Organising a festival to promote gender and sexual diversity in Malaysia isn’t easy, but a group of committed individuals have come together to make it happen. The Together Life Gets Better Festival runs from 19 – 22 September, and will include talks, workshops, performances and more.
The festival is curated by a group of people who want to see more tolerance, acceptance and understanding in Malaysian society, and is supported by NGOs like Women’s Aid Organisation and Pusat LB Rakyat.
“We want to encourage hope and celebrate diversity as a way to counter the kinds of hostility and intolerance around gender, class, sexuality, disability and other differences that have become a part of everyday life,” says Jac, one of the TLGB organisers.
Want to be part of it? Here are six event highlights to check out:
Big Fish: “Confessions”
Friday 20 September (8.30pm) at Palate Palette
The monthly storytelling event which is usually held at Nerofico shifts to the city centre for a festival edition. With the theme of “Confessions”, the usual format is to have a line-up of storytellers share personal experiences and then invite members of the audience to take the mic.
Fruit Smoothies: Real Stories from the Gender Blender
Saturday 21 September (5pm – 7pm) at Paper + Toast
This is a live multimedia storytelling session on love, intimacy, drama and life where gender lines are blurred. Featuring stories by Buven Gunasekaran, Jameel Abdul Rahmal, Jose, Manis and Shane Capri Chin.
The Girrrlie Show!
Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 September (9pm) at Pisco Bar (RM45)
SHELAH returns for a two night performance at The Girrrlie Show!, promising a weekend of wit, music and laughter along with fellow performers Dara, Rozz and Arisha.
Rethinking Mental Health Issues: Coping with Depression
Saturday 21 September 2013 (10am – 2pm) at Paper + Toast
If you or someone you know suffers from depression, then this forum offers a chance to ask questions and find some answers. There will be a film screening followed by a talk where attendees will be armed with information (knowledge is power!) on spotting the signs of people with depression and suicidal tendencies and where to find help.
Places are limited so please register with [email protected]
Queer on Culture
Sunday 22 September (3pm – 4pm) at Palate Palette
Sharaad Kuttan of BFM89.9’s “A Bit of Culture” talks culture, the arts and queerness. Expect cerebral pleasures.
Workshop: Play safe online
Sunday 22 September (3pm – 6pm) at Paper + Toast
This workshop will teach you the basic building blocks of digital safety as people turn more and more also to the internet for information, hanging out and making change happen.
Please note that some events have limited places. Find out more about the #TLGB Festival here.