To empower queer women towards greater involvement and presence in the community
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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.
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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.

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Moving on…

KW is a financial accountant, a gay-man. His sharing is about the damage done to a young gay boy’s self esteem when homosexuality is repeatedly condemned. He has been with his partner for 4 years with some breaks in between. It sounds like the typical story of a gay man from your conventional conservative family, undergoing condemnation from self and others as he discovered his sexual orientation.

Edmund Smith is an ex-gay since the age of 24. He was gay from 13-24 before he was sick of his  ‘homosexual lifestyle’ (however he defines it). Now he’s into his late thirties, married with a child.

He has never been gay-bashed. But after he became ex-gay, he was repeatedly ex-gay-bashed by pro-gays.

I took that statement with a pinch of salt because i noticed a discrepancy. Edmund Smith’s stand is: I am ex-gay but i don’t hate gay people. So with his gay friends, they learned not to bring up the gay-topic over friendly dinners. Which goes to show that if they should talk about the gay-issue, disagreement (and unfruitful discussion i would suppose) would emerge.

During the forum, a number of people made statements like these:  ‘Can you please tell us what your homosexual lifestyle is? Because i am sure that my lifestyle is quite different from your homosexual lifestyle.’ But Edmund Smith seemed to take these questions personally. So, he couldn’t seem to differentiate between anti-ex-gay sentiments and ex-gay person, although he could differentiate between gayness and the gay person. Interesting how things are, isn’t it?

That goes to show one thing: Many of us are what we believe in. As such, when we take the stance of loving the person but hating the sexual orientation, it makes us look schizophrenic.

Genuine and sincere interactions require respect and acceptance. I don’t understand how Edmund Smith sits down with gay people with uttermost respect when he assumes their  ‘lifestyle’ (which necessary entails certain attitudes and opinions which he would vehemently disagree with) is nauseating towards his God.

 

 

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