What’s scary this Halloween?

halloween

If you think Halloween in Singapore is all about theme park costume parties, special bloody cocktails or a parang-wielding publicity stunt gone wrong, think again.

There’s plenty more scary here in our SIN city.

A woman gets raped by her boyfriend because he wants her to stop being a lesbian.  A young man is thrown out of his home and rejected by his faith community, after he tells them he’s gay.

A transgender person is misdiagnosed with depression and schizophrenia, instead of being supported in their appropriate gender identity.

A queer youth is hounded with daily harassment and death threats, from people supposedly acting in the name of their God. A married man kills himself, unable to reconcile his attraction to women and men in a society that judges him a deviant.

A senior public servant who bans children’s library books in the name of protecting families.

A stage magician who spews hate in the name of love, with an anonymous online community that worships him.

An education system that allows students to be taught misogyny. A judiciary that upholds out-dated legislation that criminalises individuals on the basis of their partners’ gender.

A government that turns a blind eye, lacking in moral courage and running the only developed country in the world with anti-sodomy laws.

Your rubber masks and fake blood and $100 rental costumes don’t scare me this Halloween.

Homophobia is scary. And it’s very real here in Singapore.

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Let’s Get Back Together [LGBT]

LGBT posterLet’s Get Back Together is an original testimonial theatre piece by Red Pill Productions that explores what it means to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) in present-day Singapore.

Based on interviews conducted with over 50 individuals from the LGBT community in Singapore, Let’s Get Back Together explores the realities that LGBT individuals face on a daily basis. From coming out to facing discrimination from wider society to grappling with faith, the road to acceptance is a constant and very real struggle for many in the community.

Included into the narrative are excerpts from 7 protagonists in the book “I Will Survive: Personal LGBT stories in Singapore“. For the very first time, the stories of Kenny, Pat, Stefanie, Zakaria, Ashraff, Dreghren and Kris will be portrayed on stage.

Cast:
Rosemary Mcgowan
Theresa Wee-Yenko
Cassandra Spykerman
Mitchell Poon
Ahmad Ezzat Alkaff
Matthew J Fam

Directed by:
Mark Ng

Written by:
Mark Ng, Kenneth Chia & Kimberly Anne Arriola

About Red Pill Productions:
Established in 2013, by a group of young aspiring theatre makers driven to continue seeking and making new art. The company had their debut in October 2013, when they re-staged local playwright Alfian Sa’at’s work Sex. Violence. Blood. Gore. Popspoken in their review  went as far as to suggest “keeping an eye out for this theatre group because it has shown it can play with the big boys.”

 >>>Get your tickets to Let’s Get Back Together HERE!!!<<<

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Pink Dot 2014

Photo © Shawn Danker
Photo © Shawn Danker

I was deeply honoured to be invited to speak at the Community Voices segment at Pink Dot on 28 June 2014 at Hong Lim Park, & this is what I said:

My name is Yangfa & I stand before you as a proud gay man, a proud social worker & a very proud uncle of 5 wonderful nieces.

I know life can be hard if you’re different.

If you’re too tall or too fat. If you have a single parent or a disability.

If you’re left-handed or transgender or gay or bi.

And life can be even harder if you’re different & you’re still in school. And you get bullied. Because there are bullies everywhere.

They are in Russia & in Singapore.

They’re in our classrooms & in our parliament.

They can even be online & onstage performing magic tricks in Chai Chee!

But WE are also everywhere.

If you’re gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning & getting bullied, just look around: You are not alone.

And for all of us, please speak up & stand up to bullies. Call them out for the cowards they really are.

Their homophobia & transphobia will crumble when we speak up.

As the great Harvey Milk reminded us: “Hope will never be silent.”

We will survive all this!

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