By N Chan
I would like to thank Jacky Winson Sim from BeProud SG for his response to Tan Kheng-Liang (Joseph’s) initial letter concerning his concerns about the Pink Dot event on the 4th June 2016.
People who fall under the LGBTQ category are humans too. They face the same struggles, issues and problems most of us face in everyday life. Jacky has pointed out, and rightfully so, that LGBTQs face harassment, bullying and isolation in Singapore.
This practice is not right and I hold that the government and society must take a stand against the bullying and discrimination which “deviants” face in our culture and society. All humans are created equal and that some are more equal than other based on how much one conforms to the social norms or values of the day is simply abhorrent and this is one aspect of Singaporean society that must change. That there are Christians who hold bigoted views and positions towards LGBTQs is also unacceptable.
However, there are points of concerns concerning the Pink Dot movement which I would like to raise and points which some among the “wear white” movement hold which needs clarification.
1) LGBTQ values Going Mainstream and Receiving Institutionalisation
The biggest problem that I and others in the “wear white” movement with the Pink Dot movement is the push for LGBTQ values and practices to be institutionalised and going mainstream.
A significant number of people in the “wear white” movement are Christians and Muslims. I am a Christian myself, and yes, although in the eyes of my faith and beliefs homosexuality and altering one’s birth gender are sins, it is no less significant a sin as compared to swearing, cheating, theft, fraud or adultery.
I and certainly many others have no problems living or working with LGBTQs. Pastor Lawrence Khong has also mentioned on the record that he has LGBTQs as part of the crew for his magic shows, to cite an example of myself and other’s willingness to coexist.
However, our concern is about the acceptance of LGBTQ values and practices as mainstream.
The concern is that once LGBTQ values get into the mainstream and receives institutionalisation, a culture would be created to put pressure on the Christian and Muslim communities to accept what according to our respective faiths are unacceptable. As family life and community is part of the flesh and blood of our respective faiths, myself and others are concerned about the encroachment of the traditional family as a result of LGBTQ values going mainstream.
2) Family and Freedom to Love
Jacky mentioned in his letter that regardless of whether a family is of the traditional or non-traditional type, it does not matter, as long as “love” is the basis.
I certainly agree with Jacky in this regard that love is one of the most important of virtues and values. If he is concerned by the lack of acceptance and love shown by the wider community toward LGBTQs I am supportive of his position.
However, I, along with others in the “wear white” movement also hold that love must and should be responsible.
I would like to draw attention to the Chinese proverb “To Beat is to Love, to scold is to endear”. My question to Jacky and others is, would they find this type of “love” acceptable?
Similarly, love should not hurt or destroy and should respect boundaries. The freedom to love a woman should not come at the expense of one cheating on his or her spouse.
HIV is a rampant virus and a dangerous one. Jacky has pointed out, and rightfully so, that HIV affects both LGBTQs and heterosexual people. At the same time, HIV became rampant after the “freedom to love” movement came about in the 1960s, as a result of sexual relationships with multiple sexual partners.
On top of the problem of HIV, the idea of “freedom to love” has also led to lives lost when unwanted pregnancies are terminated, relationships torn apart and lives hurt as a result of the constant changing of sex partners.
Males and females are also wired differently for different purposes. Although there are tasks and activities in common which males and females are able to carry out, there are significant differences in the makeup of males and females and this also includes the ability to father and mother.
Because a male is not wired to mother, neither is a female wired to father, an adopted child with two males or two females as their parents might potentially face an unbalanced upbringing or other developmental problems as a result of their childhood.
As Jacky and others would certainly be aware, a father and a mother have different ways of loving and looking after the home and both styles are meant to complement one another. The concern is, what would make out of the fostered child if his/her upbringing is in a family setting which is not what humans are naturally wired for? At the same time, if homosexual couples were to solve the problem of family through adoption, and more “families” adopt this track, this practice would negative affect the future population numbers in Singapore.
These are some of the concerns that myself and others in the “wear white” movement have with LGBTQ values and practices going mainstream.
Just as much as there is a LGBTQ community in Singapore, Singapore is also a multi-racial and multi-religious society. However, being a multi-racial and multi-religious society has ingrained Singaporean society with the value and principle of coexistence.
Myself, and I am sure many other Christians and Muslims desire to coexist side by side with LGBTQs. However, most of us would want LGBTQ lifestyle and practices to be kept within the sphere of one’s private life and not create a culture which runs has the potential to run in conflict with the values and beliefs we hold.
Bullying and discrimination is a problem LGBTQs face. It is also a problem other people groups, such as migrant workers face in Singapore, which is an unfortunate facet of society here. Perhaps, what the LGBTQ community might consider exploring is collaborating with the wider community, including LoveSingapore and other Christian groups to foster a movement, similar to the Yellow Ribbon Project, culture of kindness and mutual acceptance within society here.
This is not to say that LGBTQs are the equivalent to ex-convicts and they certainly shouldn’t be viewed as such. But the underlying principle of such a movement would be to promote a culture whereby, despite the fact that we may have certain belief systems and values each of us hold that are contrary to each other, we are willing to respect our boundaries, accept each other for who we are and coexist peacefully.