To Singapore’s LGBT Community and Friends,
Recent events have caused much grief to many of us. Issues surrounding being LGBT are once again cast in the limelight and being discussed in the media. Hateful words have been used, disinformation has been spread as fact, and our leaders' positions do not appear to be evolving. While many of us are understandably hurt, even angered, by some insensitive comments that have been made, and there is fear that justice and equality may not prevail, it is important that we stay rational and keep calm.
There will be little to be gained from responding to vitriol with more vitriol. In the words of Gandhi, “Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.” Let us not devolve into the very image of the angry and intolerant, whose hearts and minds we ought to win over through love and kindness. Misinformation is best countered rationally, with facts.
At times like this, it is especially difficult for those of us who are not yet ‘out’ and feel like we are living with stigma on our own. The issue may be debated among our peers – at the workplace, in school or in National Service – or even with family members at home. It may be placing undue pressure on those of us who fear being ‘outed’ if we simply took a stand.
Remember, you are not alone. There is a strong community of people – straight and LGBT – who understand what you are going through. It is important that we lend support to one another at this difficult time. While the resources are few, they are available, thanks to the efforts of our own community. You can find links to some of them below.
Let us also keep reminding ourselves that the two constitutional challenges on Section 377a of the Penal Code are ultimately judicial processes. They are set to be heard in the Courts in a few weeks. We should allow Justice to run its course and respect the sanctity of the Judiciary. We urge the community to stay calm and await the court's decision. May justice prevail.
Meanwhile let us continue to reach out in our own personal capacities to those around us, to demonstrate and affirm that who we love should not make us less equal as sons and daughters of Singapore. And when opportunities arise for us to come together, let us be sure to stand up and be counted.
Some useful links for those in need of support:
§ Oogachaga’s CARE Counselling Service for LGBT people
§ SAFE Singapore: Support for family and friends of LGBT people
§ Young Out Here: LGBT Youth Support
§ Sayoni’s resources for lesbian, bisexual and transgender women
§ Pelangi Pride Centre: Singapore’s LGBT community and resource centre
§ Pink Dot SG website & YouTube channel