Southeast Asia Queer Cultural Festival 2021 – Be/Longings #SEAQCF

Published February 13, 2021
Language English

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

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.

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, the festival 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.

The virtual festival will go live on February 13-March 13, 2021.

You can watch the livestream recording of the opening night here:

Visit to read up on the festival events and artists!

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.