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.