Dear Straight People,
If you think that the LGBTQ community in Singapore has it easy, think again.
A group of Singaporeans came forward to share their experiences with discrimination using #HateHurts in a fundraising effort for Oogachaga – Singapore’s ONLY community based counselling centre for the LGBTQ community.
(Note: The fundraising effort has ended)
1. Gabriel Lu: Bullied for being gay
When I went to high school, I got outed by a friend unintentionally. So I got bullied a lot for it.
When I did a presentation one time, a lot of the kids at the back of the classroom would just start shouting ‘Hey fag! Stop it! You little pussy! You’re like a princess!’
That really pissed me off!
Find out more about Gabriel’s experiences with bullying here.
2. Indulekshmi Rajeswar: Biphobic comments from insensitive friends
I’m a bisexual woman. I’m married to a man.
People often say that bisexuality is a phase. One friend even asked me whether I was into white meat now because I’m married to a Caucasian man. Such comments really hurt.
Bisexuality is not just a phase. It is a part of who I am.
Read about Indulekshmi’s experiences with biphobia here.
3. Shao Wei: Kicked out of the house for being gay
When my family found out that I was gay, I was actually kicked out of the house and I had to seek refuge with my friends and in camp.
The feeling of being abandoned by your family, the people who you think supported you the most… hurts.
Read about Shao Wei’s story of getting kicked out of the house after being outed against his will here.
4. Alexander Teh: Target of workplace discrimination
I identify as a gay trans man. 2 years ago at my former work place, I received complaints of the men’s bathroom.
A few weeks after I received the complaints, I was confronted by this particular person outside the bathroom and he started yelling at me saying that I had no right to use the men’s bathroom at all and that he would call the police if he saw me using the men’s bathroom again.
At that time, I felt really shocked and scared because it was such an unexpected confrontation and I didn’t know if he would actually call the police after that.
Read about Alexander’s journey as a gay trans man here.
5.Dharesheni Nedumaran: Mum told to shut up because she was queer
One time, someone told my mother to shut up because she doesn’t have a voice in the conversation because she has to handle her lesbian daughter first.
This is the same woman who worked two jobs so I get to stay in University and she tried her best not to tell me this incident because she didn’t want to hurt my feelings.
Read about Sheni’s experiences as a pansexual here.
6. Leow Yangfa: Sexually assaulted in public
I was walking down the street and holding hands with my boyfriend at the time and then this guy who was obviously drunk came up to us and he decided to grab my crotch.
He did. It was really shocking!
7. Vanessa Ho: Street harassment of trans women
As part of my job at Project X, I work with a lot of transgender women, especially transgender women in the sex industry.
One of the stories that I’ve heard from the women I’ve worked with is that of street harassment. Trans women tell me that a lot of teenage or even slightly older boys walk past them, shout vulgarities at them, use derogatory terms to describe them and then run away laughing.
8. Kieran Cheang: Told to see the doctor because being gay was wrong
When I was 15 in school, I was walking down my school’s corridor and suddenly there were a bunch of seniors who came up to me and they cornered me and they told me in my face that I should see a doctor because being gay was wrong.
They knew that I was gay and they said that gays aren’t accepted by society.
The stories that you’ve read from the 8 brave Singaporeans who came forward to share their experiences is just the tip of the iceberg.
Incidents of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia happen in Singapore on a daily basis and with the lack of government support, members of the LGBTQ community in Singapore don’t have much resources to turn to when they find themselves being hated on.
Watch the full video here:
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