Singapore, Asia

Singapore is an island microstate located at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula. At 707.1 km2 (273.0 sq mi) Singapore is one of four remaining true city-states in the world. It is the smallest nation in Southeast Asia. Its modern economy is focused on electronics manufacturing, petrochemicals, tourism and financial services alongside massive entrepôt (shipping transfer) trade. Singapore is the 5th wealthiest country in the world in terms of GDP (PPP) per capita.

Homosexual sex is illegal in Singapore. Constitutional rights for gay people are nonexistent for the most part, and penalties for crimes relating to homosexual acts is up to 2 years' jail. However, in October 2007, during the Penal Code review and repeal of the criminal status, the Singapore government declared that private, consensual, adult homosexual sex would no longer be prosecuted but that its illegality would remain as a statement of the values of the "conservative majority". Nevertheless, gay groups are active and constantly challenge the government. 



We are family

The idea that “the family unit comprises of a man as Father, a woman as Mother, and Children” is not biblical, writes Rev Miak Siew, executive pastor of Singapore’s Free Community Church and member of gay advocacy group People Like Us. Here he responds to a Singapore pastor’s recent comments that the acceptance of gays… Read more »

Survey shows Singaporeans more accepting of gay people

Academic study shows more positive and less negative attitudes towards gay people from 2005 to 2010 A survey published last month shows that Singaporeans became more tolerant of gay people from 2005 to 2010. The study published in the Asian Journal of Social Psychology showed that 64.5% of respondents held negative attitudes towards homosexuals in… Read more »

Our sisters in Singapore

Gay Star News interviews leading lesbian rights activist in Singapore, Jean Chong The LGBT rights movement in Singapore has been mainly dominated by gay men, but Gay Star News met Jean Chong of lesbian group Sayoni and discovered that sisters are doing it for themselves. Did you have any role models when you were growing… Read more »

Gay parents in Singapore

There aren’t many openly LGBT parents in Singapore, but there are some who’re willing to share their stories. Meet K, a bisexual mum, and P, a gay dad. Here in Singapore, we’ve heard a lot about gay parents. We’ve watched them in movies like The Kids Are All Right and in (illegally downloaded) TV shows… Read more »

Singapore’s gay rights (and blogging) pioneer speaks

Gay Star News talks to Alex Au, born in 1952, one of the pioneers of gay activism and blog writing in Singapore During his lifetime Alex Au has witnessed Singapore’s gay scene move from the underground to the public eye, police tactics move from entrapment and ‘pogroms’ against gay men to ‘non-enforcement’ of the anti-homosexuality… Read more »

How can a pink dot change society?

Gay Star News talks to one of the organizers of Singapore’s Pink Dot, an annual LGBT awareness-raising festival ‘The first Pride in X country’ makes headlines around the world, but what if country creates their own LGBT pride event from scratch? That’s what activists in Singapore have done with Pink Dot. Instead of a rainbow… Read more »

Queer Singapore: Illiberal Citizenship and Mediated Cultures

Editors Audrey Yue and Jun Zubillaga-Pow have curated a solid collection of essays looking at LGBT Singapore from multiple perspectives, examining in particular the coexistence in the nation of institutionalised repression and tolerance of the gay community. Queer Singapore: Illiberal Citizenship and Mediated Cultures Edited by Audrey Yue and Jun Zubillaga-Pow Paperback 268 pages Published… Read more »

Yale hosts Singaporean gay rights movement lecture

Lecture informs debate over America’s most gay-friendly Ivy League university opening a campus in a state where homosexuality is illegal In an attempt to placate the controversy around America’s most gay-friendly Ivy League university opening a campus in a state where homosexuality is illegal, Yale hosted a lecture about the gay rights movement in Singapore… Read more »

LGBT travel steps out of the closet at ITB Asia

With gay and lesbian travel being one of the fastest growing market segments in the industry, ITB Asia, Asia’s largest travel trade show, has for the first time set up a “Pink Corner” at the 3-day event in Singapore. It’s the first time a Pink Corner is being hosted at ITB Asia, a major travel… Read more »

The ASEAN declaration – Good news or bad news?

We now know what the draft ASEAN Human Rights Declaration will say. Is it good news or bad news for LGBTI? Douglas Sanders looks at the issues. First the bad news. We are not named. In the anti-discrimination provisions there is no reference to “sexual orientation” or “gender identity” or “gender expression.” Perhaps we don’t… Read more »

Singapore Court of Appeal: “Continued existence of s377A causes gay men to be unapprehended felons”

In a judgment that has taken nearly a year, Tan Eng Hong and his lawyer M Ravi are now one step closer to challenging the constitutionality of section 377A of the Penal Code that prohibits sexual relations between men. Singapore’s Court of Appeal today overturned High Court judge Lai Siu Chiu’s decision on 15 March… Read more »

Singapore: 15,000 gather to show support for LGBTs at Pink Dot rally

It is a record turnout for Pink Dot, the only public rally to advocate LGBT acceptance in Singapore, and which has even inspired similar events around the world. Watch the video here. Singapore’s Hong Lim Park turned into a sea of shimmering pink lights on Saturday night as 15,000 people gathered to show their support… Read more »

New Regional Community Youth Leader And Policy Briefing Paper Announced

(Bangkok)   The Asia Pacific Coalition on Male Sexual Health (APCOM) has been a leader in mobilising attention and action to promote the health and human rights of men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender people since 2007. Today, APCOM reaffirms its commitment to working with young MSM and transgender people by supporting… Read more »

Gay activist Alex Au wins Singapore Humanist of the Year award

Alex Au, a Singapore gay activist, social commentator and former Fridae columnist, has been awarded the Humanist of the Year 2012 by the Humanist Society (Singapore) for being a “vocal defender of Singapore’s secularism and an outspoken critic of religious extremism, pseudoscientific institutions and creationism.” Alex Au, a well known figure in LGBT activism in… Read more »

Homoerotic traditions in pre-modern Asian & Pacific Island societies

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer identities are commonly thought of as relatively recent, western, social constructs… but what do we know about non-heteronormative expressions of sexuality in historical Chinese, Korean, South Asian and Southeast Asian cultures? There is a very wide misconception that ‘lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender’ (LGBT) constitutes a purely modern phenomenon… Read more »

How LGBT-friendly are Singapore universities?

Ng Yi-Sheng, a regular Fridae contributor and openly gay creative writing teacher at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, looks at the state of queer acceptance in Singapore’s universities – and wonders if the opening of the new Yale-NUS college will improve things. In July 2013, Singapore’s very first liberal arts college is opening up its classrooms… Read more »

Singapore: Two men with HIV jailed for non-disclosure to same man at different times

A 27 year-old former civil engineer and a 48 year-old married man who had casual sex at different times with a 37 year-old man (who subsequently tested HIV-positive) have each been sentenced to 18 months in prison because they did not disclose they were HIV-positive. This is the first time that I’m aware that one… Read more »

I am What I am

Rumour has it transsexuals don’t usually live past 50, so Abigail Chay, a Singaporean transgender comedian now 52, treasures every second she is given.’s Hong Kong reporter Tony Ed Lo meets Chay and Angus Chan, who play Abigail in the musical that recently ended its run, and finds out how her life story came… Read more »

Book review: I will survive

Social worker Leow Yangfa’s first book explores the lives of 21 GLBT people in Singapore, focusing on their struggles with abuse, illness and prejudice. Ng Yi-Sheng reviews. Meet Elle. She’s a queer Singaporean woman who lives in Australia with her girlfriend. She’s still waiting for her parents to accept that she’ll never marry a man.… Read more »

Gay Singapore News & Reports 2010-11

1 launches Asia’s largest-ever Internet gay sex survey 01/10 2 Putting the gay back into Chingay 2/10 3 Pink Dot: Singapore’s second public LGBT-supportive event…15 May 3/10 4 Can gay relationships last? 3/10 5 4,000 attend Singapore’s second LGBT-supportive public rally 5/10 6 Marla Bendiniby 5/10 7 Entrapment and implied consent of police decoys… Read more »

Gay Singapore News & Reports 2009

1 Updated: 6 men charged in teen sex case 2/09 2 Adolescent fences 2/09 3 Anti-gay Christian fundamentalists hijack women’s group 4/09 4 Singaporeans to make a stand against prejudice and bigotry 4/09 5 Singapore gays in first public rally 5/09 6 Living with HIV – A gay man’s personal journey (Part 1) 6/09 7… Read more »

Gay Singapore News & Reports 2008

1 Banks woo gay recruits in Asia 1/08 2 Singapore holds first festival dedicated to LGBT feature films 1/08 3 Cool reception for Asia’s gay workers 2/08 3a Singapore censors say four films banned from film festival 4/08 4 Singapore censors ban films on terrorism, homosexual, fetish 4/08 4a Authority fines TV Channel 5 $11,000… Read more »

Gay Singapore News & Reports 2007

1 Half of singapore youths find homosexuality ”acceptable,” 1/07 2 Council of churches commends Singapore government 3/07 3 The truly abhorrent thing 3/07 4 New Zealand AIDS foundation’s new safe sex campaign 5/07 5 Retention of gay sex laws “cannot be justified” 5/07 6 Analysis: The gay debate and the breakthrough we need 5/07 6a… Read more »

Gay Singapore News & Reports 2005-06

1 Singapore government Aids comment outrages gay activists 3/05 2 Singapore Nixes AIDS Concert Over US Gay Singers 3/05 3 Singapore minister upholds ban on gay Christian concert 3/05 4 Homosexual rights book earns national prize 5/05 5 ‘Nation Party’ moves to November 4-6 in Phuket, Thailand 6/05 6 Gay Singaporeans gather to pray in… Read more »

Gay Singapore News & Reports 2000-04

1 Do gays have a place in Singapore? 5/00 2 More youths going public, seeking help 6/00 3 Singapore is not ready to accept homosexuality 6/00 4 Singapore gays find tacit acceptance, some seek more 7/01 5 Gay and lesbian teen life (personal essays) 1/02 6 He’s a woman… she’s a man 5/03 7 About… Read more »