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Coming out, the most powerful form of activism (Part II)

Written by irene on . Posted in Coming Out

As I explained many things to her, I debunked a lot of myths and stereotypes about the LGBT community along the way. To me, coming out is much more than telling people that I am gay. It also means an obligation on my part to educate people around me, to pave the way for better understanding of the LGBT community in society. Furthermore, the most important significance is to let people whom I care for, to understand me for who I am.

I complained to my friend that there is still a lot of negative social stigma associated with gays and lesbians. She replied, 'Actually the situation now is considered good. If you told people that you are gay, like 10 or 20 years ago, people would just immediately conclude that you have AIDS.'

It is so true, and it dawned upon me how far we have come and how much our brave predecessors have achieved. Suddenly I felt so blessed being able to acknowledge to myself that I am gay, and tell people that I am gay without fearing persecution. However, the future journey is arduous, and far from complete. It is really up to us, to take more steps forward.

I am beginning to see that the most powerful form of activism is actually coming out. It is more powerful than gay pride parades, blogs, talks and forums, petitions and any other form of activism. It changes people's misconceptions and mindsets fundamentally, because they know me as a real person, and I am exactly the same person before and after they found out that I am gay. Nothing has changed, and being gay is only a part of my overall identity. My sexual orientation is not a fashion statement which I feel compelled to wear on my sleeve, but rather a part of myself which I prefer not to hide consciously, if the circumstances permit.

Only when queer people are not merely names in the afternoon/ evening tabloids, but family and friends of every one of us in the society, then we can remove the negative social stigma. I can see it happening right beside me. I have friends who used to have negative perceptions of homosexual people but they are becoming more open-minded and accepting. I have guy friends who know that lesbians are not just butches and femmes and understand that lesbians are not waiting for the right men. I have lady friends who have no qualm about joking with me that they will love to marry me despite being well-aware of my sexual orientation. I love the way how it manifests to become a deep-rooted understanding, instead of superficial acceptance while sweeping everything under the carpet in denial.

I feel stronger and less vulnerable every time I come out to another person, and I do hope that I will be strong enough one day to take the step in my family. I will be invincible once I achieve that.

Coming out, the most powerful form of activism (Part I)

Written by irene on . Posted in Coming Out

I was sitting outside the lecture theatre, having a short break with a friend after a particularly draining and exhausting lecture.

She is someone I knew since my junior college days, when she was in the same CCA as me. We were never close friends, but somehow a strange streak of fate brought us together again, when we ended up in the same faculty in university, and happened to take one same course for that particular semester.

It started off as an innocent conversation, but it did not last that way.

In the midst of talking about skin care and beauty tips (Engineering girls are girls too, so what do you expect? Duh.), I mentioned that actually if she knows gay men, they will be a good source of information for this particular topic. Of course it is a stereotype, but it is not a completely groundless or invalid stereotype. I spouted this comment casually, and I was not contemplating about revealing my sexual orientation to her, not even at that point of time.

Her eyes widened. My heart seemed to miss a beat.

She replied, ‘How come you know gay people? I don’t know of any actually.’

‘They are my friends who tell me that they are gay, lor.’ It was hard for me to contain my cool, while trying hard not to choke on the curry puff which I was eating.

‘Wow. That is amazing, I don’t know of friends who are gay.’

(Are you kidding me? There is one sitting right in front of you now!)

In that split second, a sudden impulsive urge washed over me. She did not seem to be homophobic. Why don’t I come out to her?


Written by sayoni on . Posted in Announcements

Queer Singaporean youth launch a portal for themselves.

A group of young queer Singaporeans have come together to start a youth portal establishing itself as a resource for their peers.

Led by 20-year-old polytechnic graduate Azimin Saini, the group comprises 9 youths with different racial backgrounds and sexual orientations.

�There really are no resources to deal with gay youth in Singapore, even till today.� He said. �And we�re often the ones who are crying out for help and need it most.�

The website can be seen at

The name PLUME stands for People Like You and Me, an amalgamation of the acronym, PLU (People Like Us), which has incidentally become widely used to describe gay people in Singapore, and Senior Minister Goh�s widely quoted phrase that gay people are just like �you and me�.


The logo centers on a youth�s sense of individuality with the circle ringed around ME in PLUME. It also means �feather�; the jagged wings symbolise the act of taking flight � to discover the unlimited potential as young people and to be free from the mental constraints society imposes based on sexual and/or gender identity.
�In our conservative society and in most circles, the word ‘queer’ is considered a taboo that is left unspoken. Many pretend that we, as young queer Singaporeans don’t exist and shrug it off�, said 19-year-old Cher Tan, an Editor on PLUME.

Many others feel that they are, too, being ignored.

�Coming out was difficult. I grappled my way around and it was really lonely. I see all these well-adjusted gay adults � but what about us? Have they forgotten what it was like?� asked 20-year-old NS-man, Victor Raj.

A simple survey of 26 youths ranging from the ages of 18 to 21 across the gender and sexual orientation spectrum revealed that all 26 felt there were not enough resources to deal with being young and queer. While it was not meant to be a comprehensive study, the sampling was indicative of the general sentiment among this segment of the population.

PLUME hopes to be a platform for LGBT youth to express themselves through writing, foster the growth of an LGBT youth community in Singapore, and in doing so, provide support and resources for queer youth. Operating like a publication, it will publish articles and reader-submitted stories

�We�re hoping that this project will help in any small ways it can�, said Jasper Chen, another Editor on the team. �And hopefully, it will ease the pain young gay individuals face at that tough period of time.�

Fudan is coming out

Written by (Guest Writers) on . Posted in Coming Out

From kafka4prez in

About a couple of months before I entered Fudan University in Shanghai, I received the news that it was going to offer undergraduates an optional course in homosexual studies. I am going to take that module, and maybe even excel in it, I thought. Ha, fat chance.

The module had an intake of 100 students, and over a thousand students were vying for those sacred places. First-year students didn't even have a chance, actually. Students had to save seats for themselves from lunchtime till when the class starts at 6.30pm. About an hour before class starts, many students are already inside the classroom to secure their seats, by 6pm the classroom is filled with people standing around waiting for the excitement to begin and cameras take their positions as well. Many people from outside the campus join the crowd too, and it was virtually impossible to even get a glimpse of the head of the guest speaker by 6.30pm from the doors and windows of the classroom.

The course was conducted mainly by different guest speakers every week, who touched on issues such as homosexual sex affairs like money boys, and on more serious concerns like discrimination they personally have faced. I myself only attended one lecture on lesbians and many people have walked out of that classroom more informed, acquainted and eager to find out more.

3 words, 3 friends, 3 aspects

Written by mint on . Posted in Coming Out

This is written by Mint.

After a moment of silence, I looked straight into my friend’s eyes with trust and sincerity, and three words came out of my mouth.

I said, “I like girls.

Friend A is from Shanghai. She came to Singapore when she was 13 years of age. After almost 10 years, she is “Singaporified”- speaking in Singlish and eating laksa. However, when I spoke the words above, I was not sure if she could accept it due to her upbringing by her conservative parents.

Thus, before she replied, I said, “ok, you’re allowed to stand 3m away from me next time.”
“No! I will stand closer, ‘cos I know I’m not your type.”
Thanks friend, you really know me well.

A friend once told me that when she came out to her friend, her friend asked, “why didn’t you like me?"

Silly question indeed.

Nonetheless, I came up with a good reply cum rebuke just in case I am faced with the same question:”Hey, you are straight but do you fall for every single man under the sun?!”

Alas, I have yet a chance to showcase my 'proudly created rebuke'.

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