Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Homophobia and Heterosexism

(Unpublished - Nov 16, 2007)

Homophobia and Heterosexism: The difference between homosexuality and abortion/capital punishment

Dear Editor,

I refer to Alex Tan Tuan Loy's letter "The difference between homosexuality and abortion/capital punishment" (ST, Nov 16)

While I agree that homosexuality should not be lumped with abortion or capital punishment, I feel that more attention should be turned towards why our society is generally homophobic and heterosexist.

Why are Singaporeans unable to accept homosexual people? Are homosexual people dangerous animals?

I believe the acceptance of the homosexual identity is a challenge to the pride of the moral crusaders, and an impediment to the shifting and growing moral boundaries homophobic communities are drawing. Instead, the rhetoric of "moral decay" and "harm to children" are being used to suppress the rally for equal rights for sexual minorities.

People within their respective moral boundaries need to recognise the fact that they live in a heterogeneous space that is Singapore which is occupied by many other moral communities, with peoples who hold different beliefs and values. What gives the right of one moral community to impinge on the space of another? Does it mean that if one moral community is large translate legitimises its dominance over other communities?

If society could ever bring itself to disassociate homosexuality from paedophelia, sexual perversion, sexually transmitted diseases, crime and other stereotypes, we will find it a lot more difficult to hold homophobic views.

Some people see sexual minorities as less human and I think this perception is very revolting. Furthermore, what you do not see as human would be incapable of being a community, and therefore incapable of being seen as a minority. This results in lack of visibility and not only marginalisation ensues, but also lack of understanding and knowledge of the marginalised.
We all have a social responsibility to integrating people in our society, not alienate them.

Ho Chi Sam

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