This Week In Gay Asia is a weekly update on news and events in Asia’s LGBTQ+ community, powered by Prout, a new social service for LGBTQs to find common-interest friends & groups online, and join LGBTQ-friendly events wherever they are. Prout’s support function also assists LGBTQs in their lives through question boards, helplines and inspirational stories. Pre-register for Prout by visiting proutapp.com.
We’ll keep this update short so you get straight to what matters. Do you want to see more happenings in gay Asia? Let us know in the comments or tweet Popspoken founder Kyle Malinda-White at @kylemalinda.
SINGAPORE: The passing of LGBT advocate Rev Yap Kim Hao
The LGBTQ+ community in Singapore is still mourning the loss of a proud advocate of the community and the first religious leader in Singapore to openly support the community, even contributing to a church welcoming this group. The late Pastor Yap passed on November 16 aged 88 and was the pastoral advisor at Free Community Church, the only LGBT-affirming church in Singapore. In his eulogy, Rev Miak Siew from the Free Community Church said that he urged “that we do not wish for another giant, but wake up to our call and responsibility to participate in liberation, justice and peace making”.
Read the story on Coconuts Singapore, here.
NEW DELHI: New privacy law could mean a win for same-sex marriage
India’s Supreme Court ruled in August that the country’s citizens had a constitutional right to privacy, specially mentioning the gay community. This has emboldened activists keen to repeal Section 377 of the Penal Code in India, criminalising sex between men in India, and has renewed hope that other repressive laws will be brought to task such as marital rape exceptions and the registration of eunuchs.
Read the report on NYT, here.
AUSTRALIA: Could Asia’s same-sex marriage market find a place in Oz?
The introduction of marriage equality in Australia – and the leading voice of the Senate in passing the bill – could possibly lead to a market boom in the marriage industry, according to global marketing consultancy Out Now. The consultancy estimates the LGBT travel market to be worth $211 billion globally, and the destination wedding business could finally begin to see some inflows from Asian couples.
Read the story on The New Daily, here.
NEW ZEALAND/JAPAN: Former NZ MP’s same-sex couple remarks rebut Japan chairman’s take on gay couples
Maurice Williamson has received some fanfare in Japan, a week after the Japanese Liberal Democratic Party’s general council chairman was criticised for saying that gay partners should not be allowed to dine with the Emperor and Empress of Japan. Williamson’s speech four years ago about legalising same-sex marriage was translated in Japanese by social media users and went viral for containing prescient information about the “drawbacks” of same-sex marriage – “your mortgage will not grow, you will not have toads in your bed”.
Read the story on BBC, here.
BANGKOK: World Aids Day marked with positive steps towards mitigating HIV/AIDS in Asia
Today is World Aids Day and APCOM (Asia Pacific Community Network) reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring new strategies are being used to tackle the region’s HIV epidemic, especially in vulnerable communities. Research has estimated 150,000 new HIV infections by men who have sex with men (MSM) by 2020, making up half of total projected new infections. Among new strategies include introducing HIV prevention drug PrEP regionally and controlling outflow of international aid through HIV funding mechanisms for the region.
Read the report on APCOM, here.
TAIWAN: Yup, there’s a new gay popsicle.
The cast of new Taiwan film Dream of Red Mansions were busy peddling a new “1069 popsicle” during the recent Taipei Pride Festival. We don’t really know how it looks like, but you can buy it here. The move follows the lives of twelve men in a remake of the classic, delving into the lives of chaebols. (If you don’t know what that is, Google it up.) There is another popsicle sold in Taiwan from biggayke that is in the shape of a penis and we’ll just put the link here so you can go check it out.
Read the report on GagaTai, here. GagaTai is a partner of Popspoken’s LGBTQ+ vertical.
LGBTQ+ events happening this weekend:
Singapore: The Singapore LGBTQ+ scene has never been more vibrant than ever – a new gay club called Peaches has taken over the Orchard Road shopping district. Check out their Peach Perfect Fridays here. Also, if you wanna hang out with some womyn, check out She Plus’s Queer Karaoke here.
Taiwan: The Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association has put in place a month’s worth of activities to commemorate Worlds Aids Day, under their HIV+OK initiative. Check it out here. Also, if you’re in Tainan, check out the White Party event held by Mr Gay Taiwan.
Korea: If you’re in Korea, be sure to check out artist Heezy Yang’s fundraiser for his queer-related art projects coming up. Check it out here.
South-east Asia: Hundreds of LGBTQ+ activists and organisations will be in Cambodia this weekend for the ILGA Asia Regional Conference. Check it out here.