Wah She Is Alive!

Yes I am alive! I have just been crazy busy and my muse aka S… went to pay homage to IKEA’s holy temple in Sweden, while I am now on my annual teaching gig.

Like in the previous 2 (or is it 3 now?) years then I am back to talk, and sometimes teach, about Journalism in Asia and how to avoid getting arrested, or beat up, while operating in an Asian country to future journalists.

This year I am actually enjoying it greatly and think it is because I have found a form that fits me well and also because I actually have been given time to do it properly this year so I don’t have to force feed the students with a crazy amount of information in a very short period of time.

This time I even have time to tell jokes and sound smart (or act like it).

So I like it – even told S… that I loved it, and greatly enjoy it so much that I could see myself do this more often, than the two months that I am doing this year.

Maybe this lesbian here enjoy it because she knows there is a time limit and that she don’t have to do it all year long (yes, yes she had begun to talk about herself in 3rd person again).

Anyway, as it is, I did piss off my boss as well so at the same time I am, unlike the previous years forced to work full time at my daytime job – as sort of a perverse punishment and catch up on missed hours where I am teaching along the week and weekends.

Actually I would like to do something targeted journalists and people in the media in Singapore on how to shoot, conduct interviews and edit video’s because my face cringes every time I watch a video that is supposed to have been produced by a Singaporean journalist or media professional at the “established media”. I mean, quite often the sound are horrible, post production and editing are outrageous and I wonder if they have ever been taught simple white balancing and color grading techniques, but also how they could instruct and help the people they interview on how to pose and dress themselves, so they as reporters can create content that are interesting to view and experience.

Or at least just do something that don’t make me want to gouge my eyes out while I watch them – yes I accidentally got to see videos from RazorTV among other.

I am not gone, I have not given up on the blog either. But I have just been through a period with little time and where I didn’t know if it still is worth it for me to continue this blog any longer. I will continue, just don’t really know how often I will be updating it and in what futuere format it will be in. I am still experimenting with if I should move over to a video blog instead – but it won’t be as often as I initially planned to in the beginning of this year.

But thanks for reading and thanks for following!

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.

 

 

 

 

Miriam is into women and is not allowed to engage in relationship conversations with her colleagues

Where is the line between innocent contact and sexual harassment in the workplace? Miriam found out the hard way when she were accused of sexual harassment at her place of work.

Miriam, 29, is a lesbian and last year, her sexuality suddenly became an issue at her workplace after she had touched a female colleagues hand and was suddenly accused of sexual harassment because of this incident.

Miriam had seen her colleague as a confidant and only seen the touch as an innocent touch without a sexual thought in mind when they talked about their relationships. To her it were an emphatic gesture that were meant as a mean of emotional support and not in any way of communicating sexual interest at all.

But after this episode her sexuality suddenly became a problem at her workplace and her team leader demanded that she did not participate in personal conversations with her colleagues any longer. Something that she felt were crossing several boundaries, since she and her colleagues used to talk about their personal life’s daily, and that it were an integrated part of their work day.

Miriam were happy about her job at a retail store at Vivo City, a shopping mall in Singapore. A company she had been working with for several years and generally felt that she had been well treated and in the past also worked at their other locations around in Singapore. She had never concealed the fact that she had a girlfriend and that she were lesbian to her colleagues or superiors. It never felt that she had to limit herself or hide her sexuality while she worked because it weren’t something that came up negatively and she felt liked and accepted where she worked.

It therefore came as a huge shock to her when she suddenly were accused of having violated a colleague and were called into her manager’s office to discuss a “sensitive situation.”, where she were told by her manager that a colleague had felt physically and verbally sexually assaulted by Miriam and had accused her of sexual harassment.

“I was told that I should have touched my colleagues hand a little too affectionate and in the wrong way, and that three other colleagues felt that I had looked at them wrongly in the backroom of the store”.

While talking to her manager, Miriam were told that she no longer were allowed to participate in any personal conversations with her colleagues, especially of any that related to relationship matters and that she should walk away if any of her other colleagues began to discuss their personal relationships while she were near them. Her manager also stressed to Miriam that colleagues do not touch each other in any way whatsoever.

“My manager said that it had nothing to do with the fact that I liked women. But I think it had everything to do with it” said Miriam.

She later found out that the accusation of sexual harassment came from her very close colleague that she had known for years and that the colleague also had told the manager that three other women in the department also felt harassed, but that the manager haven’t directly confirmed this on her own.

Miriam and her colleague had been good friends and close colleagues for some time, they had often lunch together and seen each other outside work as well. Her colleague had even been to her home and met her partner at least twice before in the past, so things between them quickly became very familiar and they had often talked about private matters together both at work and outside work. Her colleague had more than once curiously asked into Miriam’s sexuality and at the same time expresses that she weren’t happy in her marriage and often thought of leaving her husband.

“I asked at one point whether she considered whether she were into women or felt attracted to women, but she answered ‘no’ to that” said Miriam, who at the same time stressed that there had never been anything but friendly feelings between them as colleagues.

The accusation of sexual harassment ends in a sick leave for Miriam and she end up asking if she could be transferred because she didn’t feel welcome there any longer and felt really bad about the whole incident and felt unfairly treated by both her colleague and manager.

 

“No raised eyebrows if I were heterosexual”

Her other colleagues whom she were told, that they should have felt that Miriam should have looked at them wrongly  in the backroom of her workplace, never acknowledged to have been part of the accusation of sexual harassment when she confronted and asked them about it, and Miriam feels convinced that if she had been heterosexual and had behaved in exactly the same way then neither her colleague or manager would have raised an eyebrow.

“I’m more careful at my new workplace. When we make fun and joke with one another, I am always a little nervous and think, uh, oh, I don’t hope they perceive anything I’ve said in the wrong way”.

Miriam is not her real name and she wants to remain anonymous. She confided in me through a number of emails and conversations from August to November 2015 where I got to know about her story. I know about her workplace in Vivo City and her new place of work, and have been able to confirm the existence of several of her colleagues and manager that she named while telling me her story.

Can you be out at your workplace? Are you able to be fully open about your relationship to another woman, or do you feel that you need to limit yourself compared to your heterosexual colleagues?

 

 

And A Happy New Year!!

I want to read more about you and your family. Please write more.”

These were the most common words I got when someone who read my blog and emailed me in the past year, and yes… I admit that my troubles with some of my relatives is the perfect tool for dramas that are worth reading about.

But since this now infamous blog post, then I have partially been reluctant to write anything public about my nieces and nephews, and every time I think about something funny about them, that is related to my life, then I get nail biting nervous if I once again anger the Singaporean mob who only read into what they want to read into what I say, from their own narrow perspective.

If you get pissed about what I write, then get pissed at me, and don’t begin to attack my nieces and nephews as they don’t understand anything, and will have a difficult time to defend themselves against a priggish group of adults.

My brother also stepped in and in a very physical way told my uncle and other relatives that if they were attacking me because of my sexuality, then he would be on them like an angry grizzly bear – literally! So even from that side, things have been “relatively” quiet.

When what initially sounded like a good idea turns bad.

When what initially sounded like a good idea turns bad.

Yea, yea. My aunt and uncle DID turn up to the last Pink Dot event in support of their son but at the same time still claimed that it were ME who influenced their son to come out and marry an aussie. Yep I officially got gay mind bending super powers.

He also “accidentally” included me when he mass mailed everyone where he asked to sign the petition against  Adam Lamberts performance as well.

World peace must be build on patience…. and lots of headshaking and eye rolling.

Every day I wonder if a judge really can be allowed to be this biased against a specific group of Singaporeans?? But I guess that this is still the norm in today’s Singapore and will be so for the next years, until a new and more accepting generation can take over and shape the country into what it really needs to be. A country for everyone and not just for an self righteous greedy elite.

Yes, don’t expect that Singapore will be the first Asian country to allow same-sex marriage. But I would love it to be the second.

Thank you very much.

 

In the next year I promise to be a bigger and better person, and will post weekly every Wednesday.

Or I will try, okay!

52 blog posts (yes,  Google told me there are 52 wednesdays in 2016) should be possible for me and I will try to include more dramas. I guess not all will be exciting but compared to the last year I will try to post them in a regular fashion.

I am still considering if I should make this into a video blog (I were asked about it a few times). But I like the written word and think that words are cozy.

Besides I began to write this blog because I personally and very physically needed it and not because I needed your attention.

I had some things that I needed to painfully write out of my body because, keeping them inside myself were slowly killing me. So no I didn’t write it for you to read them but because I need to get rid of them and the only way I knew how to do that were to write my thoughts and frustrations out.

Yes, that also meant that some of my posts were written and posted in heaps of tears.

I am still hoping that enough Singaporean same-sex female couples will come forward as I still would like to make a documentary about Singaporean female same sex families, how it is to live in Singapore, and how to cope with dreams and hopes for the future. Unfortunately the last time I tried, then it were primarily expat couples who were okay with it, and I felt that that would send the wrong message in a way.

I wonder if 2016 is the year where a lesbian web series will be made in Singapore? I mean, could we just for once be one step ahead of the boys?

Take a look at “Starting From… Now!” Why haven’t anyone made the Singaporean version of it yet??!  And… honestly all it takes is a good story and the good and happy stories do live in Singapore too. Any of these webseries could have been made in Singapore. Actually… Every series on Tello Films could have been made in Singapore – and done better!

 

Wish you all a Happy New Year (even if you don’t “agree” with my sexuality), and hope your dreams will come true in the year to come.

Hugs to you all!

 

 

Uh!

I arrived and ended up running around myself for a few days and even tried to live without internet because I told my brother to cancel the cable that also included the internet when I didn’t know when I would return home. But  now when I finally returned home. PANIC!! NO INTERNET!!

Urgh!

I had to disable internet access from the Singapore handphone a few months ago after it got hacked, and the IT guys found traces of monitoring software (or something like that) from a company called Hacking Team. It made everyone other than me really excited, especially my employer were quite pissed.

My computer is now loaded with a crazy amount of security software and I have been equipped with a more than usual secured phone for my singapore number that I only can install “pre-approved”apps on. Think I am going to mess with the IT dep and ask them to install grindr for me just to see how they are going to react to that ha ha.

Nah I tried quite a lot of dating apps, but meh. I tried Qrushr, Brenda, Grindr, Tindr, Fridae, PinkSofa, OKCupid, Her/Dattch and lots of others in the past. But most didn’t really work for me, although I did get my 5 minutes fame for being the one with the longest lesbian OKCupid profile and even got a marriage proposal from a HK gay guy on Fridae.

Nah.

Oh actually… Her formerly known as Dattch is getting interesting, just not there yet, but is kind of a Pinterest/Dating/Socializing app that is worth noticing and could be the one that might end up dominating the online lesbian dating scene in a few years time. It is not yet available in Singapore like many other places. My siblings even discussed if we should invest in it, but I ended up being the skeptical one. It is still interesting though.

Anyway, I suddenly had a lot of time to do my writing after I cleaned up the apartment since I could only get WIFI from the pool / recreational area downstairs.

When I came home it had an “odd”, “did someone die in here?” smell that I just needed to get rid of before I could feel comfortable again. Ya, ya. I had a sudden impulse of going cleaning crazy and don’t think that the apartment have been this clean since I moved in.

The smell is gone, or maybe it is just because I emptied a bottle of perfume everywhere that I could think about so any odd smells there might be is getting overpowered by my perfume for now.

Oh yes, my going “cleaning crazy” also had something to do with that I found a dead cockroach in the kitchen that initially had me see scenes from the old movie The Mummy – you know one of these scenes where bugs came running out of every crack in the wall, and well, everywhere!

I ended up writing about 8 pages about the first days/hours in Singapore that I am wondering if I should post or not. Okay maybe I will do after I have edited out the parts that is NSFW or not safe for the world to see at all. You know sometimes I just hit the keyboard without realizing what I am writing and then afterwards wonder what in the world I were thinking about and why I even dared to write these thoughts down at all….

Makes you wonder right??

 

Oh and who would have expected that I really missed bao so much?? I walked past a stall and then suddenly realized how long it have been since I last had one, so just-had-to-buy-one!

I see food that I need to eat everywhere I look these days.

 

On going home

I haven’t been home in ages and finally it is time to go home.

You know, it is funny. I haven’t been home for quite a while, but no matter how long I stay away from Singapore, then I always think about it as home and that I am a “guest” anywhere else. Something that is kind a nuts since I am spending more time away than home at the moment.

I love my very neglected apartment with all the semi dead plants. My couch! Kitchen and my bed!! I don’t really know what it is about my bedroom, but if it were up to me, then I could spend a day in the bed just making “snow angels” if that is generally accepted to do in your own bed?

But I don’t know. There is just something about my bedroom that screams “security” and “cozy” to me. So ya. I could easily spend a day in it with a book, the largest bowl (a cup would not be acceptable) of tea and plenty of biscuits and cupcakes.

Then I would probably freak out and go run for several hours and exercise like crazy to get rid of all the calories that I gained there.

I spend yesterday closing down the apartment here, going over to my sister with the content of my fridge and some of what needed to be consumed from the freezer. Yes, the durian ice cream lasted something in the area of 4½ minute before the little monsters screamed “charge!!” with spoons in their hands and jumped it like they haven’t had food – or ice cream – in ages. But I guess for children who haven’t had ice cream in the last 24-48 hours, then I guess that actually counts as “ages”. Right?

I got a call from SPH with another job offer to come back and work for them. Their fifth offer this year, and my fifth rejection as well. Think that also counted as the 18th offer to return home and work for a company in Singapore. Some parts of me would love to return home, but I also know that with the media laws we have then I would die a slow and agonizing death.

Besides I don’t really think that any of the employers know what it would mean to employ someone who would screamingly refuse to be dragged back into the closet, just so they on paper could comply with some crazy ass laws.

But I would actually love to disrupt the Singapore media scene and go do all the human interest stories that never get to see the light of day there, just because they didn’t vote for the right party, or is not part of the million dollar club that everyone seems to be amazed about. The sad thing is that interesting and fascinating people is not the ones who can show a facade of success or got tons of paper money locked away in a boring property or bank account and didn’t take the “right” education. No, the interesting people are the odd ones, the crazy ones who dares to think differently and dare to challenge the norms. All in all everything that the general public think is messy because they don’t comply with the Singaporean group thinking of what is “right”.

So nah, I will continue to yoyo between my two homes no matter how messy it makes me and my life.

I can’t help feeling the butterflies in my belly, after I shut down the electricity to the fridge, unplugged all the other electrical appliances in the bedroom and living room. Closed the blinds and made up the apartment, so it looked (semi) clean for when I would return again. But still seeing the apartment shut down like this makes me… You know kind of nervous and excited because I am finally going home again.

Gosh I hope there will be a hot and preferably lesbian flight attendant on my SIA flight that I can secretly swoon over.

Are you still there?

I got a few letters from new and old followers asking if I were still blogging? And the answer to that is a “YES!” Yes, I am still working on the blog, but just had a crazy month where I had no time at all. Had too much work,  had to survive a lesbian dinner with 18 guests that I hosted in my home – and because I am miss perfect in some ways, then I ended up stressing myself like crazy over the dinner, so I ended up  sick for a week after.

Nahhh. I didn’t get sick of the dinner. We had in the office a flu like bronchitis-ish disease sweeping through everyone and it were my turn as the last one to get it! And then on the day where I had to host my dinner!!! grrrr I mean what?? Why?? Why that day??! Faint!

But success! The food were nice, I felt it were acceptable and everyone loved it like crazy.

Even my evil nemesis aka “you can’t be a real lesbian because you like the Room In Rome movie” from the local bar turned up and she even told to my face that she liked my food!  I think the world stopped spinning for a second there.

I made Green Curry Chicken, with a small salad and bread, and made Coconut ice-cream as desert. S… dared me to serve them Durian ice-cream, but I chickened out in the end.  I mean oh the horror it would have been if someone actually complained about my food.

Right?

Turns out that I can take a lot of things, but the thought of someone who didn’t like my food or didn’t feel entertained at my home is actually much, much worse than the idea of someone who don’t approve of my sexuality.

Who would have thought that?

I am a recent member in a lesbian dinner group, where those who can make it meet once a month – or so – at each other’s homes where they usually make dinner together as well as help with the cleaning and entertainment afterwards (strong alcoholic drinks, coffee  tea, lots of cakes and chitchatting).

It is also a very nice way to meet other women like this because not only do you get to experience their table manners, you also get to see how they act without being too drunk and in homely setting and so. So quite a few couples have come out of this 8 year old dinner event here.

Usually it is only 7-8 women of very different ages who show up each time, but someone “accidentally” forgot to mention to me that August is the month where everyone suddenly have time to join, so I got tricked to host it in August, that usually is the hardest month to get someone to host.

As the currently only non white woman in the group, then I guess there were some curiosity to see how the hot girl (if I can’t compliment myself, then who can??) with the slanted eyes lived as well.

I ended up making the food on my own. Mainly because I wanted it to-be-just-right, and the thought of that someone might end up ruining my signature dish didn’t sit well with my ego. Green Curry Chicken, is crazy easy to make, and is one of the better dishes to make when you want to impress “miss next girlfriend who is coming for dinner”.

I don’t know what it is with lesbians and kitchens? and cooking in general? But it seems like to me that kitchens in lesbian homes is just something that should to be used as little as humanly possibly, and generally is only good for making brownies in. Or at least it seems so to me when I am talking to the ladies around me.

Okay, my small group of lesbian friends is not representatives of every lesbian and lesbian couples on planet earth, but it is scary how many times my friends cycle through their 5-6 standard dishes over the year when they are making food on their own.

I LOVE MY KITCHEN

I am absolutely the one who is talking most about food. But that could just as well be my Singaporean genes who fiercely demands that I talk about food at least 8 times a day, or there is something horribly wrong with me.

I enjoy my kitchen and making food. Well, when I can decide what to make. I get crazy cranky if someone tell me what to do in a kitchen, or end up telling me how to chop, or do things in a kitchen, or try to correct the way I do things there. It is either my way or no way.

The idea of ending up as the typical “Noe Valley” stay at home lesbian mom is crazy scary to me.

Noe Valley is a suburb in San Francisco. We used to joke back in uni when I studied in San Francisco that the worst nightmare would be to end up getting married to someone who really did the whole corporate ladder career to the max and then decide that you had to stay at home and look after the typical million dollar house, make sure that it were spotless, give birth, raise 2 spoiled children and get the lesbian dogs properly trained while she went power tripping around the world.

In short a Noe Valley lesbian is a Lesbian Tai tai.

Turned out that that was exactly what one of my roommates ended up doing with a double master degree, and being the smartest woman that I have ever known. She ended up as a token femme lesbian wife who get unhappy and emotionally upset if she can’t get the things that she is looking for at the famers market and need to settle with non organic items instead.

Unbelieveable!

Sidetracked for a bit.

So yes, I like my kitchen. I like doing and making things in it, and think that well, besides my bed, then the kitchen is the most cozy place to just hang out in I feel. And NO I don’t invite random strangers to “hang” out in my bed and bedroom.

Ugh. I wanted to make a point with the whole Noe Valley comment, but then I forgot what it was that I wanted to say?!

….

Oh yes, now I remember.

I like doing kitchen and homely things, but only to a certain degree because as much as I like to do, you know, the whole femme lesbian cave with scented candles, pillows ,pride art everywhere, home ID and so, then I love to work even more, so my cooking end up as experimental and challenging as long as they stay uncomplicated and in the end are very easy to do.

But it is actually nice to get someone home and then make dinner with someone….. Lesbian dating tip #3. Don’t go out and eat. Invite miss sexy home and then tell her that you two are going to make dinner together while you chit chat. Go out and shop together, then chop and cook as well. Preferably over a glass of something.

Works every time… Most of the time… Okay sometimes…, and if you get too busy with something else (hm), then order pizza afterwards and hope to reheat the day after.

Okay, this post took me a whole other place than where I wanted to go to, so I am going to start over in a while – or tomorrow and then try again. But no. I am not giving up and will still be posting. So don’t you worry. I am here and I will continue writing.