IndigNation 2006, the second in the annual series, will kick off on August 1 with an art installation, a talk by Singapore's pioneer gay activist and Fridae columnist Alex Au and a party.
Organised by various individuals associated with People Like Us, a gay and lesbian group whose mission is public education with respect to sexuality and non-discrimination, Indignation 2006, the second annual Gay and Lesbian Pride Season will start on August 1.
In a column published on Fridae last year, co-organiser Alex Au wrote about the festival which was held in response to gay events being banned and the gay community being blamed for the uptrend in HIV incidence rates.
He wrote: "(T)he pride month was at least indirectly a response to the negative portrayal of the gay and lesbian community as a result of the government trying to justify its bans. Others were indignant about the brusque way in which the Affect05 concert, featuring Jason and deMarco, was banned, and the shoddy treatment of the now-defunct gay magazine, Manazine."
Comprising some 20 events of which almost all are open to everyone regardless of gender and sexuality, Indignation includes a number of talks and forums covering topics such as women's issues, same-sex love in classical Indian literature and the recent general election to poetry readings to an art installation and parties.
Well-known writer Christine Suchen Lim will be reading two of her stories on August 10 in the event titled Mothers at the edge. Acclaimed playwright Desmond Sim's new play, Fairy Godfather will be given a reading on August 12 and 13.
Dominic Chua will again hold ContraDiction, an evening of gay poetry like he did last night, on August 3. Transgendered Singaporeans will also have their own dialogue session on the same day.
"There is a tremendous amount of energy and creativity among gays and lesbians," says Russell Heng, one of the organisers. "The pity is that Singapore doesn't realise the contribution made by gay and lesbian Singaporeans unless one organises a festival like this to showcase it."
Adds Alex Au: "Nor do many Singaporeans realise that straight people too, e.g. Suchen Lim, one of our contributors, support the message that ignorance and discrimination is wrong."
"Indignation is a broad tent. Everybody, straight and gay, is welcome to participate," stressed Kelvin Wong. "And hopefully, people will realise that that party set do not typify the gay community."
"The ultimate message of Indignation," says Jean Chong, "is that lesbians, bisexuals, transsexuals and gays are part of Singapore life and members of our families, and we should be asking ourselves, why do we discriminate against our own?"
In agreement, Miak Siew, who is curating an art exhibition, titled Sama-sama, says, "We want to reflect the dreams and aspirations of the gay community as part of Singapore."
Not all events are serious; Pride Season is interspersed with social evenings for light-hearted fun including an evening of Chinese singing at Xpose cafe and the Great Singapore Makeover at Mox bar and cafe. Tantric Bar is organising Paradise 2006 on August 5, to celebrate National Day.
The Pride Season will round off with a book launch on August 23, a talk by Colin Goh and Woo Yen Yen - the founders of TalkingCock.com on August 24, and a chill-out evening at Club95 on August 26.
The event line-up is subject to change. For the latest updates, please visit: www.plu.sg/indignation.
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