From Slurs to Success: Unpacking the Trend of Gay Businesses Using Edgy Names

From Conversion Clinic to Club Hell, we unpack the trend of gay entrepreneurs in Singapore choosing provocative names for their businesses.

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How is this even allowed”

That was the caption that accompanied a viral Tik Tok last year featuring ‘Neil Conversion Clinic’. For context, conversion therapy refers to the detrimental endeavour of attempting to change an individual’s sexual orientation – a practice that has since been discredited.

But that is not even the worst part. This conversion clinic popped up along Neil Road, a street that has since become a safe space for Singapore’s queer community due to its array of establishments catering to the LGBTQ+ community.

Unsurprisingly, backlash was swift. The video garnered over 250,000 views in a few days, as netizens vehemently trashed the emergence of a conversion clinic.

Neil Conversion Clinic – LGBTQ Friendly Bar

Days later, the owners of Neil Conversion Clinic took to social media to divulge a surprising twist: the establishment was, in fact, a gay club. They explained that the provocative name was picked as a statement of sorts, where a term synonymous with abuse has been transformed into a sanctuary for the queer community.

We thought it would be interesting to give the “finger” to people who’ve tried to oppress members of the community or even went as far to try to convert them. 

This is in line with how gay men throw the word faggot around casually because we want to turn a slur into something we own and can be proud of.” 


Their marketing tactic worked. Make a trip to Neil Conversion Clinic and chances are, the bar is packed.

Club Hell – Singapore’s Only LGBTQ Club

Dear Straight People,

Neil Conversion Clinic may have been the first gay owned business in Singapore which used a provocative name. But it sure wasn’t the last.

In fact, the success of Neil Conversion Clinic seemed to kickstart a new trend of gay businesses subverting terms that were traditionally homophobic by nature.

Not long after the opening of Neil Conversion Clinic, Club Hell opened its doors to a full house on 16 December 2022.

We were toying with a few names but essentially, we wanted to create a space where people would remember it as a very fun place to be at.

We initially had a working title called “Glory Hole”. But we thought it sounded too sleazy and Hell meant something more. 

We wanted to do a word play of something negative and turn it into something positive. It’s in relation to how society dictates what’s right or wrong.”


Billed as Singapore’s only gay club, Club Hell offers a different interpretation of hell. Instead of a place of eternal torment of gay people, Club Hells offers a paradise of pleasure for queer party-goers

Shop377A – Gay Sex Toy Shop

The start of Pride Month this year heralded the opening of another gay owned business with an edgy name – Shop377A.

Inspired by the repeal of Section 377A, Shop377A offers an exceptional selection of male sex toys. 

During the brainstorming session, we threw out different names but none of them stuck. When the name Shop377A popped up, we knew immediately that this was the name. 

The decision to use this name was unanimous.


For decades, Section 377A criminalised consensual sex between men in Singapore. Apart from its legal implications, the archaic law has also become a symbol of oppression for the LGBTQ+ community.

So it seems almost fitting that following the repeal, Section 377A would form the basis of the name of a gay sex toy shop.

As a proudly gay owned business, our mission is to empower men by advocating for a future where all men can explore their sexuality without any fear of judgement.

So it felt fitting to use an archaic law that criminalised gay sex for decades and turn it into a symbol of male sexual empowerment and exploration.


From hyper-realistic dildos to masturbators that replicate a blowjob, Shop377A certainly wasn’t kidding about male sexual empowerment.

Critics From Within The LGBT Community

While the use of edgy names brought about exposure, it also attracted controversy.

When the team behind Neil Conversion Clinic publicly announced their revelation, it wasn’t enough to quell all of the backlash. They were accused by some of trivialising conversion therapy.

In fact, their loudest critic came from within the community itself. Up till this day, a series of IG stories trashing their name remains up on the IG highlights of the founder of an LGBT content platform.

Similarly, Shop377A also faced backlash from the queer community.

When we first launched, most people complimented us for coming up with such a clever name.

The first time we encountered disapproval of our name was when we tried to post on Blowing Wind.”


Blowing Wind is a gay forum frequented by Singaporeans, largely run by a group of volunteers known as moderators. 

One of the Blowing Wind moderators did not like our name, and banned us from using the forum. We would have loved to have a conversation with that moderator to clarify our stance. But unfortunately, we were not given the chance to.”


Giving Back To The Community

Contrary to popular belief, the LGBTQ+ community is far from a monolithic entity. Differences in opinions are inevitable.

The contentious practice of adopting edgy names for gay-owned businesses is a subject rife with debate. But regardless of your stance on the matter, there is no denying the positive impact these businesses are making on their communities.

Take, for instance, Conversion Clinic. Not only is Conversion Clinic a popular safe space for queer partygoers, they’ve launched initiatives to elevate local drag queens too. Conversion Clinic has partnered with Vanda Miss Joaquim to kickstart WERQ, a ‘launching pad for queer artists’.

We really like projects like these and would like to do more!


Beyond its array of male-centric sex toys, Shop377A has been donating to LGBTQ+ charities regularly. During their launch in Pride Month, Shop377A donated 15% of their June revenue to Gayhealth.SG, who offer sexual health services to the gay and MSM community in Singapore.

Although Pride Month may be long over, Shop377A hasn’t stopped giving back to the community. A recent commendable act saw them resolve to channel the entirety of their August proceeds from Malaysian sales to an LGBT charity within the nation. This move was in response to Malaysia’s ban on Swatch’s rainbow watches, where owners and sellers face up to 3 years in jail.

Running a business is challenging. But running a gay business in a country like Singapore is even tougher.

You can show your support for these gay owned businesses by dropping by Club Hell and Conversion Clinic, and ordering a sex toy (or two) from Shop377A, so that these businesses can continue giving back to the community in their own unique ways.

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