Gay Singaporean speaks up on 377A

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Photo: YouTube screengrab

With the possible repeal of Section 377A as a recent hot topic of discussion, both sides of the debate have been vocal for and against it. Petitions are being circulated seeking citizens’ support to either keep Penal Code 377A or to finally repeal it, no doubt egged on by the recent decision by the Supreme Court in India to remove a law that criminalizes sex between males.

One netizen named Poh Kok Ing, a gay man, has waded into the fray by posting on Facebook on September 13 listing the ways how he, as a member of the LQBT community in Singapore, has been discriminated against in the country, including

  1. Not being allowed to get married and enjoy the legal privileges of being married.
  2. Not being allowed to buy an apartment from the HDB as part of a gay couple.
  3. Not being allowed to adopt children.

My reply to someone who says gays do not face discrimination in Singapore – As a gay person, there are certain things…

Posted by Poh Kok Ing on Thursday, 13 September 2018

Mr. Poh writes, “These are just three things that many Singaporeans aspire to. But I’m not given that choice. You may not think it’s a big deal for me, but that’s because you think of me as less deserving of these wonderful things in life. Less equal than my fellow Singaporeans.

Simply because I’m gay.”

He goes on to tell stories about other times when he was discriminated against just because of his sexual orientation, such as when he was given a D during his work appraisal as a teacher and was never told about it, neither was he ever promoted because of that rating.

He also wrote about how gays have had to stay in the closet, due to fear of rejection, shame and online abuse. Mr. Poh used to get deeply affected by such abuse but now he has compassion on his haters, writing, “You cannot fight hate with more hate. You kill darkness with light. When you look at others who are different, consciously remind yourself that you are more alike than different. Like you, we are just trying to live our lives the best we can. We all want to love and be loved, and be treated equally and with respect.”

Many netizens have written their support for Mr. Poh, including his former students

Others, though, were openly opposed to Mr. Poh and his stand

However, one netizen who supports Mr. Poh even went as far as to tag Singapore’s education minister, Ong Ye Kung