To empower queer women towards greater involvement and presence in the community
Advocacy for LBTQ women's rights at CEDAW
Sayoni was at the United Nations in Geneva in October 2017 to bring Singapore LBTQ women's issues to the forefront. The CEDAW Committee heard our concerns and raised recommendations related to LBTQ women in their Concluding Observations for the Singapore government.
Sayoni is a Singapore-based feminist, volunteer-run organisation that works to uphold human rights protections for queer women, including lesbian, bisexual and transgender women. We organise and advocate for equality in well-being and dignity regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity/expression and sex characteristics.

We believe that everyone has a part to play in improving the lives of LBTQ people. Donate or volunteer with us.

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Our Work

Research and Advocacy

We collect data and raise awareness about LBTQ issues


We hold events to build community


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News and Announcements

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  • Masculine lesbians are envious of the male sex organ- penis (penis-envy)!

Now this is trickier: Masculine lesbians are not transsexuals.

There are girls out there who dress like men; act like men and wish they are men. These are transsexuals. Many of them would be looking towards surgey or hormone therapy to change their gender from female to male. They are men trapped in the bodies of women. They love women- which means they are straight.

Masculine lesbians are a different breed. They are HAPPY being women and they love women- which means they are gay. Just that their dressing style and mannerism are tomboyish to varying degrees.

To add on to all these, masculine lesbians do not always fancy feminine lesbians. There are masculine lesbians who like masculine lesbians; feminine lesbians who like feminine lesbians. So, the butch-femme binary depicted in the media is not a universal rule.

Some lesbians use strapped-ons and dildos. But this does not necessary mean that they need the strapped on to feel good about themselves. The common myth is that only masculine lesbians strap it on- but this is untrue. As long as the girls like the feel of it, they may strap it on- regardless of whether they are masculine, feminine or somewhere in between.

  • Lesbians hate men.

That’s nonsense. We honor our fathers- for starters.

  • There is no place for lesbians in society and the family.

Take note that lesbians are a diverse group of people. Discrimination takes place easily when gay people are easily identified and when the people are ignorant and afraid of the unknown.

Therefore, lesbians who are very masculine i.e. wear guys’ clothes; get a guy’s haircut etc, may experience discrimination at their workplace. These days, there are many major employers out there who do not discriminate against sexuality. However, there are small companies with homophobic bosses around. Lesbians who are not “obvious”-not masculine to the core- they are generally able to work without harrassment. There are many lesbians who have gone far in their careers.

Acceptance by the family depends on a large number of factors, such as whether the lesbian is in the closet; how the lesbian navigate the coming out process; how religious the family is (especially where religion openly prohibits homosexuality); whether the lesbian is financially independent etc. There are many lesbians happily out to their families- with good acceptance.

  • Girly girls are lesbians only if they cannot find the right guy.

This statement implies that being straight is the original sexual orientation and that gay love is second-class.
When you fall in love, do you fall in love with the person’s sexual organ only? Is the sole reason for love… procreation? If so, without procreation, romantic love has no reason for existence? There are many questions that one need to raise.

We cannot deny that there are women who seek other women because they are “sick” of men. For that to start, these women cannot find sexual intimacy with other women distasteful- this in itself implies that she is not completely straight.

Relevant to this is “bisexuality”- people who like both men and women at the same time. For a good read, click on:

The statement also reflects a non-understanding of sexuality- that is, sexuality can change over time. For an insight, please refer to:

  • Lesbians can definitely be “straightened”.

Lesbians cannot be straightened. When we talk about “being straight” here, we are refering to MORE THAN MERE BEHAVIOR. For example, sexuality takes into account your fantasies. Sexuality is made up of many facets- refer to part 2 of the link below for a list of aspects.

Secondly, reparative therapy (also known as conversion therapy), which some fundamentalist Christians have utilized to “change” homosexuals, can hurt. You can see what research has said from this short review:

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Are you a parent, relative or friend of a queer person? Confused as to how to react to his/her sexuality? Please check out SAFE for more information

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