News and Opinions

What every independent person needs to know. (Part 1)

Written by (Guest Writers) on . Posted in Commentary

Do you know what a LifeCycle insurance plan is?

No right?
I guessed so.

In the 21st century, education is touted as the most important tool to attain independence, survival and stability in this dog-eat-dog world. That's the reason behind the paper chase and why we are funneled into the education system for a good 20 odd years of our lives. Unfortunately, the most important type of knowledge we need for survival is never ever taught in schools. And that is: financial education.

By financial education, I mean the knowledge of how to manage your finances, budget, invest and make financial plans to ensure you don't have empty pockets at the end of retirement. In the early years, most of us receive our financial education from our parents. It is passed down from generation to generation. And our parent's knowledge is usually derived from their own personal experiences. This includes good (or bad) choices that they make, which they then pass down to us because that is all they know of. Or they might give us advice which everyone is doing at that moment. (Anyone heard of the 'Herd mentality' syndrome?) That's what we're good at and thus prone to doing. So is it no surprise that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer?

Once I’ve loved

Written by pure ego on . Posted in Relationships

For those who are big on jazz/bossa nova, you are right, I got the title from a song. Not just that, but I thought the title appropriate to what I would like to share.

Recently I fell for someone, of course nothing went according to what I had wished. Through the months I realised we probably aren’t compatible. Not just the fact she’s attached, but well, I probably liked her because I was feeling down. Nevertheless I met up with her not too long ago and that feeling came back again, but I halted it.

People are mostly frivolous and rather cheap in a sense. Well, I think at least I am. I had a relationship not too long ago, oh well maybe that was eight months ago. I did not treasure it in the beginning, but we improved a lot and I thought it was going the distance. Due to unforseen circumstances we had to part. After which I had all the symptoms of a break-up, feeling empty and well, had a rebound. Like I said I didn’t do anything about the rebound because she’s attached.

My ex knew about the rebound, she was angry at first. But she calmed down and ended up encouraging me. I knew it wasn’t out of vindictiveness. She told me she couldn’t guarantee me anything so why should she be angry?

Since our break up, she had been supportive, encouraging me all the way with whatever stage of life I am going through. I still remembered the time I bought my new flat, I brought her into my new home for the first time. The moment I closed the door and turned around, she was gone. I went to my bedroom and saw her standing there looking happy for me. I would speak in an alien language to her and she would reply in the same way. We communicated through the emotional tones in our voices everytime we spoke like that. It was funny. We would dance ourselves till we are tired in my room too. We did not have to see each other everyday. There was freedom and we could be ourselves as individuals.

Of course all those aren’t the only things that made me happy. Not that I am very sad having lost a great relationship, because I am really used to being single now.

We still talk quite a fair bit, I try to wish her good morning and night everyday. I wondered to myself, perhaps this is it. I’ll never love like this again. I guess I would wait for her, even though I might end up with nothing in the end.

It is silly probably. Who knows, a year from now we might not even speak anymore.

Feed Sayoni!

Written by sayoni on . Posted in Announcements

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A Mother’s Day Tale

Written by AnJ on . Posted in Family

I brought my mother and brother to the beach yesterday. Nothing special, really, except that my mother joined me on the Sayoni beach outing. Just before that, my girlfriend and I had joined her at Novena church – a place I haven’t stepped into in 15 years.

My mother went on to exchange make-up tips with my love, picked out girly clothes she thinks I ought to wear, and lamented that the child I adopted isn’t here in Singapore yet. She treated my girlfriend and herself to fancy henna artwork in Little India.

My brother, whom I am extremely proud of, is a straight man who treats my girlfriend like a member of the family, offering to buy her durian rolls and escorting her around when I am preoccupied.

I have no qualms about leaving my brother in a room full of women-loving women and trust him to honour and respect them. Neither do I have to worry about my mother, who graciously said yes when a woman asked her to dance when visiting me in the States. This is the woman who has seen me through shaved heads and long curls, binders and D-cup bras. She has met my past girlfriends and always knew which ones are crazy and which ones are good.

Now, she has grown feeble and is not in good health, but she still picks out psychedelic clothes for me with much zest and her voice still resonates when she yells at me for wearing jeans to church.

Before I met my current girlfriend, I went through three years of solitude. My mother actually sat me down, enquired whether I intended to be single for a long time and even told me to get someone – female or not. She did not want me to be all alone.

She has come a long, long way since I first came out sixteen years ago and I am fortunate to have her.

To all mothers, let us not forget their Happy Mother’s Day!

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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