Giving back to the community is important to us. Over the last few years, Heckin’ Unicorn has been actively donating and supporting LGBTQ+ community organisations and initiatives. Here's a brief summary of what we've done.
Rainbow Families is a pride collective that we co-formed that advocates for the love and acceptance of LGBTQ+ people in Singapore through events, exhibitions, and online content.
Rainbow Families 2023
In June 2023, we presented the Rainbow Families: Dear Home campaign. This campaign asks what home means to LGBTQ+ people in Singapore, who often face many challenges and institutionalised restrictions when it comes to housing and safety. We produced a documentary that interviews queer individuals, supportive parents, and social workers from LGBTQ+ organisations on the challenges and triumphs of familial and parental acceptance.
Our exhibition ran from 2–11 June 2023, at Projector X: Picturehouse. This exhibition uses interactive installations, different senses (and scents), and letter-writing activities to probe and ask what home means and what it takes for queer folks in Singapore to feel at home when they are home.
Rainbow Families — Dysphoria / Euphoria (Nov 2022)
In Nov 2022, we collaborated with TransBefrienders, a local trans and gender-diverse youth support group, in a month-long transgender awareness campaign. The campaign focused on raising awareness of gender dysphoria, transitioning, euphoria, and the realities of gender-affirming healthcare in Singapore. Our capstone exhibition event, titled "Dysphoria/Euphoria", featured 8 local transgender and gender-diverse artists, and was attended by over 1,650 people. The exhibition had the biggest collection of trans and gender-diverse artworks in Singapore yet.
Rainbow Families 2022
In May 2022, we formed a collective called Rainbow Families to showcase and highlight the existence of LGBTQ+ families in Singapore — families that embrace their queer members, queer families, as well as chosen families. Through a series of family portraits, we showed the wider Singaporean society what love and acceptance looks like. Our debut physical exhibition, which displayed many of the family portraits and handwritten words of encouragement for queer folks, was attended by over 700 people and several political officeholders. We were also featured in local Chinese paper Zaobao for our work with the campaign.
Donations to LGBTQ+ organisations
We regularly donate to LGBTQ+ organisations in Singapore (many of whom don't receive state funding or recognition) to support the work that they do.
We designed our first transgender pin in 2019, and pledged to donate all of the profits from the pin to The T Project, a local trans shelter in Singapore. A earring was launched in 2022, with all profits also going to The T Project. This collaboration is still ongoing today.
We donated 5% of our net proceeds for the entire month of June 2023 to Project X, a non-profit organisation in Singapore that provides social, emotional, and health support to people in the sex industry.
We donated 10% of our profits for the entire month of June 2022 to The Greenhouse. The Greenhouse is an addiction recovery centre for marginalised and vulnerable communities, such as those who are sexual minorities, ethnic minority, HIV+, or formerly incarcerated.
We helped raise funds for TransBefrienders’ Study Support Scheme in multiple sales events in 2021, including donating a portion of our profits for the entire month of June 2021. The study scheme provides local transgender and gender-diverse students with a safe space and heavily subsidised fees to study for national exams.
Action for AIDS Singapore
We pledged a portion of our profits for the entire month of June in 2021 to Action for AIDS (AfA). AfA is dedicated to fighting HIV/AIDS in Singapore, through education and advocacy, and by providing anonymous testing, financial subsidies, and care and support.
COVID-19 Relief Fund for LGBTQ+ Persons
We pledged 10% of our proceeds in June 2020 to the Relief and Resilience Fund for LGBTQ+ Persons, which is organised by Sayoni and Brave Spaces. The fund helps LGBTQ+ persons who struggle emotionally and financially during the pandemic.
Pink Dot Sponsorship (2021–2023)
We’re proud to sponsor Pink Dot in 2021, 2022, and 2023. Pink Dot is Singapore’s only government-approved pride protest that began in 2009. In 2016, the government banned multi-national corporations from sponsoring the event, but the local business community rallied together to continue funding this annual pride event.
Queer Arts Sponsorships
Many LGBTQ+ arts productions in Singapore do not receive state funding or sponsorship due to censorship and erasure. We're proud to have sponsored these local queer productions.
“Hitting (On) Women” sponsorship
We sponsored “Hitting (On) Women”, a play by A Mirage that centres around the complex emotions a woman feels about her ex-girlfriend, who continues to linger in her life despite their breakup twenty years ago. A Mirage is a pop-up platform for artists to experiment & create, away from financial or critical pressure.
Playwrights Commune sponsorship
Playwrights Commune is a playwriting collective dedicated to building community for the development of new Singaporean plays. We sponsored part of their Open Studio 2.0 workshop in 2022 for playwrights who worked on queer plays.
Bridging the Gap Collective sponsorship
Bridging The Gap (BTG) is a Singaporean theatre collective that gives theatre graduates opportunities to work with established practitioners. We sponsored “Cyril & Michael”, a play in 2021 about 2 men’s journey of loneliness and seeking meaningful connections.
Rupa co.lab. sponsorship
Rupa co.lab. is a Singaporean theatre collective that creates works through the lens of the Malay person. We sponsored “Pandan”, their queer play in 2021 that delves into the struggles that gay muslim men face in the country.
We collaborated with New Naratif to design a limited edition pride pin set, as part of their 4th anniversary celebrations and fundraising drive. All profits from this pin are donated to support their work. New Naratif is a Southeast Asian news platform that fights for democracy in the region. They report on many human rights issues (including LGBTQ+ issues), using mediums such as comics, podcasts, and long-form articles.
The Unicorn Library is Singapore’s free LGBTQ+ library that’s completely financed and run by Heckin’ Unicorn. The library contains a growing collection of queer books, and aims to empower Singaporeans to read, understand, and enjoy queer literature and culture.
On top of donations and sponsorships, Heckin’ Unicorn also works closely with local LGBTQ+ organisations to support and advocate for LGBTQ+ equality in Singapore.
In 2021, a local trans student shared online that her school prevented her from undergoing hormone therapy, even though her father and doctor approved the treatment. Heckin’ Unicorn co-signed a joint statement of solidarity with all trans students in Singapore, and called for the government to work with LGBTQ+ organisations and students to create safe policies for transgender and gender-diverse students.
In collaboration with Oogachaga, we prepared and rallied over 30 local LGBTQ-affirming organisations in a joint statement against “conversion therapy” practices in Singapore. Even though many medical organisations across the world condemn such practices as non-scientific and harmful, they remain legal in Singapore — organisations are allowed to conduct programmes that aim to change or suppress LGBTQ+ sexualities or identities.
Comics about “conversion therapy” practices in Singapore
Commissioned by Oogachaga, we created 2 comic strips that call out “conversion therapy” practices in Singapore. We specifically called out the fact that such practices are legal in the country, and that medical professionals are allowed to recommend such practices to patients.
Other advocacy work
We produce regular comic strips on our social media pages that call out discrimination and illogical arguments used against LGBTQ+ folks. We’re particularly proud of making Mediacorp apologise for their negative portrayal of queer identities in their TV series by calling it out in our comic (for context, neutral or positive portrayals of queer identities are banned in Singapore, so writing negative stereotypes is just downright evil).
We also write extensively about anti-LGBTQ+ regulations and institutionalised discrimination in Singapore on our blog. For example, we’ve written about LGBTQ+ censorship in media spaces, suppression of LGBTQ+ identities in Singapore’s schools, “conversion therapy” practices in Singapore, anti-LGBTQ regulations in Singapore, and more.