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Written by AnJ on . Posted in Emotional & Physical Wellness

I was traveling towards the city when three little girls pranced into the train.
Young. Rambunctious. Indefatigable.
Do you remember how it was?
… Can you remember how it was?

Grins from ear to ear. Radiating wth youthful exuberance. They lifted my countenance… I was smiling in spite of myself. So contagious…
Will they remember how it was?

When did it all start?
The little hassles embedded in mundaneness of life. The striving.
The need to make that grade; to earn that amount; to get that promotion; to attract that dream girl…
All these… have subtly waltzed away with the simple pleasures of life.

The good life as a destination is a bottomless pit:

Before you get your class 3 licence, it’s a indispensable marker of the next phase of your life. After you get your class 3 licence, it’s just another card in your wallet.
Before you get that A grade, you would sacrificed nights of good sleep. After you get that A grade, it’s just another alphabet on your transcipt.
Before you get your little niche, you thought your sanity hedges on it. After you get a place of your own, you worry about maintaining it.

When was the last time you stopped to watch the clouds go by… to muse over the erratic shapes they take and how capricious they are?
The stray cat that roams is a spectacle… watch how she stretches and yawns… the way the ears move one after another as it turns its head this way and that.
Have you sat quietly and observed people on the streets… and wondered at how their lives are written on their faces? Laugh-lines around the eyes, train-tracks on their foreheads… And to be amazed at how a prune-face can be magically transformed by the upturning corners of the mouth?

Ambition? Yes of course.
Putting our best foot forward? Most certainly.

But must all these… sacrifice the spontanity we once had… and the appreciation we once had of little things…?

Activism with A-band-on

Written by Jin on . Posted in Activism

I've been wearing a rainbow-coloured rubber wristband. You know, those wristbands that come in various colours, first it was a yellow one from the Lance Armstrong Foundation, then there was the dual black/white for anti-racism, and before long, even Giordano and McDonalds were selling them too. I'm not one for fads, so I've never owned or bought one in any of the myriad of colours they come in. Except this Rainbow one.

My gf and I bought one each, from a gay shop in Sydney. Our $10 went in support of the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade. We put them on as we left the shop, and to me, it was like now I was 'branded', I was wearing a visible sign that acknowledges that I am gay. My gf wondered if wearing rainbow wristbands would attract attention and maybe get us beaten up by some anti-gay hooligans.

It was a big step for me, my small triumph of activism. Declaring to the world 'Hey, I am gay, and I don't mind letting you know that either.' Ordinarily, people would not glance twice at me because my appearance fits the stereotype of 'straight', but this time, we both felt somewhat self-conscious as we walked back to the train station.


I’m that girl

Written by Indu on . Posted in Writer's Space

Note: This is a edited version of the entry I wrote in my own blog long time ago, in response to a meme started by Mercermachine

I'm that girl. Yes, that girl, whom at 8, felt older than the rest of the world. I'm that girl who climbed trees and played soccer and cricket with the boys, yet loved her Barbie Dolls. I'm that girl who was always on the outside, no matter where she went.

I'm that girl who is always so resistant to change, yet when it actually happens, she adapts like a chameleon. I'm that girl who played alone in the playground of her new flat, because she didn't know anyone in this new country. I'm that girl who made a hobby of going up and down in the elevators of HDB blocks, because it was all so new to her.

I'm that girl who then grew up and fell in love with you. I was the one who would make all kinds of excuses to be with you, even though she didn't know why. I'm that girl who thought you were beautiful even when you were drenched, exhausted, and had a pimple on your nose.

I'm that girl, who told you her love by the seaside, waves lapping up on the shore of Sentosa, knowing you could never reciprocate. I was the girl who then watched you walk away from me, after you most politely rejected me because. I was a girl.

I'm that girl, who said no because she didn't want to break your heart with the pain of distance. I'm that girl who still loves you from afar.

I am the girl now, who watches your every move now, every facial expression and gesture. I am the girl who flushes every single time you speak to me. I am that girl, who gets irrationally jealous when others get near you, boy or girl.

I'm that girl, who lost your friendship when I told you I was bisexual. I'm the one, who loves men and women, but presents only one side to the world for the fear of losing more of you.

I’m that girl who is politely cast out of the community because she refuses to conform to any label. I’m that girl who has to ignore her own heritage in order to function anywhere.

I’m that girl, who has everything and nothing at the same time. I’m that girl, who is always caught between two conflicting worlds, and can find no way to heal the rift.

Yeah, I'm that girl. So who are you?

Where do I go from here?

Written by Jin on . Posted in Coming Out

So today at 5pm I’m supposed to go meet up with my aunt’s ex-gay friend. (How did this happen?)

Yes! I finally came out to my uncle and aunt. This was two Thursdays ago (every time we have dinner at their house it seems to be a Thursday). After dinner, we were still loitering around the dinner table, and I said to my uncle ‘I have something to tell you, I am gay.’

It was something like jumping into a chilly swimming pool on a hot day. You are comfy and warm on the deck chair. Yet you know you want to go into the pool. You know it’s going to be deliciously cold and refreshing once you’re in, but you also know that the transition, the split second that the icy water hits your sun-warmed skin, is going to be a jolt. So you steel your nerves, grit your teeth, take a deep breath and jump in.

And once I had said it, it really was kinda like being underwater; a shiver ran through my body and I was still holding my breath and adjusting to the shock of the transition. And there was silence. A few seconds where everything sounded very distant and dull.

I said to my uncle ‘But you knew that already, didn’t you?’ and he nodded. Finally he started talking again; there were questions, I answered honestly and openly; my aunt needed to fetch a glass of water, her spectacles and her Bible; my sister and cousin sat quietly just giving me moral support; and on the whole it went quite well.

And i loved a boy

Written by AnJ on . Posted in Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity/Expression

This picture of a girly one, an androgynous one and a squirrel got me laughing. The squirrel seems to hold a wistful or puzzled look. And the couple appears to be asking the furry animal, “Is it wrong for us to be so happy?” You got to know a bit of my history to know why i had barrels of laughter upon seeing this… When i was with my ex-boyfriend, i called him “Squirrel”.

In the aftermath of the break-up, there are many friends, male and female alike, who told me not to “lose hope”… because some boy will come along someday and whisk me off my feet… and he would be Mr. Right… and that I don’t have to “off-guys” just because i had bad experiences. That was their first response when i told them the next person that i am dating is a girl. I was amused by their reactions. Deeply rooted in their unconsciousness: a girl involved with a boy will not fall for another girl, unless she received deeply etched scars from some male bastard. And deeper than this is the notion that: Lesbian relationships are of second class order.

(It is my fault partially. I never quite explained why i gave up the four year plus relationship I had with Squirrel. Let’s just say that when discontent comes, it is multi-layered and multi-faceted… and using someone’s weak points to break-up is merely a reason in disguise. After all, who’s perfect?)

And then there are close friends (and my mother) who exclaimed in bewilderment, “But you have always been straight!” Straight = physically with someone with the opposite sex? What about the mental aspect? I had my first crush on an androgynous-looking girl when i was 14. Why didn’t i tell anyone? Oh well, blame it on homophobic behavior… since i was not involved with any girl at that time, i didn’t see the benefits of taking the risk.


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