LGBT culture in Singapore

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Life in Singapore

There are no statistics on how many LGBT people there are in Singapore or what percentage of the population they constitute. Section 377A of the Penal Code criminalises sexual acts between men, including consensual and private activities, and other laws also illegalize sexual acts between women.[citation needed]

Notable residents identifying as LGBT[edit]


Paddy Chew[edit]

Chew was the first Singaporean to publicly declare his HIV-positive status. He came out on 12 December 1998 during the First National AIDS Conference in Singapore. He identified his orientation as bisexual. His affliction was dramatised in a play called "Completely With/Out Character" produced by The Necessary Stage, directed by Alvin Tan and written by Haresh Sharma, staged from 10–17 May 1999. He died on 21 August 1999, shortly after the play's run ended.

Arthur Yap[edit]

Yap was a poet who won the 1983 Singapore Cultural Medallion for Literature. He died of laryngeal carcinoma on 19 June 2006, bequeathing $500,000/-, part of his estate which included his apartment off Killiney Road, to the National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCSS) where he was a patient.[1]

Arts personalities[edit]

  • Cyril Wong, poet.
  • Alfian Sa'at, writer, poet and playwright. He had a weekly column on gay website Trevvy titled, "Iced Bandung".
  • Ng Yi-Sheng, writer and performance artist. Ng is the author of a collection of personally written poems including gay-themed ones.
  • B, fashion designer, stylist & entertainer.


  • Vincent Wijeysingha; Wijeysingha became the first Singaporean politician to openly declare that he was gay when he made a post on Facebook ahead of the annual Pink Dot SG event.[2]


Leon Markcus[edit]

Leon Markcus is a singer/songwriter who has publicly spoken about their support for queer rights in Asia. Most notably, through their music video 'Circles (feat. Sherlyn Veronica, THIEVVES) [2017]' as well as lending their support by performing over at Pink dot Hong Kong in 2017, Hong Kong & Taiwan Pride 2018. They identify as a non-binary bisexual. Apart from advocating for queer youths,[3] Markcus, also advocates for body positivity as well as mental health awareness.[4] Their notable songs include 'Alive' (2017) and their E.P 'Mannequin' (2016).

Jean Seizure

Jean Seizure is a singer/songwriter, spoken word artist and actress. Her song and music video 'Night' offers a glimpse into how it's like to be in an underground, queer relationship in Singapore, and the toxic circumstances surrounding it that eventually takes a toll on the people in the relationship. [2018] She has performed at Pink dot in 2017 with her a cappella band, The Apex Project, another Singaporean group that is notable for incorporating LGBT representation in their songs and music videos.


Singapore has particularly established LGBT portals owing to its high Internet penetration rates and the restriction on LGBT content in print and broadcast media.

  • Blowing Wind Gay Forum is an online discussion forum for gay men in Singapore started in 1997 to discuss any issues which concern them. It eschews political, religious, and anti-racial topics.
  • is Asia's largest English-language LGBT portal.
  • Gay SG Confessions, also known as 'GSC' - Started in February 2013 in the footsteps of a host of popular "confessions" websites, GSC is a Facebook page that hosts a collection of user-contributed stories by gay, bisexual, lesbian, straight, transgender and curious members. The page was a sleeper published over 500 'confessions' or posts within less than 2 weeks of its creation[5] and garnering over 10,000 page 'Likes' in slightly over 6 months. The site is run by an anonymous moderator, an account director in an advertising firm in his 30s who wants to be known only as "GC".[6]
  • Lesbian SG Confessions, started in February 2013, is a similar Facebook page to Gay SG Confessions that publishes 'confessions' anonymously.
  • Trevvy, formerly known as SgBoy - was set up in March 1999, originally known as "Singapore Boy Homepage" before being renamed SgBoy. It is one of the most popular LGBT portals in Singapore. It underwent a makeover, rebranding itself as in August 2006, shifting its focus to the more mature 25 to 40-year age group of the local gay market and expanding its user base regionally.

Organisations supporting LGBT rights[edit]

Arts venues[edit]

The following list consists of exhibition and performance venues where many works dealing with LGBT themes or by LGBT arts practitioners have been held. However, they are not exclusively used for such purposes.

  • The Substation, founded in 1990 by the late Kuo Pao Kun, is Singapore's first independent contemporary arts centre, centrally located in the civic district. Its sub-sections include a black box theater, a gallery, a dance studio, the Blue Room and two multi-function classrooms. It was the venue for the nascent PLU Sunday meetings in the early 90s. The historic PLU 2 pre-registration discussion was also held in the Blue Room in 2003.
  • Utterly Art provides exhibition space and management services to local and Asian artists, and photographers. Contra/Diction-A Night with Gay Poets, Singapore's first public gay poetry reading session, was held on 4 August 2005.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 July 2008. Retrieved 13 July 2008.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ "Singapore Singer Leon Markcus's Standing Up For LGBTQ Kids". Instinct. 26 October 2017. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  4. ^ "Singapore star Leon Markcus opens up on his eating disorder". South China Morning Post. Retrieved 29 April 2018.
  5. ^ Gay Star News "Singapore Gay Men Jump At Chance To Confess Secrets", Gay Star News, 27 February 2013. Retrieved on 11 October 2013.
  6. ^ Asia One News "Many 'like' to confess online" Archived 11 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine "AsiaOne", 19 March 2013, para 14. Retrieved on 11 October 2013.

External links and references[edit]