As we mark the 11th anniversary of Pink Dot, CAPE puts together a collection of 11 essential reads on the LGBTQ experience in our sunny, closeted Singapore. In these 11 text, from the cold, hard steel of academic analysis to heartfelt poetic rumination, immerse yourself in an ode to the love, struggle, pain, loss, hope, and liberation of our dreams of a Pink Singapore.
||(Book) Useful introduction to the socio-politics of LGBTQ+ issues in Singapore. Any attempt to understand the queer experience must begin with its politics.|
|2||Mobilizing Gay Singapore – Lynette Chua||(Book) Prof. Lynette Chua’s seminal book on the modes and tactics of queer activism in Singapore, in a political landscape traditionally challenging for social activism|
|3||Perempuan: Muslim Women Speak Out – Filzah Sumartono
Growing up Perempuan – Filzan Sumartono
|(Book series) In our celebration of queer rights, we often overlook the intersections of ethnic and religious minority identities and gender. Read up on the experiences of the perempuan!|
|4||Action steps to be a trans ally – Project X||(Infographic) Be an ally for members of our trans community!|
|5||The Forced Sterilization of Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming People in Singapore – Vanessa Ho, Sherry Sherqueshaa, and Darius Zheng||(Academic article) Published in the LGBTQ Policy Journal|
|6||Asian Sexuality or Singapore Exceptionalism? – Laurence Wai-Teng Leong||(Journal article) Investigating and busting the myths of the incompatibility of LGBTQ rights and “Asian values”.|
|7||The Postcolonial Problem for Global Gay Rights – Stewart Chang||(journal article) Queer discrimination is deeply rooted in our history of colonialism. How do postcolonial states that disavow colonialism but yet eschew queer liberation navigate this contradiction?|
|8||The Invisible Manuscript – Alfian Sa’at||(poetry collection) Erasure, loss, hope, and struggle|
|9||Sex.violence.blood.gore – Alfian Sa’at||(collection of plays) A poetic and raucous passage through the history of our repressed national sexuality.|
|10||Invitation to Treat – Eleanor Wong||(collection of plays) First staged in the 90s, these plays by Eleanor Wong broke new ground in boldly portraying the queer experience in sunny, closeted Singapore.|
|11||And The Walls Come Crumbling Down – Tania D’Rozario||(prose) Fictitious, yet heartbreakingly familiar to the many of us, who have been through the cruel and almost quintessential queer experiences of loss and rejection.|
Other Worthy Recommendations!
- Tender Delirium – Tania D’Rozario (local poetry collection)
- Glass Cathedral – Andrew Koh (local prose)
- Tensorate Series – JY Yang (local prose)
- Third World Protest – Rahul Rao
- Reorienting Desire – Joseph Massad
See CAPE’s full master list of books on Singapore politics here!