Recently, in my home country (Singapore), a repeal has been requested and petitioned for Section 377A of the Penal Code (Singapore).
If you’re not sure what this law is, it is one that criminalises sex between mutually consenting adult men.
I am for the repealing and it’s okay if people have differing views, but I think the important thing is that we’re hearing each other out.
Honestly, I was never raised to be supportive of the LGBTQ+ community (Please don’t bash me yet! Hear me out!) and I just wanted to share my history as to why it happened that way and how I’ve learn to be accepting of it over the past 2 years!
Personally, I’m straight, but we’re all humans and in the end, love conquers all.
Okay, let me get started on my biography! 😂
I was raised in a strict Catholic household, my mother’s side is Catholic while my father’s side is Taoist. My father and mum worked it out but I don’t think my dad is considered Catholic.
My departed grandmother was an extremely strict Catholic and she would nag at my mum to send us for Catholicism classes, but she didn’t (and I’m thankful for). But when I was younger I still accompanied my parents to church diligently every Sunday. My aunt and uncles are pretty strict Catholics as well (there was the one post where I talked about my uncle and aunt being unhappy with my cousin dating a Christian guy, post here).
So if you aren’t sure, Catholics and Christians are really strict about being straight and all, so even mentioning the word ‘gay’ to them would spark outrage and horror.
When I was around 14, I was in secondary school and had followed my friends and enrolled in a Uniform Group which was Girls’ Brigade and at that time I didn’t know they were a Christian Uniform Group. But it was a life-changing experience because after that, I never ‘converted’ to Christianity, but my heart is and I identify myself as one.
Why I didn’t manage to convert was a mess of problems, there were a lot of unhealthy things going on with the pressurised friendships and people forcing me to do a lot of things I wasn’t comfortable with, like altar-call or lying to my parents that I was going out with my friends when I was actually going out to church with them. (I cut all those people off, but I still identify with the religion.)
(I think I’m going off topic, lol.)
Anyway, Christians are similar to Catholics in the aspect that the word ‘gay’ is a taboo. When I was that age, I was like seriously homophobic because we used to associate gays with negative things and now that I think about it, I feel really bad because I was immature back then and know better now.
When I was 18, I was in polytechnic and had my first encounter with people with mental illnesses (not relevant) and people who where LGBTQ+. Honestly, my first reaction was to run far away from them because that certain person wasn’t really sincerely nice (like you could tell it was a front).
So when was the time that I came to understand and warm up to the idea? During the time when I started seriously going back into YA books. Studies HAVE shown that people who read are more emphatic and I think that’s really true.
Initially, I struggled with the concept and everything about it, but over the 2 years after I graduated from my diploma and started bookstagramming and book blogging, I slowly learn to be more accepting and understanding. Coming from a strict Catholic background and transitioning to Christianity have never given me the chance or the possibility to open up and be emphatic to the cause and I’m thankful that reading has opened my eyes and made me more accepting.
Some good movies and books definitely helped! (Shoutout to Love, Simon!)
At the end of the day, we’re all humans and I think we all just want to be loved, and we all deserve to be loved, regardless of gender, age or anything else.
The 1 and 5 months I’ve spend binge reading has really taught me a lot of things, how to be more accepting and open-minded. I’ve learn to see people not from their appearance but for their souls. Like instead of how they look, I look at each person with a soul. And I think that simplifies a lot of things and maybe everyone should do that too.
I mean, we all should have our rights and it’s all our rights to fall in love with whoever we want.
There’s this very interesting thing I was reminded off when this post/topic was swirling around in my head. When I was studying for my film diploma, we had learned of ‘film genre’ and in the module was themes in film. I distinctively remembered remembered one theme that is still prominently used in books, movies, songs and everything that falls in the spectrum alike.
“Love conquers all.”
Now, they never mentioned it was “straight love” or “gay love” or anything else. This theme has no labels, no nothing. And that was why I think that it was perfect for this post. Because love does conquer all in the end.
Also, another interesting scene I remember, from the book-to-movie adaptation of Simon vs the homosapien agenda to Love, Simon when Simon comes out to his family.
That scene broke me (I went to rewatch it and it broke me again). And it made me think a lot. Especially if I were in the parent’s shoes and in the future (if I do get married and am not forever alone and have kids), if my child comes up to me and comes out to me, how would I respond?
It would break my heart if my child would ever think that I would love them less just because they identify with the LGBTQ+ community. (I literally started tearing up and I don’t even have a kid, guys. I’m as single as they come.) And I would never want to put my child through that because I knew what it was like growing up thinking I had to hide myself from the world.
That I wasn’t good enough because I didn’t want to conform. It would seriously suck if my child had to feel that way.
And I think that was the moment when I realised that it would suck for any other person out there, thinking that they don’t fit in. They have to take so much courage to come out, and it’s not like straight people come out and say, “Hey guys, guess what? I’m straight!”
It’s unfair and treating the LGBTQ+ community differently isn’t fair. If you’re going to claim that God will judge them and all, I just have one question in reply.
“How would you know?”
It’s not like God personally told it to you. It’s not like you’re perfect and God has nothing to judge you for.
We all have our fair shares of sins, but being in love is not one of them, and it should never be.
It’s heartbreaking to see the discrimination and honestly, I think all the LGBTQ+ community just wants to be understood, and accepted (And they shouldn’t have to fight so hard for something they deserve in the first place).
So I’m not pushing my opinions on the world, I think we should all take a step back and think about things before talking, because words hurt, A LOT. And the world is already such a sad and dreadful place, we shouldn’t tear each other down and make it worse.
Just remember, “Love conquers all.”