I’m spoiled and privileged

I can from time to time easily forget how good I have it. Yes, I am complaining quite a lot about LGBT rights to marry in Singapore, but I still have the option to get married and permanently live in Netherlands because of my dual citizenship (that is not really legal btw.), and despite the lack of civil rights of any kind in Singapore, then there ARE lesbian cafe’s and bar’s – who are not overly interesting btw. But they are there and don’t get raided or harrased by the police (so often). But after seeing this video, then everything that I complain about feels like minor issues.

Please spend just fourteen short minutes of your life to see this and the second movie, then you are a dear:


and this one

Then check out Oram … and what you can do to help LGBT’s around the world.

Something about personal choice …

Ugh. I want to touch on something controversial – namely the extent to which if it is a personal choice to be gay.

It can be difficult to explain to those of my lesbian friends and especially my amazing and beloved who in a period of her life wished to fit in (the famous young teenage years), and where they wished they had been ordinary heterosexual adolescents.

I had my first lesbian experience after a failed heterosexual relationship and countless trivial straight one nighters, thought it was time to try something new and daring. I was in my 20’s, if I remember it correctly, and was roaming the roads with my favorite gay, let’s call him M., where I uttered the oh so memorable words, “Tonight I’ll score a girl.”

I am privileged because I had a set of friends who are almost the exact opposite of conservative. I remember that my best friend at that time asked me – in the middle of one of my inconsolable weeping sessions at the age of 16 and (almost) never been kissed – that maybe I might just be lesbian?

At the time I laughed about it, mockingly, because how could my best friend, my soul mate and daughter of a well known pastor believe that about me! I can’t be a Lesbian?? “I’m going to be a Doctor, so I can’t be a lesbian” was my reason. My mom decided or wanted, that I should become a Doctor like her and at 16 I was not going to cross my mom on something this important, so it would take me a few more years to finally cross my mom on what I should be studying. But since that day I have been thinking how spacious it actually was of her, my best friend at the time. She only wanted to signal that it would be okay if I was gay, and there would be room in her for me no matter what I turned out to like.

Well. But back to the street, that autumn night . With numerous gay friends it was obvious to also explore that side of me and it didn’t seem to be that kind of a strange thing to try out. So then when I met one of M.’s peripheral acquaintances, a woman who oddly enough was in town on exactly the same mission. She was nice and sweet – albeit young, 18 years old and thighs thin as chopsticks, so it did not last long before there were both kisses and fumbling from both of us. I went home alone that night, but still remember the feelings in my body when I woke up in the morning where I was one big :

“Why did I not think of that before? ”

It felt so right. As if I had finally allowed myself to follow my desires. From there it did not take long before I had created a profile on “OHLALALALAH”.com, and went out on a few dates, some more successful than others .

I remember my first trip to Carrefour after that amazing evening. Thinking “Omg!? Am I standing closer to this hottie than I would have before last night”, “I am staring at her body. Quickly look away!!” and “Did I really stare openly at…”.  I was simply on a rainbow colored cloud packed with unicorns and didn’t know how to get off.

For me it was very much a choice to be gay. This led to a lot of uncertainty in the beginning – because the choice was heavy on my shoulders and not something that I could share with my parents or siblings. But after going through a few years of steady relationships with a gorgeous woman, then nothing could be farther away from my mind than to be with a man and even when I am single, I have no remote desire to have sex with a man. None at all, really.

Even though it initially was a choice , the excitement it aroused in me to touch my (new) girlfriend’s body, can in no way be described as a choice. It is a primal desire that I have never experienced with a man.

So was it a choice or not? Well, there will probably be more posts about this topic in the future.

Why IKEA Singapore disappointed me and let down the Singapore gay community.

IKEA SingaporeSwedish furniture giant IKEA was in November slammed for removing an interview with a lesbian couple from the Russian, Malaysian and Singaporean edition of a customer magazine. The interview between Clara and Kirsty from Dorset in the UK appears in the latest edition of IKEA Live, a magazine distributed to the company’s customers enrolled in the company’s IKEA Family customer loyalty programme. But when an online version of the magazine was published on the company’s website, there was no sign of Clara or Kirsty or their story.

While I was in South Turkey, I tried to get an article put together about IKEA Singapore and it’s double standards about the gay community in Singapore. But in the end I couldn’t complete it because I was so freaking disappointed in them and was too angry to think straight. Besides I wouldn’t be able to do anything with an objective mind.

I managed to get a friend to do the majority of the research for me while I focused on getting the job done where I was. But while working on the article, that was promised to a few gay magazines in South Asian/Pacific area, as well as in UK, I decided to skip it again and keep it until I could get something more about them after I completed the first draft.

But the fact is that IKEA Singapore single handedly placed Singapore on the same level as Russia when it came to local LGBT rights and even without any governmental pressure at all. That was actually my first and several others thoughts, when I heard that IKEA had censored an article about a lesbian couple in IKEA Live.

When contacting MDA – Media Development Authority in Singapore about what they were thinking, then I got a reply from Edwina Quek, representing MDA, that they (the gov.) did not interfere in printed media and had no objections to presentations of homosexual couples in the press, as long as it followed certain guidelines i.e. you would get spanked if it was in pornographic context.

IKEA through Sandra Keasberry, media contact at IKEA on the other hand initially stated that they had no other choice based on information from MDA, this was later returned to a “No comment”, and “We reserve the right to publish or not to publish what we want” when I could quote MDA’s stand on the issue.

They did give a standard comment “At IKEA, we believe in diversity and equality in all aspects. Everyone is welcome to the IKEA stores, and should feel appreciated for their differences as well as their similarities. This goes for our customers as well as our co-workers”, that in essential is a non reply, that can’t be used to much.

IKEA assigned a small local PR and Communications agency (Huntington Communications) to deal with me (us), and in general it made it more difficult to communicate with the local IKEA management as no one on IKEA ceo level wanted to comment on anything that could be published and neither did they want to appear on TV with regards to the subject. In general I had hoped to make a small spot for the Dutch and Scandinavian news, but with no management to show up, then I would have had a story with very little impact – unless I really went head to head with them and pressured them further.

If the article should have had any local effect at all, it should have been published in a local media with local exposure, and not a single local media dared to take it up because of fear from the government. Something that I learned after calling around to a few media contacts in Singapore. Singapore have a long history controlling the local media and news outlets, so any published story or media company that might go against the government’s written and unwritten policies will get thwarted immediately.

So could IKEA Singapore have done anything less than they did? Well yes, IKEA Singapore have actually published LGBT content in Singapore previously and with no pressure from the government or public outrage in the past, so they could have continue to do so if they had followed what they did in the past. But something internally have changed in IKEA in Singapore and I want to know what changed and I feel that the public should be allowed to know about it as well.

What do I have now? Well, I do have a lot of notes for future use, I have something of a half story that at best could be a 1 column story, so I am keeping it, waiting for some more contacts to show up and would love to get some insights on what in the world IKEA Singapore were thinking about. I do have a few contacts in IKEA, both in Singapore and corp. in Sweden, but both need some time to think about if they dare to go public. So for now everything is on hold.

I’m a Woman, I like cars, I wan’t a TV show about cars, made for women

Is that so difficult?

All respect for Top Gear, 5th Gear and all that, and I love the Top Gear Specials where they go to some ulu(far away) place in the world driving something that once looked like a car – or even went on a bike through Vietnam.

But what about making something for women?? I Love cars and to me a car is valued like a nice dress. It must make me feel sexy when I need it to. I want it to be super functional when I’m going somewhere. I especially need it to work with all my accessories – and I don’t mean my hand phone.

So have you ever seen a show that focused on how cars are when you drive in two inch heels? Yes there are women out there who actually know how to drive in them – including “moi”.

I would love a TV show that focused on the esthetic of the cars instead of some obscure RPM numbers that no one sane can relate to, or how many horses you can fit into the car and I don’t know what acronyms. But please make Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond or James May test out cars in two inch heels – what cars actually have mats that don’t slip! I mean how difficult can it be for these super engineers of carmakers to invent floor mats that stay where they are supposed to be?

I always carry my lip gloss, hand cream – the good coconut one from Body Shop that make me smell of beach and holiday, my shades and a few other things. But can car makers make a compartment that is easy to reach for my hand cream and lip gloss? No, that is mission impossible for most of the car manufacturers.

Likewise is it impossible for them to make a proper vanity mirror that gives an even light for when I need to do a quick touch up here and there while driving (waiting for the light to turn green).

I don’t care about how fast a car can take me from Cannes to Central London, but sure, please tell me where there are clean and sanitized bathrooms on the way and how well the car sound and make me look while I am driving.

Tell me what do you as a woman always have or carry into your car?

Just another sunday in Japan

ginza-stationIn the corner near the exit of Ginza station in Tokyo is a small cafe, it opens at 7.30 am in the morning every day, it close at 11 pm Monday to Sunday.

Today Sunday, the cafe was packed as usual, costumers would come in, stand in the queue and wait to place their orders, then hope to find a place to sit, or get their orders as take away and disappear into the busy crowd outside, not to be seen again by the other costumers in the cafe.

This day, a foreigner have been ordering a coffee, 2 sugar cookies and an American brownie, clearly not Japanese, maybe south Asian, maybe Chinese. The cashier had some troubles understanding what she wanted and needed her to point on the menu what she wanted to order and then point to the POS display to get the amount of money for the orders. The girl, 167cm, maybe around 53kgs(I wish!) then moved into the corner of the cafe and sat with her back the street window by herself, alone.

Her wallet at that point consisted of 26,000 yen, 900 usd, 1,400 euro and some change in coins, as well as 3 credit cards a Singaporean MRT fare card, Pink IC stating her as a Singaporean national, spa membership card, SPTCC card for the shanghai metro and a suica card that is to be used for the metro’s in Tokyo area. Simply said, the content of her wallet stated, that she 1) did not live in Tokyo, 2) Travelled quite frequently and 3) had an obsession with metro’s around in the Asian world. Well strike number 3, maybe she just felt it convenient to use metro’s instead of taxi’s. Furthermore, the Gucci wallet also stated that she was not poor, this including the designer jeans and original Rolex that this is one who had a good understanding of what would look good on her.

Sipping at the coffee, she looked around at the crowd. her eye’s maybe lingering a little too long at some other woman’s behind, looking around at the crowd curiously studying the fashion of the other cafe goers, who was sitting in the cafe, talking to their friends and partners, or whoever they happen to be with. She, continued to look around more focusing on the female patrons than the male who were in the cafe – they held no interest to her.

She looked down at herself, smelling a perfume that was lingering around her, it wasn’t hers. She briefly closed her eyes, remembering the face and the body the perfume belonged to. Had she done the right thing, spending the last 2 days with the girl who was supposed to be her guide and PA while she was in Japan? She didn’t really know. Could feel her nipples harden while she was thinking about their kisses and passion. Seeing the image in her mind, she closed her eyes and remembered the conversation they had this morning.

Her PA had left her hotel room this morning, asking if she wanted another PA, or if she should come back Monday morning. The PA looked to be a little shaken by spending two days with her and at both nights ending up in the hotel bed with her client instead of going home to her parents place, as she normally did.

The girl in the cafe – me. opened her eyes, taking another sip at the coffee and thought back to the SMS that the PA send her, after she left. “Please don’t call me today as I will need to be with my parents and my friend. I am afraid that if you call me, then I will come to you again.”. gently making a small “sigh”, and thinking back to ..….(HER, Miss S.) in Singapore. “why is it that my life is always so complicated”, “”why do I always overcomplicate things?””, “is it myself who create it like this, or am I just a simple victim of circumstances?”.

The cookies were almost gone, brownie was half eaten, and still half a coffee left. She looked around. Looked into a girls eyes, who were looking at her. “Does she know I am gay?”, the girl looked away uninterested, straight. too bad.

She looked at her notebook and her voice recorder. The interview with Alural Vampires on Saturday have been quite okay, a strange band, a strange concept, but at least the Goth girl/vampire girl looked to be interesting and surprisingly pleasant to talk to – too bad the bands agent was a pain in the neck.

The girl packed her things into her Rebecca Minkoff handbag, notebook, wallet, cell phone and pen as well. Drank the rest of the coffee and headed out of the cafe, out to the rest of the world, leaving the half eaten brownie all alone on the cafe table.

The table would not be empty for long. staff cleaned up the table efficiently, and a new couple filled up the seats in the corner. Not thinking about who have been sitting there before them, not thinking about what she had been doing there or who she was. But just happy that they could get the corner seats all to themselves.

Why are lesbians only friends with lesbians ?

This is not among my proudest moments , but it is still something I do regularly : Facebook spying on strangers. Maybe it’s the same as when I window shop on cute OKCupid/PinkSofa profiles?

You know, you follow a link from a peripheral friend who has been tagged in a birthday photo album , looking at about ten photos of strangers and immediately peek into a stranger ‘s profile … just to see if she got any public photos to spy on.

What in the world?!
It’s really a secret and I ‘m feeling naughty! Will I get caught! oh and will someone punish me for it? (Yes, if I did it at work…)

But in any case, we (read: I ) soon learned that the strange – woman – number-one ‘s birthday definitely only invited lesbians to her birthday party. And yes, yes – how do I now know that they are lesbians when I just revealed that I absolutely do not know any of them? But you know that I basically can tell by looking at the pictures – oh and if the whole group of girls at a birthday picture got hairstyle advice from L Words Shane, then you know what team they cheer for – and maybe it is the blown up female Sex Doll that was in the photo too??

The beauty of being lesbian is that only you and your peer group can vent our prejudices as crazy as we can. Just like that it is only approved that people with disabilities can out themselves and their handicaps. Yes double standards are beautiful. A lesbian can call another lesbian an angry dyke, but dam the hetero who does it – right?

And a living room full of girls with army cuts – or very short hair, then I’ll call it gay – said by me who would faint and even kill myself if my hair got cut short.

And that brings me to my main point:

Why are lesbians only friends with other lesbians?

Although I discovered a little half-late that I can’t do without breasts (on others) in my sex life again. So I have an well established base of straight and homo friends before then – and even adopted a few from past relationships.

Since then I have obviously built up a clique of lesbian friends, which among other things means that I cannot sit alone in the bar that I often frequent. But the funny thing is that many of them – especially the ones that came out at an early age – basically only know lesbians.

And I know that from when I studied in San Francisco, there could go weeks between meeting an actually straight person that wasn’t somehow connected UC Berkeley of some sort. My roommates were gay, the barista were gay, gay neighbors, gay, gay and gay, and only once in a while this strange hetero creature came into the circle.

But why? Are we a flock of pack animals (growl) who only play well with peers who understand what we – what other Lesbians go through in life and can be free with? Or what makes it so that lesbians are only friends with lesbians??

Yes I am going to a New Year’s party that only consist of lesbians and very gay men. I have turned into a lesbian cliche!

Well… I’m actually excited.

Posted 3 blog posts within a few hours earlier today and working on a rather large post about my dad.

I am excited and have been thinking about what to do with this place, because this time I don’t want to delete it after 10 blog posts, so if you like what I write – or find it remotely interesting then subscribe to my blog or even better…. COMMENT if you have anything to say.

2013 is almost over and I have quite a few things to say about the last year(s), so I already have a few posts in mind. Some of them will be:

I have to say I AM SORRY to S…. who have been writing me over and over again and I want to tell her that I have read everything she wrote to me – even the ones where I could feel that you were really tired and frustrated!

I want to talk about Japan. I want to talk about the refugee camps in South Turkey and Lebanon.

I want to talk about my little cave in Amsterdam and my neglected apartment in Singapore as well.

I will be talking about dating, conversations between real lesbians, the missing season 3 of Lip Service, Madam Vastra and why I hated The L Word but was grossly into The Real L Word.

You can be sure that I will be commenting about Saving Face more than one time and the overheated discussions about “Room in Rome”, that I have had with other Lesbians (that almost ended with me getting punched in the face).

And last I need (not want) to talk about my parents and my relations with them. Well they are both dead now and I more than ever feel that I need to get something out of my chest. So this little blog and you dear reader, will be allowed to see it all.

Yes, I will be posting some NSFW posts too. My bar is quite high, but I will try to be sensitive and remember to put [NSFW] in the subject line, if you are living in US and shouldn’t be reading it at work (or at home).

I am quite comfortable with my body, so it happens that I write and post things that sensitive minds will not be able to cope with.

Grammar NaziOh yes, this is not a blog related to my job, so my inner Grammar Nazi will take her day of, so expect some grammatical errors here and there because I might miss something after the first draft, or rewrite.

But if you understand the message, then live with it – if you can’t then feel free to comment.

OMFG! I almost forgot what I am mostly going to write about.

My So called Lesbian Life and everything related to it