Mr Gay World 2014

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Beauty pageant untuk CONQ di seluruh dunia MR. GAY WORLD yang ke-6 kembali akan digelar tahun ini. Selama 1 minggu mulai dari 24 Agustus 2014, 32 delegasi dari berbagai negara akan datang ke Roma, Italia dan berkompetisi untuk memenangkan penghargaan ini.

Dengan menjalankan visi persahabatan dan perayaan perbedaan, kompetisi ini dianggap sebagai salah satu kompetisi beauty pageant tersulit. Dimana kontestan akan diuji bagaikan sebuah wawancara pekerjaan. Pengetahuan dan kesadaran akan hak-hak LGBT pun akan dipertanyakan.

Ozal. Delegasi Indonesia untuk Mr. Gay World 2014

Ozal, 26 tahun, adalah delegasi dari Indonesia untuk tahun ini. Mari kita sama-sama mendukungnya dengan melakukan online voting di sini: http://mrgayworld.com/vote/

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Crazy Rich Asians

There is a telling scene in Kevin Kwan’s uproarious romp Crazy Rich Asians, where Astrid, the elusive granddaughter of Singapore’s conglomerate family the Leongs, went shopping in a haute-couture boutique in Paris. It is a scene ripped from Pretty Woman where the snobbish saleswoman had no interest in helping her. “Listen, cherie, ” she scolded Astrid. “Everything here is tres, tres cher. And it takes five months for delivery.”

Astrid’s then-boyfriend, Charles, phoned his banker in Singapore, who somehow managed to call the designer himself, and told him that it was THE Astrid LEONG, Harry Leong’s daughter,  who was being refused of service.  The saleswoman immediately offered them champagne and started treating them like movie stars. Charles then told Astrid to buy 10 dresses even though she didn’t need them. “The only way to get these ang mor gau sai (white people) to respect you is to smack them in the face with your dua lan chiao (big cock) money until they get on their knees.”

It is a mini-climax, “triumphant” moment both for Kevin Kwan and the readers. There is a clear agenda that Mr. Kwan is trying to push with this book. He wants to showcase Asian supremacy in a white-washed world. Every characters in this book are crazy damn rich, and every page of the book drops designer and fine artist names so frequently that it reads more like a Sex and the City yellow pages. These Singaporeans in their Carolina Hererra dresses and Goyard purses actually hired Cai Guo-Qiang to do fireworks display on a wedding! Every conflict in the book is solved by the existence of money. Lots of it.

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But constantly smacking us with his dua lan chiao money for 527 pages becomes tiring after a while.  I’m not even sure if Kwan’s equality agenda actually manages to give a positive impression on Asians in general.  It is great that we have a major Asian writer in the publishing world. However, Crazy Rich Asians only reaffirms the stereotypes of Asians that we are already familiar with. Asians are damn rich yet brash and classless, work live and die for money, and still live in a feudal world. The only stereotype that Kwan is desperately trying to kill is the fact that Asians are still into those tacky, monogram-filled designers like Louis Vuitton. Singaporeans only want obscure designers now. No more Chanel. Say hello to Dries Van Noten and Azzedine Alaia!

Yet, I get the impression that these people somehow don’t deserve those immaculately-stitched Jil Sander pants simply because they don’t understand its essence.

It also doesn’t help that Kwan’s main character, Rachel Chu, an American-born Chinese who teaches Economics in NYU, is as boring and devoid of personality as ever. Her fish-out-of-the-water story of being the girlfriend of conglomerate Nicholas Young without knowing who he really is, is as predictable as it gets.  It is no wonder that Nicholas’ mother, the fun and feisty Eleanor Young, tried so hard to break up their relationship.

Nevertheless, Kwan has a great way with words. His sentences are so much fun to read that you can easily forget about content and characters. When Rachel went to Singapore’s most prestigious boutique to find a dress for a wedding she’s attending, the stylist immediately told her, “NEVER, EVER wear a green chiffon unless you want to look like bok choy that got gang-raped.”

Some moments of the book read like a true insider anecdotes and gossips on the Singaporean high society. It’s a roman-a-clef in the same spirit of Capote’s “La Côte Basque 1965.” However, Kwan is too ingrained in the society itself that I only wish he would step outside for a moment and look at the whole picture from the outside in. Instead of from the inside out.

Crazy Rich Asians (Anchor Books, 527 pg) is available in aksara bookstore.

 

We The Fest 2014

Even though it’s always Summer in Jakarta, we always need a reason to get dressed and celebrate. This “summer”, ISMAYA LIVE returns with their aptly-titled festival We the Fest. It’s a mix of good music, some art, fashion, and lots of food.

The event will be held on 24th of August 2014 At Parkir Timur Senayan, Jakarta.

Ellie Goulding and Banks, one of the performers at WTF 2014.
Ellie Goulding and Banks, one of the performers at WTF 2014.

 

The musical line-up is pretty cool. There’s Ellie Goulding, Azealia Banks, Mayer Hawthorne (DJ Set), and the local bands such as Sore, Maliq and d’Essentials, and The Experience Brothers. I’m not sure if the locals and the foreigner bands will play together, but wouldn’t it be awesome to have Azealia Banks rapping over Somos Libres?

You can get tickets at the website or go to Bobobobo to purchase a VIP ticket. You’ll get one free festival goodie bag (while stocks last, of course).

So if you’re up to watching Jakarta hipsters busy uploading their photos on Path instead of really enjoying the music, maybe the WTF Festival is for you. I’m sure there’ll also be some organic, gluten + egg + sugar free food-in-a-jar waiting for you.

See you there!

 

Tiffie Still Refuses to Block ISIS Video

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Salah satu legacy terburuk dari pemerintahan SBY adalah kinerja dari Menkominfo yang dipimpin oleh Pak Tifatul “Tiffie” Sembiring. Kelakuannya yang semena-mena memblokir situs-situs yang dianggapnya berbahaya lewat Nawala Project adalah bentuk sensor yang sifatnya membodohi dan bukan mendidik. Kebebasan kita dalam mengakses informasi pun dipincangkan.

Tetapi ketika situs seperti Vimeo dengan mudahnya diblokir, video ajakan kaum teroris ISIS (Negara Islam Irak dan Suriah) kepada warga Indonesia untuk bergabung, masih dibiarkan beredar di situs Youtube.

Alasannya adalah mereka harus menunggu surat gugatan dari kementrian terkait seperti Kementrian Luar Negeri, Kementerian Koordinator Politik, Hukum, dan Keamanan. Menurutnya ini dikarenakan melibatkan politik hubungan luar negeri.

Hubungan luar negeri?? ISIS adalah kelompok militan jihad yang keberadaannya tidak diakui oleh dunia internasional (unrecognized state). Mereka adalah teroris yang terhubung dengan Al Qaeda. Sejak kapan Indonesia memiliki “hubungan” apapun dengan mereka?

Sudah 2 juta warga WNI yang tegabung dalam ISIS. Kini mereka menginfiltrasi dan mengancam kebebasan, keamanan, pluralisme, sampai ideologi negara ini. Dengan memilih untuk tinggal diam, Pak Tiffie mengirimkan pesan bahwa terorisme tidaklah lebih membahayakan dari pornografi.

Japanese Schools to Introduce LGBT Campaign

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Bukti sebuah negara sudah lebih berbudaya bisa diintip dari sistem pendidikannya. Jepang baru-baru ini meluncurkan sebuah kampanye poster yang bertujuan untuk memperkenalkan identitas seksual LGBT kepada para muridnya.  Keren banget!

Dengan menyandang judul “Who Will You Come to Like?”, poster-poster ini merupakan bagian dari kampanye kesehatan “Kokoro Kenkou no Nyusu” yang artinya kurang lebih Revolusi Mental. Gak jauh dengan kampanye yang akan digencarkan presiden baru kita kan?

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Posternya memberikan penjelasan mengenai perbedaan straight, CONQ, biseksual dan aseksual, sekaligus juga dengan penjelasan bagaimana orientasi seksual apapun itu haruslah dihargai.
Ini merupakan langkah yang cukup revolusioner, apalagi mengingat bahwa bullying terhadap murid-murid LGBT di Jepang sangat tinggi. Menurut Inochi Risupekto Howaito Ribon Kyanpen (White Ribbon Campaign), kurang lebih 68 persen murid mengalami bullying baik dari SD maupun sampai SMA. Bahkan 32 persen diantaranya memiliki keinginan untuk bunuh diri yang disebabkan bullying ini.
Bisakah kampanye ini diaplikasikan di negara kita? Ini semua tergantung dari Revolusi Mental yang dijanjikan Presiden Jokowi. Pemilihan siapa yang akan menjadi Mentri Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan menjadi sangat penting. Mungkin perjalanan masih jauh, tetapi bukan berarti itu tidak mungkin terjadi.

 

Gay & Lesbian Indonesians view on life, love, fashion, health, and politics

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