Singapore—Love wins, as they say. Light is stronger than darkness, and love stronger than hate.
This seemed to be the message that some Singaporeans wanted to show after a man tore a pride flag and threw it at one of the staff at the Lau Pa Sat branch of SMOL, a health food store.
A video of the incident was posted on SMOL’s Facebook page on Tuesday (Jan 19), where it has been viewed almost 86,000 times.
It was also widely shared and the incident was even covered by the media.
According to the owner of SMOL, Ms Charmaine, the staff at SMOL at Lau Pa Sat “encountered homophobic abuse from a middle-aged man.”
Commenters were quick to denounce the man’s actions online, and vowed to support the eatery even more, which they apparently did immediately.
Later that day, Ms Charmaine took to Facebook to thank those who had supported the business, saying that the outlet at Lau Pa Sat outlet had sold out early.
Furthermore, many people seemed to have gone out of their way to meet Ms Charmaine personally to voice their support.
“A lot has happened in the last 24 hours, and I am truly heartened and humbled by the love and support from the community. Our Lau Pa Sat outlet sold out early today, and I am so glad to have met many of you in person. I am sorry we were not able to chat longer, but I do hope to see all of you again in future!,” she wrote.
And for now, the incident is now in the hands of the Singapore Police Force and she asked everyone that the authorities be allowed to deal with it.
Ms Charmaine also explained why she made the video of the incident public.
“The intention of this post was not to dox or to track down the perpetrator, but to highlight the everyday reality that the LGBTQ community experience when most incidents are not even caught on camera.
The comments on our socials demonstrated that love will always prevail, and I am glad to see the LGBTQ community and allies rise above hate. Our SMOL Pride Flag will keep flying proud in the meantime.”
During the incident, the man had asked the SMOL staff what the rainbow flag was for and was told it was in support of the LGBT+ community.
The man, who had already walked away, went back to the staff and said, “o you know that this is a public food court? Not everybody support LGBT!!?? How can you put this flag??”
Afterward, he ripped the flat and threw it at one of the staff.
The man continued, “You are the kind of people who is destroying Singapore! Go TO HELL!!!”
Ms Charmaine used the opportunity to point out that “discrimination against LGBTQ people in Singapore is well and alive, and there is so much more work to be done to promote understanding, love and tolerance for this community.”
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