So… what is really going on in a same-sex wedding?

I just came back from a family(from the Dutch side) gathering that always is held on the first day of advent and I guess is something we do to celebrate the coming of Christmas.

Let’s just say that Christmas is a very big thing in this part of the family.

And not in a religious way.

It’s more focused on candy, sweets, food and lot’s of alcohol plus some kind of homebrew that can be used to remove nail polish with if there is anything left after the party.

Oh yes, Christmas songs and gifts are somehow important too. According to Dutch traditions Santa (or Sinterklaas) and his minions arrive on Dec 5 to give gifts to all the nice children. But because we are greedy and need to do it on a day where everyone can get together, then we do it in the weekend before or sometimes after the 5th.

I believe that the advent tradition began as a small feast for the children in the family where they could do some Christmas decorations, play and fool around with each other, and that the family then had a reason to get together. One day it got extended to “let’s have some more food and drinks for the so-called adults too!”.

Today I also became the target of a joke at the party.

My dad’s brother, my uncle, is someone who is planning his jokes well ahead and feel no shame in life – I guess that part is a family disease because his wife and 2 sons is the same, and this time they teamed up against me! Well one of the event’s were against little me.

“S.J. Some of us has still not received any invitation from you.”

“or WE haven’t.”

“We don’t know if we ever will be invited to your wedding because we have now been waiting for it for years, and were wondering if a gay wedding is so secret that you don’t dare to invite your family, or if it is an exclusive gays only event?!”.

At that point. I am thinking “WTF?” while I am looking over at my sister, who looked like she were about to pee herself because she were laughing so much.

Clearly she knew what was going on.

“We did our research on gay weddings and from there we became inspired to sing a song for you, that we are also planning to sing at your wedding if you don’t get married soon.”

Around that time I were wondering if I should run and hide somewhere.

“To make sure that everyone here know and is well prepared for your wedding – that we hope will be very soon – I am inviting everyone here to sing with us.”

“Please come up to the front with me, so we all can sing this song that is specially re-written for you. The melody and lyrics is based on the song Y.M.C.A. by the Village People.”.

20++ people then stood up and faced me, while my aunt and their sons handed out the song that they have made and forced everyone to sing for me while my face felt red as an fire engine. Well it felt awful warm at least.

 

…. I don’t know what is worse? Having family members who put you in the dark corner close to emergency exit at family gatherings and then try to forget all about you, or put you in the spotlight? It now turns out that I got both types in the family.

 

It actually were sweet, fun and thankfully quick experience.

Thinking back to it, then it is fun to think about, but in the moment it felt a little too much.

Maybe that was because the joke were targeted me this time instead of some of the others?

It turned out that they, my uncle, his wife and kids, talked about me a few weeks back, and came in doubt if I already were married, and if so, why they haven’t been invited to anything at all or met my partner yet??

They called my sister to find out what my status were, and she replied ironically that I still had to find the right wedding song before I could even think about sending any invitations out.

The conversation continued about and around me. What I would be doing with the less accepting part of my Singaporean relatives? How would I prepare them for the shock? What is going on in a same-sex wedding?

Oh! And if both brides would wear white dresses??

Okay, I guess that question were more from my aunt than from my uncle, who I guess don’t care much about what I would wear to my own wedding.

None of them even thought about just calling me to ask.

In their discussion they, I guess my cousins, found this video on YouTube that I feel hit it perfectly, and I am quite sure that I will have to arrange some sort of an pre wedding seminar in the same style for some of my relatives in Singapore before they would dare go to a same-sex wedding.

I had already seen the video a few times before today and find it so fun, that I wish someone would make a Singaporean version of it.

While, or after they watched the video, one of them remembered my sisters quick remark about finding the right wedding song, and decided to make one for me (that I under no circumstances will allow to be played at my one day wedding to be!).

I am a hit!

Or my blog is.

A few days ago, my brother and his mates found themselves in Bar Naked in Singapore.

No, it is not some kind of a swingers club, but an actual bar where they could get alcohol in and do whatever male bonding is necessary for the male ego.

I guess bang their chest up against each other while they spill their beer at the other guests who are standing near them while saying “yo” or “dude” to each other.

My brother got some kind of a super hearing and is also notoriously known to comment and charm himself into every conversation that he can overhear, almost fell off his chair when he heard a rather intense conversation from a nearby table where someone were discussing MY BLOG! and MY writings.

He is not a subtle person and feel no shame in life, so he apparently laughed rather loud while looking at them in surprise, and wanted to comment on their, I guess, rather private conversation.

They, then mistook his laughter and intense stares as a very misplaced interruption and a early attempt to hit on 3 (presumably lesbian) women who were out for a drink, so they got mad at him for interrupting their conversations and further for coming up with the worst icebreaker that they ever had heard in the history of straight men trying to hit on women. He then, didn’t make it any better when he in an attempt to explain himself, moved over to their table to explain to them that he didn’t mean any harm and that he just wanted to tell them that it were his sisters blog that they were talking about, and that he could direct any comments they might have had to me if they wanted.

Not one believed him, and only got more insulted when he tried to explain himself.

Ha!

I guess knowing my brother, then he weren’t the most sober person at that time, but I also know that he wouldn’t harm anyone.

At the same time it is rather flattering that anyone actually read my blog and then take time to mention it to others while they are out in town – that is a sure hit for me.

I think I have had around 10-12K visitors from Singapore since I started this blog, and I am not really certain that everyone read my posts through. I mean looking at the search words and terms that some people use to find this blog, then I am quite sure that someone gets quite disappointed to see what it is that I am writing about and rather quickly find something else to look at. So that anyone spend a Saturday night (I believe it were), to discuss this blog, then it is a success to me.

If you read this and could see yourself in it, then yes, my brother were telling you the truth.

 

 

 

 

The Singaporean government in shock. Singapore is not in a top 10 list

It is out now. Singapore is not even near a top 10 spot on this list made by Lonely Planet, and the Singaporean goverment and the Singapore Tourism Board is in shock after this announcement.

The Winner were Copenhagen, Denmark. Not a surprise that they made the list, but some  might argue that others should have won this list. I mean where is London for example?

First here is the top 10 list.

1. Copenhagen
2. New Zealand
3. Toronto, Canada
4. Palm Springs, California
5. Sitges, Spain
6. Berlin, Germany
7. Skiathos & Mykonos, Greece
8. New York, New York
9. Reykjavik, Iceland
10. Montevideo, Uruguay

So what how did Copenhagen outshine Singapore? Well, Copenhagen has been named the most gay friendly city in the world by Lonely Planet.

I am sure that the honest reply by the government in Singapore would be to completely ignore the existence of a list that they didn’t make the top 10 list of. Not even when Singapore is so KPI centric as it is.

But according to the Singaporean gov, then Homosexualy does not really exists and can therefore be ignored by any list making bureaucrat and politician.

The world famous travel guide has found “the most inclusive and accepting destinations that open their arms to the LGBTQ traveller“, and here Copenhagen is top notch. From personal experience, I can highly recomend Vela, the only lesbian club in Copenhagen, as well as Masken (The Mask) that is a gay bar, who also have a high percentage of lesbian guests. One of the oldest gay bars in the wold – or at least Europe’s, Centralhjornet (Think it is translated to “Central Corner”), whose origins date back to the 1950s is also located in Copenhagen. 

I wrote to the STB for a comment and how Singapore could improve, and if there were any plans to promote the country to the LGBT traveler, but the reply were that they had no comment at this point of time.

Surprisingly Amsterdam didn’t make the list either.

 

Countdown to a… finale

(maybe you need to read this one first)

Okay, I didn’t really know if I wanted to write about it or not. But here you go, the short version.

The service was much quieter than I had expected, at little tense here and there, cautiously friendly, but nevertheless we ended with all the drama that would have been enough for a Korean TV-show (or a bad Singaporean one).

“You!!!” my uncle yelled at me, “If it weren’t for your infectious Homosexuality and your Ang Moh (Caucasian) dad!”.

Maybe I have to back up a little, to understand some of what is going on.

My dad is Caucasian and Dutch born, my mom is Singaporean, Chinese – and yes I know that I should write about them in past tense since they are both dead now, and this happen at mom’s remembrance service. But it still don’t feel right to do so for me. So there you go.

I have two siblings, a Sister and a Brother, who is 10 years my senior, with my brother as the oldest. I don’t look like them at all, my brother have inherited most of my dad’s look. Tall, hmm wide, and very white looking, with the exception of his eyes and some other minor features that gives him a more boyish look than my dad had. My sister is a perfect mix of Eurasian blend and got that look that everyone talks about when they talk about a mix of Asian and European, and omg that I hated (envied) her looks when I was a teen. She got everything located in the right way. I guess her constant diets and gym memberships also helped, so I am sure that she would have been able to end up on several front covers if she had dared to go against my mom when she was younger. But she didn’t, and is now the typical accountant type, who rule her kingdom of finance department with an iron fist.

But when it came to me, then all the white genes was used on my siblings – Yes, I do know that you can’t split it like that for real, but it surely feels like that when you look at me and my siblings, especially when I was growing up. So I am an almost identical copy of my mom – with the exception of my height. I am slightly taller than the average woman in Singapore. But still I have grandparents – or that generation, who call me by my mom’s name when they see me, and seeing pictures of mom at my age is stunning.

For the average Singaporean, there is still something about my looks, the way I walk, talk, look or dress because I have through my whole adulthood always been asked questions like “Oh how long have you been in Singapore?,”, “Wow your Singlish is good”, “Are you a PR?”. But I spend most of my childhood here, I feel at home in Singapore, got the right IC, but can still questioned if I belong by the average Singaporean.

In the first school I went to, I was called the Banana Girl, because of my Caucasian dad, and always walked around with a feeling of being less than the others, because of my parent. Something that is quite odd, when you think about the envy and fear there is about Caucasians, but is in general blatant racism and a fear of the unknown when it comes down to it.

The name Banana Girl came from a teacher where I in my early days in a Singaporean school was so excited that I asked questions about everything, something that I was used to from the Dutch education system, and was perfectly acceptable and encouraged – in the early school years. But my excitement about being in a Singaporean school and school system ended with the reply “Oh shutup you Banana Girl, you! Do you think you are so important because your dad is Ang Mog? No more questions from you!”, so from that day on I was known as that, and several other nicknames by the rest of the class and around in the school.

My dad has always been against elitist ideologies, so my first meeting with the Singaporean school system was with an average Singaporean school. Not good, not fantastic either, but where students from the lower middle class came to study. My dad had always seen himself as an average middle class person and that he should be more or less than anyone else, was an alien thought for him. Maybe a contradiction to other Singaporeans, who for some reason have a habit of placing doctors unnaturally high on the social ladder as well as using highly complicated algorithms to place people in some predefines social boxes.

But when my parents found out what happen, then the school after much yelling from primarily my dad, agreed that it was better that I changed school and was whisked away to a posh upper-class school, something that my mom more than welcomed.

The change from one school to another school, one system to another system was incredible. The change for me was incredible. First I was at that time miss insecurity number one because of all the bullying and teasing that occurred. So to end up at a place, where my dad’s skin color was seen as an advantage to my social status, that both of my parents were doctors, was yet another, but what I didn’t expect was how much I got noticed for being the younger sister of my brother, was scary alien. Everything that I guess should have helped me gain confidence, but what it did in the first years there, was to replace my inner insecurity with a feeling of not being enough, that I had to compete with something undefined to match what my parents and siblings represented in my classmates eyes.

Until I graduated from there, I constantly had that feeling of never fitting in, I didn’t feel comfortable with the trust fund Barbie’s, the constant comparison of social status and levels, so I managed, I learned to hide myself and to my mom’s pride, I rocked the world academically, but I never really fit in emotionally with either of the larger groups.

Same when I was in my teens out in the Singaporean world, going out with my dad could sometimes be an emotional challenge of always be reminded of the racial difference that I in Singapore always or often got reminded about, something that I have never (on the same level) felt in for example in Netherlands, or at most places in Europe. But in Singapore I have always felt this classification in race and especially as a teen and late teens when going out with my dad.

“Aiyaa see that dirty old man and that young girl together. Tsk, Tsk, Tsk”, “SPG at such a young age!” Oh how many times I haven’t heard that and seen the pain in my father’s face when he heard comments coming from behind his back, made by fellow Singaporeans thinking that he didn’t understood the Chinese dialects spoken in Singapore, when the two of us went out for dinner or had lunch together at his later years.

But he always took pride in learning the culture he was living in, this included the Languages spoken in Singapore, something that many Singaporeans don’t bother to know or learn about themselves.  He spoke several Chinese dialects fluently, he spoke Malay – rather brokenly besides speaking both Dutch and English fluently.

I have in the last years wondered if I because of all those comments, didn’t go out with him so often as I liked it to be, just me and him. I know that I from I was 16 and 2 years onwards didn’t go out so much with him because I felt ashamed for what people openly said. That I felt shame going out to a new hawker center or mall with my dad for what people openly said about us when just the two of us went out alone. Did we stay home together more often because of the subtle racism in Singapore? Yes we did. We did for some time. But we never really talked about that part and is something that I wished that we could have discussed when he was alive.

On Friday before the remembrance service I told my siblings all this while exchanging stories about growing up. So I wonder if my brother would have reacted in another manner, if I haven’t talked about it, or if he would have done the same, no matter what I have said the day before.

My cousin who had been staying with me, had asked if it was okay, that he came out of the closet at the service, now that everyone was gathered, because he felt that it somehow could be easier for him to do so.

So he told his parents, my uncle and aunt, among other, that he was gay and was to be engaged to an Australian male, and that he in the last years have been living with a guy in Perth.

My uncle did not take that well.

“You!!!” my uncle yelled at me,

If death rays could come out of his shaky fingers that pointed towards me, then I would have been zapped dead at that moment.

“If it weren’t for your infectious Homosexuality and your Ang Moh (Caucasian) dad with his Caucasian attitude! Nothing like this would ever have happen if your mom had married a Singaporean Chinese, as she should have done if she honored our family values!”

That was all that my uncle managed to say before my brother was on him and shook him like a boneless chicken. I have never ever seen anyone been lifted up like that and I almost peed myself in surprise and shock, when I saw my brother that fiercely angry at my uncle. I never realized that he was that strong and fast. He is much taller than my uncle, but he look rather overweight and does not look like he is that fit either. Neither of them are that young any longer, so think that everyone, including my uncle, was surprised and equally shocked to see that he got thrown around like it took no effort at all.

“What did you say, you fucking prick,”

3 of my uncles and cousins had to hang on to my brother to get him to lower his arm so my uncle could get down and get air again, and I have never seen anyone as scared and shocked as my uncle looked.

My relatives really got all the entertainment and drama that they hoped for, so I am sure that everyone got what they came for, but I feel sorry for my aunt who looked sad and humiliated over my uncles outburst.

No one else, said anything about or commented on the other issue that is going on between me and a few of my other relatives. But I guess that any discussions about my right to my inheritance ended when my brother got that pissed at my uncle and doubt that anyone would have dared to confront me or anyone else after that.  So let’s see what will be happening in the future.

I guess that it was the perfect time to come out on, because my cousins coming out didn’t get mentioned at all after this through the rest of the evening, but he stayed on in my place over the weekend in the hope that he could get to talk to his parents, but with no luck, and is for the next week going to stay at a friend’s place in the hope that they will have an adult talk with him, before he returns to Perth.

I’m leaving Singapore tomorrow. I can’t stay here and need to clear my head, so will go back to Netherlands for some months, mostly for work and will then return to Singapore in April or May.