Taiwan first in Asia to accept same-sex marriage!!

The moment we all have been waiting for has come. The first country in Asia to accept same-sex marriages is here!

And of course it is NOT Singapore! (not a surprise to anyone… right??)

The Taiwanese constitutional court declared earlier today (Wednesday May 24th) that same-sex couples have the rights to legally marry and should be given the same legal rights as heterosexual couples currently got, and that the legal system have two years to implement and amend the necessary laws to make this effective.

You can read a slightly longer article about the rulings on Reuters public site here.

From what I can understand from a contact then the Taiwanese immigration authorities will immediately begin to make it easier for overseas married couples to get their spouses into the country when their partner is posted to the country, therefore giving them the same rights as heterosexual expat couples who are relocating to Taiwan for professional reasons. These restrictions should be eased already late this year, or early next year.

Singapore have in the past years gone the other way, and restricted immigration for same-sex couples, so it will in the future become more attractive for highly skilled gay couples to take on assignments in Taiwan and skip Singapore, making it more difficult for Singapore to attract skilled people to the country – something that in the past two years already have been an issue for many companies in Singapore, who have cited the country’s regulations as an issue.

The Taiwanese Tourism Bureau, expect that this ruling will be very positive for the tourism industry, who expect that  gay travelers visiting Taiwan will double in the coming years. Gay tourism for US citizens alone is estimated to 65 billion a year and European gay tourists spend in the area of 50bn EUR annually.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And a Happy New Year to you all.

Didn’t expect this one the last first day of the year?!

I haven’t felt like blogging for a while. Not that I haven’t had anything to talk about, but my mind and brain just weren’t into writing anything in this “semi” public diary of mine.

In the new hear I hope that I will be able to sit down and write about Singapore’s oldest lesbian couple that I met back in November (or early December?), and they had quite a life story that I would love to share with the rest of you. It is about 50% complete from where I want it to be, so cross your (my) fingers that it will be posted soon. We had a talk about changes through life and ages, finding love, Singapore’s lack of acceptance and that it is never too late for anyone to come out of closet!

I will return to work again on the 16th, but just came in for lunch and… you know, just to say hi to everyone and give all who deserve it a happy New Year hug. But after being away for about half a year, then it were a little odd to be back in the office and it almost felt like the “first day” at work again.

For the next few months I will be working part time and just try to ease myself into “work” again, but then again “part time” to me usually means close to what everyone else consider close to full time – European working hours!!

It also means that I won’t be teaching about Journalism and Reporting in Asia this year as part of the agreement with my employer. I feel quite sad about that decision because it is something I look forward to months in advance and is something that I really enjoy doing.

But as they say in the movies and cheesy romantic novellas. I will be back!

Next year…

Spending 6 month with almost no travels, no airplanes, no airports, no hotels, especially no hotel food! and full nights of non stressed sleep is something that I haven’t had tried in years and I honestly can’t remember when I last felt this relaxed and at ease with myself.

I have been so much at ease that it almost lead to borderline boredom.

But then I had plenty of time to read quite a lot of books in the Lesbian genre and whatever I could find of interesting reads on Literotica and others like that.

Oh by the way, can you remember the time when if you needed to know if anyone were lesbian, that you then just had to ask what their profile name were on PinkSofa?

It turns out that I still have an active profile on that site and someone (nunejr)- who must have been more bored than me, and/or just returned to Singapore from the UK, gave me a smile there.

I didn’t reply because S…. would object greatly to it and will likewise question about why I still have an active account there at all! I had forgotten all about it.

I used to like PinkSofa because the profiles there felt more genuine than on many other dating sites and for some reason there were less fake profile there as well. Maybe I am fooling myself about that part?, but that is what I believe. Especially back when I used to be very (very) active in the dating and “lets get together” scene.

Do you still use PinkSofa? Do any? What alternatives to PinkSofa do you use today? I mean where do lesbians go unicorn hunting now? Or are you one of the daring ones who hit on all the straight ladies and don’t care about rejections?

By the way, I send an email to PinkSofa and asked them about what it would cost to send out a mass email to all the women who have registered from Singapore through them. (they haven’t replied yet!)

In the months of staring up at the ceiling, going through a wall repainting project, reading a crazy amounts of books, spend too much time on online shopping and binge watching all episodes of Grey’s Anatomy for the n’th time, then I wondered if I should take up the Lesbian Dinner event in Singapore that I used to frequent in Netherlands, and then maybe use PinkSofa as a platform in trying to marketing it to those who don’t know who I am.

I think it would be more interesting to meet someone who aren’t in your already closely knitted lesbian circle.

I know that S… would be cheering for it and for more than one reason would jump at a dinner (She will message me 2-3 minutes after I have posted this and say “about bloody fudge[censored]ing time!!!” among xxx other). She would of course also use the dinner as a recruiting platform for her yoga mindray to get more to join yoga classes in Singapore, or find out what classes they already attended.

But what do you say? 10-12 semi single(or just want to meet new friends) ladies for dinner dating at my place? Would that be something that could work in little Singapore?

Yes there would be plenty of red wine to the Introverts.

 

I didn’t get to write about the most despicable person I have ever seen on the Internet in 2016 either. And it is not Trump or a racist asshole Trump supporter.

There is a person calling herself the “Lesbian Pua”. PUA means PickUp Artist. She is absolutely not a lesbian. More bisexual in my book since she got a boyfriend. But this person find it is okay to upload videos of her female sexual conquests to YouTube, and without the partners consent record them with a hidden camera, so everyone can see who and how many she have had sex with.

I don’t know what people do for views and likes these days, but I really feel that life and society have taken a very wrong turn for the worse if anyone’s life and self-esteem are determined by a number below a picture or a video.

The crazy lengths they are willing to go for these views and likes? And for what??

I just wonder if she even think about the women that she beds and record in secret. Does she even consider or think about their emotions and the consequences it might have on their personal life’s when she makes it public on the internet?

I mean what the f!!!?

You can read more about her on Tumblr or on YouTube and decide for yourself if she could take the title as the most despicable LGBT person of 2016
With this I wish you a Happy New Year, and hopefully a much better and happier 2017.

Take care everyone!
Sarah-Jane

Since I have been bashing IKEA so much “lately”

So here is a video of a little light IKEA competition.

Who do you think will be the fastests to assemble IKEA furniture? Gays or Lesbians?

A little hint and a shameless self promotion. I would be able kick all of their behinds when it comes to competitions like this one. Besides, I also hate to lose so I would be obsessed with trying to win a competition similar to this one and would have no patience with anyone messing around with me – unless it ended in a makeout session of course.

 

On another note S… beat me in Wordfeud this evening, so not talking to her for a few minutes.

I did end up claiming a moral victory for these words, so I felt that I could call this game a draw and not a humiliating loss after all. (no the word to the left did not spell “clit”).

Wordfeud

 

 

You really need to read this blog post by the Chiongs

The Chiongs, whom I am a big fan of, continue to write some of the most amazing posts that have ever come out of Singapore. Their blog is, if anyone were to ask me, one the most important voices in South Asia at the moment.

So what makes the Chiongs so special to me? Well, the only they – or rather Liv/Olivia write about is their Singaporean twosome life as a same-sex couple with a young daughter. This might sound boring and awful common to some, what it really should be, but this is Singapore and living in a same-sex married relationship with a child is not an every-day relationship. To many Singaporeans that is just not common at all, and is something that too many Singaporeans have some very wild ideas about what really is.

The (unfortunate) reality is that a same-sex relationship have just the same issues as the more conventional relationships. You know the relationships where there are one of each gender in. The Chiongs blog is a perfect example that they, we, are just as normally boring when it comes to it. We work, we sleep, we watch Netflix in bed – and yes once in a while we have sex too, and through IVF (or magic beans and comfortable Birkenstocks) we have children together too.

The Chiongs through their blog is just so perfect in educating the average Singaporean about what is means to be a same-sex couple and that there really is nothing to fear from someone like us (no really, it’s true. Nothing to be scared about at all) and I hope that other couples would come out and tell their stories as well because we need every voice to speak up -or something like this will happen.

Liv wrote back in October about an issue that they have to go through in doing something as what should be one of the most simple things in life for a couple with a child. That is to find a kindergarten. But where they then are met with questions if that is even legal for them, and that the kindergarten first needed to check with MOE (Ministry of Education) in Singapore before they could let them know if it were legal for them to accept a child of a same sex couple into the kindergarten.

. . . .

You should read their blog post here as it is a very interesting read, and it makes me wonder why I am so eager in getting pregnant myself, and why I still have the idea and somehow expect that my children should have the opportunity to grow up in Singapore – or at least make sure that they spend some years there.

I mean is Singapore really a viable option for same-sex couples who want children and a normal life?

 

 

 

Her is coming to Singapore, and no. I am not talking about myself in 3rd person

Her, the most important app in the lesbian universe from Dattch have finally discovered Singapore! Yes, it took them a while to locate our little Red Dot(yes, yes, it can be difficult to locate even with a map and a clear “how to reach” guide), but now they are here – eh almost.

A few days ago, Robyn Exton emailed me (and I am sure quite a lot of others as well) where she asked me if I could help with translating their app into Chinese.

Robyn Exton mass email

Getting an email from the founder of Her, is to me like having two unicorns galloping through my kitchen while Jesus (the guy on the cross, not the Indian homeless guy from down the street) at the same time popped by to ask for a cup of sugar, so it took me a few re-reads before I got past the “it’s soon time for Her to lanch in Singapore”.

And then, I began to wonder about the email and what she wrote? “huh” “are they planning to launch a Chinese version of Her in Singapore?” and I wondered if we really had a large “Chinese” speaking lesbian community that I have missed out on? Sure there are Singaporean Chinese lesbians and bi’s, and I am supposed to be partially part of that group, but why would anyone ever make a Chinese app for Singapore – and then begin to talk about doing it in both Mandarin and Cantonese??

Would they also begin to do it in Hokkien, Teochew and other dialects like Malay and Tamil? That would be a crazy difficult task to do. It would be inclusive and very accepting of them to do so, but it wouldn’t really be worth it, as from my point of view, the queer community in Singapore is very English speaking.

So I wrote back to Robyn, and told her my point of view of translating it into Chinese. Didn’t get a reply. Didn’t really expect it either (oh yes I did!) as I am sure that she is very busy with taking over the world one lady at a time.

What do you think? Do Singapore really need a queer/lesbian community and dating app in other languages than English? Should it be launched in other languages than English or should they just make it available for Singapore now, now, now!

The next question will be if, or when, MDA and the religious community in Singapore will shit bricks and demand that they register the app with MDA as if anything, then this app will probably be seen as something that clearly will corrupt the innocent Singaporean youths minds.

Over the weekend I reached out to a few contacts who are closely connected to Dattch, and from there I could understand that Singapore is not the real goal. Taiwan is, but it were seen as something that could be included with the Taiwan launch. That explanation made it more understandable to me, and is really not something that I take offence to – I mean just make it available in Singapore, and I will forgive you.

I called Her a “dating app”. That is not exactly right. It is more a “lesbian social app” that have a social approach that focus on a social matchmaking experience mixed with Pinterest, that at the same time gives the user a better insight on what is going on in the nearby queer world and It further also promise that it is able to match you up with someone who aren’t an ex of your ex’s ex (good luck with that). You can read more here, here and here, or take a peek at their website here.

Her is only(??!) available to the non inclusive Apple users for now. Windows, Android and especially Blackberry users are left to stay in the closet for a while longer. I guess Dattch, the team behind Her, read this article that claims that women prefer Apple phones over Android? Well, hopefully they will see the light soon and launch on other devices too because Apple in Taiwan only got 9% of the market share.

 

 

 

 

How would you answer these questions?

As the self established go-to lesbian guru of all things Singaporean lesbian, I were back in July (might have been June) contacted by a student from Monsters Under The Bed (www.mutb.com.sg) who were writing an essay about homosexuality and asked me if I could help her with the following questions:

1. Have you heard about the legalization of gay marriage in United States? If so, what are you opinions on it?

2. What do you think the consequences are of the legalization of gay marriage in the States / how have people reacted to it?

3. What are the advantages / disadvantages of legalizing gay marriage?

4. Why do you think there isn’t any country in Asia that has legalized gay marriage? Do you think they should?

5. If the Singapore government legalized gay marriage, what do you think the consequences would be?

6. Would you recommend the legalization of gay marriage in Singapore? Why or why not?

How would you answer them?

 

I have to admit that when I first got the email, I wondered if it were genuine and serious. Even S… said that this might be a scam of some sort but I looked into it, and yes sure there were a school called Monsters Under The Bed, and yes, the teacher who were CC on the email were real enough too, so I replied to them both that I would be more than happy to help and that she could ask me about everything and anything that she needed answers to.

While communicating with her, I realized that I never really thought much about who read my blog. How old my readers were and who they are. I mean the genuine ones that didn’t find my blog after googling for “Naked lesbian panties Singapore”, or something much worse than that.

I am really amazed about what people Google for and guess that I somehow have been sheltering myself from the sick things that people use the internet for.

But after communicating with her and a few others who have written me over the last months, then I came to the realization that many of my readers are 14-17 years old and are having troubles getting information about their sexuality when they genuinely are looking for answers, because the world around them is not able to or willing to help them when they have questions about homosexuality and why they have strong romantic feelings for someone of their own sex.

In the last month I got two more emails from young Singaporeans who are confused about their sexuality or is quite certain about their sexuality but is scared that their relatives and peers are going to find out about them.

I get about 2 to 3 emails a month from girls or women who are in the closet and are reaching out for contact because they need someone to share their feelings with. To most outsiders this might not be many, but it is unfortunately only a single drop in the large sea of closeted women in Singapore, who is scared to reveal their feelings and sexuality to anyone, and today I got yet another one.

They all tell the same story.

They are scared or confused and they have no one to really share their feelings with. But they all long for someone to share and connect with.

To tell them what to do, to help and guide them with their questions. Most of them just need to hear that it is more than okay to have these feelings, and that there is nothing wrong with them.

It makes me sad and it also makes me angry that it is not possible for them to go to the people that they love and trust when they have questions like this, and I want to give everyone a big hug and say that it is scary right now, but things will and can be better.

But the reality is that Singapore is just not a nice place to realize that you are gay and different from those around you. The government is not interested to deal with it. The school system is not equipped to deal with it. The teachers – or most of them freak out if a student try to reach out to them because they need help to deal with their emotions. A few, very few teachers give these children the support they need, but while doing so, they risk their career and could end up on the chopping block for being a decent human being. The religious community in Singapore not only freak out, they will most likely try to do an exorcism on those who reach out for help, and then they will out them and freak out some more.

And Singapore is a country where religion are strong and have too much to say in general.

The social system in Singapore is horrible when it comes to helping young adults who have questions about their sexuality and emotions.

But every month someone new reach out and ask a stranger on the internet for advice on how to deal with life because they are gay and can’t tell anyone close to them about it.

Girls, ladies, women. Remember you are NOT alone in life. You are not alone in Singapore, and you all deserve a big, big hug.