Personal Bio (circa 1999)

It’s been a while since I’ve last updated this page. Well, here’s the *almost* brand new page. Life for me has changed quite tremendously in the last 12 months. I’m embarking on a new journey, my past obligations now over and done with. For the first time, I find myself unfettered from any pre-plan. I’m entirely on uncharted ground now…and it is as liberating and scary as skydiving…but every bit as exhilirating!This is a long bio…but it should tell you close to the whole story…so far. Edited for brevity and humour of course.First the stats! Everyone seems to want to know the stats. Of course the pic above would tell you more than any set of numbers…

Name Stuart Koe Chi Yeow
Birthdate September 6, 1972
Astrological Data Water Rat; Virgo
Diet No mammals
Height 5’11” (182cm)
Weight 158 lbs (72kgs)
Hair/Eyes Various (usually black)/ Brown
Race/Ethnicity Chinese
Likes Good company, good food, good books, good films. Beauty and creativity. Change.
Dislikes (and pet peeves) People who add only to the negative energy of the world. Status quo (and upholders of such).
Mission on Earth To add to the positive energy of the earth; Create
My ‘Type’ Someone on my playing level, and someone I can go exploring the world with. Someone intensely self-aware and earthy. Equally grounded in the arts and sciences. Possess a curiosity and naivete…not too cynical nor romantic.
Status Single and Available
Profession Ex-Drug dealer (ie pharmacist), now reformed and abetting other drug dealers (ie developing the pharmceutical industry) in Singapore
Academic Qualifications Doctor of Pharmacy (University of Minnesota)
Minor in Economics
Professional Licensure State of Minnesota (USA)
Republic of Singapore
Skills Various dubious skills you’re better off emailing me about

I was born on September 6th, 1972. I await presents.I was born to a small family in Singapore…and have a sister 2 years younger than I am. The 70’s are a blur to me. My first memory was when I was less than a year old. I remember vividly being in my cot, with a black and white TV at the foot of the bed playing Westerns (presumably some John Wayne Spaghetti western). Thankfully, this has not been a prophetic recollection, and I have not felt inclined to pick up square-dancing.

I have many mixed memories from my childhood…some pleasant, and some not so. But we’ll spare you the details. Both grandfathers passed away sometime before I hit 8. I hope this isn’t a sign of things to come. Hypertension and hypercholesterolemia kinda run in both arms of the family, and I’m not taking my chances. Hence my “no mammal” policy. Sashimi, mushrooms and tofu have hence become my favorite foods (I know many find this quite distasteful, but they ain’t no friends of mine)…

I went to a snotty grade school (around these parts, we call them “Primary” schools) called Nanyang Primary School. I learnt later in life that this was where lots of snotty Chinese parents who ran large Singapore corporations or came from large snotty rich families sent their kids. Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew was an alum here. I kind of wonder sometimes what he was like as a kid. Anyway…he is a major benefactor of the school. I spent most of grades 1 through 6 playing with all the girls. Some were butch in a big way…even before they were 12. They were the ones who made the boys cry. Serious. I’d put their names here, but they would probably hunt me down and beat me up. They are all college grads now and many are lawyers…so they’d more probably sue me for my Madonna collection (ie all my assets).

Somehow, I survived those cruel (but fun) years. Co-ed’s definitely the way to go when you start out life in school. Girls are so much more fun to play with. They are definitely more creative (and cruel). And when they hit puberty (which is way before the boys), then the real fun begins. The boys were mostly timid, wimpish, and general bores.

From 1985 to 1988, I attended Raffles Institution. This was probably the epitome of snot. It was almost clinging to the walls. But not in the same way that Nanyang was. You basically had to graduate from grade school in the top 1% or 2% of the country in order to make it into RI. The boys in there thought they were god’s gift (well, maybe one or two were…but certainly not ALL of them). Rafflesians as a bunch are insufferable. But I shouldn’t speak so poorly of my alma mater. I happen to like the time I spent there…I do strongly suggest the new principal look into starting a mandatory class on humility though.

My RI days were when I awoke to my gaiety. Yep…I was one happy person. And there were lots of happy people around me (courtesy of being in a boys school, when puberty hit us….you could almost scoop it up with a shovel). Fortunately, there was almost no stigma attached to being gay. We were basically allowed to have crushes on one another (I quite infamously went public with my 2 “loves”…going so far as to sing “Crazy For You” at a school talent competition and dedicating the performance to this sweety one year my senior. I didn’t win for singing, though I certainly should have for spectacle. I never sang again…the shame was too great), many of my friends had their first experiences with drag at our annual “Drama Fest” with our teachers quite gladly applying the Revlon to those faces which were starting to sprout their first signs of downy mustache.

Those certainly were the days. We worked really hard, but we played hard as well. I was a prima donna competitive swimmer for a year (refusing to train with the team…I had my OWN coach after all…so there!), won lots of medals, and then decided to quit swimming after a year because I wanted to act! Well, that lasted a year, because I was then playing synths in a band my friends and I had formed. I thought I was cool then…boy was I ever mistaken. But we are all allowed our little fantasies. Basically, even at that age, I was a little prick. I did what I wanted, when I wanted, and no one could do anything about it. At least I did it really well, and had a ball.

Soon after my ‘O’ level exams, I was off to America!

I first attended college in Philadelphia, and to cut a long story short, I soon learnt how to grow eyes on the back of my head, and had a crash course on inner-city survival. Philadelphia may be the “City of Brotherly Love”, but they were probably talking about GANGSTA/HOMEBOY type of “brotherly love”. It was definitely culture shock for me, and I quickly decided that I didn’t want to spend the next 6 years fearing for my life, so I quickly bailed out and transferred to the University of Minnesota.

Brilliant. From one of the most dangerous places, to one of the coldest! It appeared I really knew how to pick hospitable places to live in.

But seriously, Minneapolis/St Paul is one of the nicest cities I’ve lived in. The winters may be brutal (with the windchill, it has ever gotten to 80-below, and crazy college kids compete to see who would be the first out in shorts on the first day it hits 0 degrees Celcius after a long cold winter), and LONG (you can bet on snow from November to April), but the spring and summer and fall are absolutely beautiful, the park system fantastic, and the people simply…well….nice!

Here, I met several people whom I spent a good deal of my life and aspirations with. They were, and still are very special people to me. Steve, Beth, Rob, Kjersten, Khanh, Christine. Brilliant, beautiful, and absolutely humble and centered. I am truly blessed to have been touched by them during the course of my stay.

My university career was like a rollercoaster of events. I ran for numerous offices, won some, made lots of alliances, lots of enemies who hated my guts, and ultimately, made a nuisance of myself on all levels. But I was definitely not your prototypical “international student” who only sat in the first three rows and busted the curve. I never went to class…and STILL busted the curve. Ha! I don’t think they knew what to think of me. I even went for my Board licensure exams with blond hair, a 3-piece Donna Karan suit….and that was while I was student govt president!

My coursework took me to as diverse places as the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, to San Francisco for 5 weeks working with the immensely talented team at the San Francisco General Hospital, to China for a month to study Qigong and Traditional Chinese Medicine. It was an incredible learning experience, and I was hungry for it. The people I met, the things I did…I just don’t think it would have been the same had I stayed in Singapore.

Yet, I made a decision to return upon graduation. I was then in a very significant relationship with a very special man…and it had already been 2 years at that point in time. It was heartbreaking to leave…we tried to make it work, but deep down inside, probably knew that the obstacles would be significant. Still, I felt that it was important not to lose my Singapore citizenship, that I owed that much to my parents who had financed my education…and in retrospect, it still is the best choice.

So I embarked on the next phase of my journey. National Service in Singapore is for 2.5 years. Every able-bodied (and some not so able bodied) male is obligated to be in servitude for that period of time…usually right after the equivalent of high-school at 18 years of age. I managed to defer it until I finished college…so I was significantly older than all these boys at 23 years. I lucked out, and spent most of my NS as a research assistant at the Defence Medical Research Institute. I didn’t even have to wear a uniform (I know, all those butch military fantasies dashed), had my own cubicle office, and called my own hours, worked on some interesting projects, and went home at 5pm everyday. This was unheard of by most of my friends. I tell you, I must have been a saint in my last life.

Socially, my life during this period shot through the roof. I clubbed 4 times a week, threw brilliant parties, and could be found anywhere from TV to magazines, newspapers and radio (for what, I still don’t know). I guess when you don’t really HAVE to work, you just put all that extra energy into partying. I think I’ve gotten it out of my system now…but at the time, it’s all I ever did.

It all culminated in my hosting a series of parties at Zouk, the premier club in Singapore…on Sundays, catering to a largely male audience, which really just started redefining the meaning of PARTY in Singapore. We had some really classic flyers, memorable shows, and costumes! It was my effort to bring some world-class partying home, but the crowd didn’t bite…maybe Singaporean’s are still too conservative. In anycase, JUICY is still a small part of club history in Singapore.

I finally completed my National Service obligations on May 17, 1998. It was an anticlimax…but still, the liberation was nice. I was on a job hunt that I started in February, and was still coming up with nothing. I managed to land an important interview in London (I’m exercising a little revisionist history writing here), so I jumped at the opportunity, packed my bags, scraped up every last cent I had, and with only 3 days to say goodbye to my friends, I hopped on the first available flight to London, knowing that I would try my utmost not to come back to Singapore. As with many impulsive decisions like that, of course a man had something to do with it, but more about that later…probably in one of my journal entries.

In the subsequent 6 months (yes, somehow, I managed to stay for 1/2 a year!), I was STILL unable to get a job, getting increasingly frustrated, but enjoying London tremendously nevertheless. I made 2 wonderful friends, Chris and Chowee, clubbed non-stop (Trade and Heaven!), worked out at the gym (Soho Athletic Club, along with the only other day-members – students and prostittutes), entertained a steady stream of visiting friends, hung out with Melissa, and broke up with the guy I came to London to be with. At that point, my life was absolutely shattered. Nothing seemed to be going right. My self-esteem was at its nadir…I had never encountered so much negativity in my life, and I was lost.

Thankfully, 2 other friends came to my resuce. John, in San Francisco whom I’ve never met, and Ivan, in Hong Kong whom I’ve only met once. They were the ones I communicated with, several times a day, wrote to, talked to. And finally, I decided that the only thing that made sense was to return to Singapore yet again.

This was the first time I ever considered Singapore a refuge. Quite a turning point in my life. I quickly found a temp job as a pharmacist, in the mean time putting the rest of my life back in order. Ambrose and I started really hanging out together, and we started planning a trip to the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras in February of 1999. My job hunt continued, and slowly…everything started falling into place.

Right now, everything is back on track. I have finally FINALLY found the job I want. Physically, I’m in better shape and health than I’ve ever been. I’ve found a cadre of friends who share the same aspirations and sense of adventure as myself. I feel at the top of my game…and life has never been so good.

And the story will undoubtedly continue…..