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Are you living life, or merely just coping with it?
Articles - Emotional & Physical Wellness
Written by peggy   
Monday, 13 February 2006 00:00
Life can be quite a roller coaster isn’t it?

There are moments of lull, of tranquility where the roller coaster seems to have transformed itself into a tame choo-choo train ride for toddlers.

Then suddenly, without any warning, this tame choo-choo train viciously changes into one demon-possessed hell bound roller coaster ride.

You know what I mean.

There are bound to be events in our lives that will knock us on the head and jot us out of our life equilibrium.

A demanding work project with a super tight deadline; a new boss who seems to have decided to make you the scapegoat for every administrative blunder in the office; a death in the family; making preparations to shift house (from shopping for a new place, renovating the new place, to logistics for moving into the new place); the end of a close friendship; the end of a romantic relationship.

The list goes on.

I am writing about the stresses in our lives.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 February 2010 23:54
Family Values
Articles - Family
Written by Indu   
Saturday, 11 February 2006 00:00
The Simpsons
“Did you hear that Marge? We are supporting family values here!”

Taken from


Family values. The big fuzzy cloud where all reasoning stops functioning.

Try as I might have, I still have yet to extract a coherent argument from any family groups all these years. How do gay people undermine the family unit? After all, if I am going to be destroying some invaluable family value by kissing girls, I should at least know what that is, right? But, I decided to do them a favour, and by painstakingly combing through several family values sites[and incurring irreparable mental trauma as a result], I am extracting the points that arent clouded by religious fervour.

Jerry Falwell, I am doing you a big favour by actually bringing some coherence to the ravings of your minions.

We will see a breakdown of the family and family values if we decide to approve same-sex marriage, and if we decide to establish homosexuality as an acceptable alternative lifestyle with all the benefits that go with equating it with the heterosexual lifestyle.   Jerry Falwell

As an argument to make the public rally for their side,  ‘family values ‘ is a worthy cause, something with great moral appeal to every one no matter what their religion. It is easy to get fathers and mothers anxious over the integrity of the family to donate, by claiming they defend family values. It is even easier to get schools and the government to approve their cause, to protect the fragile state of the modern nuclear family, endangered by a menacing environment saturated with sex and violence.

And lest we forget, family values face their most dangerous adversary today: the Homosexual. The Homosexual, in all his capitalised glory, sleeps with every other person who comes his way, and injects his veins with crystal meth. Who seduces little kids from the playgrounds and recruits teenagers to become a Homosexual, like him. Who eventually dies from being whipped one too many times by his newest lover or AIDS.

Sounds familiar?

No, I didn ‘t think so.

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 February 2010 16:41
Garbage in; garbage out.
Articles - Commentary
Written by AnJ   
Thursday, 09 February 2006 00:00

On TODAY newspaper, i read an article entitled “Scientific and medical communities are divided on whether it is a disorder. Is homosexuality truly normal?” dated 09 Feb 2006, Thursday. It is in support of Liberty League (an organization that does reparative therapy). By Thio Su Mien.

I was irate when i read it.
She said that “science has no probative value as scientific truth”. What she meant is: theories cannot be proven (but they can be refuted). It takes several replications before it is considered somewhat credible. But would the public know this? No, she gave the public the impression that science has no value. Specifically- the science of psychology.

Thus, in that statement, she slapped all the psychologists of the psychology department of NUS; as well as the mental health professionals situated in IMH. She also slapped psychologists all over the world- their expertise; their training and their credibility.

However, she does subscribe to research that agrees with her agenda… for later she used Spitzer’s research to back her up that homosexuals can be “changed”, and thus implicitly indicating that they should be. (How convenient for her to use research when she needs it. Kind of two-faced, don’t you think?)

And here’s the second reason why i was exceedingly upset with her. She used Spitzer’s research without considering the commentaries that NUMEROUS other professionals have made regarding Spitzer’s piece. There were so many commentaries showing the major limitations in Spitzer’s paper.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 February 2010 23:48
Sayoni…A new beginning
Articles - Announcements
Monday, 06 February 2006 03:05

Nearly 10 years ago while I was searching for my community I sat in front of the computer chatting via irc with a bunch of new-found friends happy with the compatriot ship that was unavailable for LGBT people in an oppressive environment.� Those were the days when the internet was fast becoming a haven for people like us desperately seeking a way out of the closet.� We conversed in a room named #lesbiancafe that has since closed down.

I will never forget this particular conversation we had with one another about how the room #lesbiancafe is meant for lesbians, a safe place for the queer ladies.� One of our friends, a transgender FTM, asked us if she will still be welcomed after her surgery which will see her transition not only physically but legally into a man. We were a little stumped, not quite sure where to place the rules on our dear friend who is going to be outside the boundary markers one day.

We were very young then but we knew in our hearts that she was our friend and she must be embraced and welcomed anyway.� Rules, regulations, fairness and thoughts of being politically correct/incorrect were not on the top of our list.

That was my first lesson into diversity and empathy.� To know that the community and the world were larger than #lesbiancafe and because we know what it means to be excluded, we need to expand our gates into the horizon so that we can embrace the stranger.

Fast forward to now, I�m constantly amazed and challenged by the intelligence and sheer determination of the Sayoni women.� We spend countless hours debating, fighting, agreeing and poring over complex strategic and sometimes emotional issues that come with activism.� With our sheer diversity, we learn every step of the way the meaning of respect and family and we imagine a future for our community and seek to create it so that the others will live in it.

Today, we�re proud to announce the official launch of Sayoni, a Singapore-based platform for lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer Asian women.

We hope to shape and hand over the tools to women so that they can carve out their voices.� In our long and fruitful journey together we aspire to become a part of the larger reality, nurture a connectedness with the world, and search for who we really are deep down inside, our wells of affirmation and strength that were passed down to us by our mothers.

Through the platform of a publishing site and a forum, we trust the power of words in sharing, in dialogue and disagreements that will propel forward the unfolding of our thought process and the essence of our very being.

Our name, Sayoni, signifies the origin of life, myth, womanhood, feminism and sexuality. A new beginning and we welcome you to be part of the Sayoni family.

Racy Racism
Articles - Literature: Queer & More
Written by Sheila   
Thursday, 02 February 2006 00:00

A monthly column by Sheila on being a minority of a minority and thoughts on being politically incorrect.

Many don’t like that I talk about this

Its there, can’t be ignored.

I am a sari wearing, spice eating brown woman. what’s wrong with that!!!!

I have been told I am too angry.

My lover’s mother told her, “Don’t care if you a queer just have a chinese gf!”

Doused in perfume by another whose mother say Indians smell bad.

Another tells me that I have to be a submissive little Indian wife.

Everywhere I hang out, I hang my indianess at the door.

Have you seen a sari-clad chick making out at a bar?

In the faceless internet. I am asked. What race are you?

WELL. I am just racy, in my sari clad chest-busting blouse kind of way.

I am tired of reaching out, tired of looking.

Is there not one woman that can feed me thosai?

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 February 2010 16:15
Why Homosexuality is NOT a Mental Sickness
Articles - Sexuality
Written by AnJ   
Tuesday, 31 January 2006 00:00


Before i begin, i want to state something with respect to Liberty League:

It is acceptable for someone to have negative views on homosexuals… After all, it’s their right to choose what they wish to believe in. Freedom of faith, yes?

BUT, it is NOT acceptable to LIE about what mental health professionals are saying about homosexuality. You want to have bad thoughts about homosexuality… Sure- but don’t you dare support that with scientific claims. That’s LYING.

It is VERY UNACCEPTABLE to advocate, and put into praxis, a therapy (i.e. reparative/conversion therapy) that has an extensive pool of research that indicates its harmfulness to one’s mental well-being.

Some of us think that counselling is “Words! How much damage can words do?!” Words are easy- but they have a certain power to them. Have you ever been hurt by what a teacher said to you in your younger years? Ever heard of VERBAL ABUSE? Has anyone said anything encouraging such that it changed an aspect or a period of your life? There- i just demostrated the power of words in your life.

Now that i got that off my chest… i am going give you an insight as to why homosexuality is not considered a mental sickness by up-to-date psychologists (and other mental health professionals). Knowing that there is nothing wrong scientifically is not enough- you need to know why that conclusion was made.

What is abnormal behavior?

Abnormal behavior (mental sickness) has been defined in a number of ways over the years. Let’s look at some of the definitions that have been used. And finally, we will touch on what is best used- which is the eclectic approach (combining multiple perspectives for a more balanced view).

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 February 2010 23:49
Same-sex school does not equate same-sex love
Articles - Youth
Written by Indu   
Sunday, 29 January 2006 00:00

Taken from

Everyone knows about the reputation of various girls’ schools in Singapore. RGS turns out unmarriageable feminists. SCGS creates tai-tais. Nanyang girls are eccentric, and would probably become First Ladies. These accusations are mostly asinine, and rational people would know that.

But the biggest false accusation leveled at all these schools is the supposed belief that girls’ schools ‘creates’ lesbians. Is there any truth to this? Does coming from a girls’ schools ‘make’ you lesbian? Many of you would remember the CNA show ‘Get Rea!’, by Diana Ser, one of whose episodes focused on this very matter, and concluded that girls schools do make our girls ‘lesbian’.

Before refuting this theory outright, I’d like explore the environment in girls’ schools, and see what factors might have contributed to this misconception.


For me, being in a girls’ school was a liberating experience, after having to put up with dirty, rowdy [and very smelly] boys in primary school. Civilisation, at last! At least people here knew about deodorant, and didn’t think shouting profanities about each others’ private parts was funny.

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 February 2010 16:29
Contents of a Love Letter
Articles - Relationships
Written by peggy   
Wednesday, 25 January 2006 00:00

This is a monthly column on life journeys, matters of the heart and healthy emotional living by Peggy.

My darling Wen

It has been almost a year since you died. I miss you my darling, I miss holding your hand in mine, those long conversations as we walked along the beach, your strong comforting presence next to mine.

I remember how we first got to know each other in the drama & debating team. We became fast friends due to our similar interests – films, books and music. We mugged together for our first year exams; stayed up late cramming formulas and facts into our heads.

I never knew, never in my wildest dreams did I guess that I could be in love with a woman. It was the same for you too. But yet, the moment when we realized that our feelings for each other were more than best friends – it just felt so right; both of us agreed.

We were no different from other couples in school. We were happy and contented, and like other couples, made plans to study in the same university when we have completed our A levels.

Until that fateful day, a week after our prelims, when this group of people came to our school to give a talk about sexual health.

How I wished that group of people never came and never said those things! Ever since then, it was never the same again; we were never the same again.

They told us that our relationship was wrong, they said that it was not natural and the reason why we fell in love with each other was because we were either from broken families or we have had some childhood psychological trauma resulting in an unnatural romantic attraction towards the same gender.

They presented us with testimonials and statistics which showed that our kind of relationship is short-term & promiscuous in nature. They showed us more figures which proved that we will have a higher tendency to be emotionally disturbed, suffering from depression and even substance abuse.

At that point in time, with the intensity of the whole situation, it didn't occur to us that you were from a loving complete family and that for me, even though my parents had divorced when I was still a toddler, my eldest sister was happily married to a man.

We were bullied and cowed into submission, we were made to feel guilty for being together, for being the way we were; we started doubting ourselves, doubting each other, doubting us.

Together, we signed up for their support group. The onslaught of all these troubling emotions and thoughts confused us and burdened us, we wanted the hurt and the guilt to stop, we wanted to be happy again.

But my darling, it became worse didn't it? The support group was a gathering of people who were similarly broken in spirit, who wanted answers, who wanted the hurt to end. We desperately renounced our former lives; we clasped frantically to information which were supposed to help us live out our new ones – our proper lives.

It was a downward spiral that never seemed to end.

Even as we struggled to live out our proper lives, there were nights where we could only find the peace we looked for in each other's arms. Yet, the next morning we would be burdened ten times over by what we did the night before. How can something that feels so right be so wrong?

A few months went by and you did not want to wait for the hurting to stop anymore. You decided to take matters into your own hands.

They killed you my darling, they killed your spirit.


Last Updated on Thursday, 25 February 2010 17:07
Brokeback Mountain Charity Premiere
Articles - Events
Written by sayoni   
Thursday, 19 January 2006 00:00

Brokeback Mountain Charity Premiere
in benefit of Action for AIDS Singapore

Date: 8 Feb 2006 (Wednesday)
Time: 9 pm
Venue: Shaw Lido One
Rating: R21
Tickets: $60, $30
Book your tickets and/or donate to Action for AIDS by clicking the link below. ae

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 February 2010 15:04
Reparative therapy & Homosexuality
Articles - Sexuality
Written by AnJ   
Thursday, 19 January 2006 00:00
What does Psychology say about Homosexuality?

Homosexuality was removed from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-II) in 1973. It was replaced by ‘sexual orientation disturbance’- specifically for homosexuals who are in conflict and wish to change their sexual orientation to heterosexual. The term ‘ego-dystonic homosexuality’, which was introduced in DSM-III, captures the same essence. However, this term was eventually removed in 1987 as well, marking the most significant step. Despite these changes, many mental health professionals (especially those who are conservative Christians) continue to regard homosexuality as an abnormality that requires ‘correction’. The last decade has seen a resurgence of research on reparative therapy (also known as conversion therapy) as the dialectic between proponents and opponents of this therapy intensifies.

Theories of homosexuality:

The psychoanalytic perspective indicates that homosexuality results as a developmental disorder (during a pre-oedipal crisis)- when the child failed to attach to same-sex parents or peers. Hence, they develop inferiority towards same-sex others (Morrow & Beckstead, 2004). Father is experienced as distant and cold (Bright, 2004). The child attaches to his mother, adopting a female identity. To compensate for the lost male identity, male child ‘absorbs’ masculinity by ‘feeding upon’ other men (Bright, 2004). Reparative therapists believe that’stronger and more confident gender identification’ would help (Spitzer, 2003). This was later translated as more masculine for men and more feminine for women- a reinforcement of traditional gender roles (Beckstead & Morrow, 2004).

Sanor Rado laid the foundations for reparative therapies (Halpert, 2000). Sanor Rado replaced Freud’s model with one of inherent bisexuality, where heterosexuality is the correct outcome of sexual orientation. Socarides popularized ‘domineering mother and absent father’ model of psychopathology. He proposed a conflict model, where intrapsychic forces come into play, and hence defining homosexuality as an illness. Ovesey (1969) took gender roles into the theory and proposed a behavioral approach that requires engagement in heterosexual intercourse to over phobia of the opposite sex (Halpert, 2004).

What is Reparative therapy?

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 February 2010 23:47
Brokeback Mountain Charity Premiere
Articles - Events
Written by sayoni   
Thursday, 19 January 2006 00:00

Brokeback Mountain Charity Premiere
in benefit of Action for AIDS Singapore

Date: 8 Feb 2006 (Wednesday)
Time: 9 pm
Venue: Shaw Lido One
Rating: R21
Tickets: $60, $30
Book your tickets and/or donate to Action for AIDS by clicking the link below. ae

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