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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Bicuriousity is often termed as a passing phase and this is one judgement which is right. While one may identify as bisexual for a lifetime, it is quite impossible to keep identifying as bicurious forever  because by the very definition of bicuriousity, of a person being ‘curious’ about the other side. It is very much like an activated complex of a chemical reaction: it is not stable, and will form back into the reactants or products. Eventually, you will decide whether you have gay tendencies to any extent, or are straight. One can decide that one is gay, bisexual, straight, or to be more modern and inclusive, pomosexual, or simply queer. In effect, bicuriousity is the stage where one decides where one lies on the scale, to decide on one’s identity, whether this judgement is accurate or not, depends on the person.

Many bicurious women do eventually go on to identify as gay or bi. Many do not after a night of pussy, they might decide that the dick is what they really want. This is the part where most lesbians get angry, for one, it is through ‘experimenting’ with some unknowing lesbian that a bicurious woman gains this knowledge. And furthermore, if a woman return to a ‘straight lifestyle’ after she has tried women, it implies that somehow, lesbianism is ‘inadequate’ and ‘lacking’. It reinforces the stereotype that 1. Lesbianism is a passing phase, and 2. All lesbians need is to find a good man.

Bicuriousity is often associated with Lesbians Until Graduation (LUGs), as women in college, free from restriction on part of their from their parents, and distant from the realities of life in the real world, find themselves free to explore their other side. And eventually, most of these woman go on to marry a dude and have three kids after they leave college, further fuelling the ‘lesbianism as a passing phase’ stereotype.

Unfortunately, things aren’t that clear-cut. Perhaps these women have ‘experimented’ and found out that they do like women to some extent ‘ but perhaps not to the extent they would give up their heterosexual privileges. It is too much effort, in our world, to be really gay, to love someone of the same sex.

Even then, considering all these points, a counter-revolution is taking place in our world. It is now considered, in parts of the world which are more open-minded, cool to be sleeping with other women. Perhaps fuelled by the porn industry, which caters to straight men’s fantasies about two women, or the media, which is increasingly exploiting lesbianism for its shock and deliciously scandalous value. Some straight or bicurious women would be seeing this as hetero-male erectification tool. Celebrities use it as a publicity stunt- Madonna/Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan etc, would come to mind.

But the media, along with the public, is a two-faced hypocrite: it is alright to make out with middle-aged women on national TV, but it isn’t alright for Ellen DeGeneres to be gay? Industry insiders can tell you how hard she worked to rebuild her career after she came out. In other words, it is cool to be appearing to ‘do’ gay, but not to actually be gay.

The original meaning of the word bicurious, and to a greater extent, bisexual, has been lost among these webs of social hypocrisy, so much so that even we lesbians are befuddled. Any girl who dares to declare that she is “curious” immediately gets the cold shoulder from close-minded lesbians. You would be surprised how even some “activists” don’t see you as part of the community unless you are totally gay and sure.

Pleinelune is definitely not bicurious, but remembers a time when she was, just about the time Dinosaurs still walked on earth. She wishes all bicurious women good luck in finding their way in this strange voyage through their own sexuality – and if any of them need a guiding light through this difficult time, she will be more than happy to light a match for them.



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