In a largely conservative society, living as an LGBTQ+ individuals could be a challenge for many. In this article, Ming shares more about his personal life in Singapore how he sees the country progress when it comes to LGBTQ+ issues.

      1. How is the living situation as an LGBTQ+ person in one of the most conservative countries like Singapore ?

Personally, I think I’m lucky because I am able to mostly live my life and be myself in most social situations. My family, friends, and the company around me are accepting of me, and I’m grateful for that. It took a lot to step out and tell people about who I am, but I’m glad that I did it and everyone has been really respectful.

I’m also incredibly thankful for my work place –  AKA Asia, an integrated communications agency, where everyone is valued regardless of their race, religion, and sexuality. Everyone in the company truly embraces each other’s experiences, and I am able to show up 100% as myself and be a valued contributor at work.

However, I’ve also heard about bad experiences from the people around me and within the community. There’s definitely still some form of discrimination and a lot of learning that needs to be done amongst all Singaporeans. We can definitely do more, starting with abolishing the archaic law criminalising sex between two men and also have better positive representation of LGBTQ+ individuals in the media and political scene.

Overall, I do think the country is slowly progressing in the right direction. Annually, the country hosts PinkDot, a movement to support the freedom to love. With each passing year, we’ve been able to raise greater awareness about it and also encourage more people within the community to stand up and share their stories online and on social media. What’s nice to see is that the younger generation are more vocal about their personal experiences and the act of speaking out will definitely help inspire others to feel more comfortable about themselves.

      1. Why do you think some members of Singapore’s LGBTQ+ community still choose to hide their sexuality and live in the shadows?

If given a choice, I don’t think anyone would choose to hide their private lives intentionally. As much as I think everyone should be proud of who they are, I think there are still many people who choose to be more private about being part of the LGBTQ+ community out of respect for reasons such as family and religion, which is totally understandable.

In addition to that, I believe that everyone should take their time to come out to the people around them. You should firstly feel comfortable with being yourself and accept yourself for who you are. That takes time sometimes and it’s ok to follow your own timing on this.

      1. Can you share about what you do to advocate for LGBTQ+ to grow socio-economically and professionally even though living in one of the most conservative countries.

 Personally, I feel like there is a lot more that I could do (part of the reason why I’ve joined the PRCA Pride Network). One personal project that I’ve done in my own time is to try to make housing issues a little bit more accessible for people in the LGBTQ community as I am also a licensed real estate agent. In Singapore, people in the community are unfortunately at a disadvantage when it comes to purchasing public housing and have to wait till they are 35. Hence I’ve shared my personal purchase journey online and have spoken to several LGBTQ+ couples out there to help them navigate through their future plans.

      1. What are the most important things you want to tell LGBTQ+ community in Singapore?

Being LGBTQ+  in Singapore isn’t easy but do know that you are not alone and there are many people in the community who are going through the same things. On the flipside, also remember that you only have one life and you are in control of it, so don’t be afraid to be true to yourself and live bravely to your fullest!

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About Ming

Ming grew up in a traditional multigenerational household in Singapore, where he never thought he would be able to live openly as an LGBTQ+ individual. Throughout his university years, Ming was inspired by the experiences of the people who he met and eventually started to feel more comfortable in his own skin.

At present, Ming hopes to make an impact and be the voice of the LGBTQ+ community in Singapore.