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.

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After awhile, you start to question what is the meaning of all this? All these ups and downs and feelings of desire and hurt that are so familiar and so d’j’ vu. Sometimes you seem to be watching reruns of a soap opera. Your own. You wonder when it’ll ever stop and when the happy ending comes. The final season.

And you’re tired of cliffhangers and fist-clenching unsatisfactory season endings.

Love seems to disappoint’ despite whatever the romantics say, when they wax lyrical about how beautiful it is. Now now, I know what you’re thinking already. That this is just another whiny post from a lonely heart. But wait.

We always expect and demand that others see our (IMnHO = in our not-so-humble opinion) ‘enlightened’ point of view. We castigate others who put a wet blanket on the love experience. We condemn them as pessimistic, as unrealistic and maybe, even perhaps, unworthy of receiving love, when others talk about love in a bad light. But this is where many of us fail to see… that people only understand what they experience.

It seems that it’s not politically correct to paint love in a negative way. As if, love was a wholly good concept. But what if to you, love has always hurt.

But even so, you can’t seem to quit it. Just like a drug. And deep within you, seems to lie this endless craving for love’s affection. Not physical, not even mental, but the emotional part. And we keep searching for it, playing fools and fumbling about. Trying, failing, sometimes succeeding, but never forever. In and out of relationships like the changing seasons.

We try and we try. But when you come back home at night, to an empty bed where all is quiet except for your heaving sighs, you still feel lonely.

So what do you do?

Now here’s a fork in the road. A familiar fork I’m sure many of us have subconsciously encountered. There are two roads. One well-trodden, the easy tempting way out. The other, the road less traveled, the harder path to struggle through.

We could take the easy way out. It’s extremely tempting to give up like others. To grow cynical about love. Believing that we will never find it, or that it will ever find us. That we are not meant to have a true love experience, or that we will never find The One. Or that the whole in-and-out of relationships cycle is a pointless exercise that is a waste of time. We’re tired of always looking over our shoulder, or turning the corner with the vain hopes of finding love there – waiting. We stop believing in relationships, in love.

We stop trying. Even though the loneliness still clings. There is a hollow in the pits of our chests.

Or, we could bring ourselves up despite the odds. Despite whatever life has taught us thus far, despite our shitty love experiences. Despite all the signs that seem to point that real love is not meant for you. We don’t lose our optimism. Optimism not about finding love, but optimism about the beauty of life. We start to learn how to fill that hollow in our chests with small little things we used to overlook. With simple joys that brings a genuine smile across our faces. And we start to learn to love ourselves first, before trying to jump the gun and love others. We start to discover that life holds many facets and love comes in many forms.

We stop trying. We stop searching for love in all the wrong ways. And we know deep down that love will find us one day, no matter how bleak the present sky looks.

Because you will finally see love, when you unveil the cynicism that blinds you.


I’ve read about this many times on mailing lists, and the vibes I sometimes get from forum postings and what people talk about’ is the aching loneliness that some of us seem to feel, and the view that love is a hopeless endeavor.

Let’s not sweep it under the carpet and pretend it doesn’t exist. Or worse still, chastise the people who feel down about this issue and call them ‘whiny’. Let’s be honest and upfront and confront our demons. Let us help each other, and let one another see that the road less traveled is the real road to joy.

After all, we’re all travelers on the same road, searching for that bit of paradise. Let’s be happy and fulfilled individuals, not jaded or cynical. And then maybe we’ll discover that love is not a drug that love does not hurt forever and always, that there is a lasting love out there that will fill us if only we open our eyes to it.

That real love will come to each and everyone of us one day, so long as we never stop believing.



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