Singapore remains one of the few countries in Asia that has yet to decriminalize homosexuality. Yet it has also been hailed by many as one of the emerging gay capitals of Asia. This book accounts for the rise of mediated queer cultures in Singapore’s current milieu of illiberal citizenship. This collection analyses how contemporary queer Singapore has emerged against a contradictory backdrop of sexual repression and cultural liberalisation. Using the innovative framework of illiberal pragmatism, established and emergent local scholars and activists provide expansive coverage of the impact of homosexuality on Singapore’s media cultures and political economy, including law, religion, the military, literature, theatre, photography, cinema, social media and queer commerce. It shows how new LGBT subjectivities have been fashioned through the governance of illiberal pragmatism, how pragmatism is appropriated as a form of social and critical democratic action, and how cultural citizenship is forged through a logic of queer complicity that complicates the flows of oppositional resistance and grassroots appropriation.
By Audrey Yue (Editor) and Jun Zubillaga-Pow (Editor), 2012