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It's been a roller coaster week for the LGBT community in Singapore

The launch of a legal guide, controversy over a gay Disney character and more.

By Tay Shi Ting | Mar 16, 2017

  • It's been a roller coaster week for the LGBT community in Singapore
    Photo credit: Flickr user Benson Kua (@bensonkua)

We’re not new to anti-LGBT displays in Singapore, from the Wear White campaign to the Les Miserables scene that got cut because of a complaint about a meant-to-be-comical same-sex kiss. Well, the voices of intolerance are at it again, and their new target is Disney's big-time live-action remake of the film Beauty and the Beast. This version features Disney's first ever gay character in the form of LeFou, who seems to be in love with Gaston. The film has also received backlash in other countries including Malaysia where its release was postponed by Disney after the Malaysian Film Censorship Board's decision to cut the "gay moment". So far, so good in Singapore however; the film received a PG rating for "mild violence" instead of the age-restricted ratings typically slapped on films with "homosexual content".

Next up, The Online Citizen reported that Art-Zoo, part of i Light Marina Bay, is donating their proceeds to Focus on the Family Singapore, an organization that supports heterosexual family relationships and also conducted a controversial sex-education workshop (where no means yes, apparently).

Despite all the hoo-ha, there’s still some good news. A group of eighteen (some are lawyers) began writing up an essential LGBT guide that touches on important legal questions for the community. Their GiveAsia campaign has since collected more than $21,000 and they are hoping to launch the physical copies and e-books in June. According to an interview with The Straits Times, the book will cover publicly available information like the process of changing one’s gender legally and various laws regarding marriage and cohabitation, property, wills and inheritance and more. 

But before that, students from Gender Collective, tFreedom and The G Spot for Qrientation 2016 have already prepared Being Queer in NUS: A resource guide for LGBTQ+ students. The guide serves as a comprehensive manual and provides information on NUS’s landscape, policy on discrimination, on-and-off campus resources and frequently asked questions.

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Wicked Aura at Baybeats 2016. Photo credit: Supriadi Lee

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