The SinQSA Game Show

Come be a part of The SinQSA Game Show!

Organised by the Singapore Queer-Straight Alliance (SinQSA), and as part of Singapore’s Pride season Indignation’09, The SinQSA Game Show promises to bring fun and test the ‘alliance’ between straight and queer friends. In other words, we are putting the queer-straight alliance to the game show test!

Form a team of 2, 1 being straight, 1 being queer-identified (LGBT), and sign up for the contest. Your team will battle other teams through three rounds of games, their formats include the Pyramid game, the charades, and Taboo. The top 3 teams from a maximum of 12 stand to win prizes.

Registration is simple and electronic. Registration fee is at $10 (may be paid at Food#03 or at the event venue upon confirmation of your participation). Just send an email to admin (at) sinqsa.org containing the following information:

a) Team name (think of something creative!)
b) Contestant names, contact numbers, emails (so that we can keep in touch and provide the necessary information and updates)
c) Other interesting contestant biodata, such as occupation, nationality, hobbies, etc.

In the event there are fewer than 6 teams (2-5), the top 3 will still stand to win prizes, but will go through more rounds of each 3 challenges.

Latest July 9 update: If you have trouble finding a partner, just email-sign up as an individual, with your name, contact number, email and interesting biodata, and we can find a teammate for you to compete. You may split the registration fee at $5 each (go dutch on the “first date”).

Registration will close when 12 teams have registered, or by August 5, 2009, so what are you waiting for?

We also welcome donations and interested sponsors who want to be part of this event. Proceeds will go to funding the event, as well as photo exhibition All You Need Is Love, which will feature photographs containing at least one straight and one queer persons, capturing happy moments of friendship.

See you soon!

Event details
Venue: 72-13 Mohamed Sultan Road
Date and time: August 16, 2009. 3pm
Website: www.sinqsa.org
Facebook event group: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/event.php?eid=122505997743&ref=nf

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Come make a Pink Dot on May 16


For more information, please go to http://pinkdot.sg.

Support the freedom to love.

May 16 is the day of the Pink Dot

Hello everyone,

Do you support the freedom of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people to love? Then show your support by joining our smart mob at Hong Lim Park on 16 May, 4.30pm!

This is NOT a protest nor a parade, just a simple call for open-minded Singaporeans to come together to form a pink dot, of which aerial photographs will be taken. This pink dot is a celebration of diversity and equality, and a symbol of Singapore’s more inclusive future.

Venue: The field at Hong Lim Park

Date & Time: May 16 (Sat), 4.30pm

What to wear: Pink (caps, hats, glasses, sunglasses and accessories are recommended.)

What to bring: Anyone who supports the freedom of LGBT Singaporeans to love.

What to expect: The human pink dot will be formed by around 5pm and a photograph will be taken from a vantage point nearby.


To pledge your attendance, please click here:

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=41037205735#/event.php?sid=181a9978badf2a0c4c765bd6ca335ebc&eid=106116639688&ref=search

For updates, please join Pink Dot Sg on Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=41037205735#/group.php?gid=41037205735

More about Pink Dot SG:

http://www.pinkdot.sg/


For queries, please e-mail pinkdotsg@yahoo.com

This event is 100% legal; no registration is required.

SinQSA’s Straight Privileges project

Hello friends!

Starting March 2009, SinQSA will be embarking on a small project.

In each of our monthly meet-up, everyone will take turns to contribute to the list of straight privileges, which contains the taken-for-granted things straight people have in Singapore.

This project aims to display the simple things in our daily lives as Singaporeans that may in fact be privileges exclusive to a group of people, in this case, those who identified as heterosexual. Any one, who identifies as straight or queer, are welcome to add to this list. It is a round-table effort, as the list is literally passed around the table for your guys to contribute.

An example of such a list can be found here.

We will see how long this list will grow in the months to come. We will compile it and post it on our website.

Hope to see you at our monthly meet-ups. Join our facebook group for more information!

Straight thoughts on 377A

“Sam, why are you so pro-gay?”

My classmate asked me this on Friday, as I was asking around to see if people were interested in signing the 377A repeal petition. I had been too busy to reply him then, but here’s my answer:

I’m not pro-gay. I’m anti-injustice.

I think we all encounter injustice in our lives. For example, I am Chinese by ethnicity, but can’t speak Mandarin well. I don’t look very Chinese either. I was frequently mocked in my childhood. “You are Chinese, so you should speak Chinese!” Coming from a neighbourhood school, Mandarin was the predominant language, so I’ve heard that from almost everyone. I felt discriminated against; an injustice to me.

Still, I made the effort to get some Mandarin into my system so that I could pass my exams and get that passport to the local university. (Maybe I was lucky too.)

It was in University that I finally learnt more meaningful things. I admit that initially, I was just there to get a degree, with which I could land myself a well-paying job, and happily leave behind everything I learnt. But I realise that university education has empowered me and made me more confident in expressing my thoughts. It would indeed be a waste if I left all that behind upon graduation.

Another thing I realised, is that thinking alone is useless when those thoughts are not expressed when it comes to standing up for what you believe in.

Maybe it’s a character trait. When I was 17, I read in the newspapers about an audition call for some English drama. I had always been a harsh critic of local television and actors, but it was only then that I realised that it was only too easy to sit on the sofa, point my finger, and open a critical mouth. So I decided to try acting for myself. It turned out to be really tough.

This was probably my own little rite of passage to holding myself accountable for my beliefs, and putting my money where my mouth is. It is for the very same reason that I continually write to the Straits Times Forum, even though my letters are usually rejected or else subjected to a fair amount of editing. The important thing is, I feel like I’m actually doing something that could make a difference, no matter how small, rather than just sitting around and complaining.

So what does a straight guy have to do with sexual minorities? Why even bother?

I believe in respecting spaces; that everyone should have his/her own space and not intrude into other people’s spaces. Perhaps a fair bunch of straight folks have had their ‘horrifying’ experiences with homosexual men, where they felt their personal spaces had been invaded. Then again, there are also many schoolgirls who also have had their ‘horrifying’ experiences with ‘cheekopeks’. There are black sheep in every society and community.

I used to be a homophobe because I did not see how “human” homosexual people were. When I became better able to understand their humanly pains, I started to see the discrimination, ostracism and hatred levelled against them. It’s like telling Chinese-looking kids that they ought to speak Mandarin. Although that may be a poor analogy, I think it’s still meaningful.

Homosexuality: It is an identity. Why are we trying to discipline and punish homosexuals; to “straighten” and institutionalise them according to our privileged predispositions? Why do we want to tell them who, and how, to love? Why do we want to invade their spaces?

Why are straight people so homophobic? Does homophobia justify discrimination, prejudice, and hatred, and do these manifestations justify institutional and legal disciplining and marginalisation of sexual minorities?

I think straight people are very lucky. We don’t realise that we are privileged, being in the position or side that is societally-condoned (at this point in history), and we take that comfort for granted. Straight people already occupy and live in a very big space, yet we continue to deprive sexual minorities of having their own spaces, thinking that it will come at the expense of our space, which is far from the case.

I thought to myself, “Imagine if one day, the community pointed its finger at me and deemed my identity, beliefs and self as wrong, immoral, sinful and illegal…” That would be a very horrible situation. I would experience a lot of dissonance. Would I do the good ol’ Singaporean thing and conform; cause no trouble?

There are people with special needs around us. There are also the poor, the aged and the ill. We don’t bat an eyelid to help them. But when it comes to sexual minorities – who are after all human beings as well – we whip out holy books, we talk about tradition, we talk about gender roles, behaviours and expectations, we even talk about medicine, we talk about our own moral and values system, but for all the ‘expert talk’, we end up not doing anything. Are our compassion and graciousness only limited to certain peoples?

When I went around asking classmates if they were interested in signing the 377A repeal petition, most declined.

Lack of information”. “I already signed the online one.” (which was just an open letter; not a petition.) “I don’t want trouble.”

We are University students. We’re supposed to be educated, right? We are so vocal in class – we can criticise the government in the classroom, we can engage passionately in discussions – but when it comes to putting names down, when it comes to participating in the democracy, nothing happens. Words aplenty, action so scarce. If you believe in a cause, you have the right to be silent as much as you have the obligation to do something about it. It’s not as if by signing the petition, we are being rude to the authorities or anything. Education empowers you to make a better and informed decision.

Well, there were some legitimate reasons. “It’s my religious belief, sorry.” “I don’t support the idea, sorry.” I just thanked them and apologised at the same time. These people had their beliefs, and clearly stated them. That was fine.

I believe that it takes a lot of guts for straight men to support gay equality. Siew Kum Hong has the guts to stand up, represent and speak up on behalf of sexual minorities in Singapore. That is representative democracy. That is quite “manly” too, to appropriate societal conceptions and stereotypical depictions of the “manly man”. They say if a man can stand up for and defend his wife against a gang of robbers, he’s a “real man”. What about a straight man standing up for gay men? Siew does not stand alone because he has earned the respect of many persons out there. Perhaps this is his rite of passage.

So what does 377A mean to me? I’m not gay, so I admit I can’t fully empathise, but what I see is institutional discrimination. The law doesn’t really care about what straight couples do in the bedroom, but it still “cares” about what gay people do in private. Not only is what they do private, it is most importantly consensual. Why should we punish consensual acts? Minors and persons who don’t give consent, should be protected. That is after all what the law should do. The law should protect; not marginalise communities or even worse, legitimise persistent discrimination. If I were shut up on 377A, I would be allowing discrimination to carry on under my nose. The 70% government subsidy of my university education would be put to shame. If there are other ways I can contribute to society aside from paying taxes, this is just one little thing I can do. I want to say that there are straight men in Singapore who support gay equality. Sexual minorities deserve equal recognition, fair representation, proper respect and similar rights.

SinQSA Meetup Nov 15

The first of our monthly meetup sessions where we can get to meet one another face-to-face. Our new website will also be launched!  Come join us!

Time and Place

Date : Saturday, November 15, 2008
Time : 2:00pm – 5:00pm
Location : Food #03, Post-Museum, 107+109 Rowell Rd, Singapore
Contact Info

Phone : 63963598
Email : admin@sinqsa.org

SinQSA in the Straits Times

Source: The Straits Times
Date: August 9, 2008, Saturday.
Headline: Rise of the online activists; Internet opens up avenue for Singaporeans to champion causes
Reporters: Tan Weizhen, Shobana Kesava

The Internet has made activists of Singaporeans.

Many see social networking sites, forums, blogs and online videos as ways to champion their causes.

The Straits Times has found more than 30 local causes online run by greenies, geeks and everyone in between.

The National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre said new causes run the gamut from groups supporting the rights of migrant workers to those focusing on specific health issues such as glaucoma.

Blessingsinabag.com
, for example, was started by a student wanting to clothe poor Third World children.

And iwant2bike2work.org is run by two men who are promoting cycling.

Cyberspace’s many communication tools make it ‘a very efficient facilitator of what happens offline’, said Mr Tan Tarn How, senior research fellow at the Institute of Policy Studies, who has researched the Internet’s impact on society.

Environmental groups, especially, have exploited the Internet. Of the 30 groups found by The Straits Times, more than 10 belonged to major green groups, whose updates can be found at www.WildSingapore.com, which highlights the best green news and pictures of all the blogs.

They push for everything from saving Singapore’s sea shores to a more eco-friendly lifestyle, even using the social networking facilities on Facebook.

Other activists are seeing payoffs too. Dayoff.sg, a cause started by a group of Unifem (United Nations Development Fund for Women) volunteers here, has this message to push: Employers, give maids a day off.

Its online viral campaign – so named because it uses online networks to reach out to the masses – includes videos, websites, a Facebook group and e-mail lists.

‘There is not much money, so we go online, which keeps costs very low,’ said the president of the Unifem group in Singapore, Ms Saleemah Ismail, 39.

Other than being an economical form of marketing, the Internet is also opening up a platform for alternative groups, as Mr Tan pointed out, ‘where they were not allowed to in the physical space’.

The Internet’s immediacy and connectivity have a galvanising effect on people, he said. ‘It allows people to be emboldened, not only to think but to act.’

The Singapore Queer-Straight alliance (SinQSA) is one such example. Formed last month by heterosexuals to bridge the social gap between gay and straight communities here, it seeks to change misconceptions through dialogue.

The group’s four founders met online, and now seek to use the Internet to engage the community.

One of them, Mr Ho Chi Sam, 25, said: ‘Going online beats knocking on doors, especially for our cause. Communication via the Internet is the initiation, the follow-through and the follow- up for most of our discussions.’