IndigNation is the LGBT Pride season in Singapore, organised and celebrated by the LGBT community in Singapore. While it has not been an easy journey going through censorship and licensing schemes, they have come a long way. This year, IndigNation celebrates its 11th anniversary, presenting a wide variety of programmes and activities.
Last weekend, IndigNation 2015 held two of its last programmes at 72-13: Sex Ed Workshop and Contradiction XI: Sexual History. Through the sharing of personal stories and intimate conversations, the programmes were highly engaging and intriguing. Our Engagement Intern, Michelle Kee, shares with us what she thinks after attending both programmes.
Unlike the usual sex education in schools and/or at homes, this workshop is more personal and informative. Gathered in a circle, people from different walks of life come together and discuss on issues pertaining to safer sex, consent and communication. The workshop started with an introduction of names, pronouns, gender identities and sexual identities. To make things more interesting, Natalie (organiser) has proposed for the participants to associate their gender identity to one kind of food, and sexual identity to animal. While it had them cracking their brains for a couple of minutes, the introduction turned out less awkward, but more fun.
The workshop continues with several discussions, role plays and exercises. As everyone shares their personal stories and experiences, the session provides more insights into the sex lifestyles of local Singaporeans, and more specifically the LGBT community. There are several learning points from this workshop: The workshop provides more knowledge on various protection measures and increases understanding towards safer sex life. It improves communication within the LGBT community by opening up intimate conversations. Lastly, the sharing of personal stories and experiences provide better learning experience.
Ending the event with some entertainment and laughter, Contradiction XI: Sexual History presents a series of short stories. The performance exposes audience to Singapore’s queer history, by featuring works and past stories about LGBT folks and by LGBT folks. From sensual recounts, serious reports to comedic illustrations, it speaks from many viewpoints in the LGBT community.
“Subject to Desire / Subject to Desire Too” is one of the hilarious act which uses mango and mangosteen as metaphor for sensual recounts. Paired with catwalk and some sassy poses, the performers set the audience laughing throughout, some even try to capture the memorable moment with their cameras. “Tongues” is another hit of the night. Presented in a religious girls’ school setting, the overreacting teacher reprimanded her students for being lesbians and butches. Ridiculous punishments were implemented on students and offensive words were replaced by similar sounding common words.
Towards the end of the performance, all performers declare an anthem together, representing and standing for the LGBT community as one. IndigNation has united the LGBT community in Singapore and cultivated a family culture among themselves. Definitely a meaningful event to support!