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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Very quickly, this spirals down into…

“I don’t think I am good enough for her…”
“… but
I can’t live without her…”

and so…
“I am going to do whatever I can to keep her
.”

This includes restricting the number of people she will come into contact with (so that you can reduce the chances of her falling for someone else), curtailing her activities (so that you can reduce the possibility that she will meet new people… and hence reduce the chances of her falling for someone else), ensuring that you are the best among those she knows (so that she wouldn’t leave you for someone else).

Affections + Focus on One’s imperfections = Fear and Insecurities

Very quickly, affectionate thoughts of “she’s so lovely” flipped to thoughts of “is she thinking about leaving me?”, “she is so lovely, why would she want to be with me?” Ambiguous situations get reinterpreted in the light of “she thinks so-and-so is better than me” and “she thinks i am not good enough.” Eventually, even thoughts of her loveliness triggers poor self-evaluation. “I am just lucky that she picked me… very soon she will realize what a mistake she has made and she will leave me.” Fears and insecurities can insidiously destroy whatever joy you derive from your partner… and destroy her whatever joy she gets out of the relationship as she tries to navigates her words away from unseen land mines.

Partners who have an intense fear of losing their partners tend to end up being controlling (whether directly or indirectly) and competitive. At its most extreme, these partners become unreasonably restrictive, stifling their loved ones. These partners may not have the intent to be controlling or competitive. It’s just a (poor) strategy naturally born out of insecurities and fears.

Fear and Insecurities –> Controlling, restricting, competitive –> Stifled partner

The thing to note is “perception”. Being in love comes with a rush of deep feelings that may not get abated quickly. We amorously view our partners through rose-tinted glasses. We are not blind… just selective in perception.

If you are insecure, It would probably help to remove your goddess from the pedestal and see her as human- necessarily with beauty and flaws. At the same time, it’s time to lift yourself up from the dung pile and see your strengths as well, instead of focusing only on your weaknesses. It’s not about fooling yourself into thinking you are greater than you are; it’s about being objective.

That said, it is not easy to eradicate insecurities and fears in the relationship. Once it hits a raw spot (i.e. an area where one has low self-esteem over), its roots can die hard. Partners of insecure folks have to do a dance of cooperation, with words of assurances uttered generously (assurances have to be believable). For instance, you can litter your partner’s day with words of affections. You can also refer to “The Honesty Policy” for more (crucial) advice. If you are suffering from insecurities and fears, do not be afraid to ask for assurances (we all need assurances at some point in our lives). However, do ask for assurance in a non-accusatory way. If you need to hear that you are loved, for instance, do not say, “You don’t really love me, do you? You didn’t tell me you love me today!” Express how you feel instead, like “I don’t really feel loved today.” And then offer your partner a solution, “I like it when you tell me you love me. It makes me feel loved.”

Hopefully these insecurities and fears will be muted over time.

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