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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

Media Release from People Like Us (PLU)
Articles - LGBT Rights, Politics & World News
Written by snorkeem   
Thursday, 19 January 2006 00:00

Media Release From People Like Us (PLU)
19 Jan 2006, 20.30h
Singapore govt gives $100,000 to Christian anti-gay group

By giving $100,000 to Liberty League, as reported by ChannelNewsAsia (CNA), the Singapore government is helping to promote a religious cause founded on unscientific and psychologically damaging methods.

Liberty League intends to “promote gender and sexual health” through “conduct[ing] sexuality talks in schools” – CNA report.

However, Liberty League’s website promotes a book ‘Freedom of Choice’. The book’s subjects were almost totally from the Christian group, Choices, which runs programmes teaching that homosexuality is a psychological dysfunction. The book thus promotes this kind of pseudo-therapy propagated by fundamentalist Christian groups.

Mr Leslie Lung, the founder of Liberty League has long been known to be associated with “ex-gay” ministries. The “ex-gay” or “reparative therapy” movement is strongly associated with the more extreme churches in the United States. Liberty League’s website itself uses terms such as “sexual brokenness”, “addiction and abuse”.

In a seminar organised by the Graduates Christian Fellowship on 13 October 2005, which described homosexuality as a psychological problem, Liberty League was touted as resource for counseling. It was recommended by Mr Tan Thuan Seng, the President of Focus on the Family, Singapore (FOTF-Sg) who is known to regularly give anti-gay talks in Christian circles.


Last Updated on Thursday, 25 February 2010 18:03
Liberty League… not really for liberty
Articles - LGBT Rights, Politics & World News
Written by Indu   
Monday, 16 January 2006 00:00

SINGAPORE : Focus groups to help gays and lesbians understand their sexual identity are just one of the things that newly set up Liberty League plans to put in place.

The non-profit organisation has received a S$100,000 grant from the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre.

Liberty League says it is the first community service group of its kind in Singapore.

Its mission is to promote gender and sexual health for the individual, family and society.

To achieve this, it will conduct sexuality talks in schools.

It will also work with organisations such as the Girls’ Brigade to educate teenagers on sexuality and biology.

The group will address issues related to romantic relationships, be they heterosexual or otherwise.

It says another important aspect of its work is focus groups for gays, lesbians and transsexuals who are grappling with their gender identities.

Currently, 70 percent of those it works with fall into this category.

There will also be support groups for parents of homosexuals.

Said Leslie Lung, founder and executive director of the Liberty League , “This is very much based on the Alcoholic Anonymous self-help principles. So people come; it’s an environment that is friendly, warm, based on friendship, encouraging people to take small steps to talk about the issues, recognize why they are doing certain things, find resolutions.”

Does it mean that Liberty League champions gay and lesbian rights?

Leslie Lung explained, “We champion human rights really. It’s about people being able to say, I’m human and sexual orientation is so wide. Being gay and lesbian is part of it; coming out of it is part of it as well.”

In a conservative society like Singapore, the league’s work can be expected to be controversial.

But the NVPC’s S$100,000 start-up grant has helped given the low-profile group a public platform for its work.

The money comes from the Ministry of Community Development Youth and Sports; a ministry official also sits on the panel that approves the grants.

Said Tan Chee Koon, chief executive officer of the NVPC, “Among teenagers, there are some who are confused about sexuality issues, and do need to seek clarification and help to work them through their confusion.”

She added, “They need to go to some non-threatening parties to talk about their concerns.”

Asked about the nature of the group’s work, and those it will be working with, Mrs Tan says the NVPC is all for work that benefits the community.

She said, “We don’t sit in judgment on this score but of course it must be for the public good. It must benefit the community; it must be about good works. But if somebody in this case seeks to go out to affirm gender — in their case healthy sexuality and gender affirmation — we are neutral on that score.”

Mrs Tan added, “When I look at the grant, we are like social investors that invest in non-profit initiatives, which if they prove to be successful, the outcome is that lives are rebuilt, needs are met, volunteers are raised and community resources mobilised.”

Liberty League will be officially launched on 25 January. – CNA /ct



So the government is now trying a new tactic. Instead of prosecuting gay people for having sex, for giving blood, and just simply existing, they are now trying to make them straight.

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 February 2010 18:02
Being a christian, Being a lesbian…
Articles - Faith
Written by Jin   
Sunday, 08 January 2006 00:00
This is the monthly column by jin on being a gay christian and the journey towards finding God and herself.

Wow! My own column! With people to read it! I feel like Carrie Bradshaw. Yes, you may imagine me tapping this out on my laptop, sprawled on my bed, propped up by my elbows, thoughtful faraway look in my eyes. But I ‘m not thin. And not American. And, actually, I am scribbling this on the MRT.

My name is Jin, you may know me as one of the founders and facilitators of LUSH: Lesbians United for Self-Help. This group was started in November this year, for Christian lesbians from various walks of life to come together and share their experiences in life, and form a safe support network for each other.

You may also know me as the elder of 2 daughters, with a large, lively (read: noisy) extended family. It’s hard for you to know me without some mention of my family because they are part of my life, and growing up surrounded by so many relatives must have had an impact in shaping me in some way or other. So the story of my life thus far, will definitely include some information about my family. Or  ‘clan ‘ as we sometimes call it.

Background knowledge: The whole family is Christian, mostly Methodist.

My sister and I went to a Methodist school, and our mother was very active in the church. We lived quite simply; after our father moved away we lived in a terrace house that our mother rented from her uncle. It was the house next to his, so we are to this day very close to him and his family.

Our mother brought us up well; she was strict but kind and fair. We, of course, were put through Sunday School, and had the usual religious education that you get in mission schools.

I didn’t think we were overly religious; we didn’t say grace before meals, and when we ate with friends or other relatives who did say grace, I sometimes thought ‘Wah, they are so good, I should remember to say grace too!’

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 February 2010 16:55
Sexual Identity and Identity Development
Articles - Sexuality
Written by AnJ   
Friday, 30 December 2005 00:00

You may wonder:
Why do i need to know what are “sexual identity” and “identity development”?

Of course it is important… Knowledge is empowerment!

For starters, you must be able to identify yourself- am i gay? What makes a person gay? Behavior alone does not make you gay. It takes many aspects (refer to part 2).

Secondly, it puts things into perspective. Sexual identity is only one aspect of you. If you face discrimination based solely on your sexual identity, you will know that it is unfair and unreasonable. Especially if it is irrelevant to whatever is at hand i.e. seeking a job as a lawyer. Your vocation and intellectual identities would be more pertinent.

Third, a person who is in confusion is malleable (Refer to Part 3). If you are confused about your sexuality, you are susceptible to messages and may be inclined to “change” your sexuality. Knowing who you are and being equipped with the necessary knowledge will put you in good stead. First of all, you need to know that sexuality is not easily malleable (Refer to article of reparative therapies for a quick read). There are highly probable adverse consquences.

This post alone will not give you enough to conquer the world. But it’s a start!

In your exchanges with homophobic peeps, remember:
Locate the premise on which the argument (against your sexuality) is based as well as the linkages. Then attack them. The fact is: these arguments are flawed and cannot stand up to scrutiny. *Applicable to ALL sexual orientations.

For a better understanding of sexual identity, let’s delve into some psychology nonmenclature.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 February 2010 23:45
Young Sappho
Articles - Youth
Written by Indu   
Friday, 30 December 2005 00:00
This is the introductory part of the monthly column on being a young queer girl, and coming out by pleinelune.

‘You are a lesbian? But you are so girly!’

‘No way. That’s just a phase most girls go through. Find yourself a nice boyfriend, and it will all go away.’

‘I told you that you should have gone to a mixed school. See how four years in a single-sex school has turned your head?’

‘What, the guys here are not manly enough for you?’

‘You have to stop this - this is not good for you. Girl-girl relationships never last.’

‘Don’t make me call your parents.’

Familiar phrases, familiar intonations. Lesbianism is not real. Gay relationships are bad. A young lesbian/bisexual girl goes through much of this in her coming out phase.

Not that coming out to oneself is any easier. Some of us know from the time we innocently held hands with our friend. Some of us, not until we realised that the kisses of our boyfriends were not as sweet as the ones stolen guiltily from that girl. Or until we realise we are checking out the girl next to the handsome hero, not him. Some of us don’t know at all, preferring to hide behind a veil of denial.

Not that our schoolmates are any help. They think lesbianism is something ugly girls do. They think it is just a phase, a girlish crush on an authority figure, quick to fade away when the first masculine figure appears on the scene.

Not that our parents help. We know they will probably kick us out if a whiff of our sexuality reaches them. Or take us to a doctor, pleading for a cure. We can’t bear to see the tears on our mothers’ faces, when they hear their daughters are’ different.

Who helps, then? Me, for one, as I take you on a journey across the choppy seas of being a young queer girl.

Buckle up.


Last Updated on Thursday, 25 February 2010 16:27
Out, Loud and Proud
Articles - Coming Out
Written by sayoni   
Friday, 29 July 2005 00:00
Pridemonth is upon us, once again… and though most of us cannot have pride parades in our home country, that does not mean we cannot celebrate Pride. We don’t need pride marches to come out to the world: we can start at home, to our loved ones and friends.

This is a collection of stories on coming out – good and bad, happy and sad, that have been published on Sayoni since we started. [In chronological order]

Coming out Earnestly
by lublub

Girls are beautiful creatures.

I have always thought so. The seniors at school were really pretty. So were the models in magazines and the teenage starlets on TV. I loved looking at their pictures, and I would spend countless hours on the computer looking at my pretty celebrity crushes. And at school, I would look at my seniors with a certain longing. My eyes followed their every beautiful and breathtaking movement. Sometimes, I looked at my own friends too with that same desire.

Read more…

Activism with a band on
by jin

I’ve been wearing a rainbow-coloured rubber wristband. You know, those wristbands that come in various colours, first it was a yellow one from the Lance Armstrong Foundation, then there was the dual black/white for anti-racism, and before long, even Giordano and McDonalds were selling them too. I’m not one for fads, so I’ve never owned or bought one in any of the myriad of colours they come in. Except this Rainbow one.

Read more…

Where do I go from here?
by jin

Last Updated on Thursday, 25 February 2010 18:57
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