Dear Straight People,
Discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community exists in Singapore. And more often than not, they start in schools.
From schoolyard bullying to homophobic teachers, here are 11 Singaporeans who have stepped up to share personal stories of discrimination that they’ve experienced that happened in schools right here in Singapore.
1. Calvin Tan
‘My classmate sat beside me and told me bluntly that “Do you know that being gay is wrong?”
While the entire class was having lunch at the canteen. Nobody else in the table responded to her retort and I had to let it sink in that I’ll never be treated as a human being.’
2. Chris Hong
‘I was expelled from secondary school “for being a boy in a girls school” as “parents were afraid of me being around their daughters”.’
3. Leow Yangfa
‘When I was in primary school, I was a very effeminate boy.
So the name-calling was ‘ok’, a bully once came up to me in the school field and punched me in the stomach and ran off. When I told the teacher about it, they didn’t do anything about it and I didn’t dare tell my parents.’
4. Leianne Tan
‘I was in a junior college tuition class and my teacher was a staunch Christian.
He was very derogatory towards gay people not knowing that one of my classmates was gay. My respect for him really plummeted after that.’
5. Sean Foo
‘Growing up, I was often made fun of for being effeminate.
The most notable incident was when I was in primary school, the kids on the school bus started taunting me by calling me a ‘sissy’. I started crying and that just made the name-calling worse. I grew to really hate the word ‘sissy’.’
6. Aliyyah Alam
‘We had a teacher who came up to a class and stated that he felt homosexuality was ‘abnormal’ and then went on to state that it was just his opinion.’
7. Tay Yi Ting
‘During a lecture, the teacher said ‘Cross your legs’ and I knew she was implicitly targeting me.
After that, she said ‘As long as you’re are wearing a skirt, I would consider you female. If you want to be a guy, you can wait for your next life’. I feel like that is offensive and disrespectful to one’s own gender identity.’
8. Wilfred Lee
‘In primary school, I was quite feminine so I was bullied a bit.
There was one notable incident where a classmate tripped me when I walked by. After I got up and walked away, I heard him call me an ‘Ah Gua’ to his other friends.’
9. Sophia Hyder (Left)
‘Back in my poly days, a guy once told me ‘Maybe it’s because you haven’t had the right dick’.’
10. Chia De Zhong
‘When I was in secondary school, I was once pushed against the wall by a classmate who called me derogatory terms just because I was a bit more gentle than most of my peers.’
11. Andee Chua
‘Back in my secondary school days, I was very afraid of going for recess time because people from other classes would just shout out ‘Ah Gua Lai Liao’ . That was quite a traumatising period.’
SUPPORT THE REPEAL OF SECTION 377A
By legally framing same-sex attraction as ‘immoral’ and criminal, Section 377A shapes mindsets and perpetuates discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community in Singapore.
We hope this initiative raises awareness on the discrimination faced by the LGBTQ+ community in Singapore and this will hopefully drive more signatures to the petition supporting the repeal of S377A: http://bit.ly/Repeal377APetition.
Written by Sean Foo – www.instagram.com/mrseanfoo
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