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.

Notable members of the LGBT community in Singapore[edit]


Paddy Chew[edit]

Main article: Paddy Chew

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]

Main article: Arthur Yap

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]


  • 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.[3]


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 forum for gay men in Singapore started in 1997 to discuss any issues which concern them. However, it eschews political 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, transgendered and curious members. The page was a sleeper published over 500 'confessions' or posts within less than 2 weeks of its creation[4] 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".[5]
  • 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.

It is managed by Guan Seng Kee Pte Ltd, and houses the following establishments:

  1. Space 21: an unrenovated 1,950 sq ft (181 m2) art space and multi-function hall situated on level 3, the second home of Utterly Art.
  2. MOX Bar & Café on level 4.
  3. Bianco (formerly known as The Attic).

The topmost floor is under the same management as MOX Bar & Café and was the former location of the Sunday services of the Free Community Church (from 2002 to 2004) and Toy Factory Theatre Ensemble (from 2004 to 2005). Currently, it houses Bianco which contains a small bar and has an all-white decor. Dr. Russell Heng's talk When Queens Ruled! A History of Gay Venues in Singapore was held here on 16 August 2005 as part of IndigNation.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Gay News Asia - Features, Health, Entertainment & Commentary". 
  3. ^ [2]
  4. ^ Gay Star News "Singapore Gay Men Jump At Chance To Confess Secrets", Gay Star News, 27 February 2013. Retrieved on 11 October 2013.
  5. ^ Asia One News "Many 'like' to confess online" "AsiaOne", 19 March 2013, para 14. Retrieved on 11 October 2013.

External links and references[edit]