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2 More Letters–Updated!

Just read a great response to the Thio Su Mien’s latest letter which I’m posting here (with permission)

I refer to Dr Thio Su Mien’s letter on 18th May 2009.

I was at the AWARE EGM from start to end. Firstly, possessing a much better “gaydar” than Dr Thio Su Mien and being much more familiar than her with those people who call themselves gay activists, I can confirm that the hall was not full of them. They were definitely present, but they were nowhere near the numerical majority nor a chief constituency.

Secondly, being a supporter of rights for gay people neither make one homosexual/lesbian nor a homosexual (rights) activist. I personally support rights of the Palestinians to live their lives without a wall dividing their communities – a somewhat controversial position (depending on who you ask) that makes me neither Palestinian (unless my parents have lied to me all my life) nor a Palestinian Rights Activist.

Thirdly, there is a line between “gay-neutral” and “promoting homosexuality”. A dictionary can easily help divine the line between the two, should anyone be confused.

Fourthly, I am not sure why Dr Thio calls the supporters of the old guard “sexually challenged”. Does she mean they are somehow physically or psychologically sexually impaired? Is Dr Thio secretly the physician for all these “vocal and vociferous” women, in order to know this intimately personal information about them? I was a “vocal and vociferous supporter of the old guard” – have I been sexually challenged all this while and did not know about this until a lawyer mass-diagnosed me through a forum letter? I am very confused, and somewhat insulted.

Fifthly, anal sex per se is not against the law – the old s377 of the Penal Code was repealed in February 2008. Unless there is a top-secret statute that makes it illegal (which only Dr Thio seems to know of), I believe consensual heterosexual anal sex is very much legal now. Perhaps Dr Thio refers to s377A – that would refer to all sexual contact between men, not just anal sex.


(Just realised that by Dr Thio’s reasoning I might be Palestinian too…!)

One from Thio Su Mien (repeating)–

1. suggested trainer’s responses taken out of context & blown out of perspective

2. everyone who spoke out against her attempted takeover must be part of a team of ‘homosexual activists’ thus proving an agenda

(though from what I saw, some of the most vocal against her team were mothers & grandmothers against what appeared to be Thio’s own agenda)

The second was a great soapbox article from Amanda Tan which sums up students’ frustrations of sitting through repeated viewings of ‘The Silent Scream’–as she puts it,

we had seen the same material used since we were in Primary 6, so repeated viewings had rendered useless any scare tactics intended.

The full piece is worth reading (refreshingly honest & funny but also underlining how lack of information drives teens to the internet for information) but I have under 5 minutes before I have to get out of the house–check out page B7 of the Home section of today’s (Monday, May 18) Straits Times.

I’ll just copy out her suggestion (which I sincerely hope MOE will take note of!)

If the question of how old someone needs to be before he or she can watch an NC16 or M18 movie is decided by the movie content, perhaps the same can be done for discussions of sexuality.

Feed us small doses, but make it directly relevant. How about compiling a list of questions from those of us in the same level, find out what the most common ones are, and address those?

In this way, information can relate directly to age range without undermining the intelligence of the listener.

and finally but perhaps most important of all–

But what we really needed was frank talk–relayed to us in the same way an older sibling might share juicy gossip–unabashed, down-to-earth and honest.

No point trying to create the perfect silver bullet for questions from youth about sex.
Instead, just tell it like it is.

Thank you, Amanda Tan!

2 Responses

  1. In fact your kids will prob be a lot less likely to experiment recklessly/dangerously/to get peer approval/as rebellion than kids kept in the dark & told without discussion that what feels ‘right’ is ‘WRONG’!

  2. OMG. After all this bllaahh about repressing sexual education in Singaporean schools. I can’t wait to teach my own kids what they need to know to practice safe sex. Better that I get it right than to trust the schools with their conservative ways! Pppfftt!

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