In 2009, Sayoni began a new initiative, an overseas vacation “camp” specifically for queer women. The inaugural run in Batam was a great success, attended by a large number of participants hailing from different walks of life. Bringing together a blend of personal development workshops and outdoor activities with ample bonding time, the 3-day camp was an uplifting experience for its attendees, providing a valuable space for fun, growth and connection with other queer women. A life-changing time for some, the camp has allowed its participants to forge enduring bonds beyond the camp itself and given others an opportunity to expand their own boundaries with new experiences.
The Sayoni Summer Camp team is gearing up for its second camp this year, titled SSC’10 for short. We hope to share the SSC experience with new and former participants alike. We welcome you to join us from 4-6 September this year for an all-inclusive vacation at a beach resort in Thailand.
More details can be found at http://www.sayoni.com/ssc10
Registration ends 15 July.
These are some of the comments from participants of SSC09:
“I did take something away from the camp. Something positive, chief among which is AWARENESS. Of the community, of the commitment of those who work so hard to make life and/or transition a little easier, of the quality of leadership and the quality of the people who are a part of our lives whether wittingly or unwittingly – TOP NOTCH, OUTSTANDING WOMEN. I have never before in my life, been surrounded by so many wonderful women, on an island no less. Thank you for that experience.”
“As quickly as ‘team’ surfaced from the diversity, the spirit of ‘family’ soon emerged by the 2nd day of the camp. You could say we played our way into each other’s hearts. Water polo matches, meal times, BBQ dinner, late-night symposiums and even on the ferry back, these were all dear moments of playful fun, hearty laughter, good conversations, and explicit sharings. We found ourselves to be different yet so similar in our struggles, challenges, discrimination, hopes and dreams.”
“Best thing abt ssc09 is of course the most incredible organizers I’ve met! And i did learnt more abt myself and those around me. I also loved the sharing sessions because that would definitely help others if not yourself too. I am happy that I am better equipped with knowledge and friends who CAN be really open abt their experiences.”
I just installed wordpress on my iPhone, so it is entirely possible this blog might see more than 3 posts per quarter. I twitter a lot, if you haven’t noticed but now and then, I do get the urge to express myself in more than 140 characters at a time, but I’m simply too lazy to open my browser and type a blog post. Call it inertia.
At any rate, I’ve a busy summer ahead: research work, law vi, Sayoni stuff, possible trip to India. Exams are over, so I can finally get to all this.
Anyway, till next post!
Sayoni is proud to present the Sayoni Queer Women Survey, 2010. This survey is aimed at queer, lesbian, bisexual and transgender women living in Singapore, to gather essential information about the community, in terms of
1. Age, racial and religious composition
2. Educational and career background, and financial status
3. Social framework, in relation to their sexual orientation
4. Personal/Emotional status, in relation to their sexual orientation
5. Feedback, on Sayoni and on the community
We appeal to you to take this survey, if you happen to belong to the target group. Just five minutes of your time can help us learn how to better help you and the community as a whole, as well as serve as a record of progress throughout the years.
All information, once collected and analysed, will be made publicly available.
Please be reassured that this survey is completely anonymous. Individual responses will not be revealed, and will not be traceable to the individual user.
Please help spread the word around, to your queer female friends. We aim to capture people from all social strata in this survey.
If you wish to see the reports from last year, please click here.
If you wish to the survey with an image, you can use the following code.
You can use the links below this article to share it on social networking sites you frequent.
Thank you for your time!
Good morning, and thank you for joining me. Many of you in this room are my friends, know me and have supported me. Now everyone in this room has good reason to be critical of me. I want to say to each of you directly, I am deeply sorry for my irresponsible and selfish behaviour I engaged in. People want to know I could have done these things to my wife Evangeline, all 13 inches of her beautiful white plastic self.
I am sorry for cheating on you, Evangeline, with my iPhone. She was just too sexy.
But there is one thing I want to make clear: my wife has not given me an electric shock that night or any other night. There has never been an episode of domestic violence in our marriage, I have never dropped her either.
I am deeply sorry. But now that you know, just shut one eye like Jack Neo’s wife, okay?
Originally published on Sayoni.
“Fridae has been told that a total of 85 people including filmmakers Sun Koh and Royston Tan have lodged police reports over the long Chinese New Year weekend about pastor Rony Tan’s offensive comments concerning gay men and lesbians in an online video.”
Read the rest of the article here.
Freedom of religion is a tricky thing. Take it too far and you can justify theocracy, give it too little and you have oppression. When freedom of religion and freedom of speech attempts to go together, it becomes even more of an unnavigable thicket.
Did Pastor Rony Tan make a mistake? Of course he did. He said things that were both ignorant and arrogant, as well as extremely bigoted. He acted in a way that no religious leader should have, in openly disparaging another religion, especially without much basis. Very few people would say that what he said was completely acceptable. And he has been reprimanded for it, by the ISD no less. The implications on this being considered a national security issue are for another author to debate thoroughly, but this author believes the use of the ISD to be heavy-handed and to send a chilling effect on political discourse and legitimate criticism of religion.
The ground gets more slippery when one considers his remarks against the queer community. I watched the video and found myself rolling my eyes at his ignorance. But what’s new? He is only echoing what every other pastor says, when they might choose to speak on the issue. I am not sure he has had the opportunity to know better, and even if he hasn’t, whether he even realises the damage he is doing. After all, he is doing what a lot of religious leaders do: latch on to one issue of moral significance and use it to gain popularity and following.
[background: my best friend and I consider ourselves “married”]
Me: I am getting a cat!
Nan: Ooo! A kitty? OMG! i demand the rights to co-own him!
Me: My sister will contest your claim to that.
Nan: I am your wife, I get priority over your sister.
Me: Co-owning means co-cleaning, co-feeding…
Nan: nahhhh. i just want the bragging rights.
Me: if we are to have this child, i am not going to raise him by myself!
Nan: i’ll give you child maintainence money xD
Me: Keep your money. This cat doesn’t need a deadbeat mother!
Me: This conversation is going on my blog
Nan: the fact that i am now the proud co-owner of a cat is going on mine
This year is going to be a quiet one. As always, i’m happy if you split the price, and yes some of the wishes are a bit pricy and i don’t expect anyone to actually get them. Some of them are… well, you’ll see below.
1. Go Fug Yourself book – Zark has kinda volunteered to finance this if someone brings it back from the US (Liv?)
2. Battlestar Galactica DVDs
3. La Mer cream
4. Apple store vouchers
5. Ecologically friendly, organic cosmetics and stuff, including fragrances
7. Donate to any number of poverty and hunger relief charities in my name – I particularly like Lifesaver, a company that brings revolutionary water purifiers to people in water-shortage situations.
8. If you are a woman, switch to menstrual cups instead of tampons and pads (there are local suppliers for Mooncups) so that we can cut down the waste that ends up in landfills and doesn’t biodegrade, or washes up on shores after being dumped in the sea. Or if you don’t like that, switch to reusable pads and tampons.
9. lots of love, hugs and kisses.
A random MSN conversation between me and zixian, who is going away on exchange to China next sem.
zark: if they make me do maoist thought
zark: then i will come back a full fledged communist
zark: then you will have to try to get me habeas corpus
zark: and argue Chng Suan Tze
me: well dear, you know the situation here
me: NO JUDICIAL REVIEW
zark: I IS JUST A KPOP IDOL LOVING UNIVERSITY STUDENT
zark: i will be deprived of my 2pm if i am locked up
zark: then i will have to escape while limping
zark: with a flotation device
me: yeah you will break that leg when you land on a pile of toilet paper
zark: then i’ll swim to malaysia
zark: and then they’ll catch me, and kill me
zark: then i will weep because i went to hell without hearing 2pm’s new album
me: no, they’ll just extradite you back here
me: where you will be subjected to intense airconditioning
zark: then i still won’t get to listen to 2pm
zark: maybe you can visit me with a contraband 2pm album
P.S. “2pm” is a korean pop group
Me: [posts article about a campus in USA banning cross-dressing]
Rach: Well if they banned leggings as pants in law school you’d be happy
Me: I am a liberal. I will fight to the death for your right to wear things that are an eyesore to me
Because I feel like I owe my readers an update: all 5 of you.
- I’ve dropped regulatory theory and am going with Corporate Governance in Singapore – because I realised how heavy it was going to be, since my PIL + Islamic law + Comparative Consti combination was already a killer
- Which means I have a 2-day week (Mon + Wed) and Sat morning classes now that Islamic law classes are over. Yes, you can throw the rotten tomatoes at me.
- Now that Islamic law is over, I am really really missing it. I actually really love the subject. Which is kinda funny because the central premise of Islamic law is diametrically opposed to my central philosophy as a person. Islamic law dictates that God has a right path for us, and there is a right way to do every conceivable act. I personally don’t believe in a sentient god, and I think if there is a entity beyond the realms of our understanding, it is a passive one that doesn’t set down any laws except the laws of physics. But there is something very academically compelling about it. Too bad it is not an economically viable specialty unless one goes into Islamic finance.
- Economically unviable also describes Comparative Constitutional law and Public Int’l Law, to a limited extent. Clearly this semester I am just indulging my own interests before I bow into pressure and take some really boring modules which will help me get a job
- And clearly by economically viable, I mean something that can exist outside academia
- I love Scrivener. Love it love it love it. If you are a mac user and you are a law/arts student, get this today. If you are a writer, get this. If you work extensively with words, get it. It is soooo awesome. What’s that? You are a windows-user? Not to worry, there is a Scrivener look-alike: Page Four
- Am I dating anyone? The answer can change month to month, so don’t expect anything permanent. I am honestly tired of dating at this point, and just want to focus on my studies for the next 2 years.
- Am I happy? Content is more like it. I’m just very focussed on what I want and need to do.
- Am I going on too long? Yeah, I am, so I am going to go back to my workspace.