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The theme for Singapore's 9th annual LGBT pride season from 3-31 August, IndigNation 2013, was "Faith in the Future" - Where will the winds of change bring us? Together forever in electric dreams or scattered in despair in an apocalypse? Let the dandelion of your faith guide you to IndigNation 9.

The main organiser was Miak Siew. The graphic designers for the event posters were Gary Lim and Kenneth Chee. Ng Yi-Sheng coordinated pre-event publicity at a booth at the community tent during Pink Dot at Hong Lim Park on Saturday, 29 June 2013.

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[edit]

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In this year's dandelion-shaped logo, there are 11 seed heads. 10 of them represent the multiple religions of Singapore, including Taoism, Buddhism, Baha'i faith, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism. Sikhism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism and Jainism[1].

The 11th seed may be taken to represent the possible religious sub-groups that are not clearly defined, (e.g. ancestor worship). But it also represents the non-religious communities like atheists, agnostics, humanists, theists and skeptics.

In a way, this logo encompasses the non-religious aspect of our society. Science in that sense fits in nicely with this number 11, since string theory suggests that mere may be 11 dimensions to reality[2].

In short, this logo depicts the fragile connections of our different belief systems and how easily they can be torn apart like the head of a dandelion, destroyed by a gust of wind. There is also a duality in the dandelion, it flourishes easily like a weed but it is also a beneficial plant at the same time[3].

This reflects the different aspects of society’s perceptions of religion, which is tied to our theme for this year's Indignation 9: "Faith in the Future".

How do LGBT people, religious and non-religious live in this duality? What discussions and actions can further our progress?

Programme line-up[edit]

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Opening: Faith in the Future[edit]

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Facebook event page:[4].

Advertisment:

"At the opening of IndigNation 2013, we will be having an open discussion about possible futures of the queer community – touching on issues of ageing, rethinking what family means to us, and how we see our queer selves as being part of Singapore.

We will also be launching Queer Futures: (An)Other Singapore Conversation. (An)Other Singapore Conversation is an ongoing project that utilises art and words to platform the voices of Singapore’s queer community; their visions of the future, their hopes, dreams and fears. It will culminate at IndigNation 2014 in a community exhibition and an invitation to members-of-parliament to engage with community concerns raised via this platform.

In addition, we're also launching The Coming Out Campaign. "Come Out Come Home" is a movement to support all queer/LGBTIQ persons who wish to be (more) out, i.e., disclose their sexual and/or gender identity/orientation. It is also about the allies who love, accept and support their LGBTIQ family, friends and colleagues, enabling them to “come out”. It will start on IndigNation 2013 and end on Coming Out Day, 11 October 2013."

The following invitation was sent out to all guests:

"You are cordially invited to the Opening of IndigNation 2013!

This year, our theme is "Faith in the Future," looking ahead to what possibilities there are for the LGBT community - not just about LGBT rights, but also how we envision our future as LGBT people in Singapore.

Come and dream and hope together - because the only future we can have is the one we dare to dream of.

Our opening event will feature a panel addressing various possibilities and dreams of our future.

  • The Future of the Greying LGBT community - Alex Au
  • The Future of LGBT voices in Singapore - Vincent Wijeysingha
  • The Future of LGBT and the Arts / (An)Other Singapore Conversation - Tania De Rozario
  • The Future of the Transgender Community in Singapore - Tricia Leong & Vanessa Ho
  • The Future and Coming Out - Jean Chong

We are not just going have these speakers talk at you - but we want to engage everyone to think about and imagine what the future can be, what the challenges are, and how we can participate in making that future happen.

We do expect it to be a long discussion - we have catered finger food so we can hold the hunger pangs at bay, and we do hope the conversations continue after the event over dinner and drinks informally. We look forward to seeing you on the 3rd August!

Date: 3 August 2013, Saturday, 5pm Venue: 72-13 Mohamed Sultan Rd, 239007

Please RSVP to IndigNation2013@gmail.com"

Opening speech: "I Have An Agenda"[edit]

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The opening speech of IndigNation 2013 was delivered by its main organiser and master-of-ceremonies for the evening, Miak Siew (see video[5]).

This is a transcript of his speech[6]:

"Good afternoon everyone, and welcome to the opening of the ninth season of IndigNation - Faith in the Future.

I am Miak Siew.

So before we start I have to first come out - I am in kind of an odd situation. I am gay, and I am Christian. And not only a Christian, but an ordained minister in the church. So to the Christians, they think I am out to convert them gay, and to the LGBT community, many think I am out to convert them to Christianity. So I'll be upfront. I am not out to convert anyone. Today, I am the chairperson of the organizing committee for indignation, which I have been involved in since 2006.

Given that some people have asked me about these year's theme "Faith in the Future," I think I need to shed a little light how we got there - the theme this year emerged over very quickly during one of our meetings - someone suggested it - I think it was Weijie or Mathia or Tania - and quite unanimously we thought it was a good idea - it played on the word "faith" because our meeting was held not long after the incident when Pastor Lawrence Khong attracted a lot of attention with his statement to the ESM Goh Chok Tong.

First, I have a lot of thank yous to read out. IndigNation cannot happen without a lot of people's involvement, generosity, pouring in their time, energy and resources into this. We want to thank 72-13 for the venue today, and for the closing day events Southeast Gaysia and Contradiction, Artistry Cafe for the venue for I Will Survive with Music, Select Books for hosting Gaylien Invasion, Free Community Church for hosting Transcending Gender; Fridae, IS Magazine and Beat Around the Bush for the media coverage; to CT and K Camden for the financial support; and to Gary and Kenneth of Ant Farms Design for the designing of the publicity and the candies; to Sayoni, OC Women, Purple Alliance, SgRainbow, Bear Project, YoungOutHere for their participation and involvement in the planning process; to thank you to the other Queer LGBT groups which have provided support, companionship on this process - People Like Us, Pelangi Pride Center, Pink Dot, Transgender Alliance, Bear Project, SgRainbow, SinGaypore, and my apologies to the groups which I have left out. And finally a big thank you to the volunteers who are helping out - Welton and Chase, Lip Sin, Hafiz. Thank you.

I have an agenda. The spies amongst you please take note. I have an agenda, and I will be open about it. I don't believe that I need to hide this agenda - not like some groups who operate clandestinely and infiltrate organizations and mount hostile takeovers - we operate openly. We declare our intentions. We have nothing to hide.

I have an agenda for a future that LGBT people will no longer live in fear. Fear of being rejected by their loved ones - kicked out of home, from the people dearest to them. Fear of being bullied and called names, and even fear of physical assault. Fear of being discriminated - at the workplace, at public places, anywhere. Fear of losing their jobs simply because of who they are.

I have an agenda because without a road map of where we are heading, we will just be passively allowing things to happen to us. We would just be reacting. And up to now, most of our activism has been about reacting. I must recognize many amongst you today are doing your part - be it speaking up on behalf of the LGBT community, making your presence felt on a personal and a community level, or organizing the community in big and small ways - all of you are putting your money where your mouth is. To all of you - thank you for your work and your sacrifice.

But we are often doing things in individual silos - hoping that somehow we would have a collective impact to change things. I think we can do better. While we are doing different things in different ways, sometimes disagreeing on how to do it, we need to have some sort of a master plan, some sort of big picture view instead of hoping that all the pieces will fall in the right place. We need to be coordinated. We need to all have a glimpse of the future so we know what we need to do now.

We also need to recognize that we are all interconnected. Too often, we are divided amongst ourselves. I have seen LGBT movement in the US, in an effort to appear more mainstream to the straight community, left the Transgender community out of the equation. In 2007, in an effort to get the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) passed, transgender protections were removed from the legislation, claiming they wouldn't have enough votes to pass an inclusive ENDA. T was thrown under the bus. It's just LGB. "We will come back for you." After we get our rights.

Will we do the same when our time comes? Will we try to make ourselves more mainstream, more acceptable, more Disney-family-friendly so that some of us can fit in? And those who can't fit in, "We will come back for you?" Or will we stand together, and rise or fall together?

While we are proud to support Gary and Kenneth in their challenge of 377A, we are quite quiet about Tan Eng Hong's challenge that gave them legal standing to make that challenge. Alfian Sa'at said "Queerness is radial, not sanitized, not commodified."

Will we see that the label Queer actually isn't a label at all. It is moving past labels, refusing to be put in neat little categories and seeing each human being as a human being. Queer, not just an umbrella term to cover LGBTIQAA, but the erasure of these categories. We are all a little bit queer.

Five months before he was assassinated, Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to hold public office in California, gave the "Hope Speech" in the 1978 San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade. Some of you may have heard it before. "And the young gay people in the Altoona, Pennsylvanias, the Richmond, Minnesotas, who are coming out and hear Anita Bryant on television and her story. The only thing they have to look forward to is hope. And you have to give them hope. Hope for a better world, hope for a better tomorrow, hope for a better place to come to if the pressures at home are too great." Go search for it on Youtube. What many people didn't know is that in that speech, Harvey Milk spoke about racists policies and on the closing of the South African consulate - this is during the time of Apartheid.

He didn't just speak up for LGBT rights. He spoke up for human rights. He didn't see rights as these are my rights, these are your rights - these are rights I will fight for, but these aren't my business, they have nothing to do with me.

This is not about repackaging LGBT rights as human rights - though LGBT rights are human rights. It is about recognizing our responsibility to address the protection of other marginalized communities, communities that do not have power, communities that do not have a voice, communities who are not heard - the migrant workers, the PLHIV (people living with HIV), the sex workers... We have to address our own issues within our community - racism, classism, elitism, sexism, ableism, ageism.

We should not throw anyone under the bus.

We have an agenda

as one united people - regardless of race, language, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, social economic status or nationality

to build a future

based on justice and equality and love

to achieve happiness, prosperity and progress

not just for our nation, but for all people.

So I would like to begin this panel presentation - this group of individuals invited to give their glimpse into the future, and speak about their hopes and their dreams for the future. So we can imagine a future that we have faith in.

Vanessa Ho, project coordinator for Project X, a sex worker outreach group, and one of the organizers of Singapore's "Slut Walk" movement.

Jean Chong, member of People Like Us, one of the founders of Sayoni, and a long time friend. 2 years ago, Jean was part of a 3-woman team from Sayoni to the Conference to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women (CEDAW) at the United Nations in New York to highlight the discrimination experienced by lesbian, bisexual and transgender women in Singapore. They brought up the issue of how 377A does not affect only men, but also women in Singapore.

Tricia Leong, the out-est, loudest trans activist in Singapore and one of the Sisters in Solidarity.

Tania De Rozario, an artist, writer and curator interested in issues of gender, sexuality and queer desire. She is the co-founder/curator of EtiquetteSG, a multidisciplinary collective focusing on women's issues, and is the author of Tender Delirium, published by Math Paper Press."

Alex Au, founding member of People Like Us, the person behind "Yawning Bread," one of my mentors who helped shape my activist life.

Dr Vincent Wijeysingha, is a politician and civil activist from Singapore. I talked about Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to hold public office in California. Vincent is the first openly gay politician in Singapore - and I hope that he would be the first openly gay politician in public office in Singapore.

Here's how we are going to do this - We would have these six speakers speak about the topics there were assigned, and then we would throw it open to the floor..

At talks and seminars, and presentations, we often think that those seated here - the panel - have all the answers. I don't think so. I think we need to brainstorm, share our thoughts, respond, critique, refine ideas and work together to come up with better ideas - what we want to do, how we can do it, and how we can work together.

We have been talking at you. Now you get to talk back."

Alex Au[edit]

Jean Chong[edit]

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Chong, one of the founding members of Sayoni and also a committee member of People Like Us, introduced the audience to Sayoni's latest initiative - a project called COuCH which is an acronym for "Come Out, Come Home" (see Facebook page:[7], website[8]).

COuCH is a movement which will give LGBTQ persons considering coming out the encouragement to do so, thereby changing society's perception of the LGBTQ community. It is also about the people who love and support their LGBTQ family, friends and colleagues, enabling them to ʺCome Outʺ and show that there are accepting people out there.

  • Watch a video of Chong's speech:[9].


Vincent Wijeysingha[edit]

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Tania De Rozario[edit]

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Tricia Leong[edit]

Vanessa Ho[edit]

Same-sex parenting: Raising new standards[edit]

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Facebook event page:[10].

Advertisment:

Sunday, August 4, 2013 2:00pm until 6:00pm

Organised by Sayoni

Spend an afternoon with gay parents. Exchange ideas, learn from their experiences, build networks.

Venue : DYMK $8 entry includes 1st soft drink to cover venue cost. Space is limited!

Slides[edit]


Pink Picnic[edit]

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Facebook event page:[11].

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Friday, August 9, 2013 5:00pm

The non-event is happening again. Totally disorganized and unorganized since 2005, this picnic is just a picnic. No agendas, no parades, no marches. Except that we would like you to come in pink.

It is just an afternoon of (hopefully) sunshine, and an excuse to say hi to fabulous folks with fabulous food in their picnic baskets.

Do bring extra food and drinks - you don't know who might come up to you to say hi!


I will survive with music[edit]

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Facebook event page:[12].

Advertisment:

Saturday, August 10, 2013 8:00pm until 9:30pm

“I Will Survive: Personal gay, lesbian, bisexual & transgender stories in Singapore” is a collection that brings together real-life experiences of love, grace, faith, dignity and courage from 21 ordinary gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in Singapore who have been through extraordinary circumstances.

Following the book launch in May, a community reading session in June, and a successful Indiegogo campaign which has raised funds to send more than 100 copies of the book to social service professionals working in the community, we now have a reading-cum-music session.

Come join the editor, Leow Yangfa, and his musical guest, Lokies Khan, for an evening of stories, personal sharing and familiar tunes, to celebrate the triple occasion of IndigNation, Hari Raya Puasa & National Day!

A limited number of copies of the book will be available for sale at the venue, and the editor would be delighted to sign autographs!

Lokies Khan, singer & performer

Singing from the age of four, Lokies Khan’s love for music has always been prominent. He had a 5-month residential stint at Speakeasy,and has also performed in other well-known venues, including Home Club, NUSS Guild House, FIVE Izakaya bar, Temasek Club and Hatched.

Influenced by a broad spectrum of music, he cites Alicia Keys, Ella Fitzgerald, Lana Del Rey & Christina Aguilera as his biggest influence in his artistry.

Lokies’ voice has often been described as unusually intriguing. With his versatility, he blows away with strength, mellows down low, demonstrates eccentrics with his range & softens with gentleness. And when he isn’t singing, he moonlights as a DJ.

By the way, this event is pending an arts & entertainment licence from MDA.


Gaylien Invasion: A Night of LGBT Science Fiction[edit]

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Facebook event page:[13].

Advertisment:

"Thursday, August 15, 2013 8:00pm

Imagine what queer life might look like in the future… or on different planets… or with robots! Join us for readings of new short stories by local writers like Amanda Lee, Joel Tan and Jeremy Tiang. Curated and hosted by Ng Yi-Sheng."

Venue: Select Books, 51 Armenian Street.

  • Watch a video recording of the event:[14].


No Approval[edit]

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Facebook event page:[15].

Advertisement:

"Grey Projects presents 'No Approval' an exhibition in conjunction with Indignation 2013.

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Works by:

EZZAM RAHMAN

KHAI RAHIM

SARAH CHOO

GUO YIXIU

MARLA BENDINI

LOO ZIHAN

GHAZI ALQUDCY

ELVIN CHING

LEE GWO YINN

FARAH ONG

ANGELA GUO

FELICIA LOW

Opening: 15 Aug 2013, 6-8pm.

Exhibition: 15-31 Aug 2013.

please see our facebook page (facebook.com/GreyProjectsTiongBahru[16]) and our website (greyprojects.org[17]) for directions and hours."

Venue: 6B Kim Tian Road, Tiong Bahru, Singapore 169246.

Directions: From Tiong Bahru MRT, walk east along Tiong Bahru Road to Kim Tian Road. We are located on the third storey, accessed via the stairwell between 7-11 and the bar Coq & Balls.

Bus services include:

5, 16, 33, 63, 123, 195, 851.


Be With Me: An OC workshop for women who love women[edit]

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Facebook event page:[18].

Advertisment:

"Sunday, August 18, 2013 2:00pm in CDT

Organised by OCWomen

Life can be a series of challenges. Worries about family, work, relationships, and finances can cause us to lose our confidence, our sense of self and direction, and it can be a difficult time of mixed and extreme emotions. Been there, done that?

Join us for an afternoon to learn more about how to help yourself, and help others cope in a crisis. We'll discuss: - The series of emotional stages in a crisis - Activities, people, and organizations that can help in taking the steps to move on with life - How to build an emotional support system for yourself - Being a First Responder to crisis - Being part of someone’s emotional support system

Come join us and meet new friends in the community. We'll learn from each other about coping with our own challenges, helping others in times of crisis, and how to move on.

Register at http ://bit.ly/ocwbewithme"

Venue: #19-14, International Plaza, 10 Anson Road, Singapore 079903.


Akka (அக்கா) : A reading of Singapore’s first queer Tamil play[edit]

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Facebook event page:[19].

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Friday, August 23, 2013 8:00pm

Organised by Avant Theater and The Purple Alliance.

In 1990, the playwright G. Selvanathan wrote and starred in Akka, (அக்கா), a short play in Tamil about the life of a transgender woman. Join us for a staged reading of this play, followed by a discussion on language, race and gender. English subtitles will be provided.


To Russia With Love[edit]

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Facebook event page:[20].

Advertisement:

"Saturday, August 24, 2013

6:00pm

In July this year, the Russian parliament adopted a draft legislation banning the dissemination of information of “non-traditional” sexuality. The Russian government claims that this law is meant to protect children and young people from information and propaganda that are harmful to their well-being and development. There has also been reported increase in the number of violent incidents, assaults, harassment and bullying of Russian LGBT people and their allies.

Join us at Hong Lim Park to take a stand against the homophobia that is sweeping across Russia and express solidarity and support to our LGBT comrades there. There will be speeches from activists, poetry readings and the signing of a petition which will be submitted to the Russian embassy in Singapore. Come with a placard, or a message and let your voice be heard!"

  • See campaign video:[21].


Transcending Gender[edit]

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Facebook event page:[22].

Advertisment:

Sunday, August 25, 2013 3:00pm

In 2012, two students did their final year project interviewing people from the transgender community. What was the process like? What did they learn? How did the transgender persons feel about being involved?

Through this conversation, we hope that we start building the future where we transcend gender – where we see people as who they are – in the fullness of their humanity.


Southeast Gaysia![edit]

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Facebook event page:[23].

Advertisment:

Saturday, August 31, 2013 4:00pm

Organised by Sayoni

We all know about LGBT problems in Singapore, but have you heard about the queer rights revolutions happening in Cambodia, Vietnam and other Southeast Asian nations?

Jean Chong and Ng Yi-Sheng, members of the ASEAN SOGI (sexual orientation and gender identity) group, will talk about different regional trends in queer rights.


ContraDiction: An evening of LGBT literature[edit]

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Facebook event page:[24].

Advertisment:

Saturday, August 31, 2013 7:30pm

Our annual reading of LGBT Singaporean writing is back to close IndigNation 2013! We’ll be featuring poetry, fiction, drama, essays and more from an eclectic bunch of Singapore’s queer writers!

Curated by Ng Yi-Sheng and Jasmine Seah.

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See also[edit]

IndigNation: Singapore's first gay pride month

IndigNation 2006

IndigNation 2007

IndigNation 2008

IndigNation 2009

IndigNation 2010

IndigNation 2011

IndigNation 2012

References and external links[edit]

  • IndigNation SG's Facebook page:[25].
  • PLU's IndigNation website.
  • The older IndigNation Facebook page:[26].
  • A playlist of videos of past IndigNation events on YouTube: [27].
  • IndigNation Sg's YouTube channel:[28].

Acknowledgements[edit]

This article was compiled by Roy Tan.