Here I was minding my own business this morning when I was alerted by a dear friend that some people are actively blasting messages via text to get people to vote against LGBT rights in Singapore.
First of all, dear editors at MustShareNews, I applaud your efforts on your little project at Pink Dot and I thank you for trying to help build acceptance of the LGBT community in Singapore. However, I must point out that putting a picture of our family vs a heteronormative family as the comparision for voting on the subject “Do you support LGBT rights in Singapore?” is a rather poor choice. A better choice for the comparative pictures would have been happy people at Pink Dot vs a guy in jail or who has died from suicide.
This is because the question of supporting LGBT rights is not about pitting heteronormative families against LGBT families.
It is about whether LGBT folks deserve to be happy.
It has never been about “our family is better than yours.” It has always been about “we are a family too”.
The single biggest myth in this whole debate is people thinking that once equal rights are given to the LGBT community, everyone will be forced to become LGBT.
It’s like saying when you allow women to vote, you will become a woman.
No one is asking you to be LGBT. No one will ever ask you to be LGBT.
What we are fighting for is the fundamental and basic rights to live our lives without discrimination and have families that are recognised and provided the same support as everyone else.
We want to have fulfilling careers at jobs where we can be ourselves and not be discriminated against or even lose our jobs when we are outed as LGBT.
We want to be able to buy HDB flats together and form family units with our partners, instead of having to rent, buy private or live with our parents forever. (Not that we don’t love our parents, but personal space!)
We want our children to enjoy the same rights as any other children of Singapore citizens. This includes allowing non biological parents the rights to adopt their partner’s children and having legal guardianship rights.
We want LGBT kids to be respected and validated in schools, and empowered with knowledge to keep themselves safe.
We just want to live our lives happily and harmoniously, with our friends and family.
So please feel free to continue wasting your time mobilising others to participate in meaningless online polls to invalidate our existence. However stop telling us that we are broken and disgusting. This especially includes the people who are constantly writing to the government and telling ministers how else to discriminate against us.
Because when you say you are against LGBT rights in Singapore, we want you to know that you are contributing to the following things that are happening right here in our country.
A highly qualified individual will be fired because his bosses think he may be gay.
A lesbian couple will have to choose between paying for rent or paying for groceries.
A baby will have to leave Singapore every 30 days because she is only allowed to have a social visit pass instead of Singapore citizenship.
A teenager will resort to self harm because he is being bullied in school.
So the next time you receive a text asking for your support, do stop and think about what you are supporting. And I hope you remember to do the right thing as a fellow human being.