(Unpublished - July 31, 2009)
I am inspired by Eric J. Brooks' letter on the things Singaporeans take for granted.
The Toronto native writes as an outsider to give an additional perspective for us Singaporeans to appreciate.
I wish to do the same and would like to raise the things that heterosexual or straight Singaporeans take for granted.
This time only different, as I am an insider - a heterosexual married man.
Straight Singaporeans enjoy many taken for granted privileges relative to Singaporeans who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.
We are not questioned or looked down upon by others for our sexual orientation or gender identity.
Our personal sexual identity is not dismissed as a lifestyle choice or morally questioned.
We do not need to go through the pains of gender identity disorder, transitioning and the stigma of being transsexual.
We are not thrown out of the house for identifying as straight.
We are also thought to constitute 'stable families' and assumed to be better parents.
We enjoy next-of-kin administrative and visiting privileges when our loved ones are in their moments of need.
We enjoy living in a mindset and environment that do not cause inconvenience and guilt to our conscience.
Our idea of relationship is validated and supported by many social and political institutions as correct, moral and legitimate.
Our love and its expressions enjoy bountiful coverage on various media platforms.
The list goes on.
Since we are a young nation, we may be preoccupied with pursuing economic progress and social stability.
That does not mean we are unable to develop graciousness and compassion.
That does not mean we are unable to stand up for those who are silenced, invisible or thrown to the margins.
If we want to function as a nation and as a unit, no Singaporean should be left behind, regardless of their identity.
Ho Chi Sam