Monday, June 20, 2011

PinkDot 2011 - Pretty in Pink!

We're still reeling from the incredible turn out at this year's PinkDot 2011 - Yes, an estimated 10,000 decked in their finest Pink, converged on the greens of Hong Lim Park and celebrated the Freedom to Love. 10,000...let YOH repeat that - 10,000! Hong Lim Park was bursting at the seams at all the edges. We were surprised at the turn out, and very touched that there were so many out there that wanted to show their support for the local LGBTQ community. 
YOH arrived on the park grounds, slightly later than the estimated time - sorry to those who came by earlier and couldn't find our stand... we had materials to be brought over, thus longer travelling time. Once the YOH pull up banner went up, our tables were set, our little pink ice cream bell rung - the YOH booth was ready for PinkDot 2011! 
The "I Am" project started with a bang - with more and more people coming by to pen down their creative statements on the black paper. We saw that you poured heart and soul into those statements, and that was reflected in the multi coloured creations that you put up! Some of you pulled along your friends, some brought their family members, some of you were from the various LGBTQ organisations surrounding the YOH booth - all in all - we like to thank every single one of you that visited our booth and took part in the 'I Am' Project. We stayed till 730pm at Hong Lim Park - being one of the last community groups, other than the PinkDot organisers, who were still there. And if there was more people coming to our booth, we would have gladly stayed on much longer!

Be sure to check out all the photos from the Project via YOH's FB Page
The "I Am" project is going places...which places? We'll tell you more in due time!
Noticed the pink uniform that YOH was wearing - yeap, it was our designed YOH/PinkDot tee shirts. Both were designed by our own YOH team, specially to commemorate this year's PinkDot! Both designs were exclusive to the YOH team, but since we've gotten many requests to make it available to the public - we're gonna start selling both YOH/PinkDot 2011 Tees soon. So watch out for it!

If you do have any comments / suggestions that you would like us to know, feel free to email us at Or if you want like to join our mailing list, join us as a volunteer in Team YOH, or join our Support Group - feel free to go to our respective pages, and sign up there! 

From Team YOH to you - thanks for making out experience at PinkDot 2011 so memorable and exciting! Three cheers for PinkDot 2011!

We'll leave you now with some snapshots from this year's PinkDot 2011 & the 'I Am' Project'. 
Be sure to check out the complete photo albums of YOH @ PinkDot 2011 and "I Am" (Project) @ PinkDot 2011 on our Facebook Page!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

PinkDot 2011 - What's YOH doing at PinkDot?

To celebrate the Freedom to Love at PinkDot's event, YOH will be having a booth in Hong Lim Park. YOH volunteers will be on hand to talk to you about us and what our programmes are. You can also sign up to be informed of the next YOH's Support Group or any other YOH event, or be part of the exciting group of YOH's volunteers.  

Furthermore, we'll be kicking start a photo op project, called "I Am". Here are the details: 

We are all made up of several varying different personalities and identities. And we sometimes neglect to celebrate these idiosyncrasies that make us unique.
YOH is going to provide that opportunity during this PinkDot 2011, with the launch of the “I Am” project.
Date: 18th June 2011, Saturday
Location: YOH Booth @ PinkDot 2011, Hong Lim Park, Singapore
Time: 415pm onwards

Simple?? Just come down to our YOH booth from 415pm. Pen down your "I Am" statement/thought/identity on a sign. We'll ask you whether you want your photo to be taken by our YOH photographers. We'll snap a photo of you with your sign. And post it up on our YOH's FB page after!

So start thinking about your "I Am" statements now! and we'll see you at the YOH booth @ PinkDot 2011!

"I am gay, gleek, nerd, and proud!". "I am a lover of mash potatoes, froyo and tech news!". "I am too good to be standing in front of you taking this photo!". 

PinkDot 2011 - The Details...

The YOH webbie is decked in Pink. You've seen Boo Junfeng's fab promo video. You've got your outfit ready. All you need now are the details for PinkDot 2011. For more information, check out the FB event page or PinkDot's official webbie. YOH will be having a booth at PinkDot itself, so do come early and join in the festivities. 
Date - 18th June, Saturday
Location - Hong Lim Park, Singapore
Time - from 4pm onwards till 7pm
What to Wear - Pink (duh!)

PinkDot 2011: Exclusive - YOH's Pink Profile!

If you've read our YOH Pink Profile on PinkDot Singapore's webbie, and want to know more - 
Here's the EXCLUSIVE unedited version the YOH Pink Profile!
We talk to the everyday heroes who make Singapore a better place person by person, day after day. These LGBT support groups will also have a booth (or a picnic mat) at Pink Dot 2011, so come by and say hi!

Who They Are: Young Out Here aka YOH is a queer youth community group started back in 2006 by Elsa Tay, Jeremy Kwok and Benjamin Xue. It caters to queer youths between the ages of 16 to 22 and hopes to help queer youths build ties with the larger queer community. 

What They Do: YOH provides a safe and inclusive space which enables the youth to talk about queer youth specific topics and issues. The Support Group programme is composed of 13 sessions, focusing on topics like Coming Out, Family, School, Safer Sex, Relationships & Self. 

How To Get In Touch: Sign up for the YOH Support Group at If you are interested to be a volunteer, send an email to You can also check out the group on Twitter: and on Facebook:

We sit down for a chat with Benjamin Xue, one of the moving forces behind Youth Out Here. Ben talks to us about how a simple catchphrase – For Queer Youths, By Queer Youths – has paved the way for the group to provide a safe and inclusive space for the queer youth community to come out, speak up and have a voice of their own.

Tell us about the first run of the YOH Support Group programme. What was memorable about it?
We learned a lot from that first run. I refer to YOH1 as the guinea pig batch as we were all new in organizing and facilitating a support group. I really have to thank the batch participants for trusting us and coming forward to join the support group. I remember one of the participants telling me that he made his first lesbian friend in YOH1! A number of YOH1 participants are still either helping with facilitation in the Support Group or are being ardent supporters of YOH. With every subsequent run, we always try to make it more relevant and interesting to the participants.

YOH5 started last March. How is it going so far?
It’s been going great! The issues brought up by the participants are really interesting. Some of them have never met another queer person in their life! Kudos to them for making each session lively! There has been a gradual shift of focus on the issues raised. Coming out was a huge deal during YOH1 and YOH2, with many of them having not told anyone else in their lives that they are queer. The emphasis is now spread over a few main topics especially about where they belong amongst the larger queer community here, and the larger Singapore community.

Of the different topics covered, which one is your personal favorite?
One Foot In, Both Feet Out – that’s the coming out session. I never get tired of listening to the participants’ coming out experiences, as each one is different and unique. Their voices do add to the fabric of the queer youth community here in Singapore – as equally and culturally diverse – and uniquely Singaporean!

In your opinion, how does the Singapore public now view the LGBT community? 

Overall the sentiment on the ground, the Singapore public has grown to be more accepting of the LGBTQ community here. Though there are still big steps to be made, from talking about an all inclusive sexuality education in schools, to changes that need to be made to the dated penal laws, to a much needed update of censorship guidelines amongst mass media and the arts – friends and allies of the LGBT community are not afraid of stepping in the foreground to their queer friends (who are usually hidden from mainstream view) – and events such as PinkDot & Indignation over the past few years have provided that space for that dialogue to grow and be heard.

Is it “easier” for the younger generation to come out compared to a decade ago?
Considering I’m the ‘oldest’ in YOH, I can certainly say yes. They very much have the support and resources to turn to when they come out today – from Pelangi Pride Center to Oogachaga to YOH to Sayoni to online platforms like Trevvy and Fridae. Youths don’t have to feel that they are alone should they choose to come out.

What are the issues that today’s LGBTQ youth face today?
Lately, we’ve been hearing quite a fair bit of name calling and bullying that is going unreported in schools during our Support Group sessions. Making schools safe for queer youths is still pretty much unheard of, but there are strides in that some queer teachers in some schools have taken it upon themselves to make sure that these youths are safe and, hopefully the bullying stops and ends. It ain’t easy being a queer youth here in Singapore – with school work, CCAs, family responsibilities, and being part of the larger queer community, while keeping abreast of their multitude of interests – the list doesn’t seem to end. If there is a realization of who they are inside, their individual quirks and a celebration of that, that’s the best realization any queer youth can make for themselves here in Singapore.

In your opinion, how do events/groups like Pink Dot help LGBTs living in Singapore?
PinkDot as a movement that have grown very much larger than the main event, over the past three years. And rightfully it should. For years we’ve been talking about being racially diverse and culturally tolerant in Singapore – and it’s something that Singapore have lauded to being proud about. To add to that list, Singapore should be proud of that such a simple yet meaningful event is allowed to take place here in Singapore.
I was overseas just recently and tons of my friends in DC and NYC have seen that fabulous PinkDot promo video. And it does make you feel proud to be a queer Singaporean. My own family members and my close friends have all supported and came down for PinkDot – it’s one experience like no other.

What are you going to wear to Pink Dot?
Pink of course! We had YOH tee shirts made for the event, and we’re very busy planning our booth for the event. Do come down to PinkDot to talk to us! And most of all to enjoy and bask in the sea of Pink!

Lastly, If there’s one message SG LGBTQ youths should know, what is it?
I’m going to give three. Never lose sight of who you are inside. Feel free to feel everything you want to. Be happy doing what you are most passionate about!

Thanks AM!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

PinkDot 2011 - PinkDot Parties to kick start the weekend

PinkDot 2011 weekend starts in a little over 24 hours with Two Queens on Thursday and NEON on Friday. So what are you waiting for? Details are right below - Don't forget about PinkDot the next day!!

Date - 16 June 2011, Thursday
Time - 9pm to 3am
Location - PLAY Club, 21 Tanjong Pagar, Singapore

Raising awareness for Pinkdot 2011 ~ Supporting the Freedom to Love

Dress in pink to celebrate the FREEDOM TO LOVE
Regardless of sexual orientation
But fear, ignorance and prejudice often stands in the way

Take part in the interactive segment to win PinkDot Goodies

Commemorate the moment with PinkDot mascots

Hosted by Pamelyn Chee

Doors open at 9pm
Members FREE ENTRY (sign in one guest)
Non-members $15 (incl. 1st drink)
Music policy : RnB/Vocal House ft DJ Amy van de Beuken
Table reservations please email to

Date - 17 June 2011, Friday
Time - 9pm to 3am
Location - PLAY Club, 21 Tanjong Pagar, Singapore

Play presents VACATION: Let's Glow Neon!
This Friday night, PLAY will be transformed into a luminous disco, splattered with neon paint and decorated with glowing light sticks... we are GLOWING NEON!!

Passes to "Flow Rider" at Wave House Sentosa and bottles of Island Vodka, as well as Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" CD Hampers to be given away, so come as crazily NEON as possible!
And must must must keep a lookout for the PINK DOT mascot plushies! Since it is the night before the annual event, the organizers of Pink Dot 2011 will be there to let you take pictures (and PLAY around) with their mascot.

Dress Code
NEON, bright colours

First 100 Free Entry before Midnight only if u are dressed in theme!!
Cover $15 inclusive of TWO drinks

Drinks Special:
GLOW shots!