8 Singaporeans Share Their Experiences With Everyday LGBTQ Discrimination In Singapore

8 Singaporeans share their experiences with Dear Straight People on their everyday LGBT discrimination in Singapore.

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Dear Straight People,

Discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community exists!

From being coughed at in the bus to being harassed on the streets, here are some stories of everyday discrimination that happened in Singapore.

1. Sarah & Grace

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‘We were on a bus, and I had my hand on Grace’s back — nothing inappropriate at all. 

This old uncle started moving closer to us and coughed really loudly ON me, and then leaned in and whispered to us “I want to vomit on you right now.’

2. Stacey Nonis

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‘I’m a straight woman but my cousin is a lesbian. 

At an airport, an immigration officer smiled at me when I walked by but when my cousin walked by, he looked her up and down and called her over for an extra set of checks. That was the first time I witnessed discrimination against the queer community personally. 

I was so enraged on her behalf and I finally understood what she has been going through her whole life.’

3. Prashain

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‘I was called a faggot by a guy out loud at H&M because I was wearing make up.’

4. Maitri & Kystyle Ko

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‘There was once we were at home holding hands and minding our own business when one of our neighbours peeped through the window and he shouted at us in dialect something along the lines of ‘Aren’t you ashamed of yourself’.’

5. Dr Khoo Hoon Eng

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‘When my son was younger, he was walking down Orchard Road with a friend of his. They were just good friends and so they were holding hands and they met a policeman who stopped them and told them ‘Don’t hold hands!’ That took them by surprise and to me, that is very open discrimination as they were just walking down the street.’

6. Jean Illyria

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‘I was told by an ICA officer in 2017 that I had to have my IC photo retaken because I “didn’t look like a male,” as reflected on my IC, and that they’d rather have my photo conform to the guidelines than to how I actually look.’

7. Shireen Gill

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‘My partner and I were on the MRT and holding hands – but not even in the open. We were holding hands under our backpacks.

I felt someone staring at us, looked up and saw this boy, taking a photo of us. At that moment, I felt so exposed, so wronged. 

Discrimination is everywhere. It’s so sad that the society we work so hard for, allows it.’

8. Yeo Yu Teng

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‘During dance, there is an expectation that guys should dance in a more masculine style.

I once took part in a dance where we had to improvise and so I took on a sassy dance persona during my performance because I found it to be fun and special. After the performance, some people labelled me with derogratory terms and said things along the lines of ‘Why is Yu Teng’s dance so gay’.

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.

View the full photo album on our Facebook page here.

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Written by Sean Foo: @mrseanfoo

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