The Online Citizen

The Internet’s reaction to Otto Fong

September 09
08:03 2007

Below are some reactions from the internet regarding Raffles Institution teacher Otto Fong’s “coming out” blog post.

Letter to Raffles Institution regarding Otto Fong by Jasper Chen

“I must say that I am deeply touched by Mr Fong’s article. It really reminds me of my secondary school days, facing attraction towards the same sex, yet without peers I can share this new and alien experience with, much less teachers or authority figures that could most probably guide me.”

First DMP Day by Here Lies A Weary Heart

“The case now referred to MOE if im not wrong. If the school sacks him, it will be like totally the wrong thing to do. But if I recall correctly, some time ago the New Paper wrote that some secondary school teacher got sacked cos he gay then the parents scared he use the urinal then got AIDS on the urinal then will pass to students lol. Hope Otto Fong is alright though.”


Rainbow rabbits by Slow Beat Of Doom

Otto Fong is a Science teacher at RI, and a talented comic artist – he published “Sir Fong” and a sequel (out of a whim, I went to get “Sir Fong II”). He has never taught me before (I think he taught the Express students though) but if he did, I’ll probably love his lessons.”


Nothing wrong with being gay by
Singapore Sundry

“The issue with homosexuality is always a sensitive one but in my opinion, all homosexuals should not be stopped from doing anything that is lawful. In Mr Otto Fong’s situation, if he is a good teacher, what’s wrong with declaring himself as a gay if he does not perform lewd acts in front of the students?”


A tribute to our friend, Otto Fong by The Bear Project

“There are two things I want to say about what Otto has done. The first is that his simple act of bravery stands in stark contrast to everything that the anti-gay movement is, and has been doing…. The second thing I wanted to say was that after reading Otto’s letter, I asked myself whether I would be brave enough to do the same thing. … For whatever happens next, he has made an indelible mark on the ongoing struggle for gay acceptance here in Singapore.”


A profile in courage by Chris Hansen

“It’s difficult to be gay and out of the closet in Singapore–all the more so if you are a secondary school teacher. This man, Otto Fong, has done just that in his new blog.”


Coming out, then taken down by Vince Liu

“There is a broad distinction between homosexuality and sexual harassment, and we should not to blur those two issues together, and stigmatise them just because of their sexual orientation.”


To reign supreme in every sphere by etrepoursoi

“Why is there felt to be a need to intrude into every sphere of our lives? Does the fact that someone is gay warrant such intrusion? Or the fact that he has blogged about it?”


A salute to Otto Fong by Hear Ye Hear Ye

“As much as the idea of homosexuality might be revolting to some people, that doesn’t translate into having the right to persecute homosexuals. Put it in another way, as much as you have the right to your disgust, homosexuals have equal right to their happiness.”

Teacher comes out of closet, blog post disappears by Curly Wurly Boo Boo

“It was a long, personal, heartfelt post about being gay and his indignation about the treatment given to gays by the government and them seemingly going back on their words about being more open to gays.”

I’m adult-rated by Koon Chong

“From his open letter i can see his concern for the gay teenagers of singapore, and how he is trying to use his own experiences to help change the lives of others. if that is not the hallmark of a great person, i dont know what is.

RI should ban him, only if they are willing to ban female teachers in an all boy’s school too. We should treat people as individuals, not defined or prejuidiced by their race or sexuality, and surely he deserves to be allowed to carry on teaching.”

Otto Fong’s letter and thoughts by Ryan’s Ramblings

“I hope that the fact that he has declared that he is gay does not suddenly render him a criminal or lesser being…. And being gay does not mean he is more likely to commit any wrongdoing. Just like we put a straight male teacher in a girls school, we do not expect him to commit wrongdoing against the girls just because he is straight, do we? It is wrong to prejudge anybody of wrongdoing – even more so when the person has been doing his job properly and competently for years.”

Uncanny echoes: Consistency or striking staleness? By Molly Meek

“Gay teacher espouse homosexual values. (What on earth are homosexual values? Molly is sleepy. Shall comment later.)

Using the same logic, Christian teachers will espouse Christian values, Muslim teachers Muslim values, Chinese teachers Chinese values, foreign teachers foreign values (!!!!)…

Gosh, how can we tolerate Christian, Muslim, Chinese, or even foreign teachers given that we can’t let people espouse whatever values they have in our sensitive multi-racial, multi-religious society. What if a Chinese teacher advocates eating pork to Muslim students? That will result in social disintegration! What we need are papized teachers espousing papish values. Or perhaps bimbotic bloggers espousing bimbotic values (which are pretty harmless, really).

Otto: 1 ; MOE: 0 by Singapore Kopi Tok

“My own guess is that Otto will soon leave the teaching service on his own accord, and this is probably something that he has been preparing for. His post was meant to gather maximum mileage to sensationalize the gay issue and put pressure on the establishment, and we should see it in this light.”

In support of … by Izzy Come Izzy Go

Yet, he will go down in history, more likely, as the gay teacher, the one who tried to come out of the closet, and soon after that was possibly brow-beaten persuaded to go back in again…. You can be a good teacher. You can be the heart and soul of your classroom. You can inspire your students to learn, to want to learn, to be the very best that they can be. But as long as you’re gay, you can no longer teach. As with everyone else, I too support Otto Fong.

This man is a hero by Mr Wang Says So

“Now if the Ministry of Education tries to sack him, all his present and former Raffles Institution students who have a conscience and are not homophobes should act immediately. Write an email to PM Lee Hsien Loong (pmo_hq@pmo.gov.sg) and demand an explanation.”

Gay teacher from RI comes out of closet by Mr Guay

“There’s no need to declare you’re gay. Same reason why I don’t declare myself a straight person, nor the fact that I enjoy gambling especially mahjong. What’s the point?

If he has truly loved teaching, and loved his students (pun intended…), then he would not have done something to jepoardise his teaching career.”

Casualties of a progress that isn’t by Molly Meek

“Perhaps Otto Fong is indeed a hero. But many real-life heroes are also casualties. (Only Superheroes aren’t.) He need not be sacked – not immediately anyway. Perhaps some time later he would be sacked due to unsatisfactory performance. Perhaps he would never even be sacked, but would this automatically mean that gay teachers would never be sacked and gays applying to teach will never be rejected because of their sexuality?”

Not unreasonable to ask Otto Fong to take down letter by Fearfully Opinionated

I think like any true educator, Otto Fong places the interests of his students first, and he realizes that the controversy he has created may probably harm students more than help them. I think that was why he was convinced to take down the letter, to minimize the damage caused.”

Otto Fong and To Kill A Mocking Bird by Winter Is Coming

And it is this issue of prejudice which Otto Fong’s letter deals with. Prejudice against a fellow human being. The ruthless dehumanising of a fellow human being on the account of his sexuality. Then claiming that its not your fault; that you discriminate because some supreme being willed it.”

RI teacher comes out by Loveless Summer

“When I finished reading his original post, I was truly moved. There are so many gays in Singapore, but so few of them actually come out. So bravo, Mr. Fong! According to all the comments on the Internet, it seems that most of your students think you are a great teacher. I couldn’t agree more.”

Mr Otto comes out in an open letter by Jee Leong

“I wrote an email to Bob Koh, the Headmaster of the school, in order to support Mr. Fong, and to ask that the school allow the reposting of the open letter on his blog. Here’s the text: (see blog site)

Homosexuality, Christianity and Singapore by Lost In York

“Civil law is civil law, and unless every citizen is a member of a certain religion (and even then, perhaps not), there is no reason why religious viewpoints should be mixed in with deciding how to maintain secular social order.”

Otto Fong teaches his students how to prove the mathematical formula, bigotry=stupidity by Hansel 25

“Being a bigot doesn’t give one the right to be stupid. If you’re a bigot, then at least be intelligent in your prejudice and hatred! Will the real smartass bigot please stand up? At this point, I would like to invite all bigots back to your closets. The world is not big enough for you.”

Otto Fong came out! by Zai666

“It seems to me that when Otto Fong simply said, “I am gay,” it conjured up volumes of graphic images of sex between men and unacceptable behaviour and diabolical gay teachers ‘converting’ students and engaging in paedophilic (sp or existence?) behaviour. And it seems to me it was all this in his mind that he was responding to. The direction of his comments seems to indicate so.”

Gay RI teacher’s coming out by Obsessive Compulsive Linking

Mr Wang is right – this man is a hero. I can only hope and pray that his heroism is not rewarded with the usual punishment that MOE metes out.”

Too homophobic for your own good by The Frozen Blade

I am PROUD to be one of the few to accept LGBTs in Singapore. And to top that I’m Malay. It’s been stereotyped that Malays hate LGBTs because our religion (Islam) does not permit it. My religion simply do not permit us to BE one, but that doesnt mean we can’t ACCEPT them to our society.”

My teacher is a good teacher by Fine Attitude

My teacher is a DAMN GOOD teacher. He is competent, smart, witty, good with art and drawings, kind, generous, and very very brilliant. Much more than I can say for other teachers in my school who may be straight, but ain’t know no shit about inspiring students, nor leaving good impressions, nor even teaching their subjects well, for that matter.”

What kind of message by The Daily Backtrack

“Many regard what Otto Fong has done as heroic, perhaps even pivotal for the progress of our society. Others, of course, perhaps a vocal minority, will, in their letters, call him evil, perverse, lacking in good judgement, foolish. Whatever you call him, we can all agree on one thing. What happens next isn’t gonna be good.”

Bravo! Otto by Bacts

“A respectable teacher, but more than just that, a courageous person to openly disclose his gay status. I am touch and really admire his courage when I read this open letter, but at the same time, I am also worried for his career.”

Otto Fong by My Brain Is A Sieve

“Whatever it is, I respect Otto for taking a stand for something he believes in, in spite of the personal costs. There are too many Christians who make bold and dramatic declarations of devotion to God on Sunday only to fail in simple tests of faith on Monday. There is something to be said about integrity of character and walking the talk. Christians can learn a lot from him in that respect.”

Otto Fong, part 1 by Yawning Bread

“To be open is to be honest. In every time and culture, honesty is always a highly-praised virtue. Moreover, it is widely recognised that honesty can demand enormous courage — another highly-praised virtue.”

 

Read also The New Paper’s report: Blog not meant for his students.

 

This page will be updated periodically.

 

TOC TV

Archives