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So what if you are an activist?

Written by Kelly on . Posted in Activism

Or how else to save the world


Image taken from


I had an interview with a student conducting research last week. She and her partner were interested in what made people interested in political and social activism. I suggested that there are three prerequisites:

1. Consciousness
We are aware of the ways in which the world is imperfect or could be better. We consider the sources of influence. Without such consciousness, there would appear to be no necessity for action.

Over coffee with T

Written by (Guest Writers) on . Posted in Activism

This guest article was written by Donniboi

Over coffee, T asked, “Aren’t you worried that signing the petition and open letter for the repeal 377A campaign, would get you into trouble? After all, your home address has to be written down so that your signature is validated’ and the government could easily trace you.”

I replied, “I did think of that when George Hwang approached me to hand-sign the petition’. For once, in the period of being totally out to my family members and friends, having no qualms discussing my sexual preferences, openly engaging in public display of affections with my partner, I actually found myself hesitating to disclose my sexuality on a dead piece of paper’. Holding the pen, wild and random thoughts raced through my mind: like, i am a teacher and i know that MOE runs on an archaic system of ‘values’ shaped predominantly by the homophobic population’. What if my career is jeopardized?? Would I be blacklisted in the government sector??”

The Activist’s Dilemma

Written by lublub on . Posted in Activism

The recent hoo-haa surrounding MM Lee’s statements on homosexuality has ruffled my feathers and poked at the idealist in me. It was heartening to see so many others rise up and stand up for who they are, by writing into forums, newspapers to defend themselves and others.

It’s for the future, or so we say.

We spend our time and effort and our brain cells into mounting a suitable defense against the homophobes, against the naysayers. Furiously spending hours crafting that perfect rebuttal, hoping, with whatever slim chance there is’ that it’ll be published in the papers.

But is it enough?

A brief history of the Rainbow Flag

Written by sayoni on . Posted in Activism

The Rainbow Flag made its first appearance in the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Freedom Day Parade in 1978. Its symbolism was borrowed from the hippie and black civil rights movements. Artist Gilbert Baker from San Francisco, created the flag as a symbol that could be used year after year.

Along with about 30 volunteers, two gigantic prototype of the flag were hand-stitched and hand-dyed. The original flag had eight stripes, with each color representing a particular component of the gay community: hot pink for sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sun, green for nature, turquoise for the arts, indigo for harmony, and violet for spirit.

Original 8 colour version

The following year, as a result of extraordinary demand for the flag, Baker contacted San Francisco Paramount Flag Company to inquire about the possibility of mass-producing his flag for use in the 1979 parade. He was surprised to learn that due to production issues and the fact that hot pink was not a readily available commercial color, his original eight colors could not be used. The fact is that he had hand-dyed the original colors. Hot pink was removed from the palette and the flag was reduced to seven stripes, with indigo being replaced by royal blue.

7 colour version

The second change to the flag came after the assassination of San Francisco’s openly-gay commissioner, Harvey Milk. To manifest the community’s solidarity in the aftermath of this tragedy, the San Francisco Pride Committee elected to use Baker’s flag in honor of the slain Milk. The turquoise stripe was eliminated so that the colors could be divided evenly on the parade route, three colors on one side of the street, and three colors on the other side.

Wishing to demonstrate the gay community�s solidarity in response to this tragedy, the 1979 Pride Parade Committee decided to use Baker�s flag in honor of Milk. The committee eliminated the turquoise stripe so they could divide the colors evenly as they walked the parade route, three colors on one side of the street and three on the other.

This updated six-color version of the rainbow flag quickly spread from San Francisco to other cities. Soon, it was universally known and accepted as a symbol of gay pride and diversity. And it is recognized officially by the International Congress of Flag Makers as such.

Current worldwide version
Red = Life
Orange = Healing
Yellow = Sun / Sunlight
Green = Nature
Blue = Harmony / Serenity
Violet = Spirit

The Invisibles

Written by Indu on . Posted in Activism

No, not another super-hero family with powers of self-effacement. I am referring to those among us, who cannot be distinguished from the straight population at large. Those who blend in, becoming another faceless figure in the crowd, as opposed to those who defy norms of sexual and gender expression.

The Invisibles often get a rather schizophrenic treatment: the camp who endorses such 'normality' as being what will bring the straight people to our cause, and the camp who believes gay people are different no matter what, and hence the Invisibles are selling out.

In the lesbian world, invisibility is associated with 'femmes', straight-appearing women who are not visibly masculine or lesbian.

Wait. Read my last statement carefully, and you will have noticed several assumptions and stereotypes reflected already.

1. Lesbians are usually masculine girls, often butches and andros
2. To be explicitly identified and acknowledged as lesbian, one must dress and behave differently from straight women

I shall not attempt to discuss the origins of such assumptions, for it relates to extensive amounts of queer theory, history and culture. But I would like to question the validity of it: does being feminine or masculine have anything do with sexuality? There are plenty of masculine girls who are as straight as the day is long, and plenty of feminine girls who only have eyes for other women. I’ve heard people saying, “but they all look so femme!” as if lesbianism and feminity were mutually exclusive. Visibility is not equal to sexuality.


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