Natural Education 2: A Queer Conference

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 for the opening weekend of the 13th IndigNation.

New-Aiman-Hakim-Its-is-9am.-Time-to-Go-Oil-on-canvas-153x122cm

It’s 9 am—Time to Go, by Aiman Hakim

Natural Education is a queer conference that gathers a range of speakers and interest groups for dialogue, aiming to expose the community to a diverse range of perspectives and ideas.

This year, we’re focussing on themes of pleasure and the law: explorations of both the experiences that liberate us and the laws that frustrate us.

Most talks are public; a few are private and require registration. Foreigners are welcome. Events are free, but donations are encouraged.

SATURDAY 5 AUGUST

1-2:30pm, DYMK
Get It Together: Creating Ways to Assemble
https://www.facebook.com/events/746647108841477/
Featuring Vanessa Ho, Han Xuemei (Drama Box) & Quck Zhong Yi (Pink Dot SG). Moderated by Eugene Tan aka Becca D’Bus.

The Constitution of Singapore guarantees the right to public assembly, yet people have always faced huge obstacles to organising public events. This was evident in the recent case of Pink Dot 2017, when the definition of foreign sponsors was changed, and organisers were forced to set up a barrier around Hong Lim Park.

What opportunities and creative ways are there for people to form public gatherings today, about matters they care about? Why do people do it? What are the pleasures and dangers? A panel will explore these questions, drawing from events such as SlutWalk, Pink Dot and various public theatre performances.

3-4:30pm, DYMK
Ten Years After the Campaign to Repeal 377A
https://www.facebook.com/events/1959606637589213/

Featuring George Hwang, Joshua Tan & Tan Joo Hymn. Moderated by Ng Yi-Sheng

In 2007, the Singapore government decided to reform its Penal Code, but resolved to retain Section 377A, our colonial anti-gay sex law. In response, a team of activists launched the country’s first LGBT social media campaign to try and get the law repealed. This led to heated debate in parliament and an unprecedented airing of opinions about LGBTIQ rights. Now, ten years after that campaign,key activists from that campaign will gather to discuss the history, strategies and impact of that event.

3-4:30pm, Out Bar
Gay Marriage, Gay Divorce
https://www.facebook.com/events/435113476888708/
Featuring Indulekshmi Rajeswari (Same But Different) and Jaclyn Chan. Moderated by Kok Weng Keong (Inter Alia Legal Diversity Forum)

An intimate talk on formal same-sex unions and breakups. Indulekshmi Rajeswari, the creator of “Same But Different: A Singapore LGBT Legal Guide For Couples & Families”, will offer a view of how we can use the law to protect ourselves. Jaclyn Chan will offer a more personal view as a Singaporean woman going through same-sex divorce proceedings.

3-4:30pm, Epiphyte
Let’s Make a Show!
https://www.facebook.com/events/1433513486732070/
Featuring  Becca D’Bus (RIOT!)
Putting up an entertainment event in Singapore can be both thrilling and deliciously subversive, but it can also be a headache. Pick up a few tips from this workshop by Becca D’Bus, founder of the drag revue RIOT!.

5-6:30pm, DYMK
Facts and Myths about PrEP
https://www.facebook.com/events/2033741193522925/
Featuring Dr Justin Sim (Atlas Pacific Medical)

The invention of pre-exposure prophylaxis (anti-HIV meds) is an incredible gift for gay and bisexual men. It could stop thousands of people from getting infected with the chronic disease of HIV. Yet there’s still a lot of ignorance and negative association surrounding these drugs. Luckily, men’s health doctor Dr Justin Sim is here to clear up the myths.

5-6:30pm, Out Bar
Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex Work But Were Afraid to Ask
https://www.facebook.com/events/109312809723054/
Presented by Sherry SherQueshaa (Project X)

Former sex worker Sherry SherQueshaa will lead a presentation, ice breakers and a Q&A. Audience involvment is greatly appreciated.

5-6:30pm, Epiphyte
Queer Animalities: Penguins, Bears, Macaques
https://www.facebook.com/events/1959612497642096/
Featuring Jun Pow: ‘State Motherhood: Singaporean Women and the NLB Saga’
Chris Tan: ‘Gaydar: Using Skilled Vision to Spot Gay “Bears”‘
Kwok Yingchen: ‘What Can Queer Animality do for the Trans Body?’
Moderated by Pey Aw

What are the parallels between human behaviour and animal behaviour? Why do we humans always use animals as comparison to construct human laws and pleasures? And in turn, some of us dictate how animals should behave both in reality and in film/fiction. As part of IndigNation 2017, join Chris Tan, Jun Pow, and Kwok Yingchen to discover the fascinating details about the sexual phenomenon of humans acting like animals and animals behaving like humans.

SUNDAY, 6 AUGUST

1-2:30pm, DYMK
Shades of Purple: Bisexual & Pansexual Experiences in Singapore
https://www.facebook.com/events/1880243605572112/
Featuring Indulekshmi Rajeswari, Stephanie Dogfoot, Atiq Lukman & Mark Nicodemus Tan

Being bisexual or pansexual can be confusing. You’re part of an invisible community, caught between the gay world and the straight world. You end up being labelled, not based on who you are, but on the gender of whoever you’re dating.

So how do bi and pan Singaporeans navigate their lives? What are their horror stories and their proudest moments? How do their experiences differ when they’re male or female or nonbinary, transgender or cisgender, married or polyamorous? We’ll try and answer a few of these questions in a panel and audience discussion.

3-4:30pm, DYMK
Discrimination and Harassment in University Campuses: A survey presentation by the Inter-University LGBT Network

This research explores how prejudice and discrimination is experienced by queer students in Singapore’s universities. The objective of the research is to provide the basis for university administrations to rethink their policies and processes, especially in universities that are silent regarding SOGI-based discrimination. Through in-depth interviews with undergraduate and postgraduate students from both public and private universities, we aim to humanise a segment of society that has been routinely silenced. Going beyond numbers and percentages, we’ve dug deeper to find out how students navigate an educational environment that is sometimes hostile towards them, and what we can do to move forward.

3-4:30pm, Epiphyte
Bisu: A Talk on the LGBT Malay Community
https://www.facebook.com/events/295775410832479/

If you’re Malay and LGBT in Singapore, you’re part of a double minority. You have to struggle against racism, homophobia, transphobia, religious pressures and social pressures. Join us for a discussion of these issues by a panel of queer Malay activists.

This is a closed door event. Admittance is by registration. Please register by writing to indignation2017@gmail.com with your name and your NRIC and the subject line ” “Bisu”.

3:30-6:15pm, Out Bar
Who Cares for Queers? / Grow Old With Me
Featuring Faizah S, Joena Shivani, Theresa Goh & Edwina Shaddick

We’re all growing old. What sort of issues do we face in ageing, being caregivers, and being cared for? Come join us to discuss concerns about disability, ageing, caregiving and end-of-life matters from a queer perspective, first with a panel of speakers (3.45-4.45), including Faizah S, Joena Shivani, Paralympian Theresa Goh & the Singapore LGBT Census 2013 team.

This will be followed by a workshop (5 – 6.30pm) facilitated by Edwina Shaddick, where we’ll imagine and discuss possible solutions. Besides highlighting issues, we also hope to document some concrete recommendations for inclusive care arrangements. Iverson Sim, of Beyond the Binary, will also share about their proposed LGBTQ old folks home.

5-6:30pm, DYMK
Hit Me Baby One More Time: a workshop on impact play
Spanking. Beating. We all know people who are a little into that. Maybe you’re a little into that. This introductory workshop, facilitated by Shivre and RobinDoood, discusses impact play, which is a catchall term for consensual kink play where the body is struck in some form. They will demonstrate using a range of implements including whips, floggers, canes, and paddles, and focus specially on how to safely conduct enjoyable impact play using a pair of implements that everyone already owns — their hands.

This is a closed door event. Admittance is by registration. Please register by writing to indignation2017@gmail.com with your name and the subject line “Hit Me Baby One More Time”

5-6:30pm, Epiphyte
What’s Next After 377A?
Featuring Eugene Tan aka Becca D’Bus
https://www.facebook.com/events/1943915192563696/

Section 377A is the biggest challenge we have to LGBTIQ equality in Singapore. But once that gets repealed, how do we move forward?

As a finale to the conference, we’re holding a Long Table discussion on long-term activism, convened by Eugene Tan. Come prepared to share your opinion, but also be willing to let others share theirs.

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