The Singapore LGBT encyclopaedia Wiki

This is a compilation of the discussions on SiGNeL (the Singapore Gay News List), press reports and descriptions of events which led to the organisation of Pink Dot at Hong Lim Park on Saturday, 16 May 2009.

S’pore to ease bans on political films, demos[] (19 August 2008)

Gay Pride parades to be legal at Hong Lim Park

As you can see, I’ve again added my own gay spin to this groundbreaking piece of news.

The PAP has kept its promise after all, of allowing demonstrations at Speakers’ Corner.

That means we can march round and round Hong Lim Park in our pink finery, drag outfits, skimpy swimming trunks, thongs or whatever carrying placards in what is essentially a Pride Parade.

Kudos also to Alex and the Internet freedom team on their success in getting political films exempted from censorship.

Roy. (original URL; info removed but screen capture of page archived below)


S’pore to ease bans on political films, demos

Mon, Aug 18, 2008


SINGAPORE, Aug 18 (Reuters) – Singapore, which currently bans political films and demonstrations, may ease curbs on both to keep up with the spread of video and other free expression on the Internet, its prime minister said in remarks released on Monday.

“We’ve got to allow political videos but with some safeguards,” said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in a televised address recorded on Sunday.

“I think some things should still be off limits … there will be grey areas.” The southeast Asian city-state, which has been ruled by the People’s Action Party for more than 40 years, bans the production and screening of all political films, imposing a maximum fine of S$100,000 ($73,000) or a two-year jail term on offenders.

Lee said an advisory panel could be set up to review such films, in the same way that non-political films are now classified.

“Our worry is that films are an emotive medium … passions can get stirred up and people can get carried away. I think this is a valid concern but I don’t think an outright ban is still sensible because this is how people communicate on the Web in daily life,” Lee said.

The government has come under fire in the past year from Internet bloggers on issues from rising prices to the escape of a suspected Islamic militant. One YouTube video purports to show Adolf Hitler ranting about hikes in Singapore road charges.

But public protests in Singapore are rare and an assembly of five or more people requires a permit from the police. The tiny multiracial state insists it needs tough laws on assembly to maintain peace and stability.

“We have to move away from this total ban and find ways to allow people to let off steam a little bit more, but safely,” Lee said.

The prime minister said Singapore should allow outdoor demonstrations at its Speakers’ Corner, modelled on London’s Hyde Park haven of free speech.

“I think we’ll still call it Speakers’ Corner, no need to call it Demonstrators’ Corner,” quipped Lee, adding that it would still be subject to rules of law and order and would have to stay away from issues of race, language and religion.

(Reporting by Neil Chatterjee; editing by Roger Crabb)

..................................................... (20 August 2008)

Re: [SiGNeL] Gay Pride parades to be legal at Hong Lim Park

Roy, at this point in time of gay history in Singapore, if we march around in drag and skimpy outfits, that is exactly what homophobes love to see -it would simply strengthen and reinforce the popular “gay stereotype”. It would totally erode the credibility of the GLBT community in Singapore.

We should have something similar to the pink picnic – together with our straight friends and families. We need to build more bridges and gain supporters, not provoke the homophobes.


..................................................... (21 August 2008)

Re: [SiGNeL] Gay Pride parades to be legal at Hong Lim Park

Nah, I bet Roy will be the last one to wear his skimpiest thong to march there.

It is his typical tongue-in-cheek, cxxk-in-mouth posting. This is so NATO, no action, talk only. I can only group it together with the same class of baiting posts by Patrick….the saving grace is it is better reading than the latter’s.

Another so uniquely Roy – see his posting on the naked foreign talent swimmer on AsiaOne and you will know why:

>>13-08-2008, 03:39 PM

The Government should designate a portion of the Singapore River where nude swimming is legal. Nudity is healthy in a humid climate like Singapore’s. It prevents fungal infections of the groin area which many Singaporeans suffer from. We should also have a nude beach. It would draw much needed tourist dollars when nudists from all over the world flock here for naturist conventions. We need such creative ideas especially in these bleak economic times. If Singaporeans would ditch their anachronistic, prudish Victorian attitudes, we’ll have a cultural renaissance with many financial spinoffs. I don’t see what the big deal is with public nudity. It is completely harmless. Littering and jaywalking are much more odious offences. Singaporeans need to outgrow their frog-in-the-well attitude. Everyone has been exposed to rampant nudity on the Internet. It hasn’t led to the collapse of civilisation. Seeing it in real life will have a similar innocuous effect.


..................................................... (21 August 2008)

RE: [SiGNeL] Gay Pride parades to be legal at Hong Lim Park


I think Roy said that with “tongue in cheek”!


..................................................... (21 August 2008)

Hmm, you’ve got a point there, Bian.

Maybe I’ll turn up in a well-ironed long-sleeved shirt and necktie and try to act as straight as possible.

I may even consider dusting the cobwebs off my tuxedo if the weather is not too warm.

Maybe after one year of sartorial conservatism and the press have lost interest, we can let more of the screaming queens in ourselves out in subsequent marches.



..................................................... (22 August 2008)

RE: [SiGNeL] Gay Pride parades to be legal at Hong Lim Park

If you say that about Roy, it just shows that you don’t know him very well. I can vouch for him that he is not who you think he is. I guess we live in a time and society that is quick to judge and often from baseless perspectives. Don’t get me wrong, I am guilty of that too but I just want to comment that what you said about Roy is untrue. We (me included) should all try to only comment (especially criticize) when we have all the facts and back-ups in hand.



..................................................... (22 August 2008)

I know Roy you are often tongue-in-cheek as some others have described, but all I’m trying to say is that I believe a moderate approach to changing society will achieve far more than letting out the screaming queens in ourselves. I believe that when San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom proclaimed gay marriages legal (bless his heart), it galvanized the republican religious right and helped to ensure another 4 years of Bush… So I’m just mindful of what can happen if we push too far.



A more open field[] (26 August 2008)

TODAY: Alex Au will not “dignify tokenism”

Oh well, even if nobody wants to organise a pride parade at Hong Lim Park, it’s still quite a victory for us.

All that lobbying over the years has had the effect of making gay pride parades legal in Singapore, albeit in only a tiny circumscribed area.

I wonder how much of this liberalisation is due to the looming recession.

The Government must realise that it needs the co-operation of ALL citizens if we are going to survive the recession and thrive when we pull out of it.

Furthermore, it is suffering an image problem in the international media. This impacts on our attractiveness as an investment hub.

I say we should continue to exert as much economic pressure as possible as a community to gain more ground.

I’ll never be satisfied until, at least, Section 377A is repealed, with the final goal being absolute equality, including gay marriage and adoption.

Roy. (original URL; info removed)

Hot News // Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A more open field

S’poreans can now stage demos using loud hailers, placards, and hold overnight candlelight vigils

derrick A paulo

deputy news editor


BURN an effigy of a Singapore political leader? Organise a gay pride event outdoors? From next week, protests like these will have a place in Singapore.

These were some of the scenarios put to the Police, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the National Parks Board (NParks) yesterday when they announced the details on liberalising the use of Speakers’ Corner in Hong Lim Park to allow public protests. None of the agencies objected.

“We want to be as open as possible,” said MHA senior director (policy and operations) Tai Wei Shyong at the press conference yesterday.

He did concede that because of the many possible scenarios that could arise, the liberalisation of Speakers’ Corner will be a “work in evolution”.

Come Sept 1, Singaporeans can organise and participate in any demonstration at Speakers’ Corner” except those that involve race and religion” without having to obtain a police permit.

Permanent residents (PRs) can also participate in these demonstrations, in recognition of the stake they have in Singapore. But they have to apply for a permit if they wish to give a speech or organise a protest themselves.

Foreigners will have to apply for a permit to conduct or participate in any activity” to make the distinction that the political rights of citizens are different from those of non-citizens. Which raises this possible scenario: What happens if a foreigner joins the protest without the organiser’s knowledge?

“The rules will be interpreted reasonably … If there’s no way to stop him, we’ll look at that,” said Mr Tai. The rules will be administered by the NParks. Its chief operating officer, Dr Leong Chee Chiew, said he was not anticipating “worst-case scenarios”.

Since Speakers’ Corner was set up on Sept 1, 2000, there has not been any breach of the rules, according to Singapore Police Force director (operations) Wong Hong Kuan. During this time, there was a total of 2,144 registrations involving 508 speakers.

With the liberalisation, the 7am-to-7pm restriction will be abolished, thereby allowing all-night vigils. Any form of banners, placards, posters and other visual aids can be used for speeches or demonstrations, as long as they do not contain violent or obscene messages or any that pertain to race or religion. And on top of making a scene, NParks will allow the use of loud hailers and other amplification equipment between 9am and 10.30pm in Hong Lim Park, which can hold 3,000 to 4,000 people.

A point to note: A group of protesters may have to share the park with other protesters. NParks’ new online registration allows you to head down to Hong Lim Park immediately after you register” there is no booking system.

“We work very much on the basis of trust. We are not going to do screening and make sure you speak on what you said you will speak on. But if you give information, you must know you’re accountable for it,” said Dr Leong.

The mandatory registration information includes your personal details, the date and nature of the event and the topic.

Would the police have any knowledge of the registrations with NParks? They would not rule it out yesterday.

“What if someone puts on the website that he’s going to do bad things?” Mr Wong offered as a scenario.

But he wanted to “dispel the perception that there’s a preponderance of police presence” at Speakers’ Corner, which is located next to Kreta Ayer Police Station.

He said that police presence would be kept “minimal”. But the police will intervene to enforce law and order or if there are complaints from the public.

“There are no limits (to the protests) subject to public safety … for example, the crowd is so big that it obstructs the public,” said Mr Wong.

An agitated crowd is fine“ demonstrations are designed as such, noted Mr Wong aˆ“ but he suggested that organisers choose “some calming words” or call the protests off if they cannot control the crowd.

Lawyer and activist Chia Ti Lik believes this step to open up is “an attempt to return control over something (the government) won’t be able to control”. “Their stand against demonstrations won’t hold up in real democracies,” he said.

So, will there be any takers for public protests come September?

Gay rights activist Alex Au does not plan to “dignify tokenism”, but the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society is in discussions to organise a demonstration, its executive director Louis Ng told Channel NewsAsia.

NParks is ready to take on this new role.

“Our primary motivation is to keep Speakers’ Corner for use in as well-maintained conditions as possible … If there’s a need to make good on anything, we can follow up,” said Dr Leong.

“So, don’t damage our shrubs.”

Which means effigies can be burnt“ but with care. – Additional reporting by Esther Ng

Singaporeans can demonstrate at Speakers' Corner from Sep 1[]


Singaporeans can demonstrate at Speakers' Corner from Sep 1

By Imelda Saad, Channel News Asia

Posted: 25 August 2008 1411 hrs

Singaporeans wait to listen to speaker's at the Speakers' Corner (file picture)

SINGAPORE: Banners, placards and effigies will be allowed at the Speakers’ Corner when the site is opened for public demonstrations from September 1.

For Singapore citizens/there is no longer a need to apply for a police permit.

The new rules came about as the government seeks to open up the space for political engagement and activism in the country.

It is Singapore's version of London's Hyde Park. Hong Lim Park in central Singapore was designated as a site for public speaking on September 2000, but interest has waned over the years. However, with the new rules, things may change.

From September 1, Singapore citizens can organise demonstrations at the Speakers' Corner without a police permit.

All they need to do is register online at the National Parks Board website at, which takes over the management of the Speakers' Corner from the Police.

Anyone who registers can immediately carry out his demonstration. Online registration begins on August 30.

Singapore Permanent Residents, though, will require a police permit to organise demonstrations.

But citizens and PRs can participate in assemblies without having to register.

Current rules for foreigners remain and they have to apply for a police permit for any activity there.

And all groups, even those that run counter to the establishment, will be allowed to demonstrate. These include gay rights groups and even the Falungong.

Other changes include self-powered amplification devices like loud hailers, which will be allowed in the area between 9am and 10.30pm. Police said the restriction js to minimise noise pollution in the area.

Activities can also be carried out at any time of the day. Currently, activities are restricted to between 7am and 7pm.

However, basic rules will still remain. Topics cannot touch on issues like race and religion. Content that promotes violence or are lewd in nature will also not be allowed.

Even with a light touch approach, there will still be some police presence at the Speaker's Corner.

Wong Hong Kuan, Director, Operations, Singapore Police Force, said: "Generally if there are no issues of concern, there won't be any overt police presence there all the time and we will manage it just like other places in Singapore."

NParks said that demonstrators are free to do what they want as long as they do not damage surrounding trees and property. There will not be any cosmetic changes to the site, even though some have asked for more benches and shelter.

Dr Leong Chee Chiew, chief operating officer, National Parks Board, said: "If we were to plant more trees, you actually have less space. So there's a trade-off."

Work is underway to build a mound, so speakers do not have to bring their own soapboxes to speak and be seen.

Singaporeans have mixed reactions to relaxation of Speakers’ Corner rules[] (26 August 2008)

CNA: Alex Au will not organise a gay pride parade at Hong Lim Park

Since Alex doesn’t want to do it, will Fridae or Trevvy step up to the plate and create history?

Roy. (Original URL; info removed by screen capture of page archived below)


Singaporeans have mixed reactions to relaxation of Speakers’ Corner rules

By Imelda Saad, Channel News Asia

Posted: 25 August 2008

Photo: Singaporeans wait to listen to speakers at the Speakers’ Corner.

SINGAPORE: Social and civil activists in Singapore greeted the relaxation of rules at the Speakers’ Corner with some scepticism.

The prospect of being able to hold public demonstrations did little to convince activist Alex Au, known for his critical blogsite, that it will inject vibrancy back into the site.

Like many activists Channel NewsAsia spoke to, Mr Au said it is all about visibility even though the Police and the National Parks Board (NParks) have said they will allow a gay pride parade at the Speakers’ Corner.

Alex Au, editor of, said: “I would not dignify this tokenism by organising anything there. It will have to be at a proper place like here at Raffles Place or down a major street, or nothing.”

Still, some like the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES) were more than happy to hear the news.

ACRES said it is already in talks with the National University of Singapore’s Animal Welfare Group to organise a demonstration.

Louis Ng, executive director, ACRES, said: “It’s definitely a positive step. It is a good step in finally opening up our society that little bit. It gives us a chance to raise pertinent issues in our society out in the public arena.”

There will be no limit to the number of demonstrators, although the authorities said the site can accommodate up to 4,000 people.

August 2008[]

More freedom, speeches?[] (26 August 2008)

Alex was the last person to be quoted in the following article. This is the relevant paragraph:



‘The liberalisation to allow public demonstrations but confined to Speakers’ Corner is not meaningful. The details on the new rules are just icing on the cake. I do not intend to dignify the tokenism. Why should we be shunted to Speakers’ Corner? As citizens, we will do what we want, where we want. There are no excuses to shunt us into a quarantine.’

Gay rights activist Alex Au


Token gesture or not, I still think it is significant and the start of better things to come.

The Government may extend the freedoms to other areas and perhaps, eventually, to the whole of Singapore if protesters behave responsibly and do not obstruct traffic.

I hate being stuck in a traffic jam and if it’s due to some protest, I’d be against the protest being legal in that particular area.


More freedom, speeches?


‘All said and done, life in Singapore is not so bad that you need to take to the streets and protest. What is likely to happen is a possible spike in activity initially but it will dwindle later. The fact that you zone it in a certain area will have an impact: People might feel that their concerns are trivialised, they become more an entertainment and a comic spectacle.’

Political analyst Terence Chong from the Institute of SouthEast Asian Studies


‘I’m glad that they (the Government) have put their money where their mouth is. But I wish to see public demonstrations extended to the rest of Singapore. If nothing bad happens in the next two or three years, they should start expanding it, incrementally, to the whole country.’

Activist Choo Zheng Xi, who runs the The Online Citizen blog


‘Four years ago, the Government allowed indoor meetings without permits. So we took advantage of that and conducted indoor meetings. Now, they are allowing public demonstration at Speakers’ Corner, and we plan to use it as well. We’ll probably do something in December in conjunction with Human Rights Day.’ Mr Sinapan Samydorai, president of Think Centre


‘I was surprised when I heard the news. But it did give me the idea that we could hold a public demonstration as part of our campaign for maids to get a day off. Will people use the space? It is not an issue of whether we have permission to protest, but whether we are used to expressing ourselves publicly. Maybe we need to go through a course, Public Demonstration 101, to learn to do so.’

Mr Jolovan Wham, executive director of Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (Home)


‘It’s no big deal. It is actually enshrined in our Constitution, the freedom of speech and expression. So it should have been there in the first place.’

Mr Yaw Shin Leong, organising secretary of the Workers’ Party


‘The position of the Council has always been one of neutrality. We don’t think picketing is the way to go. We would rather have dialogues with stakeholders and engage the public rather than have vocal demonstrations.’

Mr Yatin Premchand, general manager of the Singapore Environment Council


‘The liberalisation to allow public demonstrations but confined to Speakers’ Corner is not meaningful. The details on the new rules are just icing on the cake. I do not intend to dignify the tokenism. Why should we be shunted to Speakers’ Corner? As citizens, we will do what we want, where we want. There are no excuses to shunt us into a quarantine.’

Gay rights activist Alex Au

..................................................... (27 August 2008)

Re: [SiGNeL] ST: Alex’s full “tokenism” comments


on one hand, Roy seeks 377a repeal n true equality, on the hother hand, he hopes the government “may extend” the freedoms to other areas. (keyword - may? why not WILL? u mean we still have to wait for someone’s permission?! oh wait, we still do.)

I think Alex’s point was that it is ludicrous to confine civic discouse to just a small plot of grass, no matter what significance that patch of grass had in the past. And that as an enlightened country/city/red spot, we should just get rid of such silly things, and move on to an active vibrant civic society that listens to each other within.

However, Roy is also right that if one doesn’t push the boundaries, how can they expand?

Alex is arguing on the moral ‘righteousness’ or the idiocy of the status quo, changed or not.

Roy is agitating for motion, no matter how small.

As for the comment on traffic jams – economically valid, yet, brings up a us vs them vs govt vs…. oh well. vs many people.

Do we want to contemplate the possibility of bus drivers protesting a diesel fuel hike by parking the buses across yellow boxes? Are we as a society willing to accept such friction if and when it may happen? Will we, like the students in the 60s who, either by self-righteousness belief, or demagogery, decided to join those striking bus drivers to make them feel they were not alone?

(not condoning the violence that then followed, but rather, asking when does “we” become inclusive instead of exclusive.)

Do we even know what kind of kinder, gentler Singapore that we really want? (if not, how do we even move towards it?)


..................................................... (27 August 2008)

Re: [SiGNeL] CNA: Alex Au will not organise a gay pride parade at Hong Lim Park Obviously an item for Indignation 2009 would be a gay pride parade at Hong Lim Park. Maybe as the closing item?


..................................................... (27 August 2008)

Re: [SiGNeL] CNA: Alex Au will not organise a gay pride parade at Hong Lim Park Ai yoooo…

All these talk but no action. People that talk so much about promoting gay rights all these while should go and parade la. Stop giving excuses esp. now the government has relaxed the rules.

For newbies in the gay circle, dont get too carry away with all these hoo-haas hor. Such activities for old birds only.


..................................................... (27 August 2008)

Re: ST: Alex’s full “tokenism” comments

I was rather surprised at Alex’s comment given that any measure (however half-hearted it is) is better than none. Let us take the histories of stonewall or sydney’s mardi gras as examples. The latter’s march which was originally ‘legal’ became illegal due to the discretion of the police. The marchers themselves were unaware that what they were going to do (openly defying the laws) were to prove momentous in the gay history of the country.So were the stonewall riots which really marked the start of gay pride (and inspired others around the world to follow with their own pride).

Given Singaporean’s penchant for law and order, Speaker’s Corner can be a testing ground in many aspects. Before long, history might be recreated. In my opinion, to knock it down is kind of defeatist.

In regards to Roy’s comment on protests being inconvenient, surely, any protests that involves a procession crossing or using the streets is bound to create that. The way to deal or mitigate such inconvenience is proper road marshalling. Most protests don’t last more than 15 minutes (depends on the size). The driver and pedesterians get to see flag waving/ placards waiving demonstrators, which invariably raises a talking point amongst themselves. My point is this: protests might be inconvenient but so are the traffic james, people stopping you for donations, loud music from shops. If one really wants to be safe and away from all these, one might as well shut oneself up at home.


..................................................... (27 August 2008)

Homophobes silent on legalisation of pride parades at Hong Lim Park

Have you noticed that there hasn’t been a whimper of objection against the Government’s move to OK gay pride parades at Hong Lim Park?

It’s probably because the possibility of holding one there is merely a corollary of the general move to lift the ban on protests and not a standalone announcement.

If the PAP had announced, “We are going to allow gay pride parades at Hong Lim Park” in isolation, I’m sure that there would have been a hue and cry, with homophobes up in arms against the policy.

It’s great that such a significant advance in gay equality in Singapore is buried amidst the diffuse buzz of the liberalisation move. It attracts much less attention.

When it dawns upon the homophobes how much ground we have won, it will be too late for them to protest.

That’s why we must set a precedent as soon as possible and organise a parade, no matter how small or no matter how little support it receives from the generally apathetic gay community.

Once this precedent has been set, it would be a great loss of face for the authorities to backtrack on their decision in response to homophobes’ demands. After this landmark event, we can apply to have a larger one at a more prominent venue and if the Police object, we can say, “But we already held one last year at Hong Lim Park, so what’s the big deal about letting us organise one this year at the Padang, or even Armenian Street?”.

Another reason is the insidious (oops, that a word beloved of homophobes and politically incorrect to use in a gay newslist) nature of the changes that led to this milestone. One minor gain leads to another, with a corresponding, slight adjustment in the mindset of the mainstream community. Before you know it, Singapore reaches a tipping point and it seems that a “revolutionary” event has taken place overnight after which there is no going back.

Perhaps, the homophobes are also too worried about the coming recession to pay much attention to a decision which hardly impacts upon their lives. Looking back, it’s amazing to see how much freedom we’ve gained over the last 6 years.

In 2002, talks on homosexuality open to the public even if held within the confines of a private space were illegal. It was impossible to hold an event like IndigNation then.

The maximum penalty for homosexual intercourse was life imprisonment. Now, after the repeal of the former Section 377, it is only 2 years.

Films like “Wilde” could not be screened in cinemas.

Today, we can have a gay pride parade at Hong Lim Park every weekend if we wanted to. If we pushed the envelope by having a Nation Party there at the same time, I’m sure the Police at this juncture wouldn’t lift a finger to stop us.

I’m looking forward to the next 6 years when Section 377A is finally repealed, gay marriage becomes a reality and married homosexuals can legally adopt children.

We’ve seen the progress; we know we can make more of it happen.

Total equality or bust!


..................................................... (28 August 2008)

You’re right!

If Alex, Fridae and Trevvy don’t want to do it, I will.

Is anyone going to turn up if I register the event?

Please bring along placards reading, “Repeal Section 377A”, “Legalise gay marriage” or whatever message you want to bring to the attention of the general public and get ready to march around Hong Lim Park with these held up high.

The dress code is strictly straight – preferably long-sleeved shirt, necktie, business pants and polished leather shoes. No thongs or rainbow-coloured boas, please.


..................................................... (28 August 2008)

Re: [SiGNeL] Homophobes silent on legalisation of pride parades at Hong Lim Park

Please get a grip. There is no question of having gay pride parades anywhere in Singapore even with the rule changes at Hong Lim Park. As I told a Straits Times reporter last Monday, to have a parade, you need to be able to march down a street.

Hong Lim Park – the “approved” venue – is just a lawn. The word used in the statements by the government itself is that “demonstrations” are allowed. You stand still and shout till you are hoarse. You do not march, except maybe in circles around a bush.

Is that or is that not a joke?


..................................................... (29 August 2008)

Re: [SiGNeL] Homophobes silent on legalisation of pride parades at Hong Lim Park

It might be a nice venue to have a pride fair and party though] Re: Homophobes silent on legalisation of pride parades at Hong Lim Park

It’s just a matter of how one defines “parade”.

Googling for the word threw up:


“a group of people and vehicles moving together to celebrate a special event or anniversary”

“Pompous show; formal display or exhibition”

“That which is displayed; a show; a spectacle; an imposing procession; the movement of any body marshaled in military order; as, a parade of firemen”

“A public walk; a promenade”

“a visible display; “she made a parade of her sorrows”"

“a ceremonial procession including people marching”

“an extended (often showy) succession of persons or things; “a parade of strollers on the mall”; “a parade of witnesses”"

“walk ostentatiously; “She parades her new husband around town”"


Only a handful of definitions specified “street”. I also left out those which included “military”.

So, as you can see, marching around Hong Lim Park would also qualify for the event being a “parade”.

Moreover, Hong Lim Park is not all grass. There are footpaths along the periphery, and by a stretch of the imagination, these can be construed of as “streets”.

Our first pride parade doesn’t need to be big.

The main aim is to establish a precedent.

Once this has been done, it takes little effort to scale it up bit by bit.

Before you know it, they’ll give us a few floats during the Chingay procession, and then a whole event of our very own along Orchard Road.


..................................................... (29 August 2008)

You are quite right, Alex.

I wonder what effect it might have if 100 lesbian, gay, and trans rights activists were to demonstrate at Speakers Corner by shouting slogans while “marching in place”. It would be an interesting gimmick that might just catch the eye of some reporter or other.

Chris Hansen

..................................................... (30 August 2008)

Re: CNA: Alex Au will not organise a gay pride parade at Hong Lim Park — In, vervoon@… wrote:

> You going down on 1 Sep?

I think I’ll watch the news reports on TV first to see what other groups do.

A good date to hold Singapore’s first gay pride parade would be 30th May, that is, the date of the Rascals disco incident when lawyer Wilfred Ong wrote a letter of complaint to the police for their rude behaviour during a raid…and received an apology! That event is generally considered to be Singapore’s Stonewall:

However, if people feel that May is too far away, I’ll register a gay pride parade in mid-November.

It doesn’t matter if I’m the only one who shows up – it’s just to get the ball rolling.

Other gay groups may organise their own after that…or even beat me to it by holding one in October.



..................................................... (31 August 2008)

Re: Homophobes silent on legalisation of pride parades at Hong Lim P Hi guys,

Just a suggestion. Why not to have a Sunday Pride BBQ at that park if it’s not very suitable for marching? You don’t have to have the kind of Sydney Mardigrass marches from Day One but you can still bring placards, rainbow flags and invite some media to take pictures. I’m sure they will! And please, don’t overdoo the BBQ by turnig up in business attire. You would look like the Men in Black and not having fun. Just smart casual would do

Yours always – Yan, Koh Samui (4 September 2008)

Re: CNA: Alex Au will not organise a gay pride parade at Hong Lim Park — In, “TIEN KIM CHUAN” <kim.chuan.tien@…> wrote:

> You know I will be up in arms with you there

> in that patch of grass if I were still in Singapore > right?

Thanks for your moral support, Kim. You are still here with us in spirit. I’ve registered a demonstration entitled “GLBT pride parade” at Hong Lim Park on Saturday, 15 Nov 08 from 5-7 pm.

I have no idea how many people are going to turn up.

If it’s just me, I’ll be marching round the place holding a placard reading, “Repeal 377A” on one side and “Legalise gay marriage” on the other.

But first, I’ll give a 2-3 minute speech to whomever is there. It would be good if there were 3-5 other volunteers who each give a speech of the same duration to make up 10 minutes.

Then, I, or we, will march about 3 times round Hong Lim Park singing, “We shall overcome”, “I will survive” by Gloria Gaynor, “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child or “I am what I am” – some kind of anthemy song to highlight the struggle for equality or the tenacity to survive against all odds.

Then, we’ll lay some groundsheets and have a picnic or dance to the music of ghetto blasters.

I’ll be wearing a necktie and long-sleeved shirt, but if you want to be more casual, please feel free to do so. The theme is “gays are like you and me”, so don’t wear anything too flamboyant.

Hopefully, we can stretch the event up to 7 pm. From the news reports, you already know that Singapore’s first legal protest took all of 10 minutes.

The aim is not for our first pride parade to be a success, but to establish a precedent. So it doesn't matter if it’s not terribly well organised nor attended.

Does anyone know where I can buy a loudhailer?


Registration of LGBT Pride Parade confirmed[]

On 4 September 2008, Tan received a confirmation from the National Parks Board of his online registration to hold an LGBT pride parade at Speakers' Corner on Saturday, 15 November 2008:


September 2008[] (5 September 2008)

Roy and all,

I feel quite sad knowing that I will not be part of this significant first step in Singaporean gay history. I really hope it will be successful. Judging from the number of active loud-and-proud gay people I know in Singapore, I think the turnout will not be too bad.

My fingers will be crossed for all of you that it will be allowed and thanks so much for taking the initiative to organize this. Future generations of gay people will remember and thank you for that.


..................................................... (4 September 2008)

Dear Roy,

I shall want to be there but I cannot support the cause which you so dearly cherished.

I believed in RESPECTING the sanctity of Marriage and Family Life. Thus I do not support legalised gay unions nor gay adoption of children. Gay lifestyle need not be defined by parameters set up by the heterosexual community.

Topics hot under my collar are:

1. Gay support in the workplace aka office

2. Families need to face-up to the sexuality of their children

3. Medical Profession need to become more gay friendly and offer helpful advice to their gay clients.

At the inaugural gathering, I propose we write to the Parks and Recreation Board for the permission to plant a tree at Hong Lim Park, to symbolise that we share a common ground with everyone else and deserve to be given fair opportunity for growth and development in our society.

I shall be glad to give a 10 minute talk on any of the 3 hot topics that I have listed.

We got a date and shall we locked lips to demonstrate that gays have a right to PDA?

Love and Peace,


..................................................... (6 September 2008)

Re: [SiGNeL] Inaugural Gathering at Hong Lim Park on 15 Nov ’08


Please help me understand how respecting anything means denying it to others? Doesn’t it show that you do not respect other’s view about marriage and family life? This lying or hypocrisy doesn’t sit well with me.

Shouldn’t respecting something means not forcing everybody to follow your ideas of what’s acceptable or not? It’s not like you’re forced to marry somebody of the same sex; it’s just an extra option to those who choose to take it and doesn’t affect those who don’t?

It’s the same argument used by the anti-choice anti-abortion camp. While I’m anti-abortion, I’m pro-choice since the law doesn’t force anybody to have abortions; it just allows for it to happen under certain situations.

Using your same logic for respect for religion, it means if I’m not a Christian, nobody should be allowed to be one? Doesn’t the argument look stupid now?

..................................................... (6 September 2008)

Re: [SiGNeL] Inaugural Gathering at Hong Lim Park on 15 Nov ’08

Well, you can still join go there on that day but protest your own course. There can be several groups there with different agenda.


..................................................... (6 September 2008)

Re: Inaugural Gathering at Hong Lim Park on 15 Nov ’08

Thanks for your support, Patrick.

Yes, I hope you will be able to give a talk. That will help to lengthen the duration of the event. But please try to steer away from the topic of sex and concentrate more on equal rights.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t support gay marriage. You can make your own signboard to highlight the issues that you truly feel for.

I don’t think that it’s a good idea to kiss on our very first pride parade as the theme is “gays are like you and me”. But if you really want to do so, there’s no way I can stop you.

I registered the event as “GLBT pride parade” and I received a phone call from the National Parks Board asking me what GLBT was, so I had to explain. The official was not in the least bit shocked and remained polite throughout our conversation.

I have received a confirmatory e-mail from the NPB, so the event is approved. You can write to them about your tree planting idea if you want, but let’s try to keep the first pride march simple.

You can always register another one the following month, or even earlier, in October, if you want, so that you can plan it exactly the way you desire.

The idea is to get Singaporeans used to periodic pride parades held intially in Hong Lim Park, and later at other venues around Singapore so that they eventually become almost a non-event.

That’s how we gain mainstream acceptance.

Is your Empowerment Gathering still on?



..................................................... (6 September 2008)

RE: [SiGNeL] Re: CNA: Alex Au will not organise a gay pride parade at Hong Lim Park

Dear Roy

I wish you all the very best for your event at Hong LIm park. Hopefully many brothers and sisters will be there to support you to make history! I will be there in spirit, as I am in the UK.


..................................................... (7 September 2008)

Re: CNA: Alex Au will not organise a gay pride parade at Hong Lim Park — In, “TIEN KIM CHUAN” <kim.chuan.tien@…> wrote:

> I feel quite sad knowing that I will not be

> part of this significant first step in Singaporean

> gay history. I really hope it will be successful.

Hi Kim,

I am sad too that you won’t be here to make a speech before we start marching.

So far, there is only me and Patrick.

Anyone else who wants to say something over the loudhailer is welcome to do so. That way, we may even be able to stretch the speechmaking to about half an hour. Maybe, we’ll make speeches until the audience gets bored. We’ll just have to play it by ear.

For those who don’t like singing anthemy songs, I suggest chanting, as we march:

“Repeal it! Repeal it!

Repeal 377A!”

…just like the rap video made by celebrities such as Kumar, Lim Kay Siew and wife, and many others on YouTube last year.

I proposed having a picnic and perhaps a dance session after marching 3-4 rounds, but if you have any other ideas that will make the event last 2 hours, please feel free to suggest them.

But don’t trash the place or else the NPB will come after me.



..................................................... (8 September 2008)

Re: [SiGNeL] Re: CNA: Alex Au will not organise a gay pride parade at Hong Lim Park

This would be the litmus test to see if the so called pro-gay activists (openly or closeted) in Singapore would stand by what they have been typing so vigorously and fervently all these while since the beginning of Signel mailing list (since 1997?) – or is the date still important since all of the sudden, the turn out for the “parade” is pretty pathetic.

Only one person is still standing by what he has been saying so far – Mr. Patrick Lee – the often being criticised or even laughed at being the troll of the list.

Now now… who is the troll? Probably Patrick would get the last laugh after all.


..................................................... (9 September 2008)

Re: CNA: Alex Au will not organise a gay pride parade at Hong Lim Park — In, Kenny Leong <shyguy_77_sg@…> wrote:

> the turn out for the “parade” is pretty pathetic.

The turnout is not important.

As I mentioned, the aim is to establish a precedent.

You can rest assured that there will be bigger, more well organised parades to come.

If gay pride parades in Singapore become one big yawn, we would have achieved our goal of becoming mainstream.


..................................................... (9 September 2008)

Re: [SiGNeL] Re: CNA: Alex Au will not organise a gay pride parade at Hong Lim Park


Roy has a very good point. Starting out small is not a bad thing at all, the important thing is that a gay pride movement in Singapore is starting. When living in Fargo, North Dakota, i participated in their first gay pride march, which had a turnout of about 20 people. Those actually watching the parade were probably no more than a hundred people; and of course there were those there protesting the event.

But in the past 6 years, the event has grown. Due to the courage of those first pioneers, others have gathered their own courage and joined in. The parade has now grown to hundreds of marchers, and thousands of spectators.

The event has now established itself, and has become part of the “normal” summer’s activities for Fargo.

I will be in Singapore by October 1st, and will try to be as active as possible in this important movement. Keep up the good work, it may not feel like it at all times, but you are truly making a difference.



Daryl Van Hale – Blaine, MN

..................................................... (10 September 2008)

Re: CNA: Alex Au will not organise a gay pride parade at Hong Lim Park Thanks for the encouragement, Daryl.

You have been there and done that, so you know the impact of every small step that we make.

It’s great that you have blazed a trail in your own home town.

It has added to the precedents that other gay movements all over the world can refer to.



..................................................... (12 September 2008)

Hi Roy,

I remember you said that it was a danger to your career if you were to out your sexuality. Thus I am curious how is it that you have organised a gay pride in November and will be making a speech using a loud hailer.

In the event the media catch wind of the inaugural pride march and decide to feature the event; would this not posed a problem for you?

Or have you decided to bravely march out of the closet and face whatever music that come your way?

Simply concerned…..

Love & Peace,


..................................................... (13 September 2008)

Re: Has Roy decided to abandon the closet???

Hi Patrick,

I’m so sick of being discriminated against that I’m willing to take the risk of being kicked out of my job.

I’m considering retiring.

If Russell Heng can do it, so can I.

Who knows, I may still have some currency if I market myself as a toy boy to taitai’s over 80 years of age.



..................................................... (18 September 2008)

Fears expressed over S’pore’s first Pride March

Some people have told me that they are afraid of what Patrick may say over the loudhailer at the GLBT pride march at Hong Lim Park on Saturday, 15 Nov 08. As we all know, Patrick’s views expressed on SiGNeL are pretty controversial. I asked Patrick at his Empowerment Gathering last weekend for a gist of what he was going to say and it all sounded pretty reasonable. Patrick in real life is very unlike his online troll persona.

Actually, I am all for free speech and it doesn’t matter to me what Patrick says. I can always rebut him on the spot.

However, we don’t want a situation where Patrick spouts, “I thank Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew for making Singapore a gay paradise where I have had the most mind-blowing sex in toilets for the past 30 years and the Police have never harassed me” and it is reported on Channel News Asia, not to mention sensationalised in The New Paper.

So, I have decided to keep the speechmaking to a minimum and to concentrate on the marching instead.

Thus far, one Singaporean has e-mailed me privately expressing his willingness to march.

Also, Americans Brian and probably Daryl may join it, but of course, it would look much better if we had more locals and fewer foreigners. But, hey, I’m not fussy. Since the aim of this exercise is merely to set a precedent, the actual number of marchers doesn’t matter all that much.

I’m not going to issue any press statement, so whether the event is reported or not in the media will depend on reporters staking out Hong Lim Park daily, or mediamen on this newslist leaking out the information to their colleagues.

I’m willing to let PLU, Pelangi Pride Centre, Sayoni or any other gay organisation take over the organisation of the event if they are keen.

Alternatively, any of the above organisations may hold their own event at Hong Lim Park before 15 Nov 08 and issue a press statement so that their parade or fair overshadows mine.

I hope people let me know how they feel about this publicly because I’m trying to promote openness and transparency instead of clinging to our culture of secrecy.



..................................................... (18 September 2008)

I applaud and admire the enthusiasm of darling Roy to organise an Inaugural Pride Parade at the Hong Lim Park.

But merely to set a precedent is inadequate.

What is the message you want to bring?

Who is your audience?

How will you bring your audiene to the Parade?

What is your objective?

So far you have only announced your intention here in Signel and it has met with much apathy. Are Signellers your intended audience?

What do you want to say to us?

What changes do you expect to see in us?

If Signellers are not your intended audience, then who???

Without much planning or thoughts you would find just yourself marching alone around Hong Lim Park and making a speech to an absent audience. Where the media looks at your futile effort, you would seem like a pathetic joke.

I will do my best to host the November Empowerment gathering at Hong Lim Park to support your effort. Nonetheless I urged you to think deeper than just want to set a precedent.

Lastly I don’t deny that I am a devoted PAP supporter who is grateful to the gay space accorded to me to enjoy 30 years of uninterrupted sexual indulgence.

Love & Peace,


..................................................... (19 September 2008)

Re: A Precedent? Where will that lead us to????

— In, “Patrick Lee” <gracechild@…> wrote:

> what is the message you want to bring?

> Who is your audience?

> How will you bring your audiene to the Parade?

> What is your objective?

My target audience is everyone in the whole wide world. Whether they are interested in watching or not is beyond my control.

However, I’m sure that at least some people will turn up, including the media.

The message is that there are gays in Singapore who are proud, not ashamed, to be what they are and will not be cowed by society’s discrimination.


..................................................... (19 September 2008)

RE: [SiGNeL] A Precedent? Where will that lead us to????

Don’t you worry, there will be people going. I have been quite active in the non-sexual gay scene before I moved to Australia (unlike a lot of nay-sayers) and from those activities, I came to learn that there are a lot of proud gays in Singapore who are willing to do much for the community. I have every faith in them.

Setting precedence is very important. The very nature of precedence-setting negates any need for results because the very activity IS the result. As for the target audience, I feel that it is more for gays rather than straights for now.

The precedence will encourage other gays to stand up and make themselves visible and heard. Hopefully then the audience can shift to the straights once the snowball starts rolling. Only then can we really reap the fruits of our labour. Every big movement or change in the world starts with a small step and I believe this is it. It is just too bad I am not there to take it with all of you.


..................................................... (20 September 2008)

Re: A Precedent? Where will that lead us to????

— In, “TIEN KIM CHUAN” <kim.chuan.tien@…> wrote:

> It is just too bad I am not there to

> take it with all of you.

Thanks for your warm words of support, Kim.

Your presence will be sorely missed.

These are the same goals that you yourself were fighting for when you were here.



..................................................... (23 September 2008)

Darling Roy,

Kindly think about how long you intend the Parade to last?

Whether it be one hour or two hours, we need to plan a minute by minute programme.

Of course it will be easily manageable if we keep it to one hour and this is a suggested programme

5min Welcome to all participants and general briefing

10min Walk around the park for 7 rounds

5min Speech by Dr. Roy Tan

10min Walk around the park for 7 rounds

5 min Speech by Patrick Lee

10 min Walk around the park for 7 rounds

10 min Choral singing led by Dr. Roy Tan

5 min Closing address by Dr. Roy Tan

A one hour parade is short,sharp and to the point. Because our numbers would probably be small and so it is prudent to keep the parade short.

Btw you will need an official time-keeper to help facilitate a smooth flow of the programme.

I have suggested walking 7 rounds each time because 7 is the number of times that Israel encircled the walls of Jericho and it finally crumbled down (reference, Book of Joshua in the Holy Bible).

Love and Peace,

Patrick Lee

..................................................... (24 September 2008)

> Walk around the park for 7 rounds

Patrick dear,

This is a pride parade, not a pink marathon.

If we walk slowly, I think it will take about 3 minutes just to make one round along the footpaths at the periphery of Hong Lim Park. A grand total of 7 rounds for the whole event may be feasible, but to have 2 segments of these is too repetitive, I think.

I will go down and time myself exactly how long it takes to walk one round so that we will have a better estimate.

> Speech by Dr. Roy Tan

Er, after working hours, I’m Miss Roy Tan.

> Speech by Patrick Lee

Yi-Sheng has also kindly consented either to give a speech or read a poem. It would be nice if we had other volunteers to give 5-minute speeches each, perhaps in Malay, Chinese and Tamil, so that we cover all of Singapore’s 4 official languages…just to show what loyal citizens we are.

> Choral singing led by Roy Tan

I think it’s a good idea to sing while marching.

We’ll need volunteers lead in the singing of other songs too.

People will get bored if it’s just me singing over the loudhailer.

> A one hour parade is short,sharp and to the point.

> Because our numbers would probably be small and

> so it is prudent to keep the parade short.

We’ll have to play it by ear instead of keeping to any strict timing.

One never knows if an unexpectedly huge crowd shows up.

Several people have suggested interesting ideas of having fun at the parade.

Since I’m trying to include everyone’s suggestions and not reject any, perhaps these people with their unique ideas could form small groups together with their friends and celebrate in their own way on the sidelines if they don’t feel like joining the main marching contingent.

Anyway, we can discuss all these ideas at your empowerment gathering on 11 Oct and vote democratically which ones we should implement.

Let’s try to be as all-inclusive as possible.

See you there,


..................................................... (24 September 2008)


Not to be a wet blanket but it seems that what Alex said is true that liberalisation of Speaker’s Corner for demonstrations is mere tokenism. I think most of you should know by now, a protest by someone in the Indian community was rejected by the police (if you want the details read A copy of the Straits Times article is found here

And it seems that another blogger discovered that a PELU license is still needed if you are going to touch the OB markers. So there is no change at all.

So I think your demonstration wouldn’t be allowed.


..................................................... (24 September 2008)

ST and New Paper phoned today about S’pore’s first pride parade

Hello everyone,

I just received a call from Andre Yeo of The New Paper and Kian Beng from The Straits Times regarding the pride parade on 15 Nov 08.

I wonder how many of my quotes they are going to use in their forthcoming articles.

Watch out for them.

This is great free publicity.

I hope more gays and lesbians are going to show up and celebrate in their own way even if they don’t feel like marching.



..................................................... (25 September 2008)

Congratulations to the organizers. It looks like it’s going to be a success if the plan shown here goes through.

I am sure there will be interest from different news and media for coverage.

Now it will only be a matter of participation.


..................................................... (25 September 2008)

Rex Wockner reports on me!

Oh my god!

All the crap I’ve been unloading here on SiGNeL can be cut and pasted by any reporter covering gay news around the world.

Here’s one by Rex Wockner quoting what I wrote:

Pride to be staged in Singapore[]


Pride to be staged in Singapore

by Rex Wockner

Originally printed 09/18/2008 (Issue 1638 – Between The Lines News)

International News

Singapore’s first gay pride parade is scheduled to take place Nov. 15 at Hong Lim Park, the locale where the government recently announced it will allow demonstrations.

“I have no idea how many people are going to turn up,” said organizer Roy Tan.

“If it’s just me, I’ll be marching round the place holding a placard reading ‘Repeal 377A’ on one side and ‘Legalize gay marriage’ on the other.

“We will march about three times round Hong Lim Park singing ‘We Shall Overcome,’ ‘I Will Survive’ by Gloria Gaynor, ‘Survivor’ by Destiny’s Child or ‘I Am What I Am’ — some kind of anthemy song to highlight the struggle for equality or the tenacity to survive against all odds.”

Afterwards, Tan envisions a picnic or a dance. He said the goal is not necessarily for the parade to be “a success” but rather “to establish a precedent.”

“So it doesn’t matter if it’s not terribly well organized or attended,” he said. Penal Code Section 377A states, “Any male person who, in public or private, commits, or abets the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any male person of, any act of gross indecency with another male person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years.”

This was the source that Straits Times journalist Kor Kian Beng said he got wind of the pride parade from.

Many other gays have also copied Wockner’s report and pasted in on their blogs. Little do they know that I’ve changed my mind about the “Legalise gay marriage” signboard.

I’ve decided to display “Gays are like You and Me” instead, because pushing for too many things all at once may provoke a backlash.

Repealing Section 377A is our priority at the moment.

Let’s take it one step at a time.


First gay protest at Speakers’ Corner?[]

Archive of The Straits Times article, "First gay protest at Speakers' Corner?", 25 September 2008

The Straits Times

25 September 2008

By Kor Kian Beng

A SINGAPOREAN man is planning to hold possibly the first gay outdoor protest at the Speakers’ Corner in Hong Lim Park, where rules on public speaking and demonstrations were relaxed recently.

Mr Roy Tan, 50, a self-confessed gay who works in the health-care industry, has applied to the National Parks Board (NParks) to hold the event on Nov 15.

He told The Straits Times yesterday there will be speeches on gay rights and a march in the park with placards protesting against Section 377A of the Penal Code, which criminalises homosexual sex.

There will also be an informal public forum on the difficulties that gay Singaporeans like him face here, he said.

Mr Tan said he was prompted to plan the event by the comments of gay rights activist Alex Au on the Government’s move to relax the rules at the Speakers’ Corner.

Since Sept 1, speakers need only register online at the NParks website any time before they speak. They have to state the topic of their speech or demonstration, but race and religion remain out of bounds.

Mr Au had described the change as tokenism, arguing that citizens should have the rights to public speaking and demonstration beyond the park.

Said Mr Tan, who is a friend of Mr Au’s: “By saying that, Alex implies he does not want to organise any gay pride parade at Hong Lim Park.

“I thought we should not give up this opportunity to set a precedent to make subsequent gay pride parades easier.”

When contacted, Mr Au said he still regarded the recent changes as tokenism. But he was supportive of Mr Tan’s planned activity, which he believed could be the first gay outdoor protest here.

Mr Au said: “Not everybody needs to agree with me…I will encourage him to live up to his own aspirations and evaluation of the change.”

A spokesman for NParks has confirmed it has received Mr Tan’s registration, which had described the event as a GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual) pride parade.

So far, only one person – a gay Singaporean man – has sent an e-mail to Mr Tan to express interest in participating in the march.

However, he said at least 50 other people have indicated by word-of-mouth that they will turn up to lend him support, said Mr Tan.

He added that he was not a member of any gay groups here.

He expects the final turnout to be bigger as he is planning to send publicity materials of the event to the websites of gay groups.

Two American men have told him they were keen to take part in the march, but Mr Tan said he is keeping it a Singaporeans-only activity to avoid having to apply for a police permit.

Such a permit is required if foreigners were to speak or participate in or organise activities at the park.

..................................................... (26 September 2008)

I shall be Miss Gay Agony

From now on if I do appear in a PUBLIC place to make any statement; I shall appear in drag as Miss Gay Agony.

Many people know that ‘gay’ is an old English word that means ‘happy’ but our happiness is far from being complete.

Generally I am a happy gay man except for the fact that this country still labels me as a criminal; hence the cause of this unhappiness that looms over my head.

As such Section 377A has forced me into a closet and I fear to review my true identity. Thus there is a need for me to disguise myself until such a time a when the anti-gay law is repealed.

I shall be dressed as a simple kampong malay woman and hoped to make my maiden speech in Bahasa Melayu if I can get Sham or anyone who can help me translate my script.

I am looking forward to the Inaugural Singapore Pride Parade with great anticipation.

Love & Peace,

Patrick (26 September 2008)

Aiyoh, tolonglah Makcik Penyeksaan,

Tajuk Pride Parade kami ialah “Liwat saperti Anda dan Saya”.

Jadi, janganlah pakai sarung kebaya.

Pakai baju macam sabiasanya, bila saudara bergelek ditepi jalan - T-shirt dengan jeans – pakaian jantan.


Oh, oh. I was afraid of this.

The theme of our inaugural pride parade is “Gays are like You and Me”, so kindly save the cross-dressing, thongs and rainbow-coloured feather boas for subsequent parades, after the public have lost their interest.

We don’t want to be a freak show on our very first attempt.

Roy. (26 September 2008)

RE: [SiGNeL] Rex Wockner reports on me!

Congrats Roy!!! I’ve always known you’ll would make it big for Singapore is just too small to fit you in but I didn’t know you’d be an international hit so fast! Too bad you can’t put that on your resume!

Again, I would like to stress the sadness in my heart that I cannot attend this breakthrough in Singaporean history. I will never get over this, at least not in a long time… You know, I am starting to consider flying back just for this event…


..................................................... (26 September 2008)

Re: [SiGNeL] I shall be Miss Gay Agony


I guess i got to say something – akin raining on the parade.

Tor long (Malay for “please”) la, please bear in mind that most gay men would prefer to be identify as a person of dignity rather than loud and proud queen.

There is a BIG difference between making a statement and a mockery of oneself (and hence the whole group).

Is the parade at Hong Lim Park necessary??!!! I would not be surprise if many gay men are silently cursing and bitching about the “circus” at Hong Lim.

Hee hee

‘Hong Lim Green’ to turn somewhat pink[] (26 September 2008)

New Paper article on Singapore’s first pride parade, 15 Nov 08

The event is supposed to start at 5 pm, and not 3 pm, as stated in the article.

I’m glad the writer, Andre Yeo, didn’t give the article a sensationalistic, tabloid spin.


‘Hong Lim Green’ to turn somewhat pink

Organiser plans gay pride parade at Speakers’ Corner

By Andre Yeo

September 26, 2008

HONG LIM Park (once called Green) is open for demos of all shades and hues (except unlawful ones, of course).

AWARENESS: A woman jumps under a rainbow flag during the Gay Pride Parade in Lisbon in June. PICTURE: REUTERS

So it is no surprise that the gay lobby here wants to use it in November to make a statement.

Riding on the new, relaxed rules on protests at the park’s Speakers’ Corner, Mr Roy Tan, 50, is planning a gay pride parade. But the response to it has so far been uncertain.

Mr Alex Au, 55, one of the leaders of gay advocacy group, People Like Us, likes the idea but he questions if it should be called thus.

He said: ‘I am sceptical of calling it a parade if they can’t walk down the streets. A parade requires linear movement.’

Ms Jean Chong, 32, a lesbian who is self-employed and also from People Like Us, said she was aware of the parade but was not sure if she would be attending.

She told The New Paper: ‘I think most of them (the gay community) are standing on one side and thinking about it.

‘Most don’t see Hong Lim Park as a big step towards more freedom. It’s a form of tokenism.

‘On the one hand, they feel they want to support it (the parade). But, on the other hand, they are against the concept of Hong Lim Park because you should have the right to demonstrate anywhere.’

Following Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s National Day Rally speech to slowly liberalise the political scene here, rules were changed such that from 1 Sep, public demonstrations can now be held at Speakers’ Corner as long as they do not touch on race or religion.

Organiser Mr Tan, 50, who works in the healthcare industry, said: ‘I thought it would be good for someone to organise the first pride parade and, hopefully, it would be the first of many and be part of the cultural landscape.’

Mr Tan said that even if he were the only one at the park for the event, he would march round the place holding a placard on Section 377A – a section of the penal code that criminalises gay sex.

Mr Tan said he would be marching three times round the park singing We Shall Overcome, a civil rights anthem, to represent the struggle for equality.

He expected people to come but he did not think many would be marching.

He said: ‘Many people are not prepared to do it at the moment. The first step is the most difficult one.’

The management of Speakers’ Corner used to be under the police, but now comes under the National Parks Board (NParks).

Demonstrators only need to register on the NParks website.

Yesterday, an NParks spokesman confirmed that it had received a registration for a gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual pride parade at the Corner on 15 Nov.

It is slated to last from 3 to 7pm.

According to the NParks website, Singapore permanent residents can also take part in a demonstration at Speakers’ Corner and are required to apply for a police permit only if they want to organise a demonstration themselves or to speak at the Corner.

Foreigners will have to apply for a permit to conduct or take part in any activity at the Corner. (26 September 2008)

ST: “Self-confessed gay” organises first pink protest at Hong Lim Park

Alright, Straits TImes, you got me – I confess I’m gay.

By that token, I may as well confess I’m also a serial murderer.

I wish they had given more prominence to this event as a pride parade than as a protest, like The New Paper did.

Roy. (27 September 2008)

Re: [SiGNeL] I shall be Miss Gay Agony

Singapore has for a long time for me been a representation of human freedom. I have always been free to be who I am and who I want to be.

There are days I feel like a James Dean donning a white t-shirt and faded jeans and on some other days I feel a glamour pussy rising within me and I just had to don a wig and put on a dress and parade down Orchard Rd.

Whether I dressed as a man or as a woman; I have not never been stopped in the streets and neither have I been harassed by anyone or the police.

This I feel is the ultimate freedom but of course the denial of a legal existence has make me a little distress. As such, I do not mind to parade myself at the Inaugural Pride Parade; to plead for the repeal of Section 377A.

If Dr. Roy feels that he does not need any drama at the first pride parade; then I will graciously absent myself from the event. I have bought myself a new wig and am now shopping for a new sarong kebaya. Perhaps I could be a mascot and welcome everyone with “Selamat Datang”.

Love & Peace,


........................................ (27 September 2008)

Re:New Paper article on Singapore’s first pride parade, 15 Nov 08 A model news article, quite evenhanded and comprehensive. Both the organizer(s) (including, certainly, Roy Tan) and The New Paper writer deserve praise. Of course permission to demonstrate in Hong Lim Park is not equivalent to a fully democratic, entrenched right of free speech (including demonstrations) in the streets–but it’s a beginning, and not using the limited opportunity could both forfeit a favorable message and deliver a message of apathy worse than any possible message of acquiescence.

Bill Kelley, Chicago

........................................ (27 September 2008)

Re: New Paper article on Singapore’s first pride parade, 15 Nov 08

Will go by that day and see. It is ok to take some photos at there?

Joey Lim

........................................ (27 September 2008)

RE: [SiGNeL] Re: New Paper article on Singapore’s first pride parade, 15 Nov 08 Sometimes I wonder do we want to be the same or be different?

The parade seems to me is to show off we are proud to be different. Yet all these while I heard that we want to be treated like the rest of the hetero.

I agree with Alex when he refuse to put on a circus show to “parade” our differences and after reading what Patrick has added I am more adamant that it’s going to be a circus show.

Can somebody enlighten me ~ are we trying to be equal? Or show people we are different?

Is there really anything to celebrate being gay? Is it like celebrating Birthdays? Or just another excuse to parties that's what I thought most of the gay parades are for

If Singapore one day legalize gay marriage and we mark that day as “pride” day and celebrate that moment every year] I totally can understand the “pride” parade but for now this “pride” parade maybe requires more reasoning ~ can somebody enlighten me where is the “pride”?

Mike (28 September 2008)

RE: [SiGNeL] Re: New Paper article on Singapore’s first pride parade, 15 Nov 08

This is truly deja vu … 1992 debate in a meeting room in the Human Rights Campaign … where do the gay movement want from the 1993 gay rights march in the Mall of Washington DC? (the march brought out about 1 million people)

Of course, the mainstreamers won the argument. The hardline liberationists left the movement and they never recovered from the split. And today, some 16 years later, we now arguing about equal marriage rights for all (well some states moved farther than the rest of the Union), and in the mean time, the HRC corporatized and lost its way.

Thanks for jolting up those sweet memories.


........................................ (28 September 2008)

Re: [SiGNeL] Re: New Paper article on Singapore’s first pride parade, 15 Nov 08 Same or different is a distinct question from being equal.

We want equality in the eyes of the law: call for a repeal of 377A at a demonstration or equal marriage rights. It would be interesting to justify marriage rights without expectation of basic privacy rights.

Outside of the law, whether we want to be treated the same or different depends on the person involved and both have their points in different situations.

A pride parade doesn’t have to be a freak show; it’s started as a revolt against the authorities and is still just as often a “political” tool. I see the use of “pride” as not specifically or necessarily being proud to be gay but not being ashamed to be.

For that, I think the term suits this occasion and I salute the people who are making it happen.

I do think that this should be a “political” event rather than a typical pride parade with a partying atmosphere since we don’t have much to party about. But the people organizing it make the calls and if people feel otherwise, join the planning and help set the course rather than bitch about it. (28 September 2008)

Songs for 15 Nov’s Pride Parade

I was down at Hong Lim Park on Saturday with 2 friends.

One of them timed me as I walked at a moderate pace along the peripheral footpaths of the park – it took 4 whole minutes!

If I were to walk slowly, as I will probably have to if I’m singing at the same time, it may take as long as 5 minutes just to complete one round.

The timekeeper almost fell asleep!

It will be incredibly boring for the audience if we were to march more than 3 rounds, so I’m doing 3 rounds at the most.

This will take about 15 minutes.

This is just nice for singing the 6 songs that I’ve finalised for the event:

1) “I am what I am” by Gloria Gaynor. This is to signify our individuality and the fact that our lives are a sham when we live in the closet.

2) “Get the party started” by Pink. I’m modifying the initial and oft-repeated phrase, “I’m coming up” to “I’m coming out” to signify our coming out by marching in a public pride parade.

3) “Somewhere over the rainbow” by Judy Garland. This is tribute to the Rainbow Flag, an icon of GLBT individuals all around the world.

4&5) “I will survive” by Gloria Gaynor and “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child. These two songs signify our determination to survive and triumph through all our struggles for equality; the first number for disco-generation gays like myself and the second for the rap/hip-hop younger generation.

6) “We shall overcome”, the African-American equal rights theme song. This is a solemn, dirge-like anthem to signify our confidence that we will achieve our goal eventually.

Currently, no one apart from myself has volunteered to march and sing these songs at the same time. If you are willing to do so, please inform me.

If you don’t want to march but are willing to lead or just sing as a member of the audience observing from the sidelines, here are the lyrics. They will be printed out on a commemorative booklet to be handed out on the final day:

........................................ (28 September 2008)

Re: Rex Wockner reports on me!

— In, “TIEN KIM CHUAN” <kim.chuan.tien@…> wrote:

> You know, I am starting to consider

> flying back just for this event.

Hi Kim,

I’m sure there’ll be many more pride parades in Singapore in the future that you will able to take part in, perhaps when you’re on holiday here with your husband.

It would be great if we could have you marching and singing a gay anthem in Mandarin…possibly one of Amei’s songs which she performed during Taiwan’s pride parades.


........................................ (29 September 2008)

Re: [SiGNeL] ST: “Self-confessed gay” organises first pink protest at Hong Lim Park


I am so curious how Roy Tan looks like.

The papers got his pic a not huh? Never mind… the “Pride” parade pics would be splashed across the papers and maybe CNN (CNA definitely la).

Wow… Mass Coming Out.

........................................ (29 September 2008)

Re: [SiGNeL] Re: New Paper article on Singapore’s first pride parade, 15 Nov 08

Hi Mike,

With all due respect, I think you may well have muddled up several different lines of thought.

Wanting to be accorded the same treatment in the eyes of the law shouldn’t be equated with a desire to be “the same”. The most ready analogies I can think of would be drawn from the areas of gender and ethnicity. A woman wanting to have the political and social equality that a man enjoys is quite a different matter from a woman wanting to be a man (not that there’s anything wrong with that, just that it’s a different issue). Similarly, if a member of an ethnic minority wanted to be accorded the same legal rights as the dominant ethnic group in a country, that’s not to say that he/she wants to become a member of that dominant ethnic group.

By the same token, I’m quite happy and glad to be gay. I don’t perceive my sexuality as being in any way deficient or inferior to being heterosexual – in this sense, I celebrate and am ‘proud’ of my sexuality, in the same way that a person might celebrate his or her ethnicity or some other facet of identity. I recognise it as something good and beautiful.

Flowing from this, I am fully aware that at this point in time, as a gay person in Singapore, I’m not equal to a straight person legally, culturally and socially. We still have to contend with Section 377A and various unjust policies (particularly in the area of defence and education) that justify themselves with reference to Section 377A. We’re pretty much condemned by mainstream Singaporean Christianity. There’s still a great deal of censorship about our lives and achievements in the local media (just as one example, consider the complete silence that surrounded Ian McKellen’s track record as a gay activist when he came to town – this would be unthinkable were it a straight celebrity visiting. who championed some non-controversial cause).

I believe the pride parade which Roy is putting together addresses both of these strands – we celebrate who we are, and by that celebration, point to the fact that that we are as human and as Singaporean as our straight neighbours, colleagues, friends and relatives – and that we therefore deserve better than the life of shame and shadows that we’re being currently consigned to.

But back to your question – ‘is there anything to celebrate about being gay?’ I imagine each person who answers ‘yes’ will have his or her own list of reasons - here’s mine.

I celebrate:

1. Our amazing creativity and our finely-honed aesthetic sensibilities. It’s no surprise that we’ve made and continue to make our presence more than felt in the Arts and creative industries. It’s not to say that every local artist or theatre practitioner or fashion designer or stylist is queer – but we are over-represented in these arenas (and jolly good that we are, too, otherwise where would the arts scene in Singapore be?).

2. Our pervasiveness and our ability to excel in every area – there aren’t just gay artists – there are also gay military leaders, gay athletes, gay engineers, gay doctors, gay teachers – the list goes on. (I would love to meet a gay taxi driver one of these days, too).

3. Our resilience in the face of enforced hardship. Most people don’t realise how much gay people in Singapore sacrifice, particularly those who haven’t yet come out of the closet. We’ve foregone the ability to be affectionate with our significant others in public places; we’ve frequently sacrificed our ability to be fully open and trusting with our colleagues, close friends and relatives, often at great detriment to our mental and emotional well-being; we’ve subjected ourselves to crazy counselling programmes designed to ‘repair’ us; some – for the sake of family peace and ‘face’, have even made the ultimate sacrifice of marrying a member of the opposite sex, against all their natural instincts and inclinations. And yet, in spite of all that hardship, we’ve gone on loving members of the same sex – Singaporean men loving other men, and Singaporean women loving other women.

4. Our courage in coming out. Bit by bit that collective closet door is being pushed open, and more and more of us have stepped out into that wonderful tropical sunshine where we belong (with most of the guys dabbing on large quantities of sunblock and complaining about how hot it is, doubtless!). Some of us have decided that all that sacrifice and hardship described earlier are not getting us anywhere, and those people have written plays and forum letters, put together IndigNation, and a movement to repeal 377A, and organized various interest groups *with* a public face – and all these things are helping to dispel long-held myths about how all gay people are psychologically-broken sex maniacs and pedophiles and drug addicts.

5. Our sensitivity and ability to empathize with others who are marginalized. Many gay people give freely of their time and energies to various social causes - of special mention here is the SPACES community, AFA, OC as well as the team that has put together A Nation In Concert (having its 3rd run very soon on 11 and 12 Oct – go get your tix already!).

It’s not a perfect list, nor is it by any means complete – but there *are* many wonderful things about being gay that I would like to cheer, and for that reason, I’m fully behind Roy. We really shouldn’t be raining on our own parades. much love,


........................................ (29 September 2008)

RE: [SiGNeL] Re: New Paper article on Singapore’s first pride parade, 15 Nov 08


If u think I am bitching about it fine but everytime the community pulls something like that I have to make extra effort to explain to my friends, family and colleagues because they expect me as a GAY man to understand everything about being gay which I obviously doesn’t know a hoot.

I am sincerely asking what’s the PURPOSE of the parade so at least if it comes out on the news and I got questioned I at least have something which make sense to talk about it. Fine, I would tell people it’s a “revolt” I am sure people would think gays are real jokers.

........................................ (29 September 2008)

Re: [SiGNeL] I shall be Miss Gay Agony

Patrick Patrick…

The parade is not for somebody but for EVERYBODY. So… Just go in whatever attire you want. Usually parades are loud affairs anyway.

You would be more interesting than T-shirts. Anyway, if i were to look at group of people wearing bland T-shirts, I would rather sit at Raffles Park ogling at cute young gay men in their business wear la.

........................................ (29 September 2008)

It only takes a spark….

I remember from eons ago singing a camp-fire song in the Boy’s Brigade which started with these lyrics…

“it only takes a spark to get the fire going,

and soon all those around will be warmed up in its glowing…..”

Certainly Roy is like the biblical prophet Isaiah presenting himself as the lone voice in the wilderness.

But it is a lone voice with a loud echo that will reverberate through the hallway of our local gay community. I am most certain it would give courage for others to put up other parades.

Roy will not be marching alone because there will be a Malay woman from Geylang

Serai joining in the march.

This march is not just for us alone but also for the whole community. Hope to see you there.

Love & Peace,


........................................ (29 September 2008)

I think I need to weigh in.

As signellers are well aware, I remain skeptical about the motives of the Singapore government. I also remain doubtful about the effectiveness of expression in a confined, socially isolated space like Hong Lim Green, in terms of influencing popular opinion. Since it is a socially-isolated space, the only way in which an event there can impact on public consciousness is when it is communicated to the public via the mass media. But, as we know, the mass media in Singapore is strongly influenced by the government’s agenda, and therefore the reporting of any event on Hong Lim Green will be filtered through the demands of this agenda.

So one can hold an event and you can control the nature of the event, but the impact on public consciousness is not within your control, because it has to be mediated through the mass media.

I strongly suspect that the government knows this very well, and it is precisely because they know this, and have the confidence that they can control the public effect of what goes on in Hong Lim Green, that they have permitted this new “liberalisation”.

Having said that, what about Roy’s and Patrick’s project?

I don’t think we should diss the project; we should support it. One may differ from Roy’s and Patrick’s views and suspect that in the long run and larger scheme of things, it may not change Singapore by much, but that is not an argument for being negative about it. We shouldn’t be an obstacle to the effort. To let it fizzle out on account of poor response is to guarantee that the mainstream media will have all the opportunity to belittle the gay cause. Thus, letting it fizzle out is not in our interest. One might have wished that Roy and Patrick had been more circumspect about ensuring that they will get a reasonable response before going public about it, but now that they have gone public, the debate about that is moot.

Some may feel that especially because the public/media representation of the event is mostly in the hands of the mainstream media, all the more it is necessary not to present gay people as flamboyant freaks. This is an old debate, and as in every iteration of that debate, there is nothing anyone can do to really control it short of resorting to fascist discipline. The only do-able response is to crowd out the freaks by showing up en masse.

(But even then, press photographers will still demonstrate their knack for picking out the most colourful person and putting that picture as the emblematic one for the news story. So be forewarned.)

The cleverer solution is to make maximum efforts at controlling the media publicity of the event, that is, to circumvent the state’s main lever of control. This means the organisers will really need s strategy for pictures, video and soundbites, and the rapid dissemination of these newsy bits, in order to challenge the state’s news machine. That way, you not only get to control your event, but also, and more importantly, to influence the public representation of your event.

One additional point: I see Patrick spouting biblical verses in some of his recent posts. At the rate this is going, he is likely to be carried away and spout biblical verses in his speech at Hong Lim Green too.

This is going to present an interesting twist, and I hope the organisers will plan for it.

You may get shut down halfway by NParks wardens and undercover police officers (I’m sure they’ll be lurking about) because you are bringing religion into your “protest”. If that happens, the press will have a field day with you. If you don’t plan for this contingency, and it happens, your event will end in disarray, and you are left with no control whatsoever with your media representation. So you have to plan in advance.

Alternatively, you may wish to consider deliberately spouting religious texts and provoking a ban, but you must do so in such a way as to present a case that the Bible can be used equally for homosexuality as against it – in other words, to use the ban to kickstart such a debate. However, this, in my view, calls for a level of skill and sophistication in event and media management, that, to be honest, none of us have.

The other contingency the organisers need to plan for is the presence of a counter demonstration at the same place, same time, by church-organised groups. Will you be outnumbered? What happens to the media representation of the event and the gay cause then?


........................................ (29 September 2008)

RE: [SiGNeL] Re: New Paper article on Singapore’s first pride parade, 15 Nov 08

Thanks Dom,

I get your point and agree that it makes more sense now.

I have to stress again I am not trying to pour cold water @ roy’s event as life goes on for me no matter what events happens.



........................................ (29 September 2008)

Re: [SiGNeL] Re: New Paper article on Singapore’s first pride parade, 15 Nov 08

I seem to remember there being mutliple times where protesting 377A was mentioned while revolt was only mentioned once as a reason for the original pride parade so I’m not sure how you pick up the latter and not the former.

Maybe you could tell people that it’s to teach gay people reading comprehension. (29 September 2008)

Re: [SiGNeL] Hong Lim Green, Nov 15

At 07:47 29/09/2008, you wrote:

>I think I need to weigh in.

><snipped extremely good advice from Alex>

Just wanted to say two things:

1) I am with you all in my heart. I won’t be there that weekend, and I understand that tourists are not allowed to participate in protests without a government permit–even if I were to apply for one I think it would be counterproductive for a tourist (non-permanent resident) to participate. This is your party! My thoughts will be with you that day, brothers and sisters.

2) Take all of Alex’s advice. He speaks and writes words of gold. Be prepared for the media; make sure you have a spokesperson and a strategy for controlling the message that gets out. One of the things that happens to every Pride march is that the person with the most outlandish costume (it used to be in New York that Rollerena got in the papers every year as she was outlandish and fully-clothed–as taboos fell, the gentleman with the least amount of clothing possible to print got into the newspapers, or two guys or women kissing with tongues) gets the picture opportunity.

I do not advise censoring your attire, but follow Alex’s advice on religious speech. While getting the demonstration shut down will indeed get you headlines, it might also get you a jail sentence or a large fine. Live on to march again!

Oh, and to the person who asked what Roy looks like: he is very distinguished and slim, befitting his station. (29 September 2008)

A scream in the dark = A valid purpose

Certainly Roy is a man of great passion albeit he lacks great organisational skills.

But without apology he has made it clear that all he wants to do is to set a precedent for the gay community.

Up until Nov 15, the gay community in Singapore has been voiceless by design of the law. But now an opportunity has come for us to be heard and so Roy has done the right thing in planning for Nov 15. The first cry need not be well orchestrated but it is important that a cry is heard; and then like an avalance it will gather size and speed.

As for me I have a different agenda. I just want to emphasise that Singapore gives space to every individual to express himself and that includes cross-dressing in public. But I am a little unhappy that although we have been given much space; we have been denied a legal status ie we remain as criminals in the eyes of the law. Therefore I am taking part in the march. To allay fears brought up by Alex; I assure you that I shall not make any reference to the Bible on that day.I may acknowledge the great development in cruising from Toilet Sex to IRC.

Love & Peace,


........................................ (29 September 2008)

Re: I am coming to Singapore in October

— In, Daryl Van Hale <dutchboydvh@…> wrote: > I’m in Singapore!!

Hi Daryl,

Glad you made it here safe and sound.

Welcome to Singapore!

I hope Patrick can arrange a get-together with Chris Hansen and other interested SiGNeLlers.

However, I don’t think that you can march together with us on 15 Nov unless you apply for a police permit, which is such a hassle.

I hope you’ll help out with the singing on the sidelines or give your opinions during the speeches or forum.

See you,


........................................ (29 September 2008)

Re: [SiGNeL] Hong Lim Green, Nov 15

Very good points brought up by somebody who knows the specific limitations in Singapore. I think there’re 2 things we must do.

The first is press materials and to designate a spoke-person for media communications who will stick to the approved script (what are you doing and what do you hope to achieve and general info about the gay community) and not answer any questions they’re not prepared for. Don’t let the media control the content. Prepare a letter, read from and distribute it; do NOT give off the cuff responses about the event. Prepare a website/blog page and point people to it. This is for the official statements; you can’t do anything about others giving their own interviews but in the interest of the event, you have to make it clear that it’s limited to their personal views and not the event’s.

About the religious factor, it’s really important that the religious folks are represented on our side, preferably with somebody in a position of ministry or authority who can and WILL counter religious opposition. This is by far the largest source of opposition you’ll see though they might try to present it in non-religious terms to try to make it seem that they actually have other reasons. We must be prepared to issue statements from our religious folks (either in response or even pro-actively) but solely framed in the context that there are many other religious factions where being gay is not a factor and it’s only some extremists who think so and that promoting hate and discrimination are not protected under religious freedom. The nitty gritty discussions should be taken offline to a different group of only those who are interested to avoid giving away our hand or boring the general audience and the important things communicated back later. (29 September 2008)

Re: [SiGNeL] Hong Lim Green, Nov 15


Alex makes some valid points.

As mentioned, since its already out in the open, there is need for some damage control on how to prepare the media adequately to ensure that they understand the background of regional gay pride protests/parades.

Roy made a good start by saying that he will march alone if needed, and unfortunately that might ring abit true.

In this situation, if Alex, Jean or Roy are in contact with the journalists who wil be covering the event – it would be good to let them know about the fears regarding the turn-out, namely that most gay singaporeans probably wouldn’t care, or would be too fearful to turn out due to a perception that they may be marked by the government. Governmental retaliation may not be true, but I think many Singaporeans are still afraid that being seen at a public protest may mark them out for some form of prosecution. By prepping the media ahead of time what to expect, we might be able to prevent bad headlines as well as help generate some form of goodwill.

All in all, I do support that Roy and Patrick is planning this event. While I may not neccessarily be interested in being there, one must remember that all the lgbti pride parades started somewhere. We do not have the anger that characterised Stonewall and the Australian parades unfortunately.

But looking at the numbers, I believe there was 2,000 people at the first Indian parade held over 4 cities, and over 1000 for the inaugural Sydney pride march. What would be a valid expectation of attendees for the Singapore event before we consider it a success?

Perhaps we could learn a lesson from Taiwan. Over 1,000 people attended the first parade in 2003, and many wore masks to protect their identities. Whether that is just re-entering the closet or a valid solution to a problem, i leave to others to debate.

Unfortunately though, I think that the organizers are faced with the biggest problem of all.. apathy. I do not think that there is going to be a big turnout for the simple reason that most Singaporean gay and lesbian people aren’t going to care very much about this. Throw in fear of the government on one hand, fear of being outed on the other – its leaves quite a dismal forecast.

Perhaps the safest way to move forward is to plan for a spectacle that can be enacted by few people, in a way that can create favourable attention – much like the stunts that ACTUP is famous for.. though within the confines of the park. Maybe if no one turns up, all the protesters can just lie down in silence on the pavements for 377 minutes, or seconds if that is easier, as a symbolic protest against 377a. Another idea is to have a kiss-in… though not sure who would dare do that

Alternatively, organised the next Nation party held on Hong Lim Green on the 15th of November, and trick all those party boys into attending.


........................................ (29 September 2008)

RE: [SiGNeL] Re: New Paper article on Singapore’s first pride parade, 15 Nov 08

Just for your sake, if I am going to say telling people a march to protest 377A is a BIG JOKE even I myself find it unacceptable. You people must be too god damn free? But “revolt” on the other hand has more meaning as you could say being gay is an oppressed group that’s a good enough reason to “revolt” but seriously if all the clubs and saunas are force to close we can even use the word "oppression"]. If the govt track all the emails under this mailing list and go raid our home of porn that works too!] Let me reassure u if the govt wants to really oppress us there is 101 ways but allowing gays to be legalize is totally against govt pro-family policy. Why would the govt wants to goes against it’s own policy? At least for now

Being gay for a while I realize most gays can’t even understand the term “commitment” and you are talking about “legalize marriage”? The only advantage I can see is so your kept boy can sue you for loads of money when you guys divorce ~ that’s a real advantage isn’t it? Or you meant those parties in Sentosa needs to be legalize?

I don’t have problem reading but I do have problem understanding some of the “gay” minds that’s all.Lastly like I say I don’t have problem with any gay event as long as it shed positive light on our species as the media only allow to show negative side of being gay and I hate seeing more negative gay side which makes public hates us more. (29 September 2008)

Re: Hong Lim Green, Nov 15

Hi Alex,

Thanks for airing your analysis of events as they stand.

Patrick has kindly consented to be on the welcoming committee in drag and to march with us.

However, he will not be making a speech.

Since you’ll be there and I’ll be asking the audience why they think the Government has allowed a pride parade at Hong Lim Park, I’ll hand the loudhailer to you for your opinion.



........................................ (29 September 2008)

Re: [SiGNeL] Re: New Paper article on Singapore’s first pride parade, 15 Nov 08

I observe that we’re moving away from the essence of pride and the objective Roy and the team trying to achieve. Life throws us with lots of challenges and as you all may known already, being and coming out as gay is very difficult. But should we be treated otherwise just because we’re different is a valid question? The heterosexism in the Singapore context is often clouded by religion and the conservative nature of the majority of the citizen. I just feel sad that for a country thats quick and forward and always want to be no one neglects its important responsibility on equality to each and every one here irrelevant his or her sexual orientation.

337A has to be go.. when and where will depends on on milestones events like this and hopefully for many more to come.

There is a misconception of the pride from the very beginning.. I blame it on the media cuz it only portrays those hunky man whom looks like a porn actor.. but on the streets are people like you and be longing to be noticed. Some years back i attended the euro pride in london, of course there was tons of macho marrys (those pics end up on the internet or the front page of a daily).. but there are thousands others from every walk of life. Its important for us to put away our differences and stand tall and proud together to make this milestone event a success. Sometimes we need to stop questioning and start believing. As much as I respect and yearn equality I also feels the same for those who are happy with things as they are and remain silence in the back.



........................................ (29 September 2008)

Re: [SiGNeL] Re: New Paper article on Singapore’s first pride parade, 15 Nov 08

377A has nothing to do with pro-familty policies and is only about discrimination. Please tell me how anal and oral sex for str8 couples produce more babies?

But you would revolt against closing of bathhouses and saunas? We can see where your priorities are. Getting married and showing commitment and responsibility is showing a negative side to the public but protesting closing of bathhouses isn’t? Get real!

I don’t understand why people would put forward negative stereotypes and claim that they’re not like like but everybody else is; what are you trying to achieve? And just because you cannot understand commitment doesn’t mean others cannot. I think the problem you have difficulties understanding what Roy and company are trying to do is that one side is trying to talk about legal equality and you’re talking about your own interests.

........................................ (30 September 2008)

Re: [SiGNeL] Re: New Paper article on Singapore’s first pride parade, 15 Nov 08

aiyoh. better don’t parade. later kena arrested like chee siok chee.

........................................ (30 September 2008)

Re: [SiGNeL] Re: New Paper article on Singapore’s first pride parade, 15 Nov 08

I don’t think I call it a pride parade. Seems to be more of an awareness campaign.

Very often, I read with amusement when the homophobic public said, “We should not promote the gay lifestyle” in the forum section in the newspapers.

What exactly is the gay lifestyle?

Is the gay lifestyle any different from the heterosexual lifestyle? The only difference is that we do not marry & we not reproduce.

........................................ (30 September 2008)

Re: [SiGNeL] Hong Lim Green, Nov 15

This is the best advice, in my opinion:

— On Mon, 9/29/08, andrew ki <drew1977sg@…> wrote:

> Perhaps the safest way to move forward is to plan for a

> spectacle that can be enacted by few people, in a way that

> can create favourable attention – much like the stunts

> that ACTUP is famous for..

For an example, see what Greenpeace did:

It’s an example of a protest that is

(a) static – no marching required

(b) not dependent on being able to draw a crowd, so it won’t matter if people are apathetic

(c) seizes control of the media representation, by presenting an irresistible photo opportunity, giving the media little scope to frame the story in any other way

(d) gets to the point!

For something gay, I would think you need large swathes of rainbow colours to make a photo opportunity. The organisers should be asking anyone travelling in from abroad (cities with gay shops) to help bring in rainbow flags. Locally you need to raise a bit of money to reimburse them. One flag won’t do; you need as many as possible.

Or you buy cloth of all six colours and use it to make a large sign on the field that says “No to 377A”. Better yet, make the slogan more inclusive: “No Homophobia”.

The gay group in Sri Lanka had a brilliant idea for their gay pride. As a nascent group, they didn’t have the numbers. Also, since their country is at war, parades are also not permitted, so they held a static event that involved kite flying. There were large rainbow-coloured kites in the sky, making a great photo opportunity, attracting passers-by to find out what it’s about. It shows that it’s important to think out of the usual “gay pride parade” box.

> In this situation, if Alex, Jean or Roy are in contact with

> the journalists who wil be covering the event - Neither Jean nor I are organisers of this, so it’ll have to be Roy speaking to the media.

........................................ (30 September 2008)

Re: Hong Lim Green, Nov 15

— In, Yawning Bread <yawning_bread@…> wrote:

> Neither Jean nor I are organisers of this, so

> it’ll have to be Roy speaking to the media.

Fridae or PLU can organise another protest according to your specifications one month after or even one week before 15 Nov 08. I’ll gladly let your event overshadow mine…and it will, seeing that these iconic gay organisations have much more clout than solo old me.


........................................ (30 September 2008)

Re: [SiGNeL] Hong Lim Green, Nov 15

May be we can borrow some ideas as well as materials from our Taiwan friends who would have finished their pride party. Taipei is a popular city to visit and there are sure many opportunities to carry back the stuffs needed.


........................................ (30 September 2008)

Re: [SiGNeL] Hong Lim Green, Nov 15

I like the Kite idea…

Roy: have a thought on the messages you want to give and I’ll sit you down for a media training session.

Alex: Would you be willing to participate in crafting some key messages with Roy and other stakeholders?


........................................ (30 September 2008)

Re: [SiGNeL] Re: New Paper article on Singapore’s first pride parade, 15 Nov 08

Darkseed, we’ve all gone through that last big debate about commitment that you stirred up. As good a debate that was (because it really helped me crystallize what commitment means to me), I believe that most people here don’t quite agree with your equating love and commitment to the lifelong I’m-so-commited-to-my-lover-that-I-don’t-have-friends-anymore type of monogamy.

That said, if you don’t want to support Roy’s parade, then go ahead and don’t support it. However, do not poo poo his idea and condemn it even before it happens. At least he’s doing something constructive, since regardless of the parade’s success or failure, it is still a critical historical event and it will contribute towards the eventual liberalization of Singapore. If you’re just going to rain on Roy’s parade, then please step aside and don’t hinder the good work being done here.


........................................ (30 September 2008)

Re: [SiGNeL] Re: Hong Lim Green, Nov 15

I just wonder how is Patrick going to read out biblical verses in Bahasa Malayu when he will be crossed-dressed in typical Baju.


........................................ (1 October 2008)

Re: [SiGNeL] Hong Lim Green, Nov 15

The Kites as well as the Banner ideas Rock!!

If supporters in the crowd can also wear something to get them included… that helps too. As someone who cannot participate in the crowd, i’m thinking of wearing my gayest (and least likely to offend) T-shirt… “The PINK sheep of the Family”. (Does the saying “He/She’s the ‘black sheep’ of the family” common here? Or will this not make sense in Singapore?)

Either way, I got it here:

Usually gets a smile, even from the skittish in the presence of PLU.



........................................ (2 October 2008)

Message for the Press aka Hong Lim Green

I am offering a simple statement that we could print out and give to the press and in so doing we control the message we want to send out.

What are you doing here?

We are here because the government has created a safe geographical space for citizens to give sight and sound to their discontent. And so we are here to represent the discontent felt by the local gay community. This is not a large orchestrated event like the Nation Party but the passion of one man who wants to set a precedent for the discontented gay voice to be heard in public. What is your discontent/message?

Gays are at every level of our country’s economy and making very positive contribution; yet we are being denied legal entity. The retention of the archaic Section 377a has continued to brand the gay man as a criminal intending that he should feel shame and indignity.

We are putting up this march to raise awareness that gays are like you and me, and that Section 377a should be repealed.

Note: The above is a rough draft so that everyone can add or edit to make it more eloquent.

Love & Peace,


........................................ (2 October 2008)

Re: Hong Lim Green, Nov 15

Please don’t say that. I know for a fact that between Alex and me, we have been pointing the media in your direction and giving as much information as possible. What you’re doing takes courage, we don’t have to agree on the location or context but we certainly agree with you in spirit.



........................................ (3 October 2008)

Songs for pride parade, 15 Nov 08

These are the 6 songs to be sung while marching during the pride parade at Hong Lim Park on 15 Nov 08.

If you want be the lead singer of any of the songs while marching, please inform me.

To learn the songs, click on the YouTube links.

1) I am what I am – Gloria Gaynor

2) (I”M COMING OUT so you better) Get this party started – Pink:

3) Somewhere over the rainbow – Shayne Ward’s version:

4) I will survive – Gloria Gaynor:

5) Survivor – Destiny’s Child:

6) We shall overcome – Peter, Paul & Mary’s version:

These are the lyrics once again:

........................................ (5 October 2008)

Hong Lim Green – Are we apathetic?

With the pauperish response to Roy’s organisation of the first pride march; I am beginning to wonder if the majority of the gay community in Singapore is really apathetic?

Perhaps the majority of the gay community are like myself; so long as we are able to have fun and sex uninhibited then all else does not matter.

Even then I am challenged by Roy’s sincerity and burning passion to abandon my apathy and be a part of this inaugural pride parade.

Roy is organising this event at a great cost to himself. Should the media happened to play up the event and a photo of Roy is flashed in the papers; then he would be probably the first doctor in Singapore to out himself and even put his career at risk.

I do wonder also if many of the gays here have been greatly influenced by the negative opinion of Alex Au? Whilst Alex has his own reason for not participating in the parade; could he not use his influence to stir up the enthusiasm of the gay community to support this event?

Do we want to see a courageous gay man fall flat on his face or do we want to share in his victory?

Love & Peace,


........................................ (6 October 2008)

Re: Hong Lim Green – Are we apathetic?

For a wider reach, Roy and you may wish to publicise this event in other groups as well.

Just a thot.


........................................ (7 October 2008)

Re: [SiGNeL] Hong Lim Green – Are we apathetic?

I agree on the point about the fun & uninhibited sex. They are also other reasons why gay people are hesitant about attending such public events.

The main concern is the presence of the media.

Quite a number of us are closeted. Being exposed to the media may jeopardize our career or relationship with our family members or both.

Are we allowed to wear masks like our counterparts in Taiwan?

........................................ (7 October 2008)

Re: [SiGNeL] Re: Hong Lim Green – Are we apathetic?


Actually i’ve been spreading the word thru some of the gay friends in Singapore, that i’ve made so far, and people seem to be interested. I’ll see if i can get them to sign up for the Signel listserv to stay up to date.



........................................ (8 October 2008)

RE: [SiGNeL] Re: Hong Lim Green – Are we apathetic?

Hello all,

Just a heads up, I’ll be attending the event with my parents (Maybe my brother and his wife too) and i’m also trying to get some gay friends to join. Some friends in sgbutterfly are also organising a group to attend.

Hopefully it will be smashing

Regards, Vic

........................................ (8 October 2008)

Re: Hong Lim Green – Are we apathetic?

— In, Daryl Van Hale <dutchboydvh@…> wrote:

> Actually i’ve been spreading the word

> thru some of the gay friends in Singapore,

> that i’ve made so far, and people seem to

> be interested.

Gee, thanks for drumming up so much support so soon after you got here, Daryl.

You’re more enthusiastic about the parade than most gay Singaporeans.

It must be the natural born activist in you.

See you soon,


........................................ (9 October 2008)

Why I withdraw from Hong Lim Parade?

I have chosen to withdraw because Roy has placed one too many restrictions on me. It seem that he has too much fear that I might “rocked” the event or even upstaged it.

I am a comfortable gay man who is out, loud and proud; and I have no need to participate in any Pride Parade. If and when I choose to participate in any public event; I must be free to be who I am and not be tied down by rules and regulations.

I wish Roy great success in his national outing.

Love & Peace,


........................................ (9 October 2008)

Re: [SiGNeL] Re: Hong Lim Green – Are we apathetic?

Hey Roy,

No problem.. I’m happy to lend my hands and my voice. I have to step lightly as my work visa is not finalized yet… but I’ll do what i can.. and at the very least i can do some networking.

We should see if some of the local gay clubs would post some info at their place of business.. or maybe their websites if they have one. All of the people i’ve spoken to, hadn’t a clue that such an event was coming up. So we need to get the word out on the streets!

Something to think about. It will at least get people to attend… and ch ear from the sidelines. Then maybe next year, they will be in a position to join in.



........................................ (10 October 2008)

Re: [SiGNeL] Why I withdraw from Hong Lim Parade?

I don’t see how Roy can place any restrictions on you unless you’re placing yours as the official position of the event.

As it is, Roy is the king, judge and executioner as I don’t see people willing to step up to the same level of responsibility but who want the spotlight (not referring to you). You can’t have latter without the former.

Also, complaints without constructive criticisms or willing to carry out the remedies is just hot air.

If you’re willing to do both but have a irreconcilable difference of opinion with Roy, I guess it’s fair for you to pull out and very mature of you to still support what he’s doing.

Differences aside, it’s take a lot of courage and conviction to do what he’s doing. You might not agree with the things he’s not doing but you really can’t disagree with what he is (abolishing 377A). The least we can do even if we don’t plan to participate is to show up as spectators and support it in spirit with a show in numbers.

........................................ (10 October 2008)

RE: [SiGNeL] Re: Hong Lim Green – Are we apathetic?

I agree, many people that i talked to, wasn’t aware of the event either.

Hence i create a facebook event to spread the word around and getting friends to invite their friends

Cheers, Vic (11 October 2008)

Hi Vic,

Thanks for taking the initiative in setting up the Facebook group.

Some quarters of the gay community feel that in some way, I am representing them. Therefore, these people want the event to be more well attended to create an impression in the mainstream public that there is widespread support for it and to set the tenor for future pride parades.

I am holding a meeting for all interested parties next Sunday at 4 pm to discuss how we can better manage the parade and boost grassroots support.

There is a possibility that we may have to postpone the date of the event, i.e. hold it AFTER 15 Nov 08, to give us enough time to involve more gay groups and individuals.

I shall inform you of the venue soon.

I would be much obliged if active members of PLU, Sayoni, ADLUS, FCC, Heartland, RedQueen, PPC and Trevvy would make the effort to attend.

Thank you,


Pre-pride parade meeting at 4 pm, Saturday, 18 Oct at DYMK[]

PrePrideParadeMeeting081018.jpg (12 October 2008)

Hello everyone,

All those of you who are interested in organising or just observing Singapore’s first pride march, please turn up at 4 pm this coming Saturday, 18 Oct 08 at DYMK, 9 Kreta Ayer Road.

Here is a map of their location:

This is also the time slot when Pelangi Pride Centre operates, but since they are not having any events, we can use the place to discuss our plans.

The only condition is that we each have to buy a drink, which is kindly being offered by the management at highly subsidised prices – $2 for Soft Drinks (Normally $5),

$3 for Juice (Normally $6).

To be discussed are:

1) Should the event be branded as a GLBT pride march or an IDAHO-like one, or perhaps even both? Fridae, whose representatives will be present, feel that an IDAHO march is more inclusive as it can solicit the participation of more straight people. It also breaks more ground. Well, you can give your opinion during the meeting.

2) Should we postpone the date of the march to give us more time to gather more grassroots support and rustle up some marching contingents?

3) Whom should we invite to speak or to perform, and what are the props and banners that we should make?

Hope to see you there,

........................................ (13 October 2008)

Re: Pre-pride parade meeting at 4 pm, Saturday, 18 Oct at DYMK

— In, andrew ki <drew1977sg@…> wrote:

> What’s an IDAHO like thingy?

Hi Andy (the artist formerly known as Drew),

It’s an anti-homophobia march.

IDAHO stands for International Day Against Homophobia.

You can click on the links below for more information:

Actually, the anti-homophobia march was mainly some other influential group’s idea. I personally would prefer to have a gay pride march.

“Gay pride parade” catches the imagination of the media, the local and international LGBT communities, the mainstream public and the homophobes more strongly than “anti-homophobia march”. The general public and even the gay community are still not that familiar with the latter concept and we will have some educating to do.

We can discuss all these at the meeting.

Thanks for offering to draft the press statement, Andy/Drew. You are so helpful and sweet.

I forgot to mention that if you intend to turn up at DYMK this Saturday, kindly RSVP to me at:



The management wants to know what kind of crowd to expect. You will probably have to buy a drink first at subsidised prices before you go in.

Hope to see you there,


........................................ (14 October 2008)

Hong Lim Parade – from simple to complex

It is heartening to see how the Hong Lim Parade has progressed from a naive objective of merely setting a precedent at the risk of marching alone; to become something now more complex with gathering grassroot support and re-examining the message to be communicated and how that message is to be presented?

I think it is a good idea to postpone the date of the parade to allow more time for people to contribute their valuable ideas, do more planning and organising.

Gay people are not known to set themselves up for failure or mediocrity. Let’s make it classy. flashy and fabulous!

Love & Peace,


........................................ (15 October 2008)

Re:Hong Lim Parade – from simple to complex

Patrick Lee writes:

I think it is a good idea to postpone the date of the parade to allow more time for people to contribute their valuable ideas, do more planning and organising.

Gay people are not known to set themselves up for failure or mediocrity. Let’s make it classy. flashy and fabulous! ————————————————————–

Patrick: I disagree . Waiting any longer accomplishes little (IMO) and only adds to the complexity of the event . it’s not a Sydney Mardi Gras or a Melbourne Pride March .. it’s a start up to get things moving and to create a core to move forward . It’s a chance to show that the LBGTQI people of Singapore are responsible and capable of reasoned protest. I still think that the group must retain sight of their goals and objectives . the main objective is to remove the outdated discriminatory 377a law. The government of Singapore knows that the law is wrong .. the government has openly stated that they will not enforce the law . why would they keep it on the books then? To placate the mindless and the bigots? To exhibit control of ‘the other’? To sanitize and standardize conduct?

Worldwide you couldn’t be more wrong about setting ourselves up for failure. If we have failed, it’s in our failure to recognize that change is not likely to be immediate .. . we must have persistence . look at what has happened in Eastern Europe . even the most rabid states have changed their laws . we have to keep pushing for equal rights and social justice . we need to push the agenda of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.

Unfortunately we have had far less success in states where the churches (of any flavor) control the governments. The Islamic nations are particularly difficult and where the Roman Catholic Church has legislative power and influence, the combination of church and state has been obstructive and ignorant in their understanding of many aspects of sexuality. I have said for many years that we must demand that our governments stop funding those countries and organizations that systematically discriminate based on sexual orientation and / or sexual preferences. Take away their funding.

We need to push for removal of all systematically discriminatory laws . for a decent review of law changes, take a look at the Same Sex: Same Entitlements documents from the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission (HREOC) Note that the name of the organization is now the Australian Human Rights Commission]. Perhaps classy is fine . no fighting, kicking or biting would be nice .

Flash? Maybe, but what do we gain if we show up in drag, or feathers and pink boas . Do we need a ‘skin fest’? is this a festival of sex and in your face or a matter of respect for the individual’s right to be open about and with our sexuality and our orientation?

Patrick, I think that we ARE fabulous. Many of the people involved in the organizing of the event have spent much of their lives working for achievement of equal rights and social justice for LBGTQI people. Let’s not undermine those efforts at the start of what is likely to be a VERY public and well organized campaign.

With regard


........................................ (15 October 2008)

Re: [SiGNeL] Re: Pre-pride parade meeting at 4 pm, Saturday, 18 Oct at DYMK

Hi Roy,

I am Rayne from two of the TG groups here. I am not representing any of them.

I would like to know how the parade is taking place and see if it is carefully planned out.

I would like to give my support but not in the form of parading.

And I would like to be around when the parade is ongoing.

I hope the parade will really serve the objective and bring about a better life for everyone.


Pink Dot Sg Yahoo! Groups news list set up[]


On 18 October 2008, stakeholders met at gay bar DYMK along Neil Road to brainstorm how Singapore's first public outdoor LGBT gathering could attract more participants.

The people who attended this very first meeting organised by Roy Tan were Stuart Koe, Dominic Chua, Boo Junfeng (who was persuaded to attend by Dominic Chua), Sylvia Tan, Choo Lip Sin, Andrew Wong, Justin Chew, L. Pereira, Lee Gwo Yinn and Vic Woo.

While riding a bus to the venue, Choo Lip Sin, then editor of Fridae's Chinese section, was struck by the brilliant idea of having a gathering of people dressed in pink at Hong Lim Park and taking an aerial photograph. At the meeting, he initially suggested forming a pink spiral which would grow out from the centre via people linking hands. The idea was unanimously agreed upon by all present. A Yahoo! Groups newslist was set up by Roy Tan to facilitate discussion on the organisation of the event and a logo incorporating Choo's pink spiral suggestion was designed as a placeholder on the page[2]. During a follow-up meeting at artist Jason Wee's studio along Zion Road, the pink spiral formation was thought to be logistically too difficult to carry out and a simpler concept of just forming a pink dot was decided upon[3]. It was also suggested that a statement be released by Roy Tan to the press to inform them that the pride parade would be postponed in favour of a future event that would elicit more participation[4].

Entries in Choo Lip Sin's diary of the pre-pride parade and first Pink Dot meetings.

The core organising committee wanted the pink dot concept to be kept under wraps until nearer the event, so the following message was posted on SiGNeL for the benefit of those who did not attend the first meeting at DYMK: (20 October 2008)

What happened at the pre-pride parade meeting

I’m sure some of you are keen to know what transpired at the meeting last Saturday.

A total of 15 people turned up. It would have been over 20, if the ones who intended to come didn’t have other commitments which clashed with the gathering.

I SMSed Alex asking if he was going to show up but he was Down Under at the time.

I have to keep mum about most of our plans so as to maintain an air of expectation and surprise.

Suffice it to say that we will be postponing the date to a more significant one in the not-too-distant future.

We shall try to craft a more well supported and inclusive event that the LGBT community can be proud of. However, it will not be in the form of a pride march, as there has been a paucity of support for the latter.

The expression of the event will be a truly uniquely Singaporean one, not seen anywhere else in world so far…I think. The person who came up with the idea was Lip Sin, who was hit by a flash of inspiration while on the way to DYMK.

Shades of Archimedes and his bathtub!

The concept appeared to meet with everyone’s approval and we all agreed to build on it. It will also be a marvellous photo opportunity.

I still like the idea of a gay pride march, but we can always save that for the future when Singaporeans are more comfortable with it.

Stay tuned for more developments,


Gay protest postponed[] (1 November 2008)

ST: First LGBT event at Hong Lim Park postponed

I’m glad Kor Kian Beng of The Straits Times’ political desk wrote quite a sympathetic report despite the lack of information provided by us. Roy.

Nov 1, 2008

Speakers’ Corner event on Nov 15 postponed to cater to strong response

By Kor Kian Beng

SINGAPORE’s first outdoor gay protest at Speakers’ Corner in Hong Lim Park on Nov 15 has been postponed to early next year.

Organiser Roy Tan, 50, a Singaporean who initiated the event, yesterday cited the overwhelming response from the gay community as a key reason for the date change.

The event was being postponed ‘to ensure that all interested parties – straight, gay and queer – have the opportunity to participate in this landmark occasion’, he said in a statement e-mailed to the media.

Many members of the gay community have expressed interest in taking part, he told The Straits Times when contacted.

A number of those who are backing the event also want to help him organise it, said Mr Tan, who works in the health-care industry.

An organising committee has now been set up.

Said Mr Tan: ‘We’re postponing it so we can have more time to organise a better event.’

He declined to comment on a new date, the number of interested participants and organisers, and whether there would be changes to the programme.

More details will be released later, he said.

Mr Tan registered with the National Parks Board (NParks) in September to stage the Nov 15 event.

He will now let the Nov 15 date lapse and make a fresh application closer to the new date.

When he first registered to stage the event, which he described as a GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual) pride parade, he said it would feature speeches on gay rights.

Participants would march around the park with placards to protest against Section 377A of the Penal Code, which criminalises homosexual sex. There was also to be a public forum on the difficulties that gay Singaporeans here face.

Mr Tan said he was keeping the event as a Singaporeans-only activity. This was to avoid having to apply for a police permit, which is required if foreigners were to speak or participate in or organise activities at the park.

With the Government moving to relax the rules at Speakers’ Corner as of Sept 1, applicants need only register online with NParks before they speak or stage a demonstration.

But they have to state the topic of their speech or demonstration, as issues such as race and religion remain out of bounds.


Singapore’s first gay protest postponed to allow for bigger event[]


by Staff Writer,

31 October 2008, 5:49pm

The gay protest in Singapore has been postponedThe gay protest in Singapore has been postponed A small outdoor protest for gay rights due to take place in Singapore next month has been postponed because of the positive response from the gay community.

The Straits Times reports that the event, a first for Singapore, has been postponed until early next year.

Organiser Roy Tan said he had taken the decision “to ensure that all interested parties – straight, gay and queer – have the opportunity to participate in this landmark occasion.”

Last summer a gay poetry reading during Pride celebrations was banned as was a picnic and fun run from the Singapore Botanic Gardens.

The authorities also banned an exhibition of 80 shots of fully clothed, same-sex couples which they said “promote a homosexual lifestyle.”

Singaporean authorities have previously banned gay films and public displays of homosexuality.

In October 2007 a senior government minister told the country’s Parliament that gay people have a place in Singaporean society but they cannot be part of the “mainstream way of life.”

Ho Peng Kee, a Law and Home Affairs minister, was responding to a motion tabled by MP Siew Kum Hong calling for the repeal of laws that make gay sex a crime.

The authorities have not brought anyone up on charges of gross indecency for several years.

The government has declared that private, consensual, adult homosexual sex would no longer be prosecuted but it remains illegal.

Prior to 2003, homosexuals were barred from being employed in “sensitive positions” within the Singapore Civil Service.

The city state of nearly five million people is renowned for its draconian legislation.

Chewing gum is illegal and the police keep a close watch on public behaviour.

In April the Media Development Authority fined MediaCorp TV £5,000 for featuring a gay couple with their adopted son, claiming that it “promoted a gay lifestyle.”

The authority said the episode contained scenes of the gay couple with their baby and the presenter’s congratulations and acknowledgment of them as a family unit “in a way which normalises their gay lifestyle and unconventional family setup.”

The hit show, Find and Design, helps couples renovate a part of their home. In this particular episode the couple wanted to makeover their child’s bedroom.

Earlier in the year a cable television station were fined £3,500 for showing a commercial in which two women kissed.
........................................ (19 May 2009)

Pink Dot credits

The Pink Dot team would like to acknowledge the contributions of all the following people who helped to make the event a runaway success:

Dom - For believing in and being committed to the idea of holding Singapore's first LGBT-affirmative event at Hong Lim Park to establish the all-important precedent. For having an encyclopedic knowledge of who's who in the LGBT community with the talent to contribute to the success of the event. For being an incomparable master of diplomacy and persuasion. For organisational and creative prowess with the consistency to see the final day's programme through.

Lipsin - For the phenomenally creative concept of Pink Dot, an idea never before conceived for an LGBT event anywhere else in the world. For suggesting myriad ways we could get participants to form it. For organising the transport of the hardware. For registering and briefing the volunteers. For helping to make Love 4 All eminently legible and Pink Dot perfectly round.

Steph - For being the only straight person on the committee. For doing, by far, the most work that anyone had to do. For showing everyone that women are more consistent, productive and reliable than men. For eye-catching graphics...and so many of them in various formats. For our Facebook and Flash site administration. For being our spokesperson.

Jack - For being the best and fastest secretary East of Suez. For being handsome and having a way hunky body to wow the crowds at our public presentations. For invaluable PR advice for our spokespersons. For the long hours crafting the final agenda. For being "everywhere" - helping to make buttons, sending out e-mail reminders and enquiries, pushing vans that wouldn't quite start at 11 p.m. along deserted roads, returning the equipment borrowed for the event, settling lots of details both big and small - in short, joining up the dots for all of us.

James - For supporting Jack. For transport. For renting the sound system, so important in creating the right atmosphere on the final day. For checking legislation to ensure that what we did was 100% legit. For handling the finances.

Junfeng - For persuading celebrities to appear in his awesome promotional videos which boosted pledged attendence astronomically. For working non-stop for 7 hours to produce the post-event video on the same night. For coordinating the photography and video teams on the final day.

Alan - For his countless LGBT contacts and fund-raising prowess. For promoting Pink Dot at LGBT venues. For his social savvy. For persuading T. to let us use his ginormous bungalow for the post-event gathering.

Daniel - For his field mass-formation expertise. For briefing the volunteers and ensuring that the words and Pink Dot were perfectly formed. For coming up with the concept of the ladder and GS tables for the flag-bearer and ambassadors to stand on.

Izzie and Andy - For their top-notch PR expertise and media contacts. For providing free media training to our spokespersons. For their media releases, key messages, contingency plans and legal verification.

Alfian - For his beautiful photos of celebrities and friends holding the Pink Dot placard. For beautiful prose about being involved with Pink Dot. For pointing our the lack of diversity in the organising committee.

Ash - For marshalling his company's resources to produce the 3 Pink Dot shorts. For co-ordinating the artwork. For good taste. For transport.

Sylvia - For being the only gay woman on the committee. For writing the pre- and post-event articles. For looking up references.

Rozz, Tim, Swee Lin and Pam - For star-appeal and for being our straight ambassadors.

Stu - For providing the venue for committee meetings. For his generous donation of cash. For moral support and invaluable input.

George - For legal advice, even though he had more pressing commitments.

Ting Li - For creative and eye-catching Pink Dot handicrafts.

Sam - For the use of his van.

David, Zihan, Brian, Sun, Matt and Rupture - For video footage, graphics and co-ordination on the day of the event.

All the 60+ volunteers on the final day who carried, set up, distributed, guided and cleaned up everything on the final day.

Everyone who donated funds.

And of course, all of you who took the time and effort to attend and support the event.

Post-Pink Dot meeting on 6 October 2009 at Fridae's office, #03-09, Blk. 26, Kallang Place. Committee members left to right: J. Yong, J. Koh, Roy Tan, Sylvia Tan, Choo Lip Sin, Andrew Wong, Dominic Chua, Stuart Koe, Ash Lim, Stephanie Ong and Abra Lee[1].

See also[]


  • 18 August 2008, Asia One/Reuters article, "S'pore to ease bans on political films, demos"[5],[6].
  • 25 August 2008, Channel NewsAsia article, "Singaporeans can demonstrate at Speakers' Corner from Sep 1"[7],[8].
  • 25 August 2008, Channel NewsAsia article, "Singaporeans have mixed reactions to relaxation of Speakers' Corner rules"[9],[10].
  • 28 August 2008, TODAY article, "A more open field"[11].
  • 26 August 2008, The Straits Times article, "More freedom, speeches?"[12].
  • 18 September 2008, Pride Source article by Rex Wockner, "Pride to be staged in Singapore"[13],[14].
  • 25 September 2008, The Straits Times article, "First gay protest at Speakers’ Corner?"[15].
  • 25 September 2008, The New Paper article, "‘Hong Lim Green’ to turn somewhat pink"[16].
  • 19 October 2008, PinkDotSg news list on Yahoo!Groups set up by Roy Tan to facilitate discussion amonsts Pink Dot committee members:[17].
  • 1 November 2008, The Straits Times article, "Gay protest at Hong Lim Park postponed"[18].
  • 16 May 2009, The New York Times article, "Singapore's Gay Community Holds First-Ever Gay Rally"[19].
  • 16 May 2009, Associated Press article, "Singapore's gay community holds first-ever rally"[20].
  • 17 May 2009, BBC News article, "Singapore gays in first public rally"[21].
  • 17 May 2009, The Sunday Times article, "1,000 turn up in pink at event"[22],[23].
  • 17 May 2009, The Online Citizen article, "A thousand gather to celebrate diversity and the freedom to love"[24].
  • 17 May 2009, TODAY article, "Pink in the name of love"[25][26].
  • 18 May 2009, Fridae article, "Singapore's gay community holds first-ever public rally"[27].
  • Martyn See, "Chee Soon Juan, Freedom of Assembly and Pink Dot", Facebook, 6 June 2011[28].
  • Loh Chee Leong, "Grasping the Gay: The Politics of Collective Identity in the Pink Dot SG", Department of Sociology, National University of Singapore, 2014[29].
  • Shawna Tang, page 103 of the chapter "Transnational politics of local queer activism", "Postcolonial Lesbian Identities in Singapore: Re-thinking global sexualities", Routledge, 1st edition, 4 October 2016[30].
  • Ng Yi-Sheng, "A compromising position", Overland, Issue 227, Winter 2017[31].