Singaporean queering of the internet: towards a new form of cultural transmission of rights discourse

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Offord, B 2001, 'Singaporean queering of the internet: towards a new form of cultural transmission of rights discourse', paper presented to AsiaPaciQueer 2: Media, Technology and Queer Cultures Conference, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Qld., 3-4 December.


Sexuality, queer subjectivity, identity and human rights are presently being taken up as crucial sites of ethical intervention by Indonesians and Singaporeans on the Internet. This paper examines how the Internet is helping to create new spaces of intersubjective and intercultural communication that address the issue of non-normative sexualities and the sense of belonging in society.

As Laurence Wai-Teng Leong argues with regard to Singapore, the Internet, together with globalisation, is challenging the state's silence on civil rights and developing an awareness of gay and lesbian issues. The Internet, according to Alan Sondheim (1997: 6) 'represents a deep re-alignment of human community, one which circumvents bordersS' It is a critical space that permits both 'pain and empathy (10).' It is in fact a place of intersubjective conversations and dialogue, postings, news, stories and all manner of analysis.

This paper takes up these concerns by interrogating specific web sites such as and 'Yawning Bread' to illustrate, through discourse analysis appropriate to the properties of the Internet, how the non-centralised chaos of cyberspace creates new ways of belonging and participation.