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About the Festival

Southeast Asia Queer Cultural Festival 2021: "Be/Longings" is a virtual festival that reclaims, reimagines, and insists on LGBTIQ belonging in the region. It features 30+ works, performances and events by 40+ queer activists and artists from all over Southeast Asia that can be experienced in various online platforms.


SEAQCF is being organized by ASEAN SOGIE Caucus (ASC), a network of human rights activists from Southeast Asia. The ASC works for the inclusion of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression, and Sex Characteristics (SOGIESC) in the mandate of human rights duty bearers in the ASEAN region. The ASC works for the promotion and protection of the human rights of all persons regardless of SOGIESC in the Southeast Asian region.

ASC is legally registered as a non-stock and non-profit organization in the Philippines under the name Southeast Asia Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Expression Caucus (ASC), Inc.

The organization is in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) since 2021.

The festival is supported by Voice, an innovative grant facility to support rightsholders and groups facing marginalisation or discrimination in their efforts to exert influence in accessing productive and social services and political participation. Voice is an initiative of and financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands as part of their overall policy framework 'Dialogue and Dissent' (future Power of Voices) and is executed by a consortium between Oxfam Novib and Hivos.


CamASEAN, Cambodia
Hanoi Queer,
Iloilo Pride Team,
Micro Rainbow International,
Mujer LGBTQ,
Panggung Minoritas,

Festival Theme

The festival theme, 'Be/Longings', is a play on the words, "being", "longings", and "belonging". "Being" represents the full complexity and diversity of our identities as LGBTIQ people living in Southeast Asia. "Longing", which translates to kerinduan in Bahasa Indonesia or Bahasa Melayu, and pangungulila in Filipino, represents our yearnings and dreams for a region that is genuinely caring, inclusive, and respectful of diversity. "Belonging" asserts that LGBTIQ people have always been part of the collective memories of the Southeast Asian community -- way before the creation of the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its member States.

This festival is a collective effort among LGBTIQ people in the region to challenge our exclusion, invisiblization, and persecution by governments and other institutions, and to reimagine an inclusive Southeast Asian community.

Festival Vision

SEAQCF is envisioned to be a virtual platform that celebrates LGBTIQ inclusion in Southeast Asia. Advocates, artists and cultural workers will come together to share cultural works that reclaim, reimagine, and insist on LGBTIQ belonging in the region, and to build stronger bonds of regional community.

We seek to cultivate the collective memory of Southeast Asian LGBTIQ persons. This term refers to the cultural narratives of the community that are centred around shared identities and their relationship to both an imagined common past and a vision of a common future. It is not a static record of history, but an evolving consciousness, constantly morphing as it is performed, narrated and interpreted in contemporary situations.

The festival also functions as a political space to foster alternative regionalism. This refers to a collaborative process of holding accountable regional institutions (e.g. ASEAN) through people-oriented approaches within and outside State territories and functions. It involves strengthening the political leverage of transnational civil society and social movements to counter hegemonic regional governance arrangements that exclude marginalized groups. Activities may include learning programs based on grassroots needs, developing new paradigms for regional engagement, and building solidarity among civil society groups across boundaries.

In the context of this project, we aim to bring together both historical and contemporary narratives of LGBTIQ inclusion derived from experiences in different Southeast Asian countries, and collaboratively weave and shape a transformative discourse: a collective memory of an inclusive Southeast Asia.

Festival Team

ASC Regional Coordinator: Ryan Silverio

ASC Communications Team: Lini Zurlia & Jessica Rachel

Festival Coordinator: Ivanka Custodio

Assistant Coordinator: AR Arcon

Festival Advisory Board

Dinh Nhung

Dinh Nhung began researching the lives of queer people and queer history in Vietnam in 2009. Despite her efforts, the search yielded limited information and proved challenging, leading Nhung to pursue other activities for building a queer archive that Nhung would like to share as well as to build with others.

Nhung began to collect vocabulary, save what people shared, and gather information about events and activities of individuals and organisations related to gender, LGBTIQ+ rights, or cultural and artistic events. The collection and collaboration with queer friends formed the basis for the birth of a number of exhibitions, two books called Chi Ban Lon: queer & sexuality lexicons, and the formation of an archive on queer and feminism at A Museum Queer in Hanoi.

Dinh Nhung

Nurdiyansah Dalidjo

Nurdiyansah Dalidjo

Diyan is an interdisciplinary queer writer, researcher, & author who has contributed to the Jurnal Perempuan, Jakarta Post, Overland, Project Multatuli, & many others. Diyan has published two travel writing books that explores the tourism dynamics and history of colonialism in the Indonesian archipelago. As an activist, Diyan also writes various essays traversing a lot of intersectionalities regarding environmental, historical, cultural, tourism, and queer issues, including a series of essays about important trans women figures in the history of the LGBTIQ+ movement in Indonesia “Sang Mami” and also “Queer di Masa Lansia” (Queer Elder Redefining Aging). Their writings can be read here in this link.

Ng Yi-Sheng

Yi-Sheng is a Singaporean writer, researcher and activist. He has edited anthologies such as GASPP: A Gay Anthology of Singapore Poetry and Prose, Sanctuary: Short Fiction from Queer Asia, and EXHALE: an Anthology of Queer Singapore Voices. He has worked with activist groups such as IndigNation: Singapore’s Pride Season and the ASEAN SOGIE Caucus. In 2021, he served on the advisory board of the inaugural SEAQCF. His website is, and he tweets and Instagrams at @yishkabob.

Ng Yi-Sheng

Nerisa del Carmen Guevara (Ricci)

Nerisa del Carmen Guevara (Ricci)

Ricci is an associate professor at UST, a creative writing teacher, and a UST Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies resident fellow. Her durational performance art “Elegies” and shorter “Infinite Gestures,” which she presents as poetry in space, has been featured in a diverse range of platforms, including PIPAF, CPP PERFORMATURA, SIPA International Art Festival, Biennale Jogja Equator XV, LAPSody Helsinki, and Grace Exhibition Space New York. She was an early career researcher of GlobalGRACE Philippines, funded by the UKRI’s Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF), and the director of the LGBTQIA Virtual Artistic Residency GlobalGRACE Ph AiR. Her poetry has been featured in various international and national publications and anthologies, including A/PART: An Anthology of Queer Southeast Asian Poetry in the Pandemic. Ricci is an award-winning writer who received the prestigious Palanca Award for Literature in the Philippines.

John Badalu

John Badalu is an independent producer who has produced a handful of films that bring many minority issues. He is now working for Sheffield Docs Festival in UK. With a few friends, he co-founded Q! Film Festival, the first ever queer festival in Southeast Asia in 2002. His latest short film “Basri & Salma in a Never-Ending Comedy” is the first Indonesian short film competing in the prestigious Cannes Film Festival 2023. He is also one of the recipient of Ashoka Foundation fellow and considered one of the progressive changemakers in queer movement.

John Badalu