IndigNation 2017: Unafraid to Assemble


14.— (1) (a) every citizen of Singapore has the right to freedom of speech and expression;

(b) all citizens of Singapore have the right to assemble peaceably and without arms; and

(c) all citizens of Singapore have the right to form associations.

— Constitution of the Republic of Singapore

The rights of LGBTIQ+ people in Singapore have been under attack for decades. We’ve had to struggle against laws like Section 377A, which criminalises sex between men; homophobic and transphobic policies in media censorship and sex education; as well as unapologetic discrimination from society.

In 2017, one of the biggest issues of the day was our right to public assembly. For the first time, Pink Dot was forced by the police to operate behind a security barrier, excluding all foreigners. The definition of a “local sponsor” was altered, making it impossible for Singaporean branches of global corporations to support the cause.

IndigNation: Singapore’s Pride Season only became possible in 2005 because the law was changed, allowing indoor political talks by Singaporeans and PRs. This year, we are more aware than ever that we cannot take this liberty for granted.

Therefore, for our 13th year, we have chosen “Unafraid to Assemble” as our theme. We will begin things on our first weekend, with an Opening Party, followed by an in-depth discussion of issues of law, pleasure and resistance in Natural Education 2: A Queer Conference.

During our second weekend, we will celebrate the diversity of our queer voices through the literary reading, Sayang/Chellame: A Multilingual Queer Love Poetry Event. This gathering will seek to dispel the myth that LGBTIQ love and rights are only matters that concern our English-speaking population.

The centrepiece of our third weekend is The IndigNation Film Festival, which returns for the third time with offerings from the USA, Taiwan and Thailand, as well as an evening of queer Singaporean shorts, Short Circuit 6.

Our partners will also be holding parallel events: The Bear Project and the Queer Book Club will hold a discussion of the book Faeries, Bears, & Leathermen, while The Inter-University LGBT Network will provide incoming queer university students with an orientation in Qrientation. We finish with an evening dedicated to the transgender community: TransIt 2: An Evening of Trans Art and Culture.

Our fourth and final weekend combines both activism and pleasure. The newly formed Inter Alia Legal Diversity Forum will hold Conversations on Activism, a sharing session by key Singaporean pro-LGBT activists. The Glory Hoes will screen Pride, a film marking the alliance between British queer activists and miners in the 1980s.

Finally, we’ll conclude with ContraDiction XIII: HOMO BOMOH, a night of queer horror writing, as well as our fundraiser, The Giving Table: Dinner Cooked by Drag Queens.

We hope you’ll join us on our month-long exploration of queerness. Come with us as we share and develop ideas, affirming the spirit of community and diversity, all within a queer Singaporean context.

Stand with us, fearlessly. Remain unafraid to assemble.


Fri 4 Aug
Opening Party: First Friday for the 13th!
DYMK, 41 Neil Road

Celebrate the start of IndigNation 2017 with us, as Singapore’s annual Pride Season returns for its 13th year! We kick off, as so many gay things do, with drinks and nibbles. Meet old friends, make new friends,chat up organizers and participants of what will be a month chock full of activity by us, for us, about us. Assemble! Assemble!


Sat 5 Aug and Sun 6 Aug
Natural Education 2: A Queer Conference
DYMK, 41 Neil Road
Out Bar, 43 Neil Rd
Epiphyte, 47 Neil Rd
1-6:30pm both days

As LGBITQ+ people, we don’t get to learn much about our community in school. Instead, we have to head to the bars of Tanjong Pagar—and that’s exactly what we’ll be doing this weekend. This queer conference gathers a range of speakers and interest groups for dialogue, aiming to expose the community to a diverse range of perspectives and ideas.
(Image: It’s 9am—Time to Go, by Aiman Hakim)

Thu 10 Aug
She+Pride presents: LGBTIQ After Work Social Networking and Drinks
His.Tori Bar, No. 20 Tanjong Pagar Road

This event is part of a series of after office social networking events targeted at the LGBTIQ professionals every Thursday in the month of August at HIS.TORI BAR. There will be different themes each week aimed to primarily connect LGBTIQ people and also with the community at large. There will be an attractive drinks promotion, and ice breaker games will be played to help with the socialising.

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Fri 11 Aug
Sayang/Chellame: A Multilingual Queer Love Poetry Event (Advisory 16 and above)
Artistry, 17 Jalan Pinang

Gather with us for an evening of new love poetry written by Singaporeans and Malaysians in Malay, Tamil, Mandarin, Kristang and Thai. Together, we’ll celebrate the passions of the heart and the linguistic, sexual and gender diversity of our lands. This event will be hosted by Kokila Annamalai and Ng Yi-Sheng, and will feature writers including Irfan Kasban, Faris Joraimi, Max Pasakorn and Catalina Rembuyan.

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Thu 17 Aug
The Bear Project x Queer Book Club: Faeries, Bears, & Leathermen
Meet outside Toms and Toms cafe at Icon Village, 16 Enggor St

The Bear Project and Queer Book Club are collaborating to discuss FAERIES, BEARS, AND LEATHERMEN: MEN IN COMMUNITY QUEERING THE MASCULINE by Peter Hennen. The book is a social psychological study on how conventional masculinity is challenged, subverted, or perpetuated in contemporary gay male culture.

Limited spaces. Please register by writing to

Fri 18 to Sun 21 Aug
IndigNation Film Festival

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Opening Film: Front Cover (USA) (R21)
Directed by Ray Yeung
The Projector, 6001 Beach Road, #05-00, Golden Mile Tower
$18 online; $20 at the door (cash only); $60 for festival pass

A skillfully written and acted gay love story about two young men of Chinese ancestry, Ray Yeung’s “Front Cover” has a title that evokes the differences in its main characters. Ryan (Jake Choi), a New York fashion stylist, aims his energies toward the front covers of magazines. Ning (James Chen), a movie star from China, also projects himself into the public eye, but uses his image as something else—a cover for his real self.

This is Hong Kong-based director Ray Yeung’s second feature film, after Cut Sleeve Boys (2006), exploring the gay Chinese-British community of London.

Winner of the Best Narrative Film at the Boston Asian American Film Festival 2016, and the Best Full Feature at the Serile Filmului Gay International Film Festival, Romania 2016.

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SHe (Taiwan) (R21) and The Revival: Women & The Word (USA) (R21)
Directed by Kuo Hsin-ying; directed by Sekiya Dorsett
The Projector, 6001 Beach Road, #05-00, Golden Mile Tower
Sat 19 Aug, 5pm
$18 online; $20 at the door (cash only); $60 for festival pass

In 2011, 50 friends gathered in a small living room in Washington, D.C. for a poetry event called THE REVIVAL. The host, Jade Foster, dreamed of building a safe space where queer women and allies could celebrate being black, women, and carriers of the word. In 2012, the event evolved into a nine-day tour that swept eight cities, touched thousands of lives, and connected five exceptional women.

Women and the Word chronicles the creation of an international salon-styled tour led and supported by women. It tells the story of how Jade Foster recruited a group of five dynamic poets and musicians to become stewards of a movement that builds community among queer women of color, upholds literary arts excellence, and occupies living rooms across the country.

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Short Circuit 6 (Singapore) (R21)
Short films curated by Boo Junfeng, Alfian Sa’at and He Shu Ming
The Projector, 6001 Beach Road, #05-00, Golden Mile Tower
Sat 19 Aug, 8:30pm
$18 online; $20 at the door (cash only); $60 for festival pass

After a hiatus of five years, Singapore’s showcase of LGBT short films returns for its sixth installment, which continues to limn an extraordinary spectrum of LGBT experiences and perspectives. By turns heartwarming, funny, provocative and wistful, the selection is testimony once again to the vitality and range of our filmmakers.


Fathers  (Thailand) (Not yet rated)
Directed by Platphol Mingpornpichit
Sun, 20 Aug The Projector, 6001 Beach Road, #05-00, Golden Mile Tower

Fathers tells the story of gay couple Phoon (Uttsada Panichkul) and Yuke (Nat Sakdatorn), who have adopted an orphan son named Butr. As their son enters primary school, they begin to face multiple social and legal problems in their journey of building a family.

This movie was a groundbreaking work in Thailand, presenting itself as a gay family film, with neither sex scenes nor violence. Remarkably, it passed censors in China, and was embraced by the Chinese gay community as a highly positive representation of a same-sex couple.


Sat 19 Aug
Inter-University LGBT Network presents: QRIENTATION
Various timings and locations

If you identify as #LGBTQ+ and are an incoming freshie, or a current student in either NUS, NTU or SMU, come join us to get to know more people and learn about the LGBTQ+ landscape at the universities and in Singapore?

We respect the right to privacy of all LGBTQ+ freshmen joining us so if you’re not out, not to worry – your attendance will be kept confidential :) Sign up today!

NUS/YNC- Gender Collective + tFreedom + The G Spot:
NTU- NTU Kaleidoscope:
SMU- Out To Care:

TransIt 2: An Evening of Trans Art and Culture (R21: Transgender Theme)
Artistry, 17 Jalan Pinang

Our evening of literature and arts by transgender Singaporeans returns for a second installment, curated by Atiq Lukman! Featuring the work of Marla Bendini, Cassandra Thng, Lune Loh, Alexander Soh, Tanie Long, Katherine C, Andy and Carissa Cheow.

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Tue 22 Aug
A Long Table about What’s Next After 377A
Artistry, 17 Jalan Pinang

Your Last Chance to have a taste of the Natural Education Conference of 2017! This event was orginally scheduled as part of that conference, but has been moved to this date, time and venue.

Section 377A is the biggest challenge we have to LGBTIQ equality in Singapore, its continued existence criminalizes sex between men, but also has implications on laws, and policy in areas as diverse as education, defence, housing, law enforcement, and so on. Much of LGBTQ organizing to date has been focused on the repeal of 377A, but once we succeed at it, how do we move forward?

Convened by Eugene Tan, this Long Table is a space for us to imagine this future and to talk about where we want our movement(s) to go (or not).


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Thu 24 Aug
Inter Alia presents: Conversations on Activism
Epiphyte, 47 Neil Road 7:30pm
Register here

Come join us for Inter Alia Legal Diversity Forum’s 3Q 2017 session – “Conversations with…” where movers and shakers of Singapore’s equality movement share their personal stories and journeys with activism.  Our keynote speaker for the night is one of the LGBT movement’s fiercest allies, Siew Kum Hong, Deputy General Counsel, APAC, Airbnb.

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Sat 26 Aug
ContraDiction XIII: HOMO BOMOH (R21 Homosexual Theme)
The Projector, 6001 Beach Road, #05-00, Golden Mile Tower

An evening of queer horror writing by Singaporeans writers old and new! Come hear tales and songs of gay hungry ghosts, lesbian werewolves, transgender fox fairies and of course, lots of queer hantu. Curated by Stephanie Dogfoot, Ng Yi-Sheng and Zarina Muhammad.

Mon 28 Aug
The Giving Table: Dinner Cooked by Drag Queens
Artistry, 17 Jalan Pinang

Drag queens Ashley Fifty, Becca D’Bus and Mona Kee Kee create a fabulous spread for a fundraising dinner in aid of IndigNation.

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