News and Opinions

Being a christian, Being a lesbian…

Written by Jin on . Posted in Faith

This is the monthly column by jin on being a gay christian and the journey towards finding God and herself.

Wow! My own column! With people to read it! I feel like Carrie Bradshaw. Yes, you may imagine me tapping this out on my laptop, sprawled on my bed, propped up by my elbows, thoughtful faraway look in my eyes. But I ‘m not thin. And not American. And, actually, I am scribbling this on the MRT.

My name is Jin, you may know me as one of the founders and facilitators of LUSH: Lesbians United for Self-Help. This group was started in November this year, for Christian lesbians from various walks of life to come together and share their experiences in life, and form a safe support network for each other.

You may also know me as the elder of 2 daughters, with a large, lively (read: noisy) extended family. It’s hard for you to know me without some mention of my family because they are part of my life, and growing up surrounded by so many relatives must have had an impact in shaping me in some way or other. So the story of my life thus far, will definitely include some information about my family. Or  ‘clan ‘ as we sometimes call it.

Background knowledge: The whole family is Christian, mostly Methodist.

My sister and I went to a Methodist school, and our mother was very active in the church. We lived quite simply; after our father moved away we lived in a terrace house that our mother rented from her uncle. It was the house next to his, so we are to this day very close to him and his family.

Our mother brought us up well; she was strict but kind and fair. We, of course, were put through Sunday School, and had the usual religious education that you get in mission schools.

I didn’t think we were overly religious; we didn’t say grace before meals, and when we ate with friends or other relatives who did say grace, I sometimes thought ‘Wah, they are so good, I should remember to say grace too!’

Young Sappho

Written by Indu on . Posted in Youth

This is the introductory part of the monthly column on being a young queer girl, and coming out by pleinelune.

‘You are a lesbian? But you are so girly!’

‘No way. That’s just a phase most girls go through. Find yourself a nice boyfriend, and it will all go away.’

‘I told you that you should have gone to a mixed school. See how four years in a single-sex school has turned your head?’

‘What, the guys here are not manly enough for you?’

‘You have to stop this - this is not good for you. Girl-girl relationships never last.’

‘Don’t make me call your parents.’

Familiar phrases, familiar intonations. Lesbianism is not real. Gay relationships are bad. A young lesbian/bisexual girl goes through much of this in her coming out phase.

Not that coming out to oneself is any easier. Some of us know from the time we innocently held hands with our friend. Some of us, not until we realised that the kisses of our boyfriends were not as sweet as the ones stolen guiltily from that girl. Or until we realise we are checking out the girl next to the handsome hero, not him. Some of us don’t know at all, preferring to hide behind a veil of denial.

Not that our schoolmates are any help. They think lesbianism is something ugly girls do. They think it is just a phase, a girlish crush on an authority figure, quick to fade away when the first masculine figure appears on the scene.

Not that our parents help. We know they will probably kick us out if a whiff of our sexuality reaches them. Or take us to a doctor, pleading for a cure. We can’t bear to see the tears on our mothers’ faces, when they hear their daughters are’ different.

Who helps, then? Me, for one, as I take you on a journey across the choppy seas of being a young queer girl.

Buckle up.

 

Sexual Identity and Identity Development

Written by AnJ on . Posted in Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity/Expression

You may wonder:
Why do i need to know what are “sexual identity” and “identity development”?

Of course it is important… Knowledge is empowerment!

For starters, you must be able to identify yourself- am i gay? What makes a person gay? Behavior alone does not make you gay. It takes many aspects (refer to part 2).

Secondly, it puts things into perspective. Sexual identity is only one aspect of you. If you face discrimination based solely on your sexual identity, you will know that it is unfair and unreasonable. Especially if it is irrelevant to whatever is at hand i.e. seeking a job as a lawyer. Your vocation and intellectual identities would be more pertinent.

Third, a person who is in confusion is malleable (Refer to Part 3). If you are confused about your sexuality, you are susceptible to messages and may be inclined to “change” your sexuality. Knowing who you are and being equipped with the necessary knowledge will put you in good stead. First of all, you need to know that sexuality is not easily malleable (Refer to article of reparative therapies for a quick read). There are highly probable adverse consquences.

This post alone will not give you enough to conquer the world. But it’s a start!

In your exchanges with homophobic peeps, remember:
Locate the premise on which the argument (against your sexuality) is based as well as the linkages. Then attack them. The fact is: these arguments are flawed and cannot stand up to scrutiny. *Applicable to ALL sexual orientations.

For a better understanding of sexual identity, let’s delve into some psychology nonmenclature.

Out, Loud and Proud

Written by sayoni on . Posted in Coming Out

Pridemonth is upon us, once again… and though most of us cannot have pride parades in our home country, that does not mean we cannot celebrate Pride. We don’t need pride marches to come out to the world: we can start at home, to our loved ones and friends.

This is a collection of stories on coming out – good and bad, happy and sad, that have been published on Sayoni since we started. [In chronological order]

Coming out Earnestly
by lublub

Girls are beautiful creatures.

I have always thought so. The seniors at school were really pretty. So were the models in magazines and the teenage starlets on TV. I loved looking at their pictures, and I would spend countless hours on the computer looking at my pretty celebrity crushes. And at school, I would look at my seniors with a certain longing. My eyes followed their every beautiful and breathtaking movement. Sometimes, I looked at my own friends too with that same desire.

Read more…

Activism with a band on
by jin

I’ve been wearing a rainbow-coloured rubber wristband. You know, those wristbands that come in various colours, first it was a yellow one from the Lance Armstrong Foundation, then there was the dual black/white for anti-racism, and before long, even Giordano and McDonalds were selling them too. I’m not one for fads, so I’ve never owned or bought one in any of the myriad of colours they come in. Except this Rainbow one.

Read more…

Where do I go from here?
by jin

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