Go to Part 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZmxeZqj6K4 Translated transcript of this video segment: Male narrator: This past year, the topic of homosexuality here has drawn the attention of arts producers. In the past, the issue of homosexuality would definitely not have been allowed to surface in the mainstream media, nor would the staging of public performances be approved. The official loosening-up policy has received a rapturous response from homosexual groups. Assistant Artistic Director from Toy Factory Production Ensemble, Mr. Xie Shen Jie (Nelson Chia): These groups have existed in all times and will continue to do so forever. Moreover, they will never cease to seek out spaces in which to survive. Because they need to survive. If you don't provide an environment where they can thrive, their vitality will become even stronger, I feel. This is also why in drama, we have homosexuality as fodder. We will continue and never stop having these productions. All of us in homosexual and similar groups, and artistes concerned with gay topics will never cease to seek a way and a voice to discuss the issue. Male narrator: This past year, each theatre group has produced a string of productions dealing with homosexuality. Toy Factory's staging of 'Bent' and other plays have featured themes of homosexuality. Toy Factory's Asst. Artistic Director Xie Shen Jie, during our interview, pointed out that the Government has indeed already broadened the dimensions that productions can take. Toy Factory's Nelson Jia: As far as the application for a permit to stage these productions is concerned, the situation now, compared to previously, has improved considerably. Of course, that is not to say that there is blanket approval. But it has become a bit more convenient. Compare this to the past, when even the least homosexual nuance on stage, let alone the script calling for a gay character, would immediately have given the authorities extreme jitters. Nowadays, this kind of thing is commonplace, up to the point that we can even display gay kissing. Male narrator: Along with these developments, venues catering to homosexual interests have ventured out one by one. Openly gay nightspots can already appear amongst those catering to mainstream society. Then why are there still gays who complain? Is our nation's society being fair towards them? Male narrator: Last year, the authorities refused to issue a public entertainment licence when an application to hold a gay Christmas party was submitted. The reason given was that our society was still a conservative one. Moreover, it had been observed that homosexuals were indulging in public displays of intimacy. Therefore, the permit was denied. Homosexual groups have thus felt dissatisfied with the aforementioned decision. PLU's Mr. Chen De Wei (Charles Tan, bespectacled, with hint of goatee, who had earlier on been shown in the office with Eileena Lee): Looking at it from one aspect, the event relied on ticketing sales for entry. If you are fearful that it may offend the sensitivities of conservative people, they can easily stay away from it. It presents no problem, isn't that true? Moreover, parties such as this have been held for many years. None of them faced any problems. So, this sudden refusal to issue a permit is somewhat of a contradiction. The explanation should have been given from a legal viewpoint. There was no actual infringement of any laws. It was only a party, meant to enable the clientele, the majority of whom perhaps would have been homosexual, to have an enjoyable night out. That's the only thing. It wouldn't have caused any disturbance to the average man-in-the-street. Male narrator: Toy Factory's Asst. Artistic Director, Xie Shen Jie, also said that the position taken by the relevant authorities is not explicit. Toy Factory's Nelson Chia: You say you don't approve of the holding of this party because Singapore, after all, is more of a conservative society. But you want to increase the amount of liberal space in this conservative society. You moreover encourage liberalisation. Then you approve of the existence of homosexual groups. You acknowledge their existence. This is tantamount to two heads speaking in different tongues. Homosexual groups are going to feel that actually... I also think that the situation is this...you are using a contradictory policy decision as a reason for them to accept, subsequently hoping that they will swallow it. Because this reason, I think, the minute everyone hears it, they immediately know that, "Eh, this isn't what you said in the first place". So, can you come up with a more comprehensive reason to explain away this matter. Male narrator: However, sociologists think that the authorities' actions were not taken from a position of discrimination. See full transcript: http://the-singapore-lgbt-encyclopaedia.wikia.com/wiki/Transcript_of_Channel_U_documentary:_%22Do_homosexuals_have_space_for_their_activities%3F%22
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On Wednesday, 23 February 2005, at 8.30 pm, Singapore's second Chinese-language TV channel...