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【13 Things專訪】先生、小姐,為何總是以性別作稱呼?──遇見新加坡音樂人Joy Alexis

hokk fabrica online magazine 原來不只一種模樣

在 驕 傲 月,

我 們 一 瞥 一 道 道 散 落 在 亞 洲 不 同 角 落 的 彩 虹,

邀 請 了 來 自 日 本、新 加 坡、台 灣、香 港 的 酷 兒 分 享 TA 們 的 13 件 事,

回 首 生 命 中 的 滂 沱 大 雨,

幻 想 彩 虹 彼 端 的 烏 托 邦。

On Pride Month, let us take a peek at rainbows scattered across Asia.

Inspirational queer faces from Japan, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Reminiscing their rainy days in life, and imagining a world over the rainbow.


新加坡 同志 同性婚姻 joy alexis

「我有兩個很喜歡的PS4遊戲,我真的希望小時候的我不用等到長大了才有機會玩。長輩們總覺得女孩子應該去玩娃娃。」Joy Alexis笑起來面頰有一對酒窩,談著但願自己在擁抱彩虹之前知道的事情。面前這位新加坡電子騷靈樂新秀,時而分享成熟哲理,時而童心未泯,在一小時的視像對話𥚃,娓娓道出自己一路走來的跨性別故事。

“I have two games on the PS4 that I really love, I really wish that I had the chance to play them when I was a kid, not as an adult now…girls are expected to play with barbie and whatever,” Joy Alexis gave a nonchalant smile, cute dimples showing on both cheeks. He reflected his past casually yet he knew the suffering was what makes his music mesmerising. A multifaceted artist, he is the epitome of fluidity. Not just on gender, through his music he proves that the only thing certain in life is uncertainty.

音樂是Joy Alexis表達自己的出口,也是TA的彩虹日記:「自小熱愛音樂,選擇了與音符作伴,音樂就是我愛的語言。」Joy分享了新曲《Tonight》背後的故事,原來這支作品是疏理一段逝去的感情,歌中Joy 發揮了TA 靈活的音域,由低沈的嗓線層層遞上空靈的高音。變幻重疊的聲線仿佛在訴說內心的洶湧,讓人微醺的厚重電子頻率,將每絲憂傷幻化成浪漫的音符,也安撫著自己。談起感情,這位22歲音樂人笑言找不到合適的形容:「我既不是女同志,男同志也似乎不太合適,所以只可以簡單的說我喜歡女生。」然而,我們本來就不該將愛分類,對嗎?

Joy Alexis expresses his emotions through music, a rainbow memoir of some sort. “To me, I believe that music calls me and I choose it too, and I’ve chosen to commit myself fully to music because I love it. In a way music is my love language.” He shared the story behind his latest track “Tonight”, heartfelt letter to a lost love. Minimal lyrics with surfeiting sentiments, Joy showed his impressive vocal range. The song started with his gentle baritone, ascending to a soft falsetto, combined with the deep tonal boom of electronic beats, it was hauntingly, ethereally beautiful. He knows love yet he is still searching for the right vocabulary to describe relationships, “I don’t identify as being female, so I don’t call myself lesbian, neither can I really call myself gay, so I just tell people I like girls.”


Caged in social norms and words, Joy talked about awkward dialogues he deals with, “Why do you guys have to greet people according to their gender? Why can’t you just say ‘welcome, what would you like today’?” to ease the situation, sometimes he will lower his voice and play along with the gender game.


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雖說最理想的社會是不需要任何標籤,但Joy Alexis卻認為這些關於性別的詞彙,某程度上是相當重要:「那時候的我並不知道性別是一個光譜,雖然不喜歡標籤自己,但學會這些術語幫助我找到自己的彩虹驕傲,明白自己的性別認同。」除了「標籤」存生之必要,Joy還說到跨性別公眾人物對酷兒們的意義: 「跨性別模特和藝術家Chella Man 是我的人生榜樣。TA的經歷,讓我們能有期可待。」

Utopia, to many queers, might mean a world without labels and stereotypes. Yet Joy Alexis knows that labels can be helpful sometimes, “I didn’t know that you could exist within the spectrum. I think when I really find my pride is when I found those terms and they helped me,” he told us, “even though I don’t have to label myself, these labels for now help me to tell people who I am.” Joy reflected upon queer issues, and signficance of having queer public figure. “To me Chella Man is hope, he is the whole reason why I understand I can be gender queer.”


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若然社會對酷兒的態度更開放,或是媒體上有更多關於跨性別人物的報道,年少的Joy便不用不斷向上帝祈禱,求祂讓自己變得「正常」了。幸而音樂圈有這位充滿一腔熱血的新秀,矢志為音樂業帶來多元景象。「我希望成立自己的唱片公司,優先發掘因為性別身分而受唱片公司忽略的一群。」聽Joy堅定的語氣,看TA期待的眼神。要是Chella Man對Joy Alexis來說是𥌓光,相信TA有天也會是別人的一縷晨暉。

“If I knew…” If Joy grew up in a queer-friendly environment, if Joy knew about Chella Man in his childhood years, all suffering and praying to be “normal” could be spared. “It will be so nice if I can have a record label, giving priority to LGBT musicians to help them,” he expressed his ambition. Chella Man gave Joy Alexis hope, and he is paying it forward, knitting rainbows for those who are still closeted, confused, monotoned, stuck in the middle.


Here is our rainbow dialogue with Joy.

新加坡 同志 同性婚姻 joy alexis

HF:HOKK Fabrica | JA:Joy Alexis

Please briefly describe yourself to the reader.

JA:你好,我叫Joy Alexis,我用「they/them」作代名詞。我是一位結他樂手、唱作歌手及新晉音樂製作人。我稱自己為性別酷兒、跨男。
Hi I’m Joy Alexis, and my pronouns are they/them and he/him! I’m a guitarist, singer-songwriter, aspiring producer! I identity as genderqueer transmasculine!

HF: 你引以為傲的事情?
What are the things you pride yourself on?

I’m very proud of my journey as a musician so far. It’s one of the only things in my life that I’ve committed to so strongly till this day. I try to do a thing where I learn at least one new musical concept everyday because there are tons of things to learn about in music and I’m trying to learn as much as I can!


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HF: 你生命中最自豪的一刻?
What was your proudest moment in life?


I think there were many proud moments but one of the biggest ones was performing with my band in front of a small audience for the first time!


Everyone has their own journey.
Even I took some time to be okay with myself.

Things you wish you knew before owning your rainbow?

I wish I knew that being this way was okay and that I shouldn’t pray to have to change myself or ask God why constantly.

What does “closet” mean to you?

I think being in the closet means not being able to own your rainbow – and not because you don’t want to, but your environment doesn’t let you, the people around you will physically hurt you if they know, or in some cases, you haven’t come out to yourself yet! And that’s okay.

每個人都有自己的旅程。 甚至我也花了一些時間,這並無不妥。 我記得在高中時,我的一群朋友總是說我是一個女同性戀。我討厭這個稱呼,因為即使我知道我喜歡女孩,而我的朋友也知道,但彷彿只有女同志、男同志這些詞彙。因此某種意義上,我仍然處於深櫃,因為我不知道性別光譜的存在,所以當我明白後才是真正的出櫃。
Everyone has their own journey. Even I took some time to be okay with myself. I remember in high school my group of friends would always say I was such a lesbian, and I hated that because even though I knew I liked girls and my friends also knew, the only queer vocabulary was if you’re a girl and you like girls you’re lesbian, and if you like boys you’re straight. And if you’re a boy who likes boys you’re gay. In a way I was still closeted because I didn’t know that gender and sexuality exists on a spectrum and that one day I was going to understand that! So now I’m out.

HF:你如何看待LGBTQ + 驕傲?
What do you think of LGBTQ+ Pride?

I think for LGBTQ+ people to be proud of themselves as a person in general is important. I know it’s not easy to get there and so many aren’t, but when you do, I think it’s beautiful and it makes everything so much easier. I know that a lot of people can’t because of their environment, but in their own way if they are proud of themselves and they don’t want to change who they are because you can’t just pray for these things to go away, it makes you a better person.

I’d like to see Pride as strength and courage. We are the minority in the world, and for a lot of LGBTQ+ people, myself included at times, try to blend in to cisgender or hetero norms just to protect ourselves. In those lucky moments when you don’t, and we are around people who’re accepting or open to learning, those are the moments where we make a difference you know?

新加坡 同志 同性婚姻 joy alexis

HF:你最喜歡的LGBT + 人物?
Your favorite LGBT+ role model?

JA:我想我所有的密友都知道我崇拜2個人——跨性別模特和藝術家 Chella Man和唱作音樂人Raveena!Chella Man是我的人生榜樣。TA把自己男跨女的旅程詳細紀錄下來,分享TA對過渡的見解。透過TA的短片我認識到跨性別的多樣性:就算不是順性別也不一定要透過手術糾正。TA啟發了我,也幫我找到跨男和性別酷兒的身分。我認為TA參加T的旅程和藝術,真的與我產生共鳴,並帶給我很多安慰。對我來說,Chella Man是我的希望。
I think everyone of my close friends knows that I adore 2 people – Chella Man! And Raveena!
Chella Man was the reason I learnt that I didn’t have to identify as transgender, I could identify as transmasculine, and also identify as genderqueer at the same time. I think their journey through taking T, and their art, just really resonates with me and brings me a lot of comfort? Chella man to me is my beacon of hope.

Raveena is another queer role model because not only is she queer but also an artist who I absolutely adore. I’m really into artists who have very gentle and sweet voices! Raveena is magical, and spiritual, and basically a fairy from a different dimension who came to bless this earth with her music.

HF:你最喜歡的LGBTQ +電影?
Your favorite LGBTQ+ movie?

JA:近來最喜歡的是Netflix的《The Half of It》,不完美的結局感覺比較真實。
I think I have a couple but my current favourite is “The Half of It” which is a very recent film on Netflix! I like it because it’s real and doesn’t always show that love ends like the fairy tales.


So anyone existing within the spectrum, aka me, isn’t considered trans, which I think is stupid.

HF:對於LGBTQ +群體,你不能理解的是⋯⋯
Something about the LGBTQ+ community you don’t understand…

I think I’d like to know why there is so much hate within our small community. The biggest probably are TERFs (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists). So if you don’t know what that means, in summary these are a group of feminists who reject trans women as women, and etc.
Another one would be Transmedicalists. These are a group of people who believe that you are only fully trans if you’ve done the full transition – that is, top surgery, bottom surgery, and hormones. So anyone existing within the spectrum, aka me, isn’t considered trans, which I think is stupid.

HF:你想與其他LGBT +群體分享的一句話⋯⋯
Message you want to share with fellow LGBT+ community…

Be the change you want to see in the world!

HF:你如何看待十年後 LGBTQ +群體的發展?
How do you see the future of LGBTQ+ community in a decade?

I see a definite improvement in acceptance, hopefully more states will allow marriage. I think if Singapore allows it I will be in disbelief but also in a pure state of joy hahah.

What does “Pride” mean to you?

Pride means to be brave and love yourself for who you are.

新加坡 同志 同性婚姻 joy alexis


Singapore’s LGBTQ+ community may be small, but it’s growing!

For you, what does the word “identity” stand for?

Identity is who you are as a person. And not what others say you are. But who YOU say you are.


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HF:一件有關新加坡LGBTQ +群體的事?
One thing to know about LGBT+ community in Singapore?

JA:新加坡的LGBTQ+ 群體雖小,但正在茁壯成長!
Singapore’s LGBTQ+ community may be small, but it’s growing!

What is it like being queer in Singapore?

I think it’s definitely less scary as you get older because you meet amazing people who’re like you, but also as a young adult now I have all these concerns like how am I going to own my own flat if I do transition, or the fact that if me and my partner want to buy a place together, we can’t becase our sex assigned at birth is the same. I often worry about what my relatives would think, and it’s scary.

But on the bright side I am very glad to have the opportunity to have met some beautiful people, who have similar philosophies in life and in the lgbt community! A few would be Alex from skrrrt central – they organized an event sole for queer performers, another would be Nydia and Felicia who were going to organize a queer prom but because of COVID-19 we had to postone the event. I think ideas like these are amazing and I’m so glad I found people like this who I want to surround myself with!

What do you foresee for the future of LGBTQ+ culture in Singapore?

I think all LGBTQ+ Singaporeans want a bright future and a better life and in order to do this, the 377a ban has to be lifted!

What does “Love” mean to you?

Love is very subjective to everyone, and to me I honestly don’t think love can ever be defined! There are the 5 love languages – Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Acts of Service, Gifts and Physical Touch. I do relate to the first 2 mainly but I think love transcends everything of this world. Love is knowing when to let go even though you love someone so much but it’s not helping you grow. Love is trying to work through a relationship with someone even though it’s so painful. But love is also an eternal commitment. To me, I believe that music called me and I choose it too, and I’ve chosen to commit myself fully to music because I love it. In a way music is my love language.


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How do you recall your experience being LGBT+ at school/ when you were younger?

JA:小時候和男孩圈中長大,沒有什麼女生朋友。成長時總覺得自己和人家不同,到處都感覺不到歸屬感,慢慢就習慣了獨處,一個人靜靜的坐在樓梯吃午飯。 中學時被女同學欺凌,每天忍受著她們的閒言閒語,說我是個男人婆,我漸漸對人失去信心。雖然如此,但還是找到幾位好友,至今仍然有聯絡。



I couldn’t fit in with the girls, and when I played with the boys, I still felt different. So growing up, I never felt like I belonged anywhere. Not at school, not at home, not with family, even friends. I grew accustomed to loneliness. At school I’d sit at the staircase 2 stories up from the canteen – a staircase nobody used until the end of school – and I’d eat my peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwich there, as I gazed at the slope with lush grass. It sounds sad but I actually liked the peace!

You know how everyone operates at a certain frequency and people who’re like you are naturally drawn to that frequency? Well, slowly I started to find people who were more like me, but still, in every institution I went to, eventually those people would soon become distant memories. Secondary school greeted me with being bullied, not exactly for being gay but just operating that different frequency than your average schoolgirl. For starters my hair stood out from the sea of ponytails.

I was fortunate to find a few friends who I still hold dear till today, I guess you could say people of the same wavelength did find me eventually. But growing up I would’ve loved to know that there weren’t just 2 genders, heck even know that sex, gender identity, and sexuality were 3 separate things altogether. It would have been nice not to have to wear a dress to weddings and events, or get to go shopping in the boy’s section. To be able to play soccer without being known as “the only girl”. To me, I saw myself just like any of the other boys, but more importantly, I didn’t really see gender or sex. What was the whole big fuss with me playing soccer? Why was I the only “girl”? I liked it, so why couldn’t I play? I loved Justice league, Batman, LEGO, striped T-shirts. I liked these toys for two reasons. One because they are great, but secondly because I was only taught that there was a girl or boy. So I chose one, to be “a boy”.


I think my greatest fear is not being able to achieve what I want to do in this life because I’m too scared about what others think.

Have you ever experienced violence/discrimination because of to your sexuality?

I wouldn’t say I’ve experienced physical violence thankfully, but definitely emotional violence. Cyber bullying, verbal bullying in secondary school. I’d say that violence exists in many forms. Let me give you an example. Once in a while my family and neighbours make a trip to a country club to have dinner and play bowling – to just enjoy each other’s company. I didn’t know this but country clubs have allocated rooms for “Men” and “Women” (I put most gender annotations in quotations as what being a man and woman is to people is subjective, in my case I mean cisgender heteronormative man or woman). My brother and a neighbor were playing hide and seek. Guess where they hid? In the Men’s room. When I realized they were there, I barged in and said “found you!”. They were immediately super shocked and said “you can’t be here! You’re a girl”. This, among many, is one of the most traumatic experiences I’ve had. It hurt because they gendered me.

新加坡 同志 同性婚姻 joy alexis


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HF:What are you afraid of?

I think my greatest fear is not being able to achieve what I want to do in this life because I’m too scared about what others think.

HF:What issues and causes are you passionate about and why?

If I could sum up my passions in 4 words it would be: Space, Colour, Emotion and Sound.

Let’s talk about Space, colour and sound, and we’ll get more into emotion later. I studied architecture and now I’m going to study music. Though I love music but like architecture, I know parts of architecture will always find its way to help me in life! For example, one of my projects in the near future is discovering a part of me which I think is quite unique. I have synesthesia – the production of a sense impression relating to one sense or part of the body by stimulation of another sense or part of the body – so people taste food and see colours, smell scents and hear sounds, etc! I have a few types of synesthesia, and among the 3, is hearing electronic music and seeing them spatially. Might be a little tough to visualize but bear with me!

This is where I’m so thankful I studied architecture: when I hear a song, or am trying to produce and design one, I see the song in what I’d like to call a soundscape. Sometimes this soundscape is short, sometimes it’s long. In this soundscape exists all the elements of a song. For example, a kick sounds heavy and large, also loud and prominent in most electronic songs. This exists in the front and center. All elements of music can have various textures, weights, size, prominence. Like spatial design, this means in order to have a balanced or full sounding song, these elements have to exist in this cube without fighting with each other to exist in the same space. Might seem far-fetched but maybe someday I may try to design a music software which fuses this and maybe revolutionize sound design and visual design but I’m just dreaming big!

How would you like to influence the future?

JA:我希望成為許多因為不同而被邊緣化的人的聲音。特別是跨性別者、非二元性人士以及受到欺凌的人。我對LGBTQIA +群體(甚至還沒有出生的酷兒)的希望是,使酷兒變得更「正常化」,這樣我們就不會再受到性別歧視、感到沮喪、遭受欺凌或感到焦慮。
I hope to be the voice of many people who have been marginalized simply because they’re different. In particular, transgender/ Trans Masc or trans Femme individuals, non binary people, and those who got bullied a lot. I think my hope for the LGBTQIA+ community, those who aren’t even born into it yet, and those who are already in it, is that being queer becomes more normalized so that we can go about our daily activities without constantly being misgendered, looked down on, bullied, or just anxious in general, extra catious for that matter.

Advice for those who are coming out?

To those who’re still closeted reading this, or to those who’re out and struggling in life or in music or anything, watch Rupaul’s Drag Race. Hahah I’m kidding (but yes you should), but that show taught me a lot of lessons as an LGBT individual and as a person in general and I shall quote “if you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?” Loving yourself is something everyone is on a journey to, and when I started trying to love myself more through a lot of painful experiences, everything started to fall in place. I felt like I belonged to a community of musicians, I could put out music without doubting myself as much, I could stand on a stage and talk to a crowd without having anxiety that they’re judging me because I’m trans.

Don’t be afraid to face your emotions. Don’t do it all the time of course and get stuck in a rut. But slowly, learn how to face them and be brave. When you’re in touch with yourself, you grow. It is not being selfish to care for yourself. You don’t need to be obsessed with yourself, but you need to care for yourself. Like a small way I take care of myself is if I accomplish what I set out to that day – maybe if that was to cycle, if I did it I let myself bathe in my favourite Aesop Coriander Seed Body wash! If I don’t, that’s okay I just use a cheaper soap and tell myself to complete the task so I can have small moments of joy to move on. Take one day at a time and work towards finishing the day. Don’t make the mistake of getting too worried about what’s gonna happen the next year, the next 10 years. That has ALWAYS gotten me stuck and worried. Lastly, know that you are precious, priceless, and greatly loved. Sending you love and light! I’m always an Instagram message away if you ever need someone to lean on! Take care everyone!


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