Monday, December 28, 2009

Our annual Retrospective (2009)

Yes, it's that time of the year again. Another year has passed, and another 52 editions of Orange Ribbon has been produced.
As has been our habit over recent years, the last program of the year is our "retrospective edition" where we select out snippets from the various programs during 2009, to either remind you of some great interviews you have heard, or to remind you of some you may have missed.

Each year we try to pull out small segmnets of interesting chats we have had, or some funny moments we have had in the studio, or perhaps an aggegration of snippets on a common theme.

So join Allan, Ka Fam, and Hugh this coming Wednesday night (30th December) at 8:00pm for our 2009 retrospective edition.

And the Orange Ribbon team wishes all our loyal listeners a safe and enjoyable holiday season, and that 2010 will be a happy and prosperous year.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

This week on orange ribbon Wednesday 23 december

On this weeks show we are honoured to have a Chinese guest from mainland China. Bin comes from Shanghai and has an amazing story to tell about life in China and working in the medical profession there.

He gives us an insight into the gay scene in China and how the government is handling the HIV situation in the country. We will hear about censorship of gay publications in Chinese but not in English.

Tune in to orange Ribbon on Joy 94.9 from 8.00pm to 9.00pm to hear the whole story.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Orange Ribbon - Edition 400!

Orange Ribbon began broadcasting on JOY around July, 1998. In the ensuing 11.5 years the program has taken a number of off-air breaks, but even allowing for those breaks, this week we celebrate the 400th edition. (Well.. actually... last week was edition 400, but for scheduling reasons we will be celebrating this important milestone this week... which is actually edition 401.)

The two original founders of the program were Kim Benton and Shanton Chang, both of whom have long since moved on. But in this weeks program we will hear a litle of the history of Orange Ribbon from Kim and Shanton, how the program began, the objectives, the issues etc. as Kim and Shanton give us an update on this history as they recall it.

But we have tried to pull together all eleven current and former Orange Ribbon presenters this week. However, some cannot be available on Wednesday evening, or are now overseas. But in one way or another, either by being present in the studio, via pre-recorded messages, or via emails, every single current and former presenter will give some thoughts on their time with the program, the highlights, the funny and/or strange things that have happened, the guests, the countries, the religions, and the topics that have been covered over 11.5 years.

Of course, we can't forget the loyal listeners who have stayed with us over the years, and over many time changes as well. We would LOVE to hear from you, our listeners on Wednesday night. The ideal would be to send us an SMS message, or an email while the program actually goes to air tomorrow (Wednesday) night. You can send an SMS message to 0427-JOY-949, or email to Or if you wish to send us a message in advance of the program going to air then send it to

We really do hope that you can join on this Wednesday evening, 16th December, at 8:00pm, and share with us some of the history and the memories of 400 editions of Orange Ribbon.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Fruits In Suits... Hong Kong style

The gay and lesbian business networking gathering, Fruits In Suits, was established as part of GLOBE (Gay and Lesbian Organization for Business and Enterprise) in the early 1990's here in Melbourne.

What many here in Melbourne may not realize is that over the ensuing years Fruits In Suits has also successfully migrated to, and been established in, a few other locations as well, including in Hong Kong. And there is currently interest for even more such business networking groups to be established around a number of other Asian countries.

Fruits In Suits Hong Kong (currently being rebranded as FINS...) was established around 6 years ago. FINS Hong Kong is currently headed up by expat Eric Herrera, the self-titled Chief Dreamer of FINS. Eric has an interesting ethnic background, and lives and works in Hong Kong with his partner of more than 20 years.

While Allan was in Hong Kong in November, he sat down with Eric for a chat about FINS in Hong Kong and how it varies from Fruits In Suits in Melbourne and other locations, about his life and background, about being a ballet dancer in an earlier life, and about life as an expat living and working in Hong Kong.

This very interesting interview is coming up this week (Wednesday, 9th December) on Orange Ribbon.

AND DON'T FORGET...! Starting with this weeks program, Orange Ribbon moves to its new timeslet of 8:00pm on Wednesday evenings, with JOY's new Koori program, Black and Pink, taking over our old 7:00pm timeslot. So Wednesday evenings on JOY will be one of international programming with Black and Pink at 7:00pm, Orange Ribbon at 8:00pm, and Global Sounds at 9:00pm.

And while this week's program is officially program edition No. 400 of Orange Ribbon, we will actually be having our 400th celebration next week on 16th December, where we hope to be able to bring back some old memories of Orange Ribbon over the past eleven and a half years.

Remember... Orange Ribbon now at its new timeslot of 8:00pm, this Wednesday evening, where Allan speaks with the Chief Dreamer, Eric Herrera, from Fruits In Suits Hong Kong..

Saturday, December 5, 2009

New time-slot for Orange Ribbon

Yes... after two and a half years in our current time-slot, Orange Ribbon is being moved to a new time-slot on Wednesday evenings. Taking over our previous 7:00pm slot will JOY's new koori program called "Black and Pink".

And what happens to Orange Ribbon? Well, we move back by one hour only, but still on Wednesday evening. So that means that you will now hear Orange Ribbon at 8:00pm every Wednesday evening, starting from next Wednesday, 9th December.

So... DON'T FORGET! By all means listen in to the new Black And Pink at 7:00pm, then continue your Wednesday evening listening with Orange Ribbon now at its new time of 8:00pm.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Lost and found...still looking...

We all have seen on TV programs where people joyously get reunited with family they have not seen for decades- the elation and tears. One can only imagine their strong need to reconnect with their biological loved ones.

Does it always end happily as those shows portray? Sonya joins us this week and shares candidly her personal journey in her search for her family; her subsequent battle with drug addiction and her exploration of her sexuality.

You will be moved by her courage and her resilience as she recounts the innumerous layers of her complex life .

Do join us on Orange Ribbon, on Joy 94.9 fm at 7pm, Wednesday on the 2nd of December 2009.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Some interesting chats from Hong Kong

Regular Orange Ribbon listeners will know that Allan has spent the past month back in his favourite city in the world... Hong Kong. During his stay there, he attended the 2nd annual Gay Pride Parade on Sunday afternoon, 1st November, as did also our occasional program contributor, Reggie Ho, although somehow they missed each other on the actual day.

However, Allan did catch up with Reggie for a pleasant lunch at a Greek Restaurant in the Soho area of Hong Kong a couple of weeks later, and then arranged to meet up with Reggie again last Friday afternoon at his office in Quarry Bay, overlooking the beautiful Hong Kong Harbour. With that view in the background Allan recorded an interview with Reggie, covering a number of local LGBT issues, and also a review of the Pride Parade of earlier this month.

But Reggie also provided Allan with contact details for Brian Leung, who is well-known in radio and music circles in Hong Kong.

Brian Leung has more than 20 years radio experience with the three major radio networks in Hong Kong. Three years ago, Brian was approached to return to his former employer, the government-held RTHK Radio 2, to present a couple of new programs for that network. Brian assumed it was to use his music knowledge and experience to present new music programs. However he was amazed to learn that RTHK Radio 2 wanted him to present a weekly gay & lesbian radio program each Saturday evening. This was at the height of the Brokeback Mountain movie release, and RTHK thought it might be a good time to introduce a program for sexual minorities... specifically for the gay & lesbian community.

"We are Family" is Brian's weekly radio program, broadcast live at midnight every Saturday evening ion conservative Hong Kong. Brian chats to Allan about the start of the program, the issues of running such a program in Hong Kong, and about his own gradual "coming out" publicly over several years.

The only opportunity of catching up with Brian was last Friday evening, in a noisy coffee shop at the Festival Walk shopping Centre at Kowloon Tong. Brian was on his way to the premiere screening for the Hong Kong LGBT Film Festival, but was able to make 45 minutes available to Allan for this recorded chat.

Brian has several internet presences, including on Facebook, but perhaps this link will provide a general background to some of Brian's interests.

So.. all of this will be presented on Orange Ribbon on Wednesday evening, 25th November, at 7:00pm. Please join Allan as he chats to these two influential Hong Kong gay men, who each, in their own way, have a serious impact on attitudes to the gay & lesbian community in Hong Kong.

Monday, November 16, 2009

This Week on Orange Ribbon Wednesday 18 November 2009

This week on Orange Ribbon we will be talking to Heath who originally comes from New Zealand. Heath will talk about moving around with his mother and step-dad, attending different schools and finding it hard to make friends.

He also will talk about being very ill with depression, not understanding his illness and trying to commit suicide. He is very open and will lets us know what it is like to have a troubled up-bringing and trying to come to terms with his sexuality.

Heath's story is sad and happy, he is happy to tell us what it was like coming out to his family but sad about his life until recently.

The story is not to be missed, tune into Joy 94.9 on orange Ribbon on Wednesday at 7.00pm.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Allan in a "Pink Dollar" TV segment in Hong Kong

Last Sunday week (1st November, 2009) I attended the 2nd Annual Gay Pride Parade here in Hong Kong. Because I was rushing around with my JOY 94.9 t-shirt on, and my microphone and recorder, I was approached by a couple of media representatives wanting to know who I was, and what I was doing in Hong Kong.

RTHK English Language television also briefly interviewed me, and then later asked for a further interview regarding the so-called "pink dollar" and how it is handled in other countries compared to the lack of business interest in it in Hong Kong. About 50 seconds of this subsequent interview was used in the weekly TV program "The Pulse" on Friday night, 6th November. The entire segment runs for 9 minutes, and initially covers Hong Kong's Pride Parade then moves into the topic of the "pink dollar" and the apparent lack of business support here for gay & lesbian events.

I get my 50 seconds of fame at 4' 25" into the segment. And if you keep watching the segment a little further (at 6' 39") you will see introduced "... a former organizer..." of an earlier attempt at a gay Pride Parade in Hong Kong in 2005. That "former organizer" is our very own Hong Kong correspondent, Reggie Ho, who also gives his views about the "pink dollar" here in Hong Kong. Regular Orange Ribbon listeners will know that Reggie occasionally provides a Hong Kong news update for us, and has done so for about 7 years now.

Anyway, if you wish you can check out the 9-minute segment from RTHK's "The Pulse" program from last Friday night by clicking here.

But try to ignore some of the mis-facts that were allegedly attributed to me though. They sort of got some of the statistics and facts I had given them a bit confused.

Allan Smales (In Hong Kong)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

This Week on Orange Ribbon Wednesday 11 November 2009

We are honoured to say our guest this week is Prince Manvendre Singh Gohill of the former state of Rajpipla in India's Gujarat province.

The prince made headlines around the world when he came out as a gay man in 2006. He is also the founder of the Lakshya Trust, a leading HIV organisation in Gujarat in India.

We pre-recorded the interview last week on Melbourne Cup Day at 9.00am in the morning, and we were the second interview of the morning for him.

The prince is very open about his younger life in India as part of a very privileged family, he also talks about his marriage to a young princess that was never consummated. He tells us about having a nervous breakdown and then on the advice of his doctor, coming out to his family.

Prince Manvendra tells us about meeting the love of his life and how he now has thoughts about going to Nepal, to get married in a temple with all the rituals.

To hear his amazing story, tune into Orange Ribbon on Wednesday 11 November at 7.00pm.

Monday, November 2, 2009

This Week on Orange Ribbon on Wednesday 4 November at 7.00pm

This week on Orange Ribbon we will be speaking to Cleo.

Cleo is a pre-op transsexual who decided to leave India and come to Australia to finally bring out the woman within the body of a man.

She will talk about her early life in India, coming to Australian and all the medical people she has had to convince she is a woman and not a gay guy who wants to be a woman.

Cleo's story will help you understand what it is like to be trapped in a body that is not you.

It will also help you realise what you have to go through to change your life, way of presenting yourself and eventually your body.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Bit of Spain, Bit of Aussie

Ana (pronounced AA-naa) and Toni-couple, partners, lovers- run a Spanish school in Northcote, Melbourne. They join us in the studio to share their stories with us- huge hiccups with immigration, Spanish and Aussie culture, world travel and Spanish tracks brought to you by Ana and Toni.

Between the two of them, their life experience is comparable to the world's biggest dish of paella. Do join us on Joy 94.9 on Wednesday, 28th October 2009.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

This Week on Orange Ribbon Wednesday 21 October 2009

This week on Orange Ribbon we are bringing back a guest from approximately one year ago. Somesh told us about his severe depression after breaking up with his partner, failing exams at university and going as far as losing his job due to his illness. We will hear about his recovery and how he found happiness and romance along the way.

We will also talk with John who had a big part in helping Somesh recover from his illness. They bacame very good friends during this time and Somesh decided, maybe it was time he helped John.

To hear the whole story of Somesh and John, tune in to Orange Ribbon on Wednesday 20 October at 7.00pm.

Monday, October 12, 2009

To be Jewish and gay

Orange Ribbon is JOY's GLBTIQ multicultural program, and so we present topics, or chat to people, about other cultures and how they interface with their respective GLBTIQ communities. Generally this is assumed to be different nationalities or ethnicities. But at Orange Ribbon we have always considered religion to be a "culture" as well, and from time to time have spoken with GLBTIQ folk from various religions, and how those religions have affected their lives.

This week on Orange Ribbon we go back and visit Judaism, and the history of Israel. It is several years since we last covered this topic. Our guests will give us a background to the Jewish state of Israel, what it means to be a Jew, and how GLBTIQ folk are accepted (or not...) within that community.
We will also take a look at the various sub-cultures such as the very conservative ultra-Orthodox Jews and how they perceive homosexuality.

And there has been some very recent publicity over a sad event that occurred in Israel a couple of months ago which has created some heated discussion within Melbourne's Jewish community. We hope to get to the bottom of that issue, and to learn the current status and whether there is, or has been, a resolution.

Finally, a brief review of TWO support groups for GLBTIQ men and women here in Melbourne.

Join Hugh and Allan on Wednesday night, 7pm, on JOY 94.9 for this interesting chat.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Maltese Malteser

This week on Orange Ribbon, Sam, Australian of Maltese background joins us. He is a single dad living with a partner. He has a spiritual view on life. Gay or bisexual? He prefers the label of a being. And he has strong views on Catholicism.

Join us for an interesting chat on Orange Ribbon, Joy 94.9 at 7pm, Wednesday on the 7th of October 2009.

Monday, September 28, 2009

This Week on Orange Ribbon Wednesday 30th September

If I said 'what do you know about Brazil'?, you would say 'Mardi Gras' or maybe 'South America'

This week on Orange Ribbon we will be speaking to Almir from Brazil. he calls himself a 'Welsh Brazilian Jew who practises Buddhism'

Almir will give us an insight on what it is like to be Gay or Bi in his country, he will talk about HIV issues and how many Gay and Transvestite Mayors they have in Brazil.

His story will change the way you think about Brazil, he will definitely entertain you and maybe give you the feeling you need to visit his country to experience what he is talking about.

Tune in to Joy 94.9 on Wednesday at 7.00pm to hear Almir's story.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Radical gay activists, and the Hong Kong Rainbow Centre

Ken jai (jnr.) and Tommy jai are two somewhat radical, yet committed and caring gay activists in Hong Kong, and are the founders of Rainbow Hong Kong, and the Hong Kong Rainbow Centre. Both have fought hard and struggled to open, and then operate, a "drop in centre" for GLBTIQ folk in Hong Kong.

The first Rainbow Centre was opened in Mong Kok (Kowloon side) in 2000, but had to close again one year later because of lack of funds. But after several years, a replacement Rainbow Centre was re-opened in Jordan (also on the Kowloon side) in 2007. While an obviously much-needed venue and used by many gays & lesbains there, it still struggles to the present day in order to raise sufficient finance to keep this essential centre open. While Ken is the full-time coordinator of the centre, there is often insufficient funds left over each month for Ken to eke out even a poorly wage.

But Ken is also well-known for his radical activities in conservative Hong Kong, arising as a result of discovering he was HIV+ in 1995 while he was still in secondary school. Instead of going right into the HIV closet and locking the door, he got involved in AIDS Concern, and the AIDS Foundation... and so his Hong Kong activism commenced. Not only was he openly gay, but also openly HIV+.

Following the closure of the first Rainbow Centre in Mong Kok, Ken decided to try to enter electoral local politics as an openly gay HIV+ man. While unsuccessful on two occasions, his public profile was never-the-less elevated, and to this day he contiues to fight for right and justice for both GLBTIQ people in general, but also for the HIV community.

Ken met Tommy at a Tongzhi (GLBTIQ) Conference in Hong Kong in 1998, and immediately discovered another radical and concerned peer with whom he could work and share his concern for the community.

Tommy is also not publicity-shy (he admits to being a "media whore"...), and he has taken some radical actions that many of us in the West would not even be prepared to do. He became famous for his ‘Rainbow Actions’ in the Roman Catholic Cathedral, and in front of the Hong Kong Central Police Station where he led a protest against the prosecution of a BDSM club and shop, Fetish Fashion, by chaining himself in full leather gear to the police station hand rails.

These are two radical gay activists, yet who are also very genuine, committed, and deeply caring young Chinese guys who just want to make for a better place for gays & lesbians (or locally known as the "tongzhi community") in Hong Kong.

And Allan will be chatting with both Ken and Tommy on Orange Ribbon this coming Wednesday, 23rd September at 7:00pm on JOY 94.9. Please join us for a wonderfully interesting, and sometimes challenging, discussion. Would YOU be prepared to do just some of the things (in the West) that these guys have done in much more conservative Hong Kong?

Oh... and given the financial struggles that the much-needed Rainbow (drop in) Centre in Hong Kong continues to face, Ken and Tommy would be eternally grateful of any donations people may wish to make in order to help keep the centre open. It is constantly facing pending closure due to its limited finances, almost a month-by-month, hand-to-mouth operation. If you feel so inclined and would like to assist in some small way, donations can be made as follows:-

  • Bank: Hang Seng Bank (Hong Kong)
    Account: 356-142059-001
    Name: Rainbow of Hong Kong

Or if you would like to communicate with Ken about the struggles of the Rainbow Centre then you can email him at .

Monday, September 14, 2009

This Week on Orange Ribbon Wed. 16 Sept., 2009

Here are some questions for you:
  1. Have you ever used a sex worker for sex?
  2. An Asian sex worker?
  3. Do you know a sex worker?
  4. Do you have a friend who is a sex worker?
  5. Is your partner a sex worker?
  6. How would you react to your partner being a sex worker?

On Orange Ribbon this week our guests are two very nice and genuine guys, Christian is a part-time sex worker and Douglas is his partner. On this week's program Christian will talk about his early life with his Fillipino family, leaving home at 16 years old and in his own words 'spent a lot of time on Flinders Street Station steps with the streeties and buskers and hung out with the roughnecks'

Douglas will talk a little about himself, how he met Christian and what he thinks about his partner being a sex worker.

Tonight's program will make you see sex workers in a different light. We are sure you will definitely admire and warm to Christian before the end of the program.

This is a show you should not miss. You can also listen to the podcast which should be available from the JOY website from later on Wednesday night.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A belated note about our Aline

In case listeners haven't actually noticed, our esteemed French lesbian component of the Orange Ribbon team has had to reluctantly withdraw from the team, at least for the short-to-medium term. At the time of her return from holidays back to France earlier this year, she was promoted at her work, and then immediately posted to a project where it was impossible for her to be available on Wednesday nights to take part in Orange Ribbon.

So it is (hopefully...) a temporary farewell to Aline, and we all wish her well in her new work role. However, we are also hoping that when her work circumstances change that she will be able to return to the airwaves again on Orange Ribbon.

Many thyanks for the 15 months contribution you have made to Orange Ribbon, and we DO hope to see you back among us again sometime soon.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Vous parlez fran├žais?

Can a French person not feel French enough in France? Julien does!
Come join us and listen in as Julien chats with us openly about being a writer, Paris, dog piss to religion. You might even change your romantic views about Paris!

Orange Ribbon - Wednesday 9th September at 7:00pm on JOY 94.9

Monday, August 31, 2009

A previous guest returns for another chat

When I was in Hong Kong around this time last year I recorded an interview with Chung Yiu, a Hong Kong chinese guy who told me about growing up in a strict christian family, and then much later going to bible college to become a christian minister. Unfortunately for Chung Yiu, three weeks before he was due to graduate, he was "forced out of the closet" by his bible college room-mate. This resulted in his immediate dismissal from the college and the destruction of his dream to become a christian minister.

Last year, just before I recorded that interview with Chung Yiu, he had just done his first bungee jump from the Macau Tower, and he told me that one day he intended to do a second jump from that tower, but that next time he would do it backwards instead. Well, things have moved on for Chung Yiu, and three weeks ago while I was back in Hong Kong I recorded another interview with him. Since my previous chat with him last year, he has now reached the official "middle age" milestone. And yes... he DID do that second backwards bungee jump off the Macau Tower only just a few weeks ago, taken as a birthday gift from some of his friends.

But when I sat down three weeks ago to record our latest interview, the main topic we discussed was his trip to the U.S. in June in order to act as a "roadie" for the annual "Aids Life Cycle Ride to end Aids". ( It's a bike ride undertaken over 6 days by a huge number of participants, riding from San Francisco to Los Angeles over an interesting and picturesque route. Chung Yiu tells me about the background to this annual ride, why he decided to go over and become a "roadie", what the roadie activities involve, the number of people involved (including all the various support teams...), and what he got out of the experience. He was so impressed that he intends to go back for the 2010 ride, but not as a roadie next time, but as a rider.

This interesting recorded chat will be coming up on Orange Ribbon this coming Wednesday evening on JOY 94.9 at 7:00pm. So please join me this coming Wednesday evening to hear the latest from this energetic, enthusiastic, and committed Hong Kong chinese guy.

Allan Smales

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

This Week on Orange Ribbon Wednesday 26 August

On Orange Ribbon this week we have a young guy from America who is here in Melbourne to study education.

He will talk about his early life in a dangerous black suburb of LA with his twin brother and mother, how his mother decided to move the family to a safer area but eventually had to move back.

He has a love of Radio and TV work and will takes us on a journey of what he got involved in and how his religion helped him along the way.

To hear Eric's story, tune into Orange Ribbon on Wednesday at 7.00pm on Joy 94.9.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

This Week on Orange Ribbon Wednesday 12 August 2009

This week on Orange Ribbon we will be speaking to Ravi Lulla who originally comes from Mumbai in India and is from a Sindhi Hindu background.

Ravi will talk about growing up in Mumbai and being confused with regards to his sexuality. we will also hear about moving to Hong Kong, working with UNHCR, meeting his partner and having to go back to studying so he could stay in Hong Kong.

Ravi now works in Melbourne as a counsellor and is involved in running workshops consultancy and community development. He is also interested in intercultural communication, same sex relationships and supporting individuals and groups who need support coming out or questioning their sexuality and mental health.

He wrote two articles for MCV, one on Same Sex Relationships and recently one on the historic milestone for the LGBT community in India when the High Court repealed Section 377.

To hear the full story or ask Ravi a question, listen to Orange Ribbon on Joy 94.9 on Wednesday 12 August at 7.00pm.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

This Week on Orange Ribbon Wednesday 5th August 2009

This week on Orange Ribbon we have a Joy presenter from a non-traditional Australian background.

Anita and her family moved to Australia by ship in the 1950's and except for her mother's persistence, nearly did not end up in Melbourne.

We hear about the family's struggles in those early days in a migrant hostel, family health issues and later finding her life partner when she was engaged to be married.

Anita's story is not to be missed and will help you realise that life is to be lived, the way you want to live it.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Man of many hats...29th July, 7pm,

We have with us Tony Pitman. Tony wears many hats. Very well travelled, fathered a child to a Mexican lesbian couple and has a mexican boyfriend. Fluent in several languages. He comes to talk about the Equal Love protest that's going to be held on Saturday, the 1st of August. He also comes to challenge our views of the world around us. Do join us on Orange Ribbon on Joy 94.9 at 7pm on the 29th July 2009.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

This Week on Orange Ribbon Wed 22 July 2009

This week on Orange Ribbon we will be talking to a young guy from Canada.

Dave will tell us about his life in Canada, his schooling in a different language and what part religion had in his life.

He will talk about coming to terms with his sexuality, coming out to friends and family and who was the hardest to tell and why.

His story is interesting, informative and different as he will tell us how he decided to not meet anyone of the same sex until after he told every one he was gay.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

All rounder

Tony Pitman, father to a son to a lesbian couple in Mexico. A film maker. Travelled the world. GLBTIQ and human rights activist. A self-confessed skeptic. Starting his own show on Joy 94.9 soon. Do join us and get to know this all arounder on Joy 94.9 on Wedsnesday, 15th July 2009.

Postscript: Unfortunately Tony fell ill just prior to this weeks program so we had to make a last-minute switch, and our esteemed co-presenter, Hugh McKenna, stood in as our replacement "Scottish guest".

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

HIV and MSM's in S.E. Asia

Rob Sutherland works for ACON (Aids Council of NSW) in Sydney, where he has recently returned from a 12-month placement within the UNAIDS Regional Support Team in Bangkok looking at the incidence of HIV among Men who have Sex with Men (MSM's), and the types of education and support programs in place.

Since his return Rob ran a report-back session to interested parties in Sydney last month. This session included:
  1. The context of Men who have Sex with Men (MSM's) and the HIV epidemic in the Asia Pacific region
  2. The organisational response occurring at a regional level
  3. The ACON and Rainbow Sky Association of Thailand partnership and the collaborative work developed through this placement.

During his term in Bangkok Rob worked closely with various HIV support programs both in Thailand, as well as the Mekong delta regions of Laos and Vietnam.

And Rob discusses his findings with Allan on Orange Ribbon this week. He will talk about the 10-year epidemic projections for the Asian region if nothing is done vs. those same projections if "best practice" HIV programs are implemented.

But we also get to find out just a little about Rob himself, which provides an insight as to how and why he came to be involved in ACON and HIV-related activities in Sydney.

Join Allan and Rob for this somewhat different Orange Ribbon discussion this week on JOY 94.9 at 7:00pm.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

This Week on Orange Ribbon Wednesday 1 July

This week we will be speaking to a Joy 94.9 presenter about his early life in Malaysia and moving to Australia.

David will talk about his Christian religion in Malaysia, coming to Australia and finding his relatives here had different ideas about their religion. He will tell us why he and his family moved to Melbourne and what they wanted to escape in Perth.

David's story is very interesting and he will tell you what happened when he decided to come out to friends, family and his parents.

This is a show you should not miss on Joy 94.9

Monday, June 22, 2009

This week... Interracial relationships

This week Hugh and Allan will be speaking with two current on-air JOY program presenters about their respective relationships.

Jade is Australian-born and lives with her American partner. And Alex is Scottish, and lives here in Melbourne with his Hong Kong Chinese partner.

The discussions will cover everything from the first meeting, parents and in-laws, moving in together, contact with families back home, sharing of household chores, cultural differences and adjusting to same, together with a number of other issues.

Many gays and lesbians in Melbourne, and around the world, live in interracial relationships and there are always some adjustments that need to be made on both sides when such relationships develope and mature.

Hear how Jade and Alex have addressed these issues during the development of their respective relationships. Join Hugh & Allan, with Jade & Alex... this Wednesday (24th June) at 7:00pm om JOY 94.9FM.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Multicultural alphabet soup... this week

Allan has just spent the past few days in Sydney, and while there he caught up with Ty and Min Chuan. Ty is the Australian owner and operator of the popular Sydney gay sauna located right next door to China Town, and Min Chuan is his Malaysian partner who has come to Sydney as a university student from Kuala Lumpur.

Here is a real story of opposites, and a good example of the multicultural soup that your Orange Ribbon team serves up each week on JOY. Here we have:
  • an interacial relationship (Australian & Malaysian)
  • a beefy/beary build Aussie vs. steretypical tall slim Asian guy
  • an Aussie partner more than twice the age of his partner
  • HIV+ partner living with an HIV- partner
  • a working Aussie with a student partner
We get to discuss the various aspects of their lives, how they met (and this is certainly an interesting little story...), moving in together after two years of getting to know each other, living and sharing a life where one is HIV+ and how this disclosure came about, the often-assumed (but totally incorrect...) "sugar daddy" arrangement and how they deal with it, and a large number of other life topics.

This weeks story is a very typical multicultural alphabet soup story which your Orange Ribbon team has been trying to serve up over the past 11 years. And this week is JOY's annual radiothon, so we encourage all of our listeners (regular and occasional...) to continue to support JOY by becoming a member, or renewing your membership, or even adding an additional donation to your renewal.

Many thanks for your support of Orange Ribbon over the years, and please do join Allan on Wednesday night (17th June) to hear this great story about Ty and Min Chuan.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Our international alphabet soup

JOY's annual Radiothon is NOW ON.

The Orange Ribbon team strongly encourages all JOY listeners, and particularly regular Orange Ribbon listeners, to support the station during the Radiothon so that we can continue to bring you an interesting mix of interviews and discussions that cover the multicultural alphabet soup.

All of us at Orange Ribbon are volunteers, and are just a very small part of the much larger volunteer base that holds JOY together each week, who look after the technical, production, presentation, back office, website management, podcasts, blogs, and the innumerable other activities that are necessary to keep a community radio station on air 24/7. This huge volunteer base saves JOY millions of dollars in labour costs each year.

HOWEVER... even allowing for the huge volunteer labour base, there are still additional huge fixed costs necessary to keep JOY on air. Phone calls, rent, equipment maintenance, insurances, stationery, postage, printing, ISDN line costs, equipment replacements and upgrades etc. etc.

So we encourage all of our listeners to phone and and sign up as a new member during the course of our Radiothon. If you are already a member then we sincerely thank you, but why not renew during our Radiothon and your membership will be extended from its current expiry accordingly.

With thanks to our many business, and other, supporters there will be many thankyou gifts and prizes available to be won for every new/renewal membership. Keep tuned to JOY each day during this 10-day Radiothon and hear about the daily prizes.

And if you can make an additional donation as well as your new or renewed membership, then that would be absolutely fabulous.

Aline, Ka Fam, Hugh and Allan strongly encourage your support during JOY's current Radiothon, and that support will help keep Orange Ribbon, and all your other favourite JOY programs, on air at JOY...your favourite multicultural alphabet soup community radio station.

Oh... and in next weeks program we have a fascinating interview coming up which will be representative of some of the multicultural alphabet soup that Aline, Allan, Hugh and Ka Fam serve up for you each Wednesday night. (More details later.)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Italy... Yes, it's Italy again.

Three weeks ago we chatted to Cinzia (from Arcilesbica) and the The flag Sisters (Le Sorelle Bandiera) in the leadup to the major Italian GLBTIQ fund-raising social event.

Well, we're going back to Italy again this week because Cinzia's brother, Serafino, will be joining us in the studio for a chat. While brought up and educated in Australia, Serafino decided to return to Italy after completing university studies here, and has lived there ever since. But he tries to get back to Australia to visit the family on a semi-regular basis.

Serafino is back in town at the moment, but returns to Rome at the weekend. He runs two Pilates gymnasiums there, and also travels to various parts of the world training and lecturing on Pilates and general wellness issues. And we will hear about some of the celebrities who have used his services over the past few years.

Serafino knew he was gay well before he left Australia after completing university here, and says that he came out before his sister (Cinzia) did. Yes, a gay brother and gay sister in the one family!

Another really interesting chat coming up on Orange Ribbon this week. Let's talk about being gay, being Italian, comparison of living in Australia vs. Italy, and of course Pilates will get a going over as well.

Orange Ribbon... 7:00pm Wednesday 3rd June, on JOY 94.9

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Vietnamese heritage

He comes from a Vietnamese heritage, where his parents were Vietnamese boat people of the 1980's although they did not meet until after their respective arrivals in Australia. His parents later divorced, his gransparents later moved to Australia when they were in their 60's and did not then speak English. His grandparents were actually like parents to him.

He knew he must be gay from an early age, started listening to JOY when he was 16, and accepted that he was gay at 18. And he is a voice (and name...) that should be somewhat familiar to JOY listeners.

Who is he...? Listen in to Orange Ribbon this week and you will hear the full story.

Orange Ribbon... 7:00pm this Wednesday, 27th May, 2009.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hong Kong update, and a familiar voice...

It's 4 months since we last chatted with Reggie Ho in Hong Kong. So this week, Hugh and Allan will get another update from Reggie about things that affect the tongzhi (queer) community in that metropolis. Topics to be covered include Idaho (International Day Against Homophobia) Day last Sunday, progress (or otherwise...?) on the promised anti discrimination legislation, and an embarassing reversal of totally unnecessary censorship at one of Hong Kong's universities.

Also this week... a voice from the past. Long-time Orange Ribbon listeners will be delighted to hear a familiar voice from the past... someone who was involved in the Orange Ribbon program for the first 7 years.
Who is it?

Well... you're going to have to listen in this Wednesday (20th May, 2009) between 7:00-8:00pm.

Orange Ribbon program on JOY 94.9FM

Monday, May 11, 2009

Arcilesbica, The Italian Lesbian group and The flag Sisters, Le Sorelle Bandiera

This week, we have Cinzia and Francesca from the Italian Lesbian group. They are looking forward to share with us what the group has done to break down barriers between community groups.

Arcilesbica is the organizer of the annual Italian GLBTIQ dance event. This year they are very excited to have the Flag Sisters, celebrities in Italy in the seventies, appeared in prime-time television. They will be joining us live in Joy94.9 studio. Below are two links to give you some idea of who the Flag Sisters are. Do join us on Wednesday, 13th of May, 7pm.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

This Week on Orange Ribbon Wednesday 6th May 2009

Earlier this year, Hugh returned to his home country, Scotland, for several weeks of catching up with family and friends. While he was there, he recorded two interviews for Orange Ribbon.

This week Hugh presents the second of those two recorded interviews with Shelly from Livingston, a town outside of Edinburgh.

Shelly is 20 years old and decided to come out to her family so she did not have to hide the fact she is a lesbian. Shelly talks about living in a small town in Scotland, the reaction by her family when she came out and how easy it is when everyone knows.

Hugh also speaks to Shelly's mother about how she reacted to the news that her daughter is a lesbian. She also talks about how she thinks other parents should react to their child being gay and how she could have done more to help Shelly.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Singapore's Pink Dot on May 16

The Freedom To Love

Gay and lesbian Singaporeans, and friends and supporters, are being asked to come out on Saturday, May 16, to form a human Pink Dot at the field at Hong Lim Park. This is NOT being promoted as a protest, but a coming-together of all like-minded Singaporeans to show support for the freedom to love for all GLBTI Singaporeans.

All attendees are asked to wear something pink, and the objective is to take some ariel photographs to highlight the support for GLBTI Singaporeans to have the freedom to love. This Pink Dot is to be a celebration of diversity and equality, and a symbol of Singapore's more inclusive future.

Orange Ribbon supports this legal event to be held at the only location in Singapore where it is legal for public assembly and public discussion without requiring governmnet approval.

Monday, April 27, 2009

A discussion on human rights, racism and what you can do about it

Because the LGBT community spans all ethnicities, races, and cultures, we are unfortunately all too aware that discrimination on the basis of race exists within.

On this week's show we’ll look at the importance of racial tolerance and diversity, especially in our GLBT community which is already exposed to discrimination from homophobia.

Our guest this Wednesday is Senior Adviser, Human Rights Education, Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human Rights Commission, and ALSO President, Jason Rostant.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

This week on Orange Ribbon Wednesday 22 April

In February this year, Hugh returned to his home country, Scotland, for several weeks of catching up with family and friends. While he was there, he recorded two interviews for our Orange Ribbon listeners.

This week Hugh presents the first of those two recorded interviews.

While he was in Edinburgh he interviewed local Scottish guy, Martin.

Martin's story is controversial, and may shock, and is a coming of age story from the sixties. In the interview Martin talks about:

  • Being adopted, and his painstaking search for his birth mother.
  • The sexual practices of young teens, and in his case pre-teens, in Scotland
  • Frequenting bars and drinking alcohol at a young age (Some things have not changed in the past 40 years)
  • What the gay scene (as it was still illegal then) was like in Edinburgh in the 60’s, and how it shaped his future life.

To hear Martin's story in full, tune in to Orange Ribbon on JOY 94.9 on Wednesday, 22nd April, from 7:00pm to 8:00pm.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

This week on Orange Ribbon, Italia mama mia!

Do the older generation of Italians in Australia have chickens in their backyard? Do Italians still make tomato sauce in their backyard? These questions and more will be answered and finally put to rest!

Appearing on the show, Marco, Michael and Angelo from Italian and Gay, a social and support group in Melbourne. They will share with us their experience of being part of the group and what the group is all about.

So tune in to catch a bit of Italian flavour on Joy 94.9 on Wednesday,15th of April, 7pm.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

This week on Orange Ribbon Wednesday 8th April

Have you ever listened to a show on Joy 94.9 and wondered what the presenter is like, or listened to the news and thought the news reader sound nice?

On Wednesday at 7.00pm on Orange Ribbon, you can find out what a presenter on Joy 94.9 and a news reader are both like. They are partners, met each other overseas, had a rough relationship at first and both went through a long period of ill health.

To find out who they are and what show the presenter does, you will have to tune in to Joy 94.9 and listen to Orange Ribbon on Wednesday 8 April at 7.00pm. They have a great story to tell, it's happy, sad and funny and it's a story worth listening to.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Tony Yap on this weeks program

PULSE is an exclusive short season of site-specific multimedia performances on the breath-taking JOY 94.9 CBD rooftop. The next season is coming up this coming Friday and Saturday (3rd & 4th April) featuring dance pieces by Yumi Umiamare and Tony Yap.
Tony and Umi have been collaborating through their unique styles over 14 years here in Australia, in Europe and in Eastern Asia. And this coming weekend is a further enhancement to that unique collaboratiuon. As a dancer Tony is influenced by his research into Asian sharmanistic trance dance and Butoh.

Tony Yap is Malaysian-born, but now well-established here in Australia on the contemporary dance scene. And he will be our special guest on Orange Ribbon this week (1st April). Tony will not only be talking about his upcoming event on thee JOY rooftop this coming weekend, but he will also talk about his life, from childhood in Malaysia, to his life in dance here in Australia,and all things in between.

So join the Orange Ribbon team at 7:00pm this coming Wednesday to hear about the life of this amazing artist, including some personal revelations of living in today's queer world.

Monday, March 23, 2009

This week on Orange Ribbon

This week we will be presenting an interview that Allan recorded in Hong Kong three weeks ago, with Chung To, the Founder and CEO of the Chi Heng Foundation. Complete details and background to this interview can be found in Allan's earlier post to this blog dated March 6th, 2009.

Chung To is a most interesting, yet quietly-spoken, person, with a passion to provide living and education expenses for poor children in China who have been affected by the Aids epidemic. His organization now provides financial support for around 7,000 children in China, and the fundraising required for this support is substantial. Chung has given up his banking career for the past 5 years in order to provide volunteer support for his Foundation, and the children it supports.

Listen in to Orange Ribbon at 7pm on JOY 94.9 (Melbourne, Australia) this coming Wednesday evening (25th March) to hear this amazing story of a very dedicated and passionate human being.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

DJ Beaker

Mel, known as DJ Beaker was born in Australia to Chinese parents, although her mother came from Papua new guinea.

Described by some as an Asian Grace Jones, Mel is a self declared bogasian and many members of her family are gay and bisexual. Mel confess not speaking Mandarin and when she tries she often gets the tones embarrassingly wrong.

She moved from Sydney to Melbourne just over 12mths ago. Promoter and Co-founder of Miss Concubine, Beaker, has been spinning in the Sydney G&L scene for over 10 years and has played at various parties including Mardi Gras, Sleaze Ball....

More at 7pm tomorrow...

Friday, March 6, 2009

Allan reports from Hong Kong (again...)

Yes, I know that I seem to have spent a lot of time up here in Hong Kong, but I do love the place, and I have many great friends up here as well. My partner, Pete, and I flew up here just two weeks ago for our umpteenth visit. However, Pete flew out of Hong Kong earlier this morning on his way back home to Melbourne, in order to attend the Daylesford Chill-Out Festival this coming weekend, and then he is off to Sydney and then Brisbane for a few days. In the meantime, I will remain on here in Hong Kong for the next 10 days. We will both meet up back at home (in Melbourne) gain on Monday 16th when I return from Hong Kong.

I have lost count of my visits here to Hong Kong, in particular over the past two years, but it is proba
bly 10-11 visits, totaling probably 6-7 months. Goodness...! I suddenly realized that this means I have spent upwards of 25% of my time here in just the last two years, ignoring various other visits I made here prior to the last two years.

Regular listeners to Orange Ribbon will know that we occasionally chat with Reggie Ho here in Hong Kong, and who gives us an update on what's been happening for the gay & lesbian scene here. Reggie was last on Orange Ribbon on 17th January. (If you missed it, you can click on the "Podcasts" tab on the JOY website, search for "Orange Ribbon" program, click on "Previous episodes...", then search for the program edition for 17th January.) Well, I hope to catch up with Reggie next week sometime for lunch/dinner and no doubt I will get some more local news I can report on when I return.

However, last Monday I caught up with Chung To, the Founder and Chairperson of the Chi Heng Foundation ( Although born in Hong Kong, Chung moved with his family to the U.S.A. when he was 15. He subsequently went to college (university), obtained a Graduate and Masters degree in business finance, and then worked in merchant banking in New York for several years. At the age of 27 years he was then transferred to Hong Kong with his banking employer to take up a senior role here. But as will be revealed in an upcoming interview, Chung got involved in helping Aids-affected children in Hong Kong, and more extensively in mainland China. He started the Chi Heng Foundation which (among many other activities) now provides financial support for living and schooling expenses for around 7,000 Aids-affected children in Mainland China.

His work with Chi Heng Foundation became a full-time role, and so a few years ago he gave up his banking career and now works full-time as the volunteer Chairperson for his Chi Heng Foundation. But he hopes to be able to get back to some (personal) income-producing activities at some stage as he can't live forever with no income to support himself.

Chung To is an amazing Chinese gay and Aids activist, with a deep concern and interest in the welfare of mainland Chinese children who have been affected in some way by Aids... either by having parents or siblings living with (or have died of) Aids, or who themselves are living with HIV.

Chung is a very busy man, and travels a lot through mainland China keeping touch with the work that the Chi Heng Foundation undertakes. However, he set aside an hour for me last Monday afternoon to record an interview which I will be presenting on Orange Ribbon after I return to Melbourne... most probably it will be the program for 25th March.

So please stay tuned for updates, and the most likely date of 25th March when I will present to you my interview with this deeply driven and concerned local who has set aside his own career (and stable income...) in order to start the Chi Heng Foundation and to assist so many children in mainland China.

I will be returning to Melbourne on 16th March, almost immediately to the Melbourne Queer Film Festival which I shall be attending for most sessions, so I probably won't be on Orange Ribbon until the 25th March when I will present to you my recent chat with Chung To. Looking forward to talking to you all then.

Allan Smales in Hong Kong

Monday, February 23, 2009


This Wednesday on Orange Ribbon, Yasmin will be joining us to chat about her truly multicultural background. Born in Australia but of Serbian, German, Austrian and Chinese descent, Yasmin will tell us about going to a Chinese school in Australia, discovering the Serbian underground scene only a few months ago, being busted by her mum kissing a girl, studying engineering and much much more...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Gay partner immigration (18th Feb. 2009)

The Gay & Lesbian Immigration Task Force, better known as GLITF, provides assistance to gay & lesbian Australian/overseas partners where one partner needs to apply for Permanent Residency in order to live with his or her partner here in Australia. (

Every couple of years or so, Orange Ribbon invites GLITF back again (a) to remind newer listeners about the work and services of GLITF, and (b) to outline any recent legislative changes that may have changed the rules by which your overseas partner can apply for Permanent Residency.

So... it is time to catch up with GLITF again. If you are in a relationship with an overseas partner, or you have friends in that situation, then make sure you listen in to Orange Ribbon this week for the latest details. And you can send in your questions (ONLY while the program is actually going "live" to air... i.e. 7:00-8:00pm Wednesday) by emailing or SMS 0427 JOY 949.

Also in this program, we will be chatting with Hans and Lantry about their relationship, and the immigration process they are currently going through. Hans already lives in Australia, and Lantry is American and hopes to gain his PR early next year. And we will hear a little about this transcontinental love story that is holding the two of them together.

So... if you just have a casual interest in gay & lesbian partner immigration, or you have a direct and current interest in this topic, listen in to Orange Ribbon this coming Wednesday, 18th February, at 7:00pm, this week with Allan and Ka Fam as your presenters.

Monday, February 9, 2009

A New Yorker tells his story

Coming up this week on Orange Ribbon is a discussion with Colin, who comes from the United States.

Colin is from New York, and grew up as a member of the Y generation. He will discuss what it is like to be a gay man growing up in America in his generation, and his subsequent move to The Big Apple. He will also share his views on what it is like being a gay man in the New York scene.

So join the Orange Ribbon team this coming Wednesday (11th February) at 7:00pm for another interesting story with an international angle.

Monday, February 2, 2009

This weeks' program (4th Feb. 2009)

Sydney based Sveta is widely known around Australia for her unforgettable and explosive sets at Sydney’s annual Mardi Gras dance party. Sveta is amongst the few underground DJs that have crossed-over to a diverse audience of straight, gay, young, old, queer and fetish audiences.

Sveta is also Russian born and will be with us on Orange Ribbon this Wednesday to talk about her life, her career and music.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A gay Muslim tells his story (28th January, 2009)

Our guest on Orange Ribbon this week is Shah, who was born and raised in Negeri Sembilan in southern Malaysia, as a member of a typical middle-class Muslim family. His father was a school headmaster and his mother was involved in womens politics.

Shah realised by his teenage years that he had feminine traits, and experienced a very difficult time as a result during his first three years of his secondary education at a boarding school, having to deal with criticism and derogatory comments from his peers. His early teenage years were a very unhappy time, resulting in him being moved to another school in order for him to complete his secondary education.

He later studied civil engineering, and then began working in that field, but very quickly realised it was "too butch" a career for him. He will tell us of his decision to change careers, and take out yet another degree, which was the trigger for his move to Melbourne where he completed a computer science degree, and gained some freedom.

But the family pressure was always there into his late 20's regarding an obvious lack of a girlfriend and prospective wife. He will tell us how his Mum offered to help locate a suitable girl, which resulted in a rather interesting scenario. But after another two years he finally decided to "come out" to his family. After the initial tears, his mother decided he needed to be "cured". So she called in a traditional healer, who offered a rather intriguing solution and "cure" for his gayness, which (surprise, surprise...!) did not convert Shah back into a good little straight boy again.

And there is so much more to this story, which Shah will tell us about this coming Wednesday evening (28th January).
Please join Allan at 7:00pm this Wednesday night to hear Shah's story... on this weeks edition of Orange Ribbon.
And finally...
To our Chinese friends both here in Australia, and around the world, we wish you all a great and prosperous Year of the Ox.
So to our Cantonese speakers, Kung Hei Fat Choi.
Or for our Mandarin speakers...Gong Xi Fa Cai.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Hong Kong update - 21st January, 2009

Reggie Ho was first introduced to Orange Ribbon listeners way back on the 19th December, 2002. On an earlier visit Allan made to Hong Kong in November, 2002, he first met up with Reggie, and Vivian So, who were both volunteers with the Horizons gay & lesbian (or tongzhi) phone counselling service.

Reggie Ho is a Hong Kong based journalist, and long-time gay activist, and has been a contributor to Orange Ribbon on a number of occasions since that first meeting in 2002... always providing a unique slant on Hong Kong gay & lesbian activities, news, and general issues.

However, we have recently realised that it is actually quite some time since we last chatted with Reggie about what is happening in Hong Kong. So this week we decided that we would devote the entire program to Reggie and to Hong Kong GLBT news and issues.

Given his long-standing involvement in the gay scene , and his journalistic experience, Reggie is always able to provide an intriguing and concise "insiders" view on what is happening. So... coming up on Orange Ribbon this week is a complete update on GLBT issues in Hong Kong. Topics that Reggie says he will cover include the following:
  • After a few previous smaller attempts over several years, a few weeks ago Hong Kong held its first significant Pride March, with over 1,000 people taking part. Reggie was there, and can tell us a little of this important event.

  • There has been a recent review of the Obscene and Indecent Tribunal Ordinance, and Reggie says that there have been some totally ridiculous views and submissions made, that would be laughable if they were not serious.
  • Gays spread AIDS and abuse children..!!! That's just SOME of the outlandish claims made by some of the 60 religious groups that turned up to a Domestic Violence Ordinance hearing. Reggie says "They have gone nuts and sometimes even comical". He will tell us a little about this.

  • Reggie also believes that he can see a rising anti-gay movement beginning to grow in Hong Kong, even though homosexuality was decrimilised way back in 1991. He will tell us why.
All of this will be covered in this weeks Orange Ribbon. So join Aline, Hugh and Allan on Wednesday evening at 7:00pm to hear some of the news from Hong Kong, as well as some of Reggie's views and thoughts on these topics.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Orange Ribbon - Wednesday 14th January

This week on the show we talk to Eng Kim, who originally comes from Johor Bahru in southern Malaysia, which is approximately 30 minutes drive from Singapore.

Eng Kim will tell us about his early life in Malaysia and talk about his education in a Chinese school, religion, and growing up in a middle to upper class family.

Eng Kim came to Australia in his late 20's and immediately started to study. He will talk us through all the different subjects he studied, where and what he studied in Australia and overseas.

He will also talk about when he discovered he was gay, the Sydney and Melbourne gay scene, and how he has not told his family he is gay, even though they all know and accept it.

To hear Eng Kim's story, tune in to Orange Ribbon on Joy 94.9 on Wednesday 14th January at 7.00pm.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Tonight on Orange Ribbon - 7th January, 2009

On tonight's program we talk to Adam, who was born in Poland to German/Polish and Polish/Belarus parents.

Adam's family was involved in the SOLIDARITY political movement in Poland, and so had to leave the country and take refuge in Sweden where he grew up.

In Sweden he was branded the Swedish equivalent of a wog. He had a religious education, and was sent to Polish bible camps.

He dressed differently, ate differently, and generally felt different from everyone else. Then he started to go back to Poland often where they were called "the people from Sweden": so an identity crisis followed!!

On the top of being part of a political and Christian family (his uncles are in the parliament) he also realised he was gay.

Adam later took up drama school, and then came out on a talk show on national television. He backpacked around Asia, moved to Dublin, and then got to university in Melbourne. He met his boyfriend here.

Adam is a big Eurovision fan, and 2 years ago decided to make the annual eurotrash party "ladies only" party and dressed up as a shy polish housewife: Samantha Stretch was born!! Heaps of photos were taken and put them on MySpace and it became a MySpace phenomena, with followings all over the world, and with a fan club in Switzerland.

What a fascinatiung story... and you can hear all about it on Orange Ribbon tonight with Aline, Hugh and Allan... 7:00pm on JOY 94.9FM. Or listen "live" over the internet by going to and click on the "Listen Live" icon at the top of the page.