Before I start this week’s post I would like to declare that I am indeed a queer identifying female writing this blog since lately there have been so much news about fake lesbian blog and lesbian news site that were actually authored by straight males. Yes, I am talking about you, Tom MacMaster, and you, Bill Graber. Tsk-tsk…
I am not saying that you have to be a lesbian to write about lesbian-related issues but I think you lose a lot of integrity if you start off by lying about who you are even if you have made valid arguments concerning LGBT issues.
And tsk-tsk at the Hong Kong government. That’s right. I am shamed by my home city as the Hong Kong government has recently recruited a famous local psychiatrist, Mr. Kwai-wah Hong, who claims he can “cure” homosexuals as a trainer for the staff of the social welfare department. According to Agence France-Presse, “critics said the move could be the world’s first government-sponsored training session on gay conversion therapy, which includes prayer, cold showers and practising abstinence as a way to avoid same-sex relationships.”
Being of the Queer Chinese Diaspora myself, I was excited and honored when I was invited to curate a section about it at the Beijing Queer Film Festival this year, My hope is to be able to bring a small piece of what being Queer and Chinese means in the rest of the world to our fellow brothers and sisters in our ancestral land. My film Motherland will be showing at the festival as well as a retrospective of the work of pioneering Chinese-Canadian video artist Wayne Yung.
The Chinese Diaspora sometimes called “Overseas Chinese” is diverse with over 50 million people of Chinese descent being born in almost every country in the world, from Sierra Leone ( Chinese population. 20) to the U.S with 3.3 million people, to Indonesia, the most populous overseas Chinese country with over 8 million inhabitants of Chinese descent. Whether they came by boat like the sailors of Admiral Zheng He’s fleets, or from the 20th century waves of immigration from the Pearl River Delta region or from modern day immigration, as a result, the Chinese culture is one of the most well known cultures of the world. Continue reading
A question for some of our female readers: let’s say that you meet the woman of your dreams, fall in love, and want to raise a family together. Where is the best place to raise a lesbian family? Perhaps where you currently live is a queer family friendly place, but perhaps it is not.
I recently visited high school friends in New England. We took a day trip to Northampton, Massachusetts to see a famous comedian and also to visit a very charming family. Visiting Northampton felt like walking into a parallel universe, one where lesbian parents are the norm. This town of about 30,000 apparently has over 5 times more LGBT residents than a typical American town. Though not very ethnically diverse, this was still quite refreshing to me as someone who grew up in the Bible Belt. I’ll admit, I was enchanted by all that I observed in Northampton.We spent much of the day at the lovely home of Kirsten and Elizabeth, parents of twin toddler boys. Continue reading
Posted in Get a Life, Getting Better, Globetrotting, Out There, Politics
Tagged babies, children, family, gay marriage, kids, lesbian, northampton
From Cui Zi’En’s Queer China, ‘Comrade China’.
I have always been a fan of Beijing since having studied abroad at the Beijing Film Academy many moons ago. The city itself is an oxymoron as both China’s cultural center and political capital. There’s an air of anything goes there, as long as it’s not noticed or publicized. 10 years ago I made one my first short films there with a gay theme without a permit and smuggled it out of the country. This year I’ve been invited to guest curate a section of the Beiijng LGBT Film Festival on Queer Chinese Diaspora as well as screening my film Motherland there.The founders of the festival are Cui Zi’ En, one of the most prominent Chinese queer filmmaker/activists and Yang Yang, a feminist scholar. They started the festival orignially at Beijing University in 2001 and Cui, a professor at the Beijing Film Academy, said the festival is an important event for China’s fledgling gay movement.”The biggest change is that I’m not the only one doing this,” he said. “There’s more support from the gay community. Society has become more relaxed and open-minded in its thinking.” Continue reading
a circuit party in Nirvana of Jakarta
I may have to recant some of what I wrote about Indonesia on my post about Lady Gaga being censored in Malaysia. Yours truly is currently on a 2 week hiatus in Jakarta, Indonesia. It’s been 8 years since my last visit and I’ve been noticing quite a few changes in this densely populated city I call my birthplace. Aside from the noticeably worse traffic, I’m sensing a positive change especially in the lives of LGBT people. Continue reading
I’ve been following the news out of Cairo (and lately, Suez) with great interest. And not just because my secret boyfriend Anderson Cooper was punched in the face 10 times by an angry, anti-American mob. At first it was largely due to concern for the safety of my friend Jenny who lives in Cairo. Thank goodness, she is safely in the U.S. right now. I visited her in the summer of 2008 and experienced a bit of Egyptian life and culture.
I’d like to point out a few things to ponder if you don’t know much about Egypt. Continue reading
Posted in Globetrotting, Just Cause, Politics
Tagged Act Up, Anderson Cooper, anti-American, Cairo, Dahab, homosexuality condemned, niqab, punched, Tahrir Square
by Sean (Guest Contributor)
Unzen Town is a place for natural hot springs. There is nearby hot spring resort town called Obama.
While a lot of my friends were looking for “gay-friendly” places to go to spend their X’mas and New Year holidays, I decided that I wanted to stay away from the obvious. There are after all a lot more interesting places near Hong Kong (where I live now) other than resorts in Thailand, more resorts in Bali or the Asia’s gay Mecca for New Year’s eve countdown – Taipei.
Most importantly, I wanted to end 2010 by seeing and experiencing some new things which might hopefully bring some new inspirations for 2011. Eventually, I came to the decision to split my last two weeks of 2010 between spending time with my parents and my partner; and between Kyushu (Japan) and Varanasi (India). The choice to visit two contrasting regions in two weeks came out from wanting to go somewhere less stressful with my parents; on the other hand, somewhere more challenging with my partner (and a straight couple).
And as it turned out, it was one of the most memorable 2 weeks I have ever had.
Hand-pulled rickshaw, immortalized as a symbol of Kolkata in books such as Dominique Lapierre’s City of Joy.
Posted in Globetrotting
Tagged City of Joy, Dhamekh Stupa, Dominique Lapierre, Ganga Aarti, Ganges river, Hindu priest, India, Japan, Kolkata, Kyushu, Malviya Bridge, Nagasaki Peace Park, Obama, rickshaw, Sarnath, Suwa Temple, Unzen Town, Varanasi, Varanasi night market