Welcome to our brand new Fridae blog.
When I started drafting an outline for my maiden post, I realized how little we've ever explained anything about Fridae. I have always preferred to let Fridae's actions speak for themselves. But I've also learnt that silence can be misconstrued. Without communicating the thought and motivations behind what we do, the action sometimes becomes reduced only to the outcome, and the process is lost.
And so let's start at the beginning.
We are named Fridae after "Man-Friday", one of the central characters from Daniel Defoe's classic novel Robinson Crusoe. We chose the name not because it would conjure images of a scantily clad, mocha-skinned and lithe "native" (not unlike the gay-painter Walter Spies' idealization of the Balinese male), but for role Man-Friday played in Robinson Crusoe's life.
"The term Man Friday has become an idiom, still in mainstream usage, to describe an especially faithful servant, or even one's best servant or right-hand man." (Wikipedia)
In the same vein, we envision Fridae to play the same supporting role to the collective gay and lesbian community in Asia, adopting the tagline "Empowering Gay Asia" as our mission.
Fridae is much more than just a social networking site, or a promoter of unforgettable dance parties. Over the years, we have built a platform for countless gay men and women from all over the world to meet and forge lasting relationships, provided a channel for the marginalized and invisible to speak and be heard, told the stories and reported on news that none others would tell, supported the arts, artists, film makers and writers, and given a soapbox to those who would stand on it and lead the community. In many ways, online and off, we have played both active and supporting roles in some of the key events in the past decade, from Singapore to Bangkok, Taipei to Hong Kong.
And that's just the first 10 years (we turn 10 in 2010). There's much more to come, and we have a fire in our belly that has not been quenched – for we continue to live in a world where lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders are discriminated against, criminalized, and face daily injustices. There is much in our status quo that needs to be examined, challenged and changed. There are many who have yet to enjoy the liberation of simply being who they are without fear of reproach, persecution or being outcast.
Believe it or not, that's the first time I've ever explained the origins of our name in writing. We replaced the "y" with an "e" because "Friday.com" had already been taken. Besides, it would have been a costly and unnecessarily complicated exercise to trademark a day of the week.
Ancient traditions often believe that names have great power, and we believe the same. To all of you, who have been members of Fridae, both new and those who have been with us for years, we are here to be your virtual-Friday - here to help you be your best.
And here is the full text of the book, courtesy of Google Books - Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe.