News and Opinions

Come Out Come Home, a Sayoni initiative

Written by sayoni on . Posted in Announcements

CouCH

 

Every movement starts with the few who step out a little further than the rest, and change happens from there. By coming out and being visible as an LGBTQ person or ally, we encourage others to step out of their closets, too.

COuCH, which stands for Come Out Come Home, is a Sayoni community initiative to encourage and support LGBTQ persons and allies to come out or be more out than they already are. In particular, we hope to reach LGBTQ persons who are or are trying to be ready to come out.

The movement was inspired by studies which have shown that there are many positive effects when LGBTQ persons come out. This is also about celebrating the people – families, friends, and/or peers – who love, accept and support us, and thus encourage us to be out. COuCH aims to empower and provide visibility to the LGBTQ community and our allies. This helps the world understand that we are part of and play many different roles in society.

From 3 August 2013, genuine stories about Singaporeans coming out, as a queer person or ally, will be published and streamed online through a dedicated website (COuCH.sg) and its Facebook Page.

As one of Sayoni’s founders, Jean Chong, said at the launch of the movement at Indignation 2013 on Saturday, “We often talk about the need to dialogue with those on the opposing side... But the dialogue needs to start in our homes, with our community, with our friends, and most importantly with ourselves.”

We call on all LGBTQ persons and allies who can come out, wish to come out or feel they are ready to, to participate by sharing your photos and stories, uploading a video, making a pledge with us to come out, or contributing funds to support the initiative. The campaign peaks on 11 Oct, International Coming Out Day, with a special event.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

READ
Website: www.couch.sg
Facebook: www.facebook.com/couch2013

JOIN IN
Share, upload, pledge or contribute: www.couch.sg/participate

LINKS TO RESOURCES

Sayoni's Coming Out Guide: In PDF format / Hard copy format


Queer Content at the Israel Film Festival

Written by editor on . Posted in Entertainment

IFF2013 Melting Away
[Click for full version]

The Israel Film Festival, which has been consistently LGBT-friendly, this year brings us Melting Away (2011), the moving story of a transgender woman and her family. Synopsis below:

The discovery of Assaf secretly being a cross-dresser is too much for Shlomo and so he banishes his child from home. Years later, Gallia hires a private detective to find their son, as Shlomo is dying from cancer. The detective finds Anna, the beautiful transgendered singer at a Tel Aviv nightclub. This heartfelt drama of family, love, and understanding was conceived in reaction to the deadly attack on the Tel Aviv LGBT Youth Centre and shock of parents refusing to visit their injured children.

The movie has been rated R21 (why am I not surprised?) and is in Hebrew with English subtitles. You can buy tickets from the Cathay website or find out more details about the film festival in their programme booklet.

Another queer film coming from Israel appears to be Yossi (2013), the story of a gay man finding love in an unexpected place. The IFF Facebook page appears to have a contest for tickets to the advance screening that ends on Sunday, if anyone's interested.

Sayoni at IndigNation 2013

Written by sayoni on . Posted in Announcements


As part of IndigNation 2013, Sayoni will be hosting two events. "Same-Sex Parenting: Raising New Standards" features a special afternoon with queer parents, while "Southeast Gaysia!" casts the spotlight on the little-known revolution happening in Asia.

We will also mark the launch of our new campaign, "Come Out Come Home", a movement to support all queer/LGBTIQ persons who wish to come out or be more out, and which celebrates and supports the allies who enable their LGBTIQ family, friends and colleagues to come out.

Here's the latest schedule. More info - and event links - can be found on the IndigNation Facebook page.


SATURDAY 3 AUG // 5PM
IndigNation 2013 Opening - Faith in the Future

SUNDAY 4 AUG // 2-6PM
Same-sex Parenting: Raising New Standards

FRIDAY 9 AUG // 5PM till late
Pink Picnic

SATURDAY 10 AUG // 8PM
I Will Survive with Music

THURSDAY 15 AUG // 8PM
Gaylien Invasion: A Night of LGBT Science Fiction

SUNDAY 18 AUG // 2-6PM
Be With Me: An OC Women workshop for women who love women

FRIDAY 23 AUG // 8PM
Akka (அக்கா): a reading of Singapore’s first queer Tamil play

SUNDAY 25 AUG // 3PM
Transcending Gender

SATURDAY 31 AUG // 4PM
Southeast Gaysia!

SATURDAY 31 AUG // 7:30PM
ContraDiction: an evening of LGBT literature


ABOUT INDIGNATION
IndigNation, an annual showcase of the Singapore LGBT community’s diversity, is now in its 9th edition.

Over the last eight years, IndigNation has showcased many facets of Singapore's LGBT community. From talks to film screenings, art exhibitions to illicit mass runs and flash mob picnics, Singapore’s homegrown Pride season has celebrated the visible and not-so-visible aspects of our country’s sexual minorities.

This year, our theme is "Faith in the Future", looking ahead to what possibilities there are for the LGBT community - not just about LGBT rights, but how we envision our future as LGBT people in Singapore.

Come and dream and hope together - because the only future we can have is the one we dare to dream of.


Participants Wanted for Sayoni's Youth Focus Group

Written by sayoni on . Posted in Announcements

participants-wanted-for-focus-group

 

Following on our first successful session, Sayoni is hosting a 3-hour group discussion to understand queer/LGBTQ youth experiences in the family environment. The information collected will not be identifiable.

If you are of an age below 18 and would like to participate, please register here.

Your participation will inform future advocacy by Sayoni.



MDA Rule Change: Why the LGBTQ Community Should Care

Written by alina on . Posted in Commentary

This commentary contains the personal views of the writer.

As shown on Talking Point
Uh ok.

 



Channel NewsAsia helpfully noted on Talking Point that once licensed under the changed MDA regulations, websites “have to follow certain guidelines on content, for example, nothing that incites racial or religious hatred, promotes violence or advocates homosexuality” and take down offending content within 24 hours. Before 1st June, these websites were under the automatic class licence under the Broadcasting Act, but they now have to apply for an individual licence and put up a $50,000 performance bond.

The affected sites aren't your average blog. They should have significant traffic – “are visited by at least 50,000 unique IP addresses from Singapore each month over a period of two months” – and have “an average of at least one article per week on Singapore’s news and current affairs over a period of two months”.

So what’s new, really? Some commentators have opined that nothing will change. After all, it has been said that individual blogs will not be affected. Organisers could also shift their bases to social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. Others point out that websites have already been removing offensive content under existing laws, and bloggers have in fact been sued for defamation over sensitive posts. Gay Star News has provided gay and lesbian perspectives saying that this change is aimed at political blogs and LGBTQ websites are an area that may still remain fuzzy.

But the real, immediate consequences of this law are only part of the picture. Yes, there are sites that will have to muzzle themselves as a consequence of their individual licence. The news sites of the future may also be deterred by the barriers in place – why aim for a wide readership and commercial success when they bring added controls?

There are other implications, perhaps more ideological ones, which concern me as a queer person.

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