Lesbian kiss photo riles Singapore

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

An online auction site has seen bids to buy the photo of a girlish peck. And it is still making its rounds on the Internet – the result of a ‘silly prank’ that backfired.

In a rash moment, two girls from Anderson Junior College (Singapore) locked lips for the camera – all for a wacky class photo. They pulled off the joke under the noses of their form tutor and their classmates, when posing for an informal memento at the annual photo-taking session.

Now, the former Year One Science students say they did not mean it and are sorry for what they did. However, it has caused unnecessary embarrassment to the college, their tutor and their parents.

The photo was taken last August. Six months later, it is still making faces go red, no thanks to its circulation via the Internet.

AJC’s principal of five years, Mr Tan Tiek Kwee, told The Y Scene that the photo of the kiss was not a result of some fancy digital trick, as some suspected at first. It was just a result of a ‘silly prank’, he said. The ‘fun’ pose, captured by a photographer from AJC’s Photographic Society, was for the class to keep. As the photographer said ‘One, two, three’, the girls kissed on the count of three.

Mr Tan claimed that the tutor and the other classmates were not aware of the quick peck – until the photo was developed about a week later. The vice-principal then took immediate action to confiscate the photo and retrieve the negative.

Mr Tan did not want us to speak to the tutor and the girls, but said the tutor was ‘unhappy and disappointed’ with what happened. When confronted, the girls had cried – out of remorse.

Mr Tan said, “They said they had not pre-planned what they wanted to do.and it was done on the spur of the moment. ‘They wanted something creative but they went overboard.” He added that there was no ‘special relationship’ between the two.

The girls have also been punished. They had to do community service in school and write a reflection on what they had done and why they did it. Mr Tan added that the girls’ parents were informed and they had apologised to the principal and the college.

Just when they thought the matter was behind them, the photo was put up for an online auction this month. An ex-student also e-mailed Mr Tan, to tell him that he had received the photo as well. Mr Tan, who thought that he had destroyed all evidence of the photo, was bewildered.

Upon further investigation, he found that three copies of the photo had been made by a member of the Photographic Society. The boy had kept one for himself and passed the other two to his schoolmates. Mr Tan said, “One of them passed it to his friend, a polytechnic student. What happened after that, we can’t be too sure.”

The online auction had started on March 9. Within five days, there were seven bids for the photo. The starting bid of SD $13.14 had risen to SD $53.30, but the auction was cancelled when the school wrote to the site.