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Etiquette SG x Sayoni present The Vagina Monologues
Articles - Events
Written by sayoni   
Monday, 22 April 2013 03:39

Last year's reading brought down the house, thanks to our talented activists and enthusiastic audience. This year, Etiquette SG will bring The Vagina Monologues to greater heights together with Sayoni at The Arts House Chamber (i.e. where parliament used to sit).

The Vagina Monologues

In this rendition of Eve Ensler’s iconic
The Vagina Monologues, 14 Singapore-based woman activists from myriad sectors of civil society come together for a community reading of the script.

In the tradition of V-Day, an event aimed at bringing to light issues pertaining to violence against women, this event is an amateur reading meant as a platform for the voices of non-actors and to reach out to local communities.

The women reading this version of the play work in various fields of social change that span issues of gender equality, sexual violence, animal welfare, queer rights, migrant worker rights, sex worker rights, issues of media representation and issues pertaining to the death penalty.

Get your tickets from Bytes! We hear they're selling fast, so don't wait too long!

Last Updated on Monday, 22 April 2013 03:46
V-Day Singapore Presents "The Vagina Monologues"
Articles - Events
Sunday, 01 April 2012 04:38

Update: Tickets for this event are sold out! Thank you for your support. For those going, we hope the performance makes an impact.

[Click here for bigger version]


V‑DAY Singapore presents Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues at the Singapore Arts House!

Comprising Sayoni and friends, V-Day Singapore joins the global effort to stop violence against women and girls. The ‘V’ stands for Valentine, Vagina and Victory over Violence. Further information about V-Day and its other campaigns to end violence against women and girls worldwide can be found at

Post-SlutWalk SG event in collaboration with Sayoni: Courage Unfolds
Articles - Events
Written by sayoni   
Saturday, 25 February 2012 02:36



Last year, SlutWalk Singapore planned to screen the documentary Courage Unfolds together with Sayoni as part of our fringe programme. However, due to the noise SWSG started to make, MDA approached us and told us that the film had to be rated by the Board of Film Censors, despite it being a private event. We have finally paid for, and received the license to screen this film.


Courage Unfolds is a video highlighting the struggles and triumphs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) activists in Asia and promoting the use of international human rights law as a tool for social change. This video was co-produced by the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) and Lesbian Advocates Philippines (LeAP!).

Last Updated on Friday, 06 July 2012 02:41
Pinkdot 2011
Articles - Events
Written by sayoni   
Tuesday, 31 May 2011 18:25


In exactly one month, on 18 June 2011, Singaporeans will, for the third year running, gather at Hong Lim Park to form a human pink dot in support of the belief that everyone deserves the freedom to love.


Last Updated on Saturday, 25 June 2011 09:51
Sayoni Turns 5
Articles - Events
Written by sayoni   
Thursday, 23 December 2010 15:42
Come join us on Saturday, 8th January 2011 as we celebrate Sayoni turning 5.


It will be a great night of fun, games and entertainment including the following:

* Sayoni Woman Of The Year Award

* Eligible Bachelorettes Date Auction

* Soft Launch of The Coming Out Guide

* Lucky draw with Top prize valued at $500

Register now by clicking this link:
Last Updated on Saturday, 22 January 2011 14:57
BE(e):Believe | Beloved | Beyond
Articles - Events
Written by sayoni   
Thursday, 25 November 2010 22:53

BE(e): Believe / Beloved / Beyond

Be(e): Believe | Beloved | Beyond

Financial and Legal
Be money smart and financially secure. Build a promising future. Learn about the instruments of
investments and how to accumulate wealth effectively. We will teach you simple ways to manage
loans and get out of debt. Understand about investment behavioural patterns. Know about the
medical and commercial laws that are essential to you.
Proudly brought to you by Sayoni-OCW and conducted by Teh Hooi Ling and Yong Mei Ling.

OC Women, in conjunction with Sayoni, presents a three-part series for queer women/women who love women.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 March 2011 16:08
Superwomen in Concert
Articles - Events
Written by Indu   
Saturday, 22 May 2010 11:52
AWARE superwomen
For the very first time at the Esplanade Concert Hall, an all-female, all-star line-up will join forces in an unprecedented evening of music, song and laughter to celebrate women and 25 years of AWARE!
This one-night-only blockbuster extravaganza includes the delicious Dim Sum Dollies, the legendary Rahimah Rahim, “Bowling Queen” Grace Young, national-squash-player-turned-music-director Belinda Foo, rock goddess Wendi Koh, trail blazer Beatrice Chia-Richmond, rapturous Rani Singam, dedicated theatre mothers Tan Kheng Hua, Karen Lim, Petrina Kow and their daring daughters, distinguished Constance Singam and her violin, saxophonist and singing wonder Kuo Po, singer-songwriter Michaela Therese and vocal sensation Ann Hussein.
Last Updated on Thursday, 24 June 2010 10:05
Sayoni Dinner Gathering - May Issue
Articles - Events
Written by irene   
Sunday, 25 April 2010 16:59

The Sayoni Dinner Gathering which you have been waiting for is back again!


We are going to have Indian food this time round, with a big group of lovely ladies.


The dinner will be happening on 8th May, Saturday at 7 pm. You are welcomed to bring your friends, but please note that this event is for queer women only.


The venue will be revealed upon RSVP. To register, please email me at [email protected] with your contact number, dietary requirements and number of guests (if any).


The dinner will cost $20 per pax. We have gone to great lengths to try to keep the dinners affordable. :)


Please also RSVP if you already have dinner plan that evening but are planning to join us at some point, but do tell me what time you are coming!


Yay dinner! *does a little dance*

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 April 2010 13:03
The Freedom To Love
Articles - Events
Written by Pink Dot   
Saturday, 17 April 2010 11:26



Coming out of the closet is seldom easy. Just ask DJ Big Kid (otherwise known as Johnson Ong), a prominent name at dance parties across Asia.


Big Kid is Singaporean, gay, and closeted to his family. In fact, this story might be his way of leaving the proverbial doors open for future conversations with his loved ones. “I grew up in an environment where I was told being gay is wrong; that I needed to cast out the demons,” he said.


To face the prejudices he encountered growing up, Big Kid said ‘yes’ to being a Pink Dot 2010 ambassador, along with GLBT-supportive celebrities Tan Kheng Hua and Adrian Pang.


He says: “Last year’s Pink Dot was a fantastic effort… and it’s a simple thing that we can do once a year to say that LGBT people are a part of the Singapore family.”


Pink Dot is a one-day event celebrating the freedom to love, regardless of their sexual orientation. Last year, 2,500 people turned up at the pink picnic held at Hong Lim Park to celebrate Pink Dot day. The high-profile event also received attention from local and international media, like the International Herald Tribune and the BBC.


This year, Pink Dot honours kinship and family – in support and in recognition of our parents, siblings, relatives and friends of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Singaporeans. Come join in the fun on May 15, 2010 at Hong Lim Park.


Big Kid suspects some members of his family might be aware of his sexual orientation. But so far, none of them have confronted him. He’s pretty certain that this same dynamic applies to many gay Singaporeans – a code of ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ within families, so as to avoid difficult conversations.

Last Updated on Thursday, 22 April 2010 15:04
Twittereport: “United We Fall, Divided We Stand?”
Articles - Events
Written by sayoni   
Sunday, 30 August 2009 00:00

Yesterday Sayoni organised a forum titled �United We Fall, Divided We Stand?� for Indignation. For those who could not make it, the event was covered live on our twitter. We reproduce the report here for you. We also would like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who made this event possible – photo/videographers, ushers, receptionists, logistics, voluntweers, and just anyone who helped out from the conception of the event to the execution.

Time Update
14:28:06 Sun is shining and time is ripe to start our event! #indigsg
14:51:22 Going to start soon! Indu chasing people to sit down #indigsg
14:54:26 Moderator: Sam Ho.. Panelists: Stuart Koe, Hui Yee, Jaime Low, Bryan Choong. #indigsg
14:51:38 SH: This debate will explore the issues concerning our LGBT community along the axis of gender. #indigsg
14:59:01 Topic of debate: Can our LGBT community actually work better if we stay divided instead of being united? Pro: SK & HY. Opp: JL & BC #indigsg
14:02:50 SK: Is the shared desire for same-sex relationships enough to keep us together? Fridae has tried to bring together men and women#indigsg
15:05:11 [Note: Proposition=> United We Fall, Divided We Stand; Opposition=> United We Stand, Divided We Fall] #indigsg
15:06:40 HY (2nd speaker of proposition): all of us grew up with heterosexual norms. But as LGBT people we need separate spaces… #indigsg
15:06:56 …to avoid falling back into those heterosexual norms #indigsg
15:08:00 If a lesbian walks into a gay-man dominated space, she may not feel that she can say what she wants. We need a space to … #indigsg
15:09:10 … find and nurture our own voice. 1 eg: Thru running WomensNite, a lesbian space, I’ve seen women grow in confidence #indigsg
15:10:42 Next speaker is Jaime Low from FCC #indigsg
15:11:48 JL(1st speaker of the opp): perhaps idealistic that we have to work together. How many of us work in a purely single-sex workplace#indigsg
15:12:38 it is not practical to work separately. there is limited experience if we segregate. #indigsg
15:14:02 integration also helps to eliminate stereotypes. we should work together to build stronger ties within the community #indigsg
15:16:13 let there be space for single genders, but to move the community ahead, we have to work together. #indigsg
15:16:46 BC (from OC): Has had little chance to understand women until 2005 when they did a workshop. 6/12 were women participants. #indigsg
15:19:09 … Realised when we break it down to the basics, we are all the same, beyond labels. Has wondered y women are particular… #indigsg
15:20:53 … people are actually different from what he was brought up to believe. Differences are impt, & org cannot continue if segregated #indigsg
15:22:23 … Why gay men should be concerned with AWARE too. Not a gay men thing, but because he sees himself as part of society #indigsg
15:22:36 … should cross the gender boundary to work together #indigsg
15:23:09 Now the Proposition and Opposition shall dialogue.
15:24:14 SK: In some contexts, appropriate to hv both genders together, and some not. Misogynistic world, men do dominate in many contexts #indigsg
15:25:00 … for women to earn that space, is something they fight for and that guys should respect. #indigsg
15:25:25 … At the end of the day, what brings us together is our humanity. Laws that treat both men and women differently. #indigsg
15:26:15 … But for social spaces, why should we insist that men and women should hang out together? #indigsg
15:28:08 BC: you can learn so much more by hanging out with a person of the opposite sex #indigsg
15:28:59 …that is how you build a relationship, by getting to know people as friends, in a close emotional relationship#indigsg
15:30:26 HY: agree that there is a common agenda, eg remove discrimination. but how we achieve that is different #indigsg
15:30:45 just by pulling in any random lesbian into a gay male project is tokenism#indigsg
15:32:54 JL: Dialogue should take place for understanding to happen. Can’t be tokenism. Start in social context,know each other as frens 1st #indigsg
15:33:14 if you don#indigsg
15:34:19 SH: Question for Prop – what does the community stand to lose if we work together? #indigsg
15:35:07 SK: our differences and our diversity is our strength. by becoming homogeneous we will weaken the community
15:36:06 BC: Prefers to say “diverse we stand”. (SH: But what would work in S’pore?) #indigsg
15:36:38 BC: Need to make conscious effort, create the space. #indigsg
15:37:07 JL: Younger generation doesn’t face this issue anymore (i.e. don’t want to wk with gay men). Gender divide will ultimately fall. #indigsg
15:37:50 Discussion has been opened to the floor. #indigsg
15:38:29 Floor: You don’t actually disagree with each other at all. What exactly is JL & BC’s point? Within FCC & OC, also women’s supp grps #indigsg
15:39:03 … we can work together while not ignoring the fact that we have differences. #indigsg
15:40:21 BC: OC and FCC have always had men and women working together for specific things. But more can be done. #indigsg
15:40:36 Floor: What is the diff between the 2 positions? #indigsg
15:41:24 JL: Differences are not that great. Gender stereotype if we talk abt fundamental differences. We can still work together. #indigsg
15:42:04 …also grp of people who are more comfortable with own spaces. But idea is to move them along – in soc we hv to mix with opp sex #indigsg
15:43:16 Floor: Definition of ‘divided’? Differing definitions. Recognition of diversity is not the same as pitting oneself against another #indigsg
15:43:48 … Grps out there interested in dividing us amongst ourselves. #indigsg
15:45:00 Floor: there are outside parties trying to use “wedge politics” to divide the community, ie divide and conquer #indigsg
15:46:42 HY: there is a need for intra-community dialogue, but each of us needs to stand up and speak out against false claims directed at us#indigsg
15:47:00 SK: Shouldn’t even have to debate on those grounds, of gay promiscuity, because it happens among straight people too. #indigsg
15:48:14 …religious conservatives are using this against gay men, but we should not defend ourselves. Or even if its nature or nurture. #indigsg
15:48:22 … It is about choice. #indigsg
15:48:42 HY: Promiscuity = stereotype? #indigsg
15:49:18 SK: More common for guys to divide sex from emotions. #indigsg
15:49:35 SH: Gender essentialist debate? Back to floor.#indigsg
15:50:09 Floor: An even more pressing reason for alliance/collaboration is it is important to sensitise us to internalised sexism #indigsg
15:51:06 … even in queer settings. E.g. Stewart mentioned TLA, called her speech schoolgirl with notecards. Belittling tone. #indigsg
15:51:42 … Bryan’s ref to what turns queer women on. This framing of women contributes to widespread sexism. #indigsg
15:52:03 … Even more important to use chances of collaboration to become more aware to combat these common habits of speech. #indigsg
15:52:38 BC: Not an attack upon women but recognition that she is female. #indigsg
15:53:15 HY: Misogynist society, misogynist terms come up all the time. Wrong to hold back from saying what’s on your mind – limiting #indigsg
15:53:53 … These terms of reference can be construed as sexist, and that should be the starting point of any debate. #indigsg
15:54:10 … We should recognise the sexual norms we are brought up in order to work together. #indigsg
15:54:45 BC: We should create a space where we can make mistakes together. #indigsg
15:55:13 SH: Is internal misogny the real problem here? #indigsg
15:55:40 Floor: We need a gender-specific space for women, because often it is too internalised. In mixed gender space, norms we hv #indigsg
15:55:56 … internalised act up #indigsg
15:56:18 HY: In Women’s Nite, women say they don’t know what women want! #indigsg
15:56:59 Floor: In Sg, we can be united over specific topics, in response to attacks. But when things are okay #indigsg
15:57:30 … we might be divided. Was expecting Stewart to emphasise how we do need to be divided. Need gay men to have their own stuff #indigsg
15:58:16 … The more separate we are, the more powerful we are. Rather have many grps than one big gay men/women group. #indigsg
15:59:46 … Not here to fight over heteronormativity. I don’t want to be with lesbians only. #indigsg
16:00:35 Floor: Thought we shld be divided to survive rather than staying apart from each other. What abt us and the larger community? #indigsg
16:02:02 SK: Forced into the position by the debate format. People are brought together by common goals. #indigsg
16:02:38 … Sometimes women and men can work together, sometimes it doesn’t happen, depends on the context. E.g. org what type of party. #indigsg
16:03:19 HY: Clarification – heterosexual norms meant the assumptions we make abt men and women, that men are assertive/women are demure. #indigsg
16:04:13 …heteronormativity doesn’t come in here #indigsg
16:05:18 Floor: Lesbians dont need gay men to speak for them, we can speak for ourselves, but we need to grow to a point to be able to do tt#indigsg
16:06:50 …we need to have separate groups to nurture and grow our voices before we can speak for ourselves #indigsg
16:07:40 having many groups is better than one single big group. many diff gay voices representing diff gay ppl makes us more powerful #indigsg
16:09:10 Floor: Division always occurs when there are differences. We tend to divide ourselves according to the constructs we live with. #indigsg
16:09:53 … But we can also choose to divide ourselves by norms we choose ourselves. Historically, people banded 2gether 2 face challenges. #indigsg
16:11:09 … Church grps are very organised. And we still have questions among ourselves. Are we divided? united? goal for this talk? #indigsg
16:11:50 … What history do we fall back on, leave behind? How can we move our community forward? Good to hv more grps, #indigsg
16:12:10 ways to develop ourselves individually and as a community. #indigsg
16:13:59 Floor: maybe the way to dialogue within the LGBT community is not so confrontationally but by having a platform #indigsg
16:14:54 But having many queer groups actually confuses those groups which are against the gay community #indigsg
16:15:16 Floor: where is the Transgendered community in this debate? #indigsg
16:15:59 Floor: how long will it take before men are allowed to attend Womens Nite? when will you know if women are confident enough to …#indigsg
16:16:15 …speak in front of men? #indigsg
16:17:06 Floor: When will women feel okay to let gay men into their spaces? e.g. Women’s Nite. #indigsg
16:18:45 SK: Even men didn’t want to care about the repeal of 377A, and it was the women who said we have to standup for human rights issues #indigsg
16:19:37 SK: We should ignore our differences and focus on what we have in common instead. #indigsg
16:20:21 HY: Women need safe space (wrt Women’s Nite). #indigsg
16:22:12 Floor: Surprised that people are talking about institutionalised sexism. Gay men might be afraid of lesbian women, #indigsg
16:22:45 … if we expect someone to change, we need to initiate that change, be friends with them first and educate them. #indigsg
16:23:37 … Danger of same-sex groups. Stop talking and do not interact, comfortable in their own spaces. Prevents greater understanding. #indigsg
16:24:26 … Although we have all these groups, we should also make the effort to interact with people,shouldn’t let our impressions stop us #indigsg
16:25:56 BC: OC has a male-dominated image so we always reinforce the fact that it is an all-sex group. #indigsg
16:30:04 Floor: Logical fallacy to saying that all women here seem so confident and therefore no need for safe spaces. #indigsg
16:31:09 … Education, yes, but it is also important for people outside the marginalised grp 2 be aware of blindness 2 their own privilege #indigsg
16:31:45 floor: vice versa, if we were to say that a sauna is open to women for a night, how many men will show up? #indigsg
16:32:36 Floor: if you (as a man) want to go to Women’s Nite, what will you be able to contribute? #indigsg
16:33:17 63 attendees at tonight’s event #indigsg
16:33:55 SK: We are all talking about the same thing. Ultimately, we all have differences & things we have in common, need to acknowledge tt #indigsg
16:34:52 SK: there are differences and each of us is unique; we need to embrace that and each be individuals, not all from same cookie-cutter#indigsg
16:36:53 HY: Not knowing is okay. We should be open to educating pple who don’t know. We can learn a lot by coming out of our comfort zones. #indigsg
16:37:45 JL: We should not let the differences stop us from working with one another. Focus on similarities. #indigsg
16:38:33 BC: Sometimes anger comes from being comfortable with yourself. If that common goal is removed, what bands us together? #indigsg
16:40:11 All the panelists and the moderator received flowers from sayoni. #indigsg
16:47:32 Thank you everyone for coming (and those reading), and to our esteemed organisers! #indigsg
Review: Are We There Yet?
Articles - Events
Wednesday, 26 August 2009 00:00

I attended a Sayoni forum last Saturday entitled “Are We There Yet?”*

The forum covered the many inequalities that queer women suffer in comparison to heterosexuals, with reference to the 2008 Sayoni Survey Report. The AWARE saga was mentioned fairly frequently and prompted many from the floor to speak up to buttress or disagree with the panellists’ ideas. There were words of encouragement, a discussion on what action we can and should take, the injunction to come out as gay; just to mention some issues that struck me most. The floor was very opinionated and passionate, with not a few male voices, including Alex Au’s.

At one juncture, there was a split between the pragmatic and the idealistic approach to gay activism (using the latter term in a broad sense). Someone opined that we need to teach teenagers how to differentiate real feelings of attraction from puppy love; that is, how to tell that her same-sex attraction is just a phase or not. Alex Au disagreed, saying that we should not need to discriminate in the first place, that there should be nothing wrong with experimentation. Another member of the floor argued that we need to be realistic about this.

After the forum, some of us got together. In the conversation that ensued, I had a strong sense of the difficulties that we face in our everyday lives. I think that each one of us, if we really go out and about, getting in touch with ground sentiment, are going to meet with a lot of resistance. That resistance is going to be hurtful. The environment we are in isn’t very kind or forgiving. (I believe that many will beg to differ on this point, and yes, it is relative.)

However, the impact others can have really depends on the individual’s tolerance level, and, secondarily, how we choose to react to an action. I’m not saying I need to be able to take abuse. The way sensitivity works, if we understand the root causes of an emotion and are able to step back sufficiently from our trapped, subjective selves and have an underlying source of security, I think we can achieve a certain amount of freedom from the worst of hurts.

I think we need to be clear of where we stand, that it is perfectly okay to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered: anything but heterosexual and cisgendered. Sure, the science is fuzzy, the religious texts are difficult, and most of the time, there is very little certainty. But that’s okay. We are not meant to understand life thoroughly and pin it down to basic principles. Science, too, cannot illuminate everything. We need to build rafts for ourselves and one another and create that connectedness and rationality.

Frankly, I may just be building bunkers against assaults or trying to erect a bridge in my head between the different approaches to advancement of the cause. In truth, different ways of regarding the topic are necessary and even fundamental to any kind of change, either top-down or bottom-up.

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