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.