We talk to the everyday heroes who make Singapore a better place person by person, day after day. These LGBT support groups will also have a booth (or a picnic mat) at Pink Dot 2011, so come by and say hi!
Who they are: A resource centre and library for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and curious individuals.
What they do: Their library has about 1,000 non-fiction and fiction titles, and they regularly hold book launches, talks and workshops.
When was it set up: 2003 by Charmaine Tan, Eileena Lee and Dinesh Naidu.
Address: Free Community Church, 56 Lor Geylang #03-00 Century Technology Building, S 388391 (Open Sat 2-6pm)
A free library resource stocked with LGBT-related fiction and non-fiction titles, the Pelangi Pride Centre is run by about 20 volunteers. Currently, they’re housed at Free Community Church in Geylang. It’s open every Saturday from 2 to 6 pm.
PPC managing team: Eileena Lee, Lai Nam Khim and Charmaine Tan
What are some of the favourite book titles in the PPC library?
We have quite a few “hot” favourites in the library. These include Johann S. Lee’s Peculiar Chris, Pat Califia’s Stone Butch Blues, Betty Berzon’s Permanent Partners, the list goes on! There are “seasons” for when these books become “hot”. For instance, during university vacations, a lot more people come and borrow books on relationships.
Do you think our NLB selection of books caters to the LGBT community?
At present, we don’t think so, and that’s one of the reasons why we continue to operate the library, although it is incredibly painstaking and labourious work (especially for us non-librarians!!!) We think it would be hard to come by a place in Singapore, apart from PPC, where people have access to so many LGBTQ-related titles, all in one place.
Where do you get your books from?
The majority of our books are personal donations from the LGBTQ community! We also have received cash donations which we used to stock popular titles for the library.
Why did you get involved?
Many of us didn’t have access to information and resources when we were coming to terms with our sexual orientation. We know that this journey can be a time of great questioning and loneliness, especially if you become convinced in the process that there’s no one else “out there” who understands what you are going through. A space like PPC allows people to access information, at their own time in a non-threatening space.
What are you wearing to Pink Dot?
We haven’t decided yet but we have a sneaking suspicion it might be something pink.