ST Online Forum: What will the future be for our children if we decriminalise homosexuality? (Jul 21)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

July 21, 2007
What will the future be for our children if we decriminalise homosexuality?

I AM just a 40-year-old layman and father of three young kids, who may not
understand the full social implications and legal intricacies of legalising

However, I would like to share my personal brushes with individuals who
practise homosexuality. They are situations, experiences and places that
those my age can identify with, recall being a witness to it or even
personally encountered.

As a Pri 3/4 pupil, my friends and I would visit the River Valley Swimming
pool (opp Liang Court) and I did not understand why there were more guys
sunbathing in skimpy trunks than swimming, with some spending more time in
the changing room when the pool is out there.

Another incident broke that innocence. Having my hands full from buying
noodles for my parents, I walked into a lift with 'faulty lights', only to
have the hands of a man grope my private parts suggesting we masturbate
together. Shocked beyond words and too small to retaliate, I elbowed his
hands away and ran out as soon as the doors opened.

Many today are aware that some gays are the affluent, 'respectable,
professional type', so the above stories seem locked in the distant past.

However, my next brush with these 'respectable types' only shows that their
'baits/lures' might be more upmarket but their depraved desires are hardly

In the early 80s, I trained with some swimmers in the national water polo
squad in Queenstown pool. There appeared a middle-aged, half-balding,
Volvo-driving man who would hang around these young secondary-school boys,
especially in the changing rooms after training.

He would often buy drinks and joined in some of their activities. Some have
had their inner thighs stroked and received 'indecent proposals' from the
man. On another occasion, I spotted the same man 'chatting up' a teen usher
at a meeting. From the closeness and way he sat, I knew he was up to the
same tricks and cautioned an older teen to warn the usher.

Some might recall the effeminate male who manned the ticketing office at the
old National Stadium Gym. Many, myself included, were openly approached by
him. Once he even boldly stretched out his hands to touch my private parts
in full view of other users. This was in the mid-80s and I was then a poly
student... have they gotten bolder?

I believe so. Many gays today have no qualms about putting their faces to
their voices, as seen in the recent forum.

There is a rapid proliferation of their sexual activities, which I believe
some trainers in gyms can attest to. Being an infrequent neighbourhood Safra
gym user, I was not immune to their advances.

In the past two years , I've had to report three cases of inappropriate
behaviours in public toilets. One involved a man who stood in front of the
urinal for about 30 minutes (until I reported him to security), all the
while casually peeping at an occupied urinal next to him. I was then helping
my one-year-old son in the toilet of the busy neighbourhood shopping centre.

The other two cases I reported involved men who bathed and soaped endlessly
in the quiet, corner cubicles of public toilets in Katong and Queenstown
pools. As male toilets are door-less, these men would often casually parade
around stark naked.

I should know they are in the toilets for a suspiciously long time because I
train as a triathlete in the pool.

Why do I divulge these personal encounters?

I appeal to the government authorities not to decriminalise homosexuality.
The pressure comes from the rise of the 'pink dollar' with many big
businesses chasing these big spenders. However, for every classy 'Orchard
Road' type gay endorsed, there will be countless other 'heartland' types
soliciting sexual favours from unwary youngsters in the neighbourhoods.

As a father, I realised that my children are not so safe anymore when I had
to teach my Pri 1 boy then, that he must lock the cubicle door before he
does his business and never use a urinal when he is alone in a public toilet
without dad.

Is that what Singapore has become? What will the future be like for our

Benjamin Ng Chee Yong