-Before I actually start my rant, a side note about the ‘no white after Labour Day rule’. I was thinking about this because the Legally Blonde musical has been stuck in my head for two weeks now and at one point Elle mentions it. Then I realised I actually have no idea where this strange rule came from and I googled it. Basically, after the American Civil War, rich women found that more people were getting rich and wanted to separate the young money from the snobby old money. So they created many ridiculous fashion rules to tell them apart, one of which was this rule. Somehow from a couple hundred of them, it trickled down to everyone. Those snobby ladies would be horrified. Upon further reflection I have realised the PAP don’t follow this rule! Haha-
Okay, so for real. Recently the HPB updated their FAQ page to include parts about sexuality. I was actually super moved when I read it because it is SO GOOD it was actual information that didn’t say homosexuality was abnormal or anything I did not expect this from the HPB at all.
Look so amazing! Anyway everyone was like ‘yay’! At least the ‘everyone’ I know but I stupidly decided to read the inSing article on it and read what some stupid people said and it made me so angry. Very stupid Facebook user “Serene Ho” wrote: “I am aghast to see this webpage that seems to support homosexuality on the Health Promotion Board website. Pardon my ignorance but I cannot understand how this webpage can help Singapore to build stable families which consist of a man and a woman as parents for our young children.” SHE JUST SAID SHE WAS IGNORANT. SHE KNOWS THAT IS IS IGNORANT. What even. Read that annoying Pastor Lawrence Khong’s post on it if you like more ignorant things ugh . I don’t understand why these people are so obsessed with nuclear families.
AND THEN my MP (I’m pretty sure he’s my MP) Lim Biow Chuan said some stupid things.
“Mr Lim also felt that some of the answers in the FAQ seemed to present opinions as facts. He cited the answer provided to the question “Can homosexuals have long-lasting relationships?”, which was: “Yes, homosexuals can certainly have long-lasting relationships. A homosexual relationship, like any other relationship, is based on values like trust, love, commitment and support.” Mr Lim said there were no conclusive studies supporting this statement and added that it could have captured the diverse views on the issue. “From what I have read, there are really diverse opinions to it, so when there are diverse opinions, you have to honest about it- that some people feel this way, some people feel it the other way- and let readers judge for themselves,” he said.”
OKAY 1) how articulate 2) So a heterosexual couple’s relationship is automatically based on values like trust, love, commitment and support?
All of this is ridiculous because all that FAQ provides are FACTS. They aren’t opinions. They’re telling to HPB to take down FACTS? And they harp on about being ‘pro-family’ but would probably reject their children if they were gay. These people can have whatever bigoted OPINIONS they want but to use their political platforms to push their religious agenda (Lim Biow Chuan is a church leader) -which seeks to discriminate and deny people their rights- they CANNOT do. Singapore is a SECULAR country? I really do not understand why our ministers seem to only represent the middle class Chinese, Christian Singaporeans (Christians make up only 18% of our population, a surprising statistic. I really thought they were like 60%)
And then (okay this is the part I wanted to talk about in the first place wow this has taken quite a while wow I’m quite annoyed right now) Baey Yam Keng said that the FAQs lacked “Asian values of family”. OKAY. I read a book about this in the holidays it’s called What Your Teacher Didn’t Tell You, which sounds like a crappy sensationalist book with dumb facts but it’s actually just a very badly titled collection of lectures by Malaysian academic Farish A. Noor, who happens to be gay. Anyway, I was unaware about this before because we NEVER learn about in school, but South East Asia had a very very colourful history. But all that changed when the Fire Nation attacked. I mean, when the British colonised. Before Islam (which actually only showed up here in the 18th Century I think? So much earlier than I thought), the people here were all extremely Indian influenced and were more chill about sexuality and stuff (tell that to some of my relatives and the Indian government who brought back the stupid colonial ban on gay sex). It’s 1am and I have to wake up early tomorrow so I won’t bother to go check it but there was something about a prince/princess with an extremely fluid gender identity (omg we are not even talking about trans* rights in Singapore) and girls and guys were attracted to her/him and everyone was cool with it. Something along those lines but much longer and more cheem. Anyway so don’t give me that Asian values crap. Don’t blame your bigotry on a nonexistent tradition and admit that it is because your religion and/or ignorance and has no basis in a secular country.
There is so much more I can say, but basically all of this arguing is pointless. Gay rights are not an ‘opinion’ someone has, that is like saying racial equality is an ‘opinion’. They are called rights for a reason and I’m disgusted that the ignorant people who lead our community, who can profess to want to build a ‘democratic society, based on justice and equality’, deprive people of just that. Especially in the light of what is happening in Russia recently, and in so many other places in the world where being gay can get you raped or killed or beaten up, this is reflective of the intolerance of our politicians and society, and is a reason why no matter how many new buildings they build, or how much they try to expand the arts scene with their weird social engineering, we are simply not a first world country. To end on a positive note, views in Singapore are changing. A few years ago the HPB didn’t even TALK about this let alone make an amazing FAQ. Also outside of the government, more and more Singaporeans are trying to create social change themselves.
(okay not ending yet) All this said though, today I was in Chingay and played ukelele with old people from community centres all around Singapore. The whole thing is super PAP but it was fun and the getai float was in front of us and it sounded great and seeing all the performers and talking to the cute old people (one old lady said Chingay was ‘lame’ she had white hair and she used the world lame) makes me remember the nice parts of Singapore. And all the ministers were watching and as I walked past I thought ‘assholes’ and that gave me so much satisfaction. (okay done)