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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In my quest to discover what all the fabulously single lesbian women do with their time, I ventured into gatherings and social settings where I could make connections with people.

Being entirely new to the scene, I was initially fairly afraid and intimidated by the idea of plunging myself head first into this new world. Watching too much of the L Word has made me a bit wary of “Classic Lesbian Syndrome” (CLS) and I was determined not to fall prey to that.

I’ve since discovered that CLS is very much apparent in the local scene and the horror stories I have heard from some of my new friends, plus my own recent experience, has made me very careful on who I go out with and what kind of expectations they may have.

For those who have no idea what I mean, I will list just some of the CLS symptoms:

  1. Having sex on the first date. Some call it ‘test-driving’.
  2. After said sexual activity, immediately plunging into a relationship. Apparently, it is because one or both parties feel that once you have sex, you need to have a relationship.
  3. Moving in together within a week or two. Sometimes it is within 24 hours and you realise that it is easy to move in, but incredibly hard to move out.
  4. Multiple breakups or various other dramas that involve alot of tears, vows of un-dying love and sometimes even a threat or two. This is just so that lesbians can prove to the world that they are very much in love or being loved.
  5. Clinging onto a relationship, even after it has clearly failed, until someone better comes along. The fear of being alone is far greater than the fear of any abuse current partner will inflict.

With a clear idea of what to avoid, I slowly let myself into the circle and allowed myself to soak in this new community. Somehow it worked and I found myself going out on pseudo-dates with my new friends. The experience has been liberating! Movies, waffles, partying and dancing! All the things I used to do but never seemed to have time for until recently.

Given the amount of fun I’ve had over the past 2 weeks, I’ve finally realised that I do not have to be one half of a couple to enjoy life. Life can be appreciated with a group of friends, or even with individuals whom you have only just met. The exciting part about it is you don’t know what you are in for. It is extremely fulfilling because I find myself being exposed to different people and different mindsets.

I suppose that most people go on dates in their quest to find the perfect mate, partner, girlfriend, wife, etc. For me, it has been more of getting to know more people and in the process, discovering details about myself as well. I don’t know what I am looking for, but I do know I want to enjoy myself and have fun in the process.

At this point, I don’t prefer a particular “type” and I’ve been attracted to a variety of women; some because of how smart they are, others because of how humorous they are. There are so many feel-good factors for me, including how caring, how interesting and how entertaining each person can be.

It’s almost like I am shopping for a new bag. I go around looking at different bags within a different price range. Most of the time, I generally have what I want in mind, but it’s not always that simple to make a choice. And I refuse to settle for second best. I must have a bag which is perfect. If not, I would rather not buy the bag. It doesn’t matter how much the bag costs, as long as it suits me, I will work hard to get it.

So I guess, I am shopping right now. Anyone else wants to go shopping with me?

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