Friday, 22 September 2023

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Of Bigotry, Ignorance and Prejudice

By Terry Xu

Writing in from Gay SG Confessions, a local gay community ‘confessions’ platform. GC, admin & founder of Gay SG Confessions shares with TOC on the recent happenings on the fanpage that posts confessions from the local gay community.

It’s been slightly over 3 months since the Gay SG Confessions page has been launched. Since then Gay SG Confessions have seen its official ‘Likes’ climb to over 4,000 ‘Likes’ while the average daily page views number varies between 60,000 to 80,000 views.

On 15th April, exactly 2 months after the launch of the fanpage, the page received a bunch of negative reports due to its pro-gay Christianity content which triggered Facebook’s auto unpublish feature. After a prolonged wait for a response from Facebook, GC made trips down to the local Facebook office at Cecil Street in Singapore to appeal in person. The page was reinstated 5 days later without an official explanation from Facebook.

During the wee hours of 21st May 2013, the page received a deluge of anti-gay / pro-religion posts via its goggle form where it receives confessions to be posted. The fanpage normally receives about 50-70 entries a day but on this day, within just an hour, over 60 entries were received – lengthy tirades against homosexuality and the like. Given the previous shutdown history, GC was wary of ignoring such an obviously coordinated effort by the anti-gay religious voice. It was then decided to dedicate the following evening to publish a selection of these entries, not before giving the fanpage community a heads up during lunch time (link).

For 6 hours from 6pm to midnight, over twenty religion-fuelled rants were posted. The community’s overall reaction was one of reason & humour, albeit indignant. I was also on moderation duty standby, marking as ‘spam’ the overly violent or threatening comments by certain hot-headed gay readers (renders such comments only viewable by their friends and not the public). Readers also wrote in via emails and Facebook, upset and demanding that I stop publishing these hate messages. The page also lost close to 50 fans or ‘Likes’ (a huge deal for us since over 80% of our readers dare not Like the page for fear of being outed). Thankfully Twitter savvy fans rallied to support the effort ( @gaysgconfess ).

All in all, it was a night worth noting for the local gay community. In the face of such bigotry, ignorance and prejudice they spoke up with passioned reason and refuted the foolish notions and ideas. You would already be familiar with the efforts of an anti-gay pastor, Lawrence Khong – we strongly suspect the entries to be from his ‘flock’ or congregation as let slip by one of the rants.

I have written in to you because it is obvious that the anti-gay religious movement is increasing its effort to target the gay community in Singapore, shortly after the first of the constitutional challenges of Section 377A in our courts has failed. While the page has attracted negative / hate mail in the past, the volume of such vitriol is a first.

A few samples of the posts that the fanpage recieved during this period of time,

– To whoever is running this page: you should not be encouraging the propagation of the homosexual agenda. It is clearly against the law in this country and you should have more respect for our society’s wishes. (link)

– Let’s keep our island a safe little red dot from the activists who would like to paint it pink for the sake of our families and many other nations and the millions of families out there that look to us as a model to follow. Keep 377A. That’s the right way to go for everyone, for Singapore and every other nation waiting to see if we in Singapore would repeal 377A. We dont’ want to follow the road of those who have yielded to the agenda of the LGBT. We call on every Singaporean to rise up against this organized attempt to rob us of a decent place to live in our beloved country. (link)

– I saw Singapore’s progress in 1 generation with good policies implemented in the 1965 on (anti-corruption, educational opportunities). Singapore being a small city state, the impact of policies can be felt, pretty fast.

If we take a wrong path, the same dynamics will apply. We can also see it a quick regression. I am thankful because Section 377A guards the moral tone of society and it must be kept. Repealing it is not a risk we can afford. (link)

(To view some of the other anti-gay posts that went up earlier tonight on Gay SG Confession, visit this link.)

When I attended the preview of the Pink Dot campaign video on Wednesday this week in the capacity of executive editor of The Online Citizen, a sponsor for the event asked me on why TOC supports the Pink Dot. Was it simply because it is something that can be seen as a liberal movement?

I replied him saying, what TOC or me personally believes in is the freedom of choice, the freedom to choose who to be and how to live one’s life. There is no reason why the LGBTs should be discriminated upon and forced to live a different life just because society cannot accept them for who they are.

It seems that society has been growing in its understanding on this once misunderstood community,  and there should be a re-look at the actual acceptance level by the society at large instead of depending on a few vocal individuals for the society’s consensus on issues such as the repeal of 377A.

There seems to be a concerted effort to paint the recent movement of the LGBTs as pushing for a gay agenda in Singapore, trying to educate the young to turn to homosexual practices. But I wonder how any form of education can teach or influence the choice of gender one would subscribe to, I mean that is no way any one can convince me that homosexual porn is going to be more arousing than the heterosexual version of it.  If there is any gay agenda to be pushed through the actions of the LGBT community, that is the acceptance of differences of individuals and the promoting of equality in name of human rights.

I will end this post with by saying, bigotry, ignorance and prejudice are all things can be taught but never the gender one would choose to love.






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