Role models for gay youths. Where are they?
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.