Sunday, January 2, 2011

Coming out and crossing over

I've been asked to help with the social media for a beauty pageant with a difference being organised by Action for AIDS. It's an online transgender beauty pageant called Tru Me being launched next month.

I've got to be honest - before I started on this project I didn't know much about transgenders or transgenders in Singapore so I thought I'd do a bit of reading up on it.

Once again, little Singapore never fails to deliver as the land of contrasts. Here's what I found out...

- In 1967, Transgender was listed as a condition in the Singapore Armed Forces 'Directory of Diseases'
- In 1973 Singapore legalized sex reassignment surgery and went on to be one of the leaders in the field for 30 years. Those seeking surgery flocked to Singapore to make their dreams a reality.
- For Singapore newbies or those too young to remember, the Bugis Street used to be the colourful and extravagant epicentre of Singapore's transgender community....before it got redeveloped. And because it was a tourist attraction raking a lot of money in for various reasons, the Singapore Tourist Board actually tried to recreate some of the it...but it didn't cut the mustard

-In 1996, transexuals were granted the right to get married to opposite sex spouses and live life as intended

So there have been highs and there have been lows. I reckon if you have been brave enough to come out and cross over or simply come out and say that your birth sex does not match your identity then that's a  MASSIVE journey, and the least you can ask for in return is be respected for it.

Many think transgenders are usually sex workers - a myth that needs to be dispelled.

Tru Me sets out to do just that and portray the individual essence of beauty, glamour, and the versatile success of every confident and self-loving transgender individual.

I think that's definitely worth a vote. So help celebrate how far the participants have come and join the Facebook page here:


Anonymous said...

I stumbled across Bugis Street during that early eighties when I visited Singapore as a crew member of the USS Kitty Hawk. It was certainly the most entertaining part of Singapore that I had found. I returned as a civilian about a decade later and was quite disappointed to see how things had changed. From what I see on the WEB pages, it now has transitioned itself into a run of the mill tourist trap. I find that slightly sad, another truly unique place bites the dust.

Ms Demeanour said...

Thanks for your comment. You are so right. Unfortunately now the area is really just about the shopping. I'm so dissappointed not to have seen it for myself at the time and would love to hear more about what you can remember. Sometimes as humans we can meddle too much!

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