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ASIA - Jul 17, 2006

Singapore's first ever public gay and lesbian pride celebration, Indignation, took place in August, 2005. Organizers are currently preparing for the second annual Gay and Lesbian Pride Season, Indignation 2006, which is set to run from August 1-24 and will comprise around 20 events.

Like last year, there will be a number of forums on various subjects, from women's issues to gay marriage, from Indian classical literature to the recent general election.

Dominic Chua will once again be organising ContraDiction", an evening of gay poetry, on Aug 3. This year, transgendered Singaporeans will also be having their own dialogue session, also on August 3.

Well-known writer Christine Suchen Lim will be reading two of her stories on August 10 in an event entitled Mothers at the Edge. Acclaimed playwright Desmond Sim's new play, Fairy Godfather, will be given a reading on August 12 and 13.

The organisers of Indignation 2006, a subgroup of the organization People Like Us, is a gay and lesbian group whose mission is public education with respect to sexuality and non-discrimination.

"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 activist Alex Au, "Nor do many Singaporeans realise that straight people like Suchen Lim, one of our contributors, support our message that ignorance and discrimination is wrong."

"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?"

Agreeing, Miak Siew, who is curating an art exhibition, entitled Sama-sama, adds, "We want to reflect the dreams and aspirations of the gay community as part of Singapore."

"Indignation is a broad tent. Everybody, straight and gay, is welcome to participate," stressed Kelvin Wong.

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, to celebrate National Day.

The Pride Season will round off with a book launch on 24 August, followed by a chill-out evening at Club95.

For more information, please see www.plu.sg/indignation


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