Adrianna Tan

Tech, big data, women empowerment & charity in SxSE (South & Southeast Asia)

The One About Having It All

On Being Gay and Female in Singapore

If you were to meet me on the streets of Singapore, you probably would not peg me for ‘gay’. Apparently, ‘gay woman’ or ‘lesbian’ has to be one or several of the following: short-haired, oddball, butch-like; a flaming dyke. You would expect me to show up in a flannel shirt and in Birkenstock sandals to…

Two Pairs of Pants

Posted this on Facebook last night (link) and decided to start a series. Light edits for grammar and clarity.

I’ve been selling and hustling for much of my young life. I’ve learned loads from each part of it, no matter how small or insignificant it may have been at the time. I sold cable car tickets. iPod cases. DVDs. Button badges. Most things, really. In…


I’m a big fan of cocktails. I’m dating a great bartender. The best gift she ever gave me? The appreciation of balance. When she ran my favourite bar in Singapore (yes, I ended up dating the bartender), she emphasized balance. She lived for it. If something was too sweet, too spicy, too much of it’ll punch you in the face, she would throw it out and start over. Balance was her religion…

To the Young Queer Nerds

Dear (your name here),

Imagine for a second that the year is 2000.

Holding hands with your girlfriend in public is either an act of defiance or shame.

The world is years away from The L Word — nobody knows yet that it sucks, that lesbian life does not have to be “like that”. (Bette Porter is bad for you; Jenny…

Publications edited by Adrianna Tan

Dispatches from the ongoing national conversation around full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.

A collection of musings on Singapore from anyone who cares to write to anyone who cares to read.

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You Level Up

A Singaporean entrepreneur’s journey through the heart of Indonesia

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Two Pairs of Pants

Don’t Work With Assholes

There’s a wealth of literature out there about this, but it can never be said enough. Too many people work with assholes.

You see them everywhere.

The cafe owner that takes a shortcut by hiring an asshole barista? The barista plays shit music at your cafe and nobody wants to go there.

Stress Balls.

Some time ago, some people (read: entrepreneurs) I follow on Twitter posed a seemingly innocuous question. What drives us, as so-called entrepreneurs, to do what we do? Is it hubris? Ego? Is it an out-sized and unrealistic view of one’s abilities? For most of us, choosing this life also means the opportunity cost we left behind, often reluctantly: decently-paid jobs with career…

A Tale of Two Cities

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was a bit of both, really.

I’m not one for the mumbo-jumbo of the Myers-Briggs test, but I…

Highlighted by Adrianna Tan

    From Manhattan to Myanmar, 1999

    Nearly every story about Myanmar opens or ends with a photo of Shwedagon, mostly for gratuitous reasons, but this one isn’t one of them.

    Do You Know About Galau?

    I was just telling someone tonight: I force myself to meet a different stranger in Jakarta every single day that I’m here.

    Then & Now

    Whenever someone speaks of Myanmar “then” and Myanmar “now”, you need to be careful. Ask them: what is the length of time that you speak of?

    Tips, Tools & Resources

    Some of the stuff we use at WoBe and Ideabox, which you might find helpful if you’re startup up something in Southeast Asia too.

    Registering Domains for .sg domains. The incumbents are insanely difficult to use and provide no support whatsoever. Vooju is cheaper, and while their interface isn’t modern or easy to use, it’s…