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Singapore LGBTQ group Prout decries LGBT-themed cruise dinner after staff says “trashy transexuals” unwelcome

Anna Maria Romero  THE INDEPENDENT, SG Thu  November 5, 2020

The dinner cruise event was classified as “open only to those who are classy and willing to spend”

Facebook screengrab: Royal Albatross Superyacht

SINGAPORE –  Transphobia, feelings of dislike or acts of discrimination against transgender people, is a real thing, as Prout, a local LGBTQ group, pointed out this week.

Prout took to its social media pages on Monday (Nov 2) to say that a business that “focuses on providing getaways/luxurious experiences” had reached out in line with its LGBTQ-themed event, but had demonstrated the kind of transphobia that Prout wants nothing to do with.

Originally the organisation did say yes to a collaboration but later declined due to the abovementioned reason.

The LGBTQ group wrote, “Today, within 10 mins of our social media and telegram post going public, the company contacted us to ask if there were any ‘transsexuals’ following us. After further communication, the company said that they are open only to those who are ‘classy and willing to spend’, and not targeting the ‘trashy transsexual kind who only want to create trouble’. Upon hearing this, we immediately took down all the posts related to that event.”

Prout went on to explain why it withdrew its support for the event, the #LoveIsLove dinner cruise from Royal Albatross Superyacht at Sentosa, and emphasised its support for transgender people, writing, “We are even more committed to ensure that all companies we collaborate with are truly inclusive and open to our LGBTQ community. We will not support any business that pretends to be inclusive on the surface, without meaningfully engaging with the community, much less one that continues to perpetuate stigma against LGBTQ persons.”

On its part, Tall Ship Adventures Pte Ltd, the company behind Royal Albatross Superyacht, issued an apology on Monday (Nov 2) for the unfortunate incident, and has also said that the #LoveIsLove dinner cruise has been suspended. The company acknowledged that “we need to educate ourselves on the diverse communities” and invited “any group organizers who would be interested in helping us and or holding events like these to contact us privately.”

Advertisements and announcements regarding the dinner cruise have also been taken down.

The company thanked everyone who supported the dinner cruise, which it called “a private event targeted at the gay and lesbian community.”

The cruise had been aimed, it wrote, “to provide a private romantic dinner cruise experience without judgement.”

Tall Ship Adventures further clarified that the “bad choice of words” used by “a staff member” do not “represent the position of this company, we retract them entirely and we apologise.”

The company said it has corrected the staff member and that it will “ensure we are more sensitive when it comes to our future communications.

In hindsight, we were naïve not to take into consideration the diversity of the entire LGBTQ+ community. We are sincerely sorry to have offended by what was said, it was not our intent to exclude any particular group. We welcome everyone.”

Prout’s post has been shared on other local LGBTQ groups’  social media pages such as Sayoni and Pink Dot SG.

The group made its stand concerning transphobia very clear: “Transgender persons have historically been discriminated, and it is utterly dehumanizing to use the word ‘trashy’ as it reinforces stigma against them. Prout DOES NOT stand for transphobia.”

It also sought to clarify the use of the word “transexual,” saying that its a dated term. “It is more appropriate to address the community as the transgender community. When in doubt, always ask the preferred term.”  —/TISG

Source: THE INDEPENDENT, SINGAPORE  Thu  November 5, 2020

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