News and Opinions

Role models for gay youths. Where are they?

Written by lublub on . Posted in Youth

Hey everybody, take a good look around you…

Do you see anything positive about the gay community in the media? Do you see any real-life character that is publicly out, and who is an excellent example of a successful gay person (or at least a gay person who is happy and contented in life)?

No, right? There are none. This is at least true for the mainstream, mostly heterosexual, society in Singapore. Is it then unsurprising, that for most youths, part of their homophobia stems from the fact that to be gay is unthinkable? Because it seems like such a scary, unknown and helpless situation. Something that they cannot identify with in the mainstream media. People reject the unfamiliar after all.

Gay youths are often at a lost as to how to live their lives now that they know that they are different. There aren’t any guide books, or helpful resources in schools that will soothe their worries and affirm the normalcy of their feelings. Sexuality education does not touch on homosexuality at all. Teachers are perceived as the ’right’ role models to teach teenagers. However, by the decree of the government, they generally take on a homophobic stance despite their personal beliefs. Thus, many of us gay youths would feel apprehensive to approach teachers (even those who are obviously gay) for help and understanding. They are not the role models that they could potentially be, even though we desperately need them.

Same-sex school does not equate same-sex love

Written by Indu on . Posted in Youth

Taken from

Everyone knows about the reputation of various girls’ schools in Singapore. RGS turns out unmarriageable feminists. SCGS creates tai-tais. Nanyang girls are eccentric, and would probably become First Ladies. These accusations are mostly asinine, and rational people would know that.

But the biggest false accusation leveled at all these schools is the supposed belief that girls’ schools ‘creates’ lesbians. Is there any truth to this? Does coming from a girls’ schools ‘make’ you lesbian? Many of you would remember the CNA show ‘Get Rea!’, by Diana Ser, one of whose episodes focused on this very matter, and concluded that girls schools do make our girls ‘lesbian’.

Before refuting this theory outright, I’d like explore the environment in girls’ schools, and see what factors might have contributed to this misconception.


For me, being in a girls’ school was a liberating experience, after having to put up with dirty, rowdy [and very smelly] boys in primary school. Civilisation, at last! At least people here knew about deodorant, and didn’t think shouting profanities about each others’ private parts was funny.

Young Sappho

Written by Indu on . Posted in Youth

This is the introductory part of the monthly column on being a young queer girl, and coming out by pleinelune.

‘You are a lesbian? But you are so girly!’

‘No way. That’s just a phase most girls go through. Find yourself a nice boyfriend, and it will all go away.’

‘I told you that you should have gone to a mixed school. See how four years in a single-sex school has turned your head?’

‘What, the guys here are not manly enough for you?’

‘You have to stop this - this is not good for you. Girl-girl relationships never last.’

‘Don’t make me call your parents.’

Familiar phrases, familiar intonations. Lesbianism is not real. Gay relationships are bad. A young lesbian/bisexual girl goes through much of this in her coming out phase.

Not that coming out to oneself is any easier. Some of us know from the time we innocently held hands with our friend. Some of us, not until we realised that the kisses of our boyfriends were not as sweet as the ones stolen guiltily from that girl. Or until we realise we are checking out the girl next to the handsome hero, not him. Some of us don’t know at all, preferring to hide behind a veil of denial.

Not that our schoolmates are any help. They think lesbianism is something ugly girls do. They think it is just a phase, a girlish crush on an authority figure, quick to fade away when the first masculine figure appears on the scene.

Not that our parents help. We know they will probably kick us out if a whiff of our sexuality reaches them. Or take us to a doctor, pleading for a cure. We can’t bear to see the tears on our mothers’ faces, when they hear their daughters are’ different.

Who helps, then? Me, for one, as I take you on a journey across the choppy seas of being a young queer girl.

Buckle up.


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