News and Opinions


Written by sayoni on . Posted in Announcements

Queer Singaporean youth launch a portal for themselves.

A group of young queer Singaporeans have come together to start a youth portal establishing itself as a resource for their peers.

Led by 20-year-old polytechnic graduate Azimin Saini, the group comprises 9 youths with different racial backgrounds and sexual orientations.

�There really are no resources to deal with gay youth in Singapore, even till today.� He said. �And we�re often the ones who are crying out for help and need it most.�

The website can be seen at

The name PLUME stands for People Like You and Me, an amalgamation of the acronym, PLU (People Like Us), which has incidentally become widely used to describe gay people in Singapore, and Senior Minister Goh�s widely quoted phrase that gay people are just like �you and me�.


The logo centers on a youth�s sense of individuality with the circle ringed around ME in PLUME. It also means �feather�; the jagged wings symbolise the act of taking flight � to discover the unlimited potential as young people and to be free from the mental constraints society imposes based on sexual and/or gender identity.
�In our conservative society and in most circles, the word ‘queer’ is considered a taboo that is left unspoken. Many pretend that we, as young queer Singaporeans don’t exist and shrug it off�, said 19-year-old Cher Tan, an Editor on PLUME.

Many others feel that they are, too, being ignored.

�Coming out was difficult. I grappled my way around and it was really lonely. I see all these well-adjusted gay adults � but what about us? Have they forgotten what it was like?� asked 20-year-old NS-man, Victor Raj.

A simple survey of 26 youths ranging from the ages of 18 to 21 across the gender and sexual orientation spectrum revealed that all 26 felt there were not enough resources to deal with being young and queer. While it was not meant to be a comprehensive study, the sampling was indicative of the general sentiment among this segment of the population.

PLUME hopes to be a platform for LGBT youth to express themselves through writing, foster the growth of an LGBT youth community in Singapore, and in doing so, provide support and resources for queer youth. Operating like a publication, it will publish articles and reader-submitted stories

�We�re hoping that this project will help in any small ways it can�, said Jasper Chen, another Editor on the team. �And hopefully, it will ease the pain young gay individuals face at that tough period of time.�

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Written by sayoni on . Posted in Announcements

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A thank you message from Pelangi Pride Centre (Singapore)

Written by snorkeem on . Posted in Announcements

A big THANK YOU to everyone who made our official (re)launch of Pelangi Pride Centre at Mox Bar & Cafe on Saturday 6th May such a hit!

More than 200 people turned up and the place was packed all the way from 4pm to 8pm. Especially popular: the community fair, where different non-profit gay and lesbian community groups set up booths to promote their organisations, activities and issues. Guests also enjoyed soulful performances by Cyril Wong on the piano and Wendy Siew on the guitar.

The mood was relaxed and sociable, as people caught up with old faces and made new friends. Everyone lingered on, partly thanks to the delicious custard puffs and other snacks, as well as the free flow of soft drinks, courtesy of Mox Bar & Cafe. The evening ended with the lucky draw, featuring prizes from

On behalf of Pelangi Pride Centre, and the community at large, we want to say a great big thank you to:

* Mox Bar & Cafe – for hosting PPC and for sponsoring our lovely bookshelves. Thanks especially to Mok, as well as Bernice & John for all your efforts

* – for sponsoring the fabulous prizes

* Free Community Church – for your generous donation

* Cyril Wong & Wendy Siew for sharing your music with us.

* Community groups – for making this first ever GLBT community fair a reality, and for the space to publicise PPC on your mailing lists

* Our fellow volunteers – from librarians to those who helped with transport, storage, web-mastering, poster design, photography, booth manning and organisation

* Launch party guests – for your interest and support: you made this a great community success

* Our supporters in cyberspace and around the world – your moral support helped keep our spirits up while we were in-between homes

* Last but not least: Hisham – for making this all happen, by putting us in touch with Mox when we left our old home

Hope to see you at Mox, every Sat 4pm to 8pm

Charmaine, Dinesh and Eileena

Photos of PPCLaunch Party & Community Fair

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Written by sayoni on . Posted in Announcements

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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.


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