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.”
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!
Date: Saturday, August 29, 2009
Time: 2:00pm – 5:00pm
Location: 72-13 Theatreworks, Muhamad Sultan Road.
RSVP on Facebook
LGBTQ – an umbrella term that seemingly unites us, in our diversity. We automatically assume that our non-heterosexuality means we are one community, with common goals and a common space. But are we really? Can men and women really work together in the gay rights movement? Are our differences too great, or are our common goals sufficient to keep us united?
A panel of men and women experienced in working with the community take on this question in a debate format, exploring the questions from different angles and perspectives. Expect a night where we confront the dust bunnies under our carpet, and hopefully emerge with a better understanding of where we can head.
Today was a day to be marked down in history, as the day that Singaporeans realised they are indeed in control of their destiny, as the day they decided to take ownership in NGOs, as the day they stood up against the tide of intolerance and stood up for equal rights and inclusiveness. After a much-prolonged, 7-hour extraordinary general meeting (not counting waiting time), the old guard of Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) were returned to power, ousting the new exco who had all but taken AWARE’s leadership by force.
The meeting was stormy, emotional and inspiring. Many women and men stood up to speak up for the old aware and against the injustices perpetrated in the short term of the “new” exco. Many shocking things were revealed – such as the exco spending about S$90k since they took office (when only authorised to spend S$20k). The depth of their ignorance about what AWARE really did and stood for was revealed, as well as their inability to effectively lead. At the end of the long meeting, the no-confidence motion was passed by a margin of 2-1 – 1414 votes for yes, and 716 for no, and after an extended discussion, the exco finally decided to step down. The general meeting then proceeded to elect back the old guard into power – starting with Dana Lam as the president and Chew I-Jin as the Vice-President.
What was the most touching to us was the number of people – men, women, fathers, mothers, teachers, students, christians, muslims… who all stood up and spoke up for inclusiveness, the importance of having a queer-neutral sexuality education program, and why AWARE should help queer women in need.
Sayoni would like to join in congratulating AWARE on its historic victory. This is not just a victory for womenm or even queer women, but for civil society in years to come. For extended reports on the events and commentary, stay tuned!
They have changed the venue from Expo to Suntec.
29th April 2009
To: AWARE MembersEXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETINGTO BE HELD ON 2ND MAY 2009Notice is hereby given that:1. The venue of the Extraordinary General Meeting (“EGM”) of the Association of Women forAction & Research (“AWARE”) to be held on Saturday, 2nd May 2009 , from 2.00 p.m. to5.00 p.m. is hereby changed as follows:
Exhibition Hall 402Suntec Singapore
International Convention & Exhibition Centre1 Raffles Boulevard, Suntec City ,Singapore 039593
This notification supercedes all previous notifications.
2. Admission and registration would be from 12.00 noon to 2.00 p.m. on Saturday, 2ndMay 2009 .Registration for new members will close once the EGM starts at 2.00 p.m.Existing members may be admitted.It is mandatory to show your NRIC for admission and registration.3. Messrs Rajah & Tann have been appointed to act as AWARE’s legal advisors to attend theEGM to be convened on 2nd May 2009 to address legal queries relating to, and raisedduring, the EGM including the matters intended to be transacted, AWARE’s constitution andmeeting law and procedure.
By Order Of The Executive CommitteeJenica ChuaHonorary SecretaryAssociation of Women for Action & Research
27th April 2009
To: AWARE MembersEXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETINGTO BE HELD ON 2ND MAY 2009Notice is hereby given that:1. The venue of the Extraordinary General Meeting (“EGM”) of the Association of Women forAction & Research (“AWARE”) to be held on Saturday, 2nd May 2009 , from 2.00 p.m. to5.00 p.m. is hereby changed as follows:Singapore EXPO Hall 21 Expo Drive, #01-01Singapore 486150Admission and registration would be from 12.00 noon to 2.00 p.m. on Saturday, 2ndMay 2009 .It is mandatory to show your NRIC for admission and registration.2. Messrs Rajah & Tann have been appointed to act as AWARE’s legal advisors to attend theEGM to be convened on 2nd May 2009 to address legal queries relating to, and raisedduring, the EGM including the matters intended to be transacted, AWARE’s constitution andmeeting law and procedure.
By Order Of The Executive CommitteeJenica ChuaHonorary SecretaryAssociation of Women for Action & Research
A lot has happened over the AWARE saga, and because of exams, I have not been able to do a commentary on it. Not that there would be a lot for me to say, every possible angle has been thoroughly canvassed by the bloggosphere and media. It is really quite clear that I do not support the new exco after them using such shady methods and knowing their background. I do not find my confidence in them bolstered after the revelation that Dr Thio Su-Mien is behind it. I have already had a run-in with her daughter, Dr Thio Li-Ann before, as some people would remember – and while I disagreed with her and found her remarks in parliament insulting, I was one of the first ones to stand up and say that she should not be fired or receive death threats because of what she said. My principles, or stance, have not changed. I believe, and still believe, in civil, dignified debate, not name-calling or personal attacks.
So, whoever send that death threat to the new exco – cut it out. You are making us look bad. While I have strong doubts about the veracity of the said death threat, or even any real intention, I am going to treat it as real for the purposes of this discussion, and repeat, once again, that no one, NO ONE, should be doing anything remotely despicable. Having said that (and this is directed at you, new exco) receiving death threats does not make your cause a noble one (Harvey Milk got death threats on a regular basis, and I doubt you are going to agree his cause is noble).
Secondly, as to Josie Lau’s job. I have absolutely no idea what DBS is doing to her position, and frankly, I don’t care. While the revelation that she is the one who led DBS-FOTF linkup is infuriating but not surprising, I believe that issue has already been dealt with and buried. DBS has learned its lesson. But this new saga really has nothing to do with them. I know some of us already cancelled our DBS accounts after the FOTF saga – and now there is a new call from Mr Wang to cancel our DBS cards so that Josie can get fired.
I have to say, this is not a strategy I am comfortable with, or will ever endorse. Boycotting a business that might support an anti-gay cause is one thing, but trying to target it at a person is not acceptable unless she’s a mass murderer/fraudster etc.
Josie is as much as human being as the rest of us, and she has a family to support too – two kids, in fact. She has the full right to have a career and do things outside this career, and express her own views. As do any of us. How would any of you like to be fired because you supported a gay cause? What if all the fundies called in and boycotted the business/company you worked for, just to get you fired? Her job performance has nothing to do with her beliefs – DBS can decide whether to keep her on or not.
I will not, and cannot, endorse such a blunt tool tactic. That’s going too far. Not to mention it will only backfire on us, because we are going to look petty and undignified. Let’s try to do justice to YawningBread’s assertion that we are a mature bunch on this issue.
Not to mention I do not want to hear the new exco play the victim again. It is kind of getting tiring, really. Morever, when they play the victim, they avoid the real issues and hard questions. They are already good at that, lets not give them more opportunities.