighting the struggles and triumphs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activists in Asia and promoting the use of international human rights law as a tool for social change. This video was co-produced by the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) and Lesbian Advocates Philippines (LeAP!).

Last Updated on Friday, 06 July 2012 02:41
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