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Thai transwoman suffers heart attack on New Year's day at Zouk and later dies in hospital[edit]

On 3 January 13, it was reported in The New Paper that the attractive Thai woman who had suffered a heart attack at Zouk nightclub just after its New Year countdown under the crush of a surging crowd was actually a man[1],[2],[3],[4]. The 26-year old katoey, Anan Tunsuwan, fell into a coma for 10 days before passing away at the Singapore General Hospital[5].

In its initial reports, the tabloid referred to the transwoman as he, a probable sign of ignorance and disrespect. However, after complaints by LGBT readers in the comments section that this was unbecoming of the paper, later reports finally referred to the deceased as "she"[6].

Singles, gays and lesbians given right to buy new HDB flats[edit]

On Thursday, 3 January 13, it was announced in The Straits Times that singles (often euphemistically applied to gays and lesbians as well) above the age of 35 would be able to buy new Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats for the first time, most likely in the first half of 2013[7],[8].

Sayoni leaders meet with Law Minister K. Shanmugam[edit]

On 5 January 13, The Straits Times reported that the queer women's equality group, Sayoni, met with Law Minister K. Shanmugam in a move which he said was part of an ongoing engagement with the gay community[9],[10],[11],[12],[13]. Shanmugam confirmed he discussed issues on gay rights, like the anti-homosexual law Section 377A, with the activists in late November[14].

PM Lee Hsien Loong threatens to sue gay blogger Alex Au[edit]

On Friday, 4 January 13, Channel News Asia reported that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong sent a letter of demand via his lawyers to gay blogger and social activist Alex Au for making allegedly defamatory comments implying that Lee was guilty of corruption in relation to the sale of computer systems between the PAP-run town councils and Action Information Management Pte. Ltd. in Au's Yawning Bread article, "PAP mis-AIMed, faces blowback"[15],[16]. Au complied by apologising unreservedly to Mr. Lee for the distress and embarrassment these allegations caused and removed the article and readers' posts (see video:[17]).

New Paper reports case of lesbian who suffered "corrective rape" twice[edit]

On Tuesday, 8 January 13, The New Paper published an article about a butch lesbian who was raped at the age of 17 in secondary school by her male buddy and gang-raped at the age of 28 by 3 or 4 men who were taunted by their friends to see what it was like to have sex with a "freak"[18].

Gay Star News interviews lesbian activist Jean Chong[edit]

On 9 January 13, international online LGBT news website Gay Star News interviewed leading Singaporean lesbian activist Jean Chong of Sayoni[19].

NTU study shows Singaporeans more tolerant of gays and lesbians[edit]

Also on 9 January 13, Channel News Asia reported that a National Technological University study done in 2010 conducted by lead researcher Prof. Benjamin Detenber, Chair of the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information showed that Singaporeans had become more tolerant of gays and lesbians[20],[21]. In 2010, 64.5 per cent of respondents held negative attitudes towards homosexuals - lower than the 68.6 per cent in 2005. The number of those who had positive attitudes rose - from 22.9 per cent in 2005 to 25.3 per cent in 2010[22],[23].

The Straits Times also carried an article on the conclusions of the survey the following day:[24]. 4 days later, an international environmental news website called "mother nature network" also published an article about the survey:[25].

Online petition to support keeping Section 377A[edit]

On 11 January 13, a person named Aaron with the online moniker of "concernedsgcitizen" started a petition to support the keeping of Section 377A of the Penal Code which prohibits sex between men[http: //www.gopetition.com/petitions/we-support-377a.html],[26],[27]. To support his arguments, he included a link to a site called "Where bears roam free" which promoted numerous misconceptions about homosexuality including the statement that "paedophilia is no different from homosexuality"[28].

Poached magazine interviews film maker Boo Junfeng[edit]

On Monday, 14 January 13, arts e-zine Poached published a highly personal interview with film director Boo Junfeng in which he revealed that disappointing examination results turned out to be a blessing in disguise and engendered a life-changing decision, launching him on the path of his artistic passion[29].

While having coffee during the interview[30], the 29-year-old director revealed that he was in the upcoming lineup for that year's President's Young Talents, curated by the Singapore Art Museum. He also gave the e-zine a sneak peek at his upcoming production for the exhibition entitled "Mirror"[31].

Academic's survey of Protestant churches show megachurch-goers have most gay friends[edit]

In his op-ed for The Straits Times on 14 January 2013 entitled "Different under God", academic Terence Chong wrote that in his major survey of Protestant church-goers conducted in 2011, he found that " megachurch Christians were more likely to have and spend time with homosexual friends."[32]

He postulated that "This may be due to the seeker church orientation of megachurches, whereby the distance between the church and the secular world is minimised to demonstrate the relevance of Christianity. Seeker churches thus make it a point to extend their reach and perhaps establish a presence in different spheres of contemporary culture such that the conventional lines between church and society are blurred." He added, "Local studies elsewhere show that Christians and Muslims in Singapore have significantly more negative attitudes and less tolerance than Buddhist and freethinkers towards homosexuality. Given the transitional nature of many of our megachurch Christians both from working to middle class, and from non-Christian toChristian beliefs it is possible that they may have retained some of the tolerance for homosexuality."

See also[edit]

Acknowledgements[edit]

This article was written by Roy Tan