(unpublished - Nov 26, 2011)
I read with disgust Josephine Tay's letter "Why orchid for Elton" (Nov 26, 2011).
She insists there are "other celebrities and dignitaries more deserving" than Elton John and his partner, following the naming of an orchid after the famed performer.
She furthers this by questioning the government if homosexuality is "openly encouraged and endorsed".
I see this differently. The naming of an orchid after Elton John is an honour bestowed upon, first and foremost, a talented and successful musician and performer.
It is disgraceful that even today we have Singaporeans who openly condemn the sexuality of those who we choose to believe are different from us. Does that mean no matter how huge the contribution to society and the world, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered people deserved to be ignored, trivialised or condemned?
As a father, I see no issue with Elton John's sexuality. It would be more important to me if he and his partner, as high profile persons, can provide a loving and nurturing family environment, and set an example for others.
It churns my stomach when prejudices rule our hearts and minds, leading human beings like Josephine Tay to associate a sexual identity other than heterosexuality with all things bad.
I also do not encourage and endorse people who, guided by such bigotry and hateful prejudice, abuse their privileged positions and make hateful remarks against sexual minorities.
What is far insidious is that she has the audacity to suggest that the government and public do things that are eventually aligned with their prejudices. If the government ever has to be involved, they should be more concerned about hindrances to peace, harmony and diversity, such as the exclusionary homophobic letters that populate our mainstream media.
I assume Josephine Tay is a heterosexual, and as a fellow heterosexual Singaporean, I wish to express my disappointment at her and her condemnable letter.
Ho Chi Sam