Available in Print

I Will Survive: Personal gay, lesbian, bisexual & transgender stories in Singapore is now available as a print book, in 2 different covers, in addition to the ebook format.

You can purchase your copy through the online webstore (free delivery to addresses in Singapore) or at the BooksActually store in Tiong Bahru, Singapore.

You can also find copies at Books Kinokuniya stores in Singapore, or make enquiries at the Information Counter, quoting “I Will Survive by Leow Yangfa“.

For a full list of locations, click here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Annual Report 2013

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 26,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 10 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Would we survive in Russia?

The homophobic violence in Russia (including two murders) which followed the enactment of laws prohibiting the promotion of ‘non traditional sexuality’ among minors resulted in outrage among LGBT groups all over the world.

International protests have been organised to show solidarity with the Russian LGBT community which is being persecuted by anti-gay groups with the collusion of the government.

The LGBT community in Singapore came together at Hong Lim Park last Saturday (24 August), in a show of support for our Russian brothers and sisters. Our petition collected a total of 200 signatures which we intended to deliver to the Russian Embassy.

Last week, we contacted the Embassy to inform them of this and this was their reply:

“The Embassy has received and considered your request for a meeting with an Embassy official with the purpose of submitting a petition from Singapore’s LGBT community.

We believe that your protest is prompted by gross misconception and is ill-advised. You have misconstrued developments in Russia.

First of all, we want to remind that discrimination of any minority is legally prohibited in Russia by the Constitution. Unlike the former Soviet Union homosexual behaviour is not punishable by the Criminal Code. The recently adopted law has one well-defied purpose – to ban promotion of homosexuality among minors, but not “promotion of homosexuality”, as you claim. The law prohibits promotion in aggressive forms of non-traditional sexual practices among minors.

Law enforcement officers now have the right to detain persons who violate the law intentionally (for example, by conducting public actions near schools and other children institutions). And last, but not least: violation of this law is an administrative, not criminal, offence.”

The embassy’s position has been previously refuted online.

This morning (30 August), a small group of 3 LGBT social workers and one straight ally visited the Russian Embassy to deliver the petition. Waiting for half an hour under the hot sun, the Embassy responded with Siberian frostiness, refusing to send a representative out. We dropped the petition into the Embassy compound and posed with a rainbow flag outside the gates.

We eventually decided to leave. While driving off , we spotted two police cars with lights blazing, headed in the opposite direction. We thought they might have been summoned by Embassy officials, and decided to turn back (in the hope that there might be some cute policemen to look at.)

We were greeted by quite a number of police officers! While four of them went into the Embassy, we described the morning’s events to several other senior officers.  They wanted to know what the rainbow flag represented. We said “Peace, freedom, solidarity… and fabulousness!” The officer dutifully took this description down, word for word.

During the course of the discussion, an officer asked for our Identity Cards (ICs). We refused to do so until they could cite the relevant provisions of the law which empowered them to. None of the officers was able to. But half an hour later, a senior officer returned and cited Section 16(b) of the National Registration Act. He had clearly telephoned HQ to find out! But since the Act only allowed them to ask for “name and address”, we did not show them our ICs and merely provided our details which were written down in a little spiral-bound notebook.

During our discussion with another senior officer, one of his staff began filming our conversation. Again we asked them to cite the relevant law. Again they could not.  We politely requested for them to stop and they obligingly did. Shortly thereafter, the four officers emerged from the Embassy, almost perfectly timed with the end of our conversation.

In total, we counted 8 vehicles (including 2 civilian cars with non-uniformed senior police officers) and at least 14 police officers (in uniform and civilian clothing, mostly men with at least 1 female uniformed officer). 

Peacefully, we adjourned to a classy cafe in town for tea and crumpets.

(L-R) Social workers Leow Yangfa, Vincent Wijeysingha, Jolovan Wham.

Posted in Articles | Tagged | 6 Comments

At first I was afraid…

On 24 August 2013, an event called “To Russia with Love” was held at Hong Lim Park, where some 100 or so Singaporeans came together to show our solidarity for the persecuted LGBT communities in Russia.

Here is a video excerpt of my reading at the event, titled “At first I was afriad, I was petrified…”, which also happens to be the opening line of the classic Gloria Gaynor disco number “I Will Survive.” Special thanks to Roy Tan for filming and editing.

At first I was afraid, I was petrified (after Martin Niemöller)

Leviticus came for my brother
Because he was laying with another,
And called him an abomination and a sinner.
And I didn’t speak out because I was a believer, I was afraid.

Then Hitler came for my sisters and brothers,
Because they were a threat to the master race.
He put the degenerates into gas chambers,
And I didn’t speak out because I was patriotic, I was afraid.

Then Putin came for more brothers and sisters,
Because they were spreading propaganda.
He kidnapped and raped and killed them,
And I didn’t speak out because Russia is so far away,
And I don’t drink vodka anyway.

And then Lee came for me,
Because what I did was unnatural and illegal.
And then I was afraid, I was petrified,
As there was no one left to speak for me.

Posted in Videos | Tagged | Leave a comment