Alex Au

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Alex Au
Born 1952 (1952) (age 62)
Singapore
Nationality Singaporean
Other names Yawning Bread
Alma mater Anglo-Chinese School
National University of Singapore
Website
www.yawningbread.org

Alex Au Waipang, (Chinese: 区伟鹏) also known by his Internet nom de plume as Yawning Bread, is part of the Singapore gay equality movement.

He is the author of a website, where he provides analyses of Singaporean politics, culture, gay issues and miscellaneous subjects.[1] He is also the co-author of two books, People Like Us: Sexual Minorities in Singapore[2] and a French-language treatise on homophobia entitled L'Homophobie.

He was the owner of Rairua,[3] Singapore's first nude gay sauna.[4]

Biography[edit]

Au, English-educated and of Cantonese descent, was born in Singapore in 1952. He attended the Anglo-Chinese School for his primary and secondary education and obtained his tertiary degree from the National University of Singapore.[citation needed] After graduation, he worked in a managerial position at a British multinational corporation before branching out on his own as the proprietor of several business catering to the gay community, as well as freelance writing.[5]

He was one of the founding members, along with Joseph Lo and Dr. Russell Heng, of Singapore's main gay equality lobby group People Like Us,[6] and also the founder and list owner of the Singapore Gay News List (SiGNeL), the first discussion forum for Singapore's gay community.[1]

In 2002, he was presented with the Utopia award for outstanding contributions towards the advancement of gay equality in Asia.[7]

In July 2003, Au was identified by the now-defunct Channel i as a gay activist. His views were solicited in the wake of Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong's recent announcement that the hiring of gays in the civil service would henceforth be liberalized.[citation needed]

In the run-up to the 2006 Singapore general election, Au provided extensive coverage[8] of the opposition parties' rallies which were attended by overwhelming crowds. Au included careful photographic documentation.[9]

Au used his connections with People Like Us and with leading practitioners in the local gay arts scene to organize IndigNation, Singapore's first gay pride month in 2005[10] and Short Circuit, Singapore's first gay film festival in 2006.[2]

In July 2012, the attorney general's chambers wrote to Alex Au, now a prominent blogger and gay rights activist, demanding that he take down and apologize for a June 2012 post in his Yawning Bread blog that criticized the judiciary for showing deference to the executive. Au promptly removed the post.

In October 2014, Senior State Counsel Tai Wei Shyong, acting for the attorney-general, urged the High Court to hold Au in contempt of court for two Yawning Bread articles that made it seem that there is a "systemic bias" in Singapore's judiciary against cases involving homosexuality. In his defence, Au's lawyers, Peter Low and Choo Zheng Xi, accused the AG of being "trigger-happy" in taking their client to court on "imputation, innuendo and insinuation". Judgement is reserved until a further date.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Offord, Baden (2003). Chris Berry, Fran Martin, Audrey Yue, ed. Mobile cultures: new media in queer Asia. Duke University Press. pp. 144–151. ISBN 978-0-8223-3087-5. 
  2. ^ a b Ng, Yi-Sheng (2006). SQ21: Singapore queers in the 21st century. Oogachaga Counseling & Support. ISBN 978-981-05-6205-2. 
  3. ^ "Police arrest four men in Singapore sauna". www.fridae.asia. Fridae. 28 April 2005. Retrieved 28 July 2014. 
  4. ^ Jackson, Peter A. (2011). Queer Bangkok: 21st Century Markets, Media, and Rights. Hong Kong University Press. ISBN 978-988-8083-04-6. 
  5. ^ Fridae bibliography
  6. ^ Peterson, William (2001). Theater and the politics of culture in contemporary Singapore. Wesleyan University Press. pp. 134–135. ISBN 978-0-8195-6472-6. 
  7. ^ "Utopia Awards 2002". Utopia Asia. Archived from the original on 8 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  8. ^ Alex Au (6 May 2006). "Report : On Hougang field". yawningbread.org. Yawning Bread. Retrieved 28 July 2014. 
  9. ^ Alex Au (6 March 2006). "Photo On Hougang field" (JPG). Yawning Bread. Retrieved 28 July 2014. 
  10. ^ "GLBT Guide to Gay & Lesbian Life in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia". gaywired.com. 27 April 2006. Retrieved 2009-04-05. 
  11. ^ Lum, Selina (24 October 2014). "Blogger accused of painting ‘distorted picture’ of judiciary". Singapore Press Holdings. The Straits Times. Retrieved 27 October 2014. 

External links[edit]