Published May 7, 2010 by sistersinsolidarity

Since the incident at ChinaOne, my sisters and I have been very busy with our educational campaign Sisters in Solidarity (SIS). It is apparent that there is much to do about educating people about transgender issues in Singapore. The press conference and media coverage as well as response from the public has shown that people do care about transgender individuals in Singapore. You can easily google “Sisters in Solidarity” or “Marla Bendini” to find numerous articles and discussions.

Left to right: Ming, studio director of Arco Polates with Tricia Leong, Marla Bendini and Leona Lo at the launch of the Sisters in Solidarity campaign

I am but one transgender woman. I will respond to and blog with regards to any misquotes and issues pertaining to transgender individuals in my own time. If you feel you need to express any opinions, please write to me at marlabendini@gmail.com.

Right now, I will have to focus on my upcoming exhibition, “Conversations between father and son”.

I would like to take some time to thank the following media, independent writers and journalists:


Alex Au, Yawning Bread

蔡依桃, 新明日报 Shin Min Daily News

Sylvia Tan, editor of Fridae.com

Andrew Loh, Chief Editor of The Online Citizen

Thank you for kind consideration and respect as to using the correct pronouns when referring to me and my fellow sister, Ms Tricia Leong, as transgender women. This comes as a rarity amongst the disheartening disrespect and indifference some local media has shown towards transgender individuals despite my plea at the press conference held on 5th May 2010. I would also like to thank them for the kind photos of me that they’ve taken and chosen to publish, unlike the media reports that conveniently took pictures off my facebook or website and published them out of context.

“Referring to transgender people with the right pronouns — meaning the gender they identify with — is a huge gesture toward respect. It’s a slap-in-the-face to ignore how someone feels, dresses, and presents themselves to the world. It’s also a bit inaccurate to call someone who wears dresses and is known to all their friends as Candy as a man. Remember, it’s not our job to tell anyone they’re not really a man or woman, or they’re not doing it right.

Ask people if they go by “he” or “she” then refer to them that way. For those who are truly forward-looking, and believe in a spectrum of gender, there is a third option. In Australia, where recognizing a third gender was recently debated, try the gender neutral “ze.” – Jessie Torrisi article on Human Rights website, “Reporters: How to Get it Right on Transgender Issues”:

I apologise if I have left anyone out in this special mention. Sisters and dear readers, please kindly comment on this post and inform me if you know of any article and writer that deserves special mention here.

Buy our SIS’s badge at $2 each and support our cause this Saturday petition signing at Food#03.

Maybe it does take a simple badge pinned on ourselves to remind us what respect truly is.


Marla Bendini



One comment on “R.E.S.P.E.C.T

  • I am a transgender woman from the Philippines and I would like to join and support groups that aim to voice our LGBT rights. Let me know how to join the group.

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