News and Opinions

Promote Sayoni

Written by sayoni on . Posted in Announcements

Love what we write? Can’t wait for the next post? Then please help us promote Sayoni Speak to other queer women that you know. If you have a blog, please link to us using:

If you would like an image to go with it, please copy the link of the following image into the html.

The content in this blog is licensed under a CC license, so feel free to copy and paste entire posts, as long as you acknowledge and link to us.If you have a blog, and would like us to link to you in exchange for you linking us, feel free to contact us regarding that.

Even if you don’t have a blog, please tell all your friends about us!

Press Release: 1st Gay and Lesbian Guide to Singapore, Malaysia & Indonesia

Written by sayoni on . Posted in Announcements

Utopia Guide to Singapore, Malaysia & Indonesia : the Gay and Lesbian Scene in 60+ Cities Including Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Johor Bahru and the Islands of Bali and Penang

SINGAPORE, April 21 2006: Which country is home to Asia’s fastest growing openly homosexual sub-culture? Would you believe tiny Singapore? With more than 30 openly gay businesses in the tourist-friendly Chinatown neighborhood alone, Singaporean
entrepreneurs are feeling free enough to fuel a huge boom in the city-state’s pink economy.

But which country do gay Singaporean’s think has the hottest scene going? They point to their neighbor, Malaysia. Indeed, though still largely underground, Malaysia’s gays and lesbians have a steadily growing number of restaurants, clubs, spas and gyms that
openly welcome them and world-class venues are popping up in even small cities like Penang and Kota Kinabalu.

Singapore’s other neighbor, Indonesia, while commonly known as having the world’s largest Muslim population, also has some of Asia’s longest-running homosexual activist groups and a wide variety of traditional alternative sexualities that are an integral part of Indonesia’s cultural mosaic.

The Utopia Guide to Singapore, Malaysia & Indonesia reveals for the first time in print the fascinating and variegated queer lifestyle of these countries in one hefty volume filled with a surprising wealth of information. Listed within are contact details for organizations and businesses that are popular with both local and visiting homosexuals, including accommodation, bars, discos, spas, and restaurants. A special section of the book highlights groups, clubs, and spaces that are especially welcoming for women. Hundreds
of tips and warnings from locals and visitors provide first hand insights for both frequent visitors and armchair explorers.

Commenting on the surprising abundance of gay life in a very conservative region, Singaporean gay activist, Alex Au, writes in the book’s preface, “The reason for this contradiction may be because, despite the political or religious rhetoric, at the social level, the people of these countries are tolerant and hospitable.”

Indonesia’s first gay pride celebration took place in Surabaya, on June 25, 1999. Singapore’s first public festival, Indignation, took place during the month of Aug in 2005 and is set to repeat this year with expanded activities and a higher profile.

But despite growing advances in personal freedoms, activists in all three countries continue to encounter official obstacles. In 2006 Singapore government officials awarded a large grant of public money to a homophobic Christian group that attempts to straighten out gays. In March this year Kuala Lumpur police tried to crack down on businesses that cater to gay customers by fining owners for petty license violations, bringing criticism from local AIDS/HIV educators.

The Utopia Guide to Singapore, Malaysia & Indonesia provides a remarkable insider’s glimpse at the vibrant, everyday life enjoyed by gays and lesbians in Southeast Asia.

The book is available for sale now in printed and electronic form at and will also be available in bookstores internationally and from popular online book resellers in May.

A pioneer on the Internet, Utopia has been Asia’s most popular resource for gays and lesbians since 1994. Utopia’s website is located at and more information about Utopia may be found at

“These fun pages dish out the spice on even the most buttoned-up spots in Asia.” — TIME Magazine TIME Traveler

“A really good place to start looking for information… excellent coverage of gay and lesbian events and activities across Asia.” — Lonely Planet

For more information please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Calling for contributors…

Written by snorkeem on . Posted in Announcements

Do you have something to�say about the lesbian community?

Want to submit an article of your own?

Have a really good idea and an explosive opinion or just about you and yourself?

We welcome queer women from any country, in any shapes and sizes, pink or blue,�so come share�your experiences!

� Email us now!��With your article at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and your desired alias and whatever author details.

*Please remember to cite your sources if you have any. Please note that�we will try our very pretty best to publish all articles but not every one of them�will have a chance to go through.� Just try again!

Sydney’s Mardi Gras 06

Written by snorkeem on . Posted in Events

It didn’t quite sink�in�for me that I was�at Sydney’s Mardi Gras Parade for�a second time, while i walked down from Liverpool Street to Oxford Street, until�I saw all the rainbow flags, feathers and sequins, Drag Kings and Queens, Thai lady boys, Japanese in gay Kimonos, Brokeback Mountain wannabes, cowgirls, the lesbian moms and gay dads, friends, families, couples in all shapes, sizes, nationalities�and sexualities.�They�were�all geared up and ready to celebrate the one event that spells diversity and pride.�

The last�I heard, close to 650,000 Sydney-siders and tourists�assembled on this�Pride�day to�see, laugh, dance and prance the night away.��And seeing them with my own eyes, I was�truly impressed.

Sign up to receive announcements and updates