To empower queer women towards greater involvement and presence in the community
Advocacy for LBTQ women's rights at CEDAW
Sayoni was at the United Nations in Geneva in October 2017 to bring Singapore LBTQ women's issues to the forefront. The CEDAW Committee heard our concerns and raised recommendations related to LBTQ women in their Concluding Observations for the Singapore government.
Sayoni is a Singapore-based feminist, volunteer-run organisation that works to uphold human rights protections for queer women, including lesbian, bisexual and transgender women. We organise and advocate for equality in well-being and dignity regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity/expression and sex characteristics.

We believe that everyone has a part to play in improving the lives of LBTQ people. Donate or volunteer with us.

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  • 1

I grieved for the general public. For the majority, they exchange a few coins for the papers. Many of them believe the information they receive wholeheartedly. There is a stereotype that if you know what’s happening in the news, you are “educated” and therefore “higher-class” so to speak. And so they devour the news vociferously. If only they know the forces behind publication. That the news they have in their hands are published, and sometimes exaggerated, if it serves, or is non-threatening, to government interest. And much information that seems to undermine their ideal society is witheld. No matter how scientific, how rooted in empirical evidence it is.

In the midst of all these… i was somewhat overwhelmed. Anti-gay activists are supported by the government. I believe that anyone can have their own opinion. But facts are facts- they are either there or they are not; they cannot be changed.

But… so what if facts are facts? Facts can be twisted; people can lie… as i saw all too well in the Thio Su Mien’s article. It seems such an impossible task! It was rather discouraging… and i was at the moment… grieved and resigned…

Then all of a sudden, it struck me… I AM NOT IN THIS ALONE.

All my fellow queer brothers, sisters and those in between… who are all over the world… who are fighting for rights. Who are fighting against stereotypes by their mere existence… we are all in it together. And we are indeed making progress!

Yes, they can try all ways and means to twist facts… to brainwash the public with half-truths… to stir up public fears with lies… to encourage unjustifiable stereotypes.

But… even if they kill me today, there are some things they cannot do…:

They cannot stop me from having loved my mother, my father, my sister and my good friends.
They cannot stop me from having been kind to animals, having empathy for the marginalized, reaching out in love to those who need it.
They cannot take away the education in me- the critical thinking that professors have instilled in me all these years; the knowledge that i was given; the willingness to explore out of the box, to question status quo.
They cannot stop me from having had my ambitions of further improvement for myself, for my family, for society.
They cannot take away this essence of me… that defines me as a person.

By my everyday living, i am refuting the theories that these anti-gay activists are making futile attempts to reinforce. People around me who interact with me knows me… this is the real me. I am not some artifact of the negative gay stereotype. I am a human-being who lives in your normal everyday, who face the same daily events that any other person does. And people talk… information is passed on like the ripple effect.

Things are in progress. As individuals, let’s not lose heart. We are in this together.


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