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.
Charm, a year 3 student majoring in design, aspires to share her rainbow with the queer community in Singapore. Identify as bisexual yet prefers to use the umbrella term “queer”, she found her place in the queer community and feels that she can relate to the struggles of her fellow rainbow huggers.
“I tried to box myself up into gay or straight, I did not know being bisexual was a possibility, so I bounced around the two for a really long time.” Growing up in an Anglo-Chinese School, she was taught to be prim and proper. Charm lived amongst them, yet her mind was always in a kaleidoscopic swirl of colors. Black and white was not for her, she was a born artist.
She knew her calling and decided to study design while choosing her major in university. With the new found freedom, Charm started exploring herself, dabble with fashion, and most importantly, she stepped into the queer community. Charm embraced her rainbow quickly and was not shy to express it through her ever-changing hairstyle, which she recently shaved her colorful locks off without blinking an eye.
Yet she knew it was not just about her, she had to share the rainbow with others too, those were still in their journey embracing their identity, “Pride takes a lot of courage and strength especially when you live in a hetronormative, that subscribes to the gender binary and it is really comfortable being in the status quo. Pride is necessary and it can look very different to different people as well,” she explained. Singapore was not a queer-friendly place to live in, according to Charm.
雖然新加坡不是一個對酷兒友善的地方，難免叫人沮喪，但性格善良的Charm在閱讀過無數的故事和報導後，決定承擔一個使命——提高新加坡對LGBTQ +問題的認識。 Charm和朋友創辦了一個名為Kaleidoscope的大專酷兒組織，在各大院校間築起酷兒網絡。「有人曾經告訴我，也許我們一生中可能不會看到這種變化，但我認為，至少現在我們可以為酷兒解放盡一己力，在等待應得的權益同時開始創建理想的酷兒友善環境，互相支持。」也許這正是：因為堅持才看見希望。
After reading numerous stories and reports, and driven by her kind-hearted nature, she decided to take on a mission to raise awareness on LGBTQ+ issues in Singapore. Charm and her peers started “Kaleidoscope”, an LGBTQ+ organization in her university, and is a member of the inter-university LGBT network. “Somebody once told me that perhaps we might not see this change within our lifetime,” she is still hopeful, “but I think it is really up to us to try to imagine and build queer liberation. There are a lot of things we can do for one another in the meantime while we wait for the laws to catch up with us.”
Here is our rainbow dialogue with Charm.
HF：HOKK Fabrica | C：Charm
What is your gender identity?
C: 我用她、Ta作代名詞。 我自稱為酷兒，有時候也會用「雙性戀者」或「非二元性別者」的稱號。
I use she and they as pronouns. I identify myself as queer but i also use terms like bisexual and gender queer.
What does “Pride” mean to you?
Pride takes a lot of courage and strength especially when you live in a society that is heteronormative, that subscribes to the gender binary and it is really comfortable being in the status quo. Pride is necessary and it can look very different to different people as well. So, to me, pride is about living however you can and want to.
What was it like growing up, finding your gender and sexuality?
I was bisexual. I tried to box myself up into gay or straight, I did not know being bisexual was a possibility, so I bounced around the two for a really long time. Also I was studying in an Anglo-Chinese School and because there were so many expectations and restrictions on what a good student should be, a good female student should be. So there were not a lot of opportunities to express gender variance and variance on sexuality.
What does “Closeting” mean to you?
Being in the closet often times means safety, especially when you are not in a queer affirming environment, being in the closet could mean survival.
Have you ever experienced violence/discrimination because of to your sexuality?
C: 很慶幸自己從來沒有因為性取向而遭到粗暴對待。不過，我從一個本地女同性戀、雙性戀和跨性別女性創立的民間組織Sayoni 得知，在新加坡酷兒群體中，女性因性向受過的種種身體暴力與歧視。雖沒有遭受過身體創傷，我也經歷過被人用有色眼光看待。記得有一次和前女友在公眾場所，一位陌生女人突然走過來對我們大喊，說兩個女生戀愛是不對的，令社會蒙羞，我們應該感到羞恥。另一個令我傷感的經歷是，曾經有群體裡的人說我只是個雙性戀，沒資格在酷兒圈立足。不被自己群體接納的感覺令我相當難受。
I am very privileged to not have experienced violence for my sexuality, and I have learnt a lot about this in the report by an organization called Sayoni in my country. They had basically documented the types of discrimination that happens to LGBTQ woman in Singapore. In my own experience, there was once I was out in public with my then partner, and this random lady just came up to us and started yelling for quite a while, yelling at us for being together, saying that it is shameful and we are ashamed. Another incident that affected me greatly was when someone from within the the queer community said that I did not really have a place within this community because as a bisexual person I was not truly queer, so that has really hit me hard.
What is your proudest achievement?
C：近年來我最自豪的成就大概是開始積極參與新加坡的酷兒群體後，跟朋友們共同創立了大學第一個酷兒學會。 雖然我們組織的學會到現在還未受大學認可，但這一年來，每次舉辦活動都會遇到志同道合的新朋友 ，分享大家的經驗和掙扎。看著自己親手創立的群體慢慢成長，是我最因而為傲的事情。
I came together with a group of people who are now my friends, and we started this organization at school for queer people. One year on we are still not recognized by the school but at every event we have had, it has been a joy to meet people and it is this community growth that makes me really proud.
What social issues are you passionate about and why?
C: 在新加坡，距離同性性行為或同性婚姻合法化仍有一段很長的路。有人曾經跟我說過我們的願景或許有生之年也不會成真，有時候想到也會覺得氣餒。 氣餒過後，我們還是團結一致的合作，為星加坡的LGBTQ+ 群體發聲。終點雖看似遙不可及，但至少現在我們可以為酷兒解放盡一己力，在等待應得的權益同時開始創建理想的酷兒友善環境，互相支持。
For singapore, decriminalization of gay sex, and the legislation of gay marriage feels very very distant at times. Somebody once told me that perhaps we might not see this change within our lifetime,so that for me feels very disempowering at times, but I think it is really up to us to try to imagine and build queer liberation that is apart from the state’s permission. There are a lot of things we can do for one another in the meantime while we wait for the laws to catch up with us.
HF: 作為LGBTQ+ 的一員，在新加坡居住是什麼感覺？
How does it feel like, living in Singapore as a LGBTQ+ person?
I would say that Singapore is not the most queer friendly country to live in, we have this penal code that criminalises gay sex between men, and there are some people in Singapore who are still in denial of the discrimination we face. In my opinion, homophobia, transphobia and queerphobia is pervasive even within the younger generation.
The LGBTQ+ Community is definitely not monolithic, given that in queerness there are already so many layers : sexuality, gender identity, on top of that we add race, class, disability.
Something about the LGBTQ+ community in Singapore？
C: 在新加坡LGBTQ+群體我還算是個新人，但很快已經學會尊重文化多樣的重要性。群體間除了會探討性傾向與性別認同，還注重包容種族、階級和殘疾的等層面，畢竟每個人背後的故事都是獨特的，而除了性別之外他們也可能需要面對其他層面的歧視。 社交媒體在幫群體增加曝光率起了很大作用。@myqueerstorysg 和 @minorityvoices 是我每天必看的Instagram帳戶，他們經常更新並發布與酷兒有關的專題故事。
I have not been involved in the LGBTQ+ community for long, but what I have learnt is that it is definitely not monolithic, given that in queerness there are already so many layers : sexuality, gender identity, on top of that we add race, class, disability. There is no all-encompassing story and social media has played a role in opening my eyes. I follow a few accounts namely @myqueerstorysg and @minorityvoices and these accounts really give visibility to all these different stories.
Your favorite LGBTQ+ Novel?
C : 印象最深是一位新加坡作家李婉婷的處女作：Delayed Rays of a Star，書中栩栩如生的描述三位女星的生平，如置身電影當中，初讀至今仍印象猶深。
Delayed Rays of a Star by Amanda Lee Koe. That book was really well written and so cinematic, it is by a Singaporean author. It is so vivid and full of life, I think about it very often.
Your favorite LGBTQ+ Movie?
Dear Ex, co-directed by Mag Hsu Hsu Chih-yen. Watching the queer experience in Mandarin, which is my mother tongue, really connected with me. In Singapore we do not really see that kind of media representation and it really spoke to me that, within this cultural context, queer people do exist.
Another one is Portrait of a Lady on Fire by Céline Sciamma. A queer movie that I have watched for the third time recently, there are yet a lot to be portrayed in the media, beautifully and genuinely.
What is your greatest fear?
The greatest fear that I have experienced was when I was coming out to my family. I think that fear of rejection and losing your loved ones was really crippling at that point.
Coming out, learning about yourself, it is an ongoing journey with no ending stage. I think reading, exposing yourself to information is really important as well. It opens your mind and your eyes to things that are happening around you, things that could happen to you, things that you know you could be. Just to open, be involved, and give to people, being kind.