Sick, sick people 12
angry doc counts nine letters on the ST Online Forum on the topic of decriminalisation of sex between men today.
Interestingly, five of the letters were written by 'Drs', at least one of whom was a 'medical doctor'.
angry doc wonders if this is because more doctors (medical, dental, or PhD) than non-doctors wrote to the Forum, or whether the Forum editor prefers to publish letters written by persons with title of 'Dr'.
Whatever the reason, let's look at the letter from one of the 'Drs':
Straight people need to re-examine their heterosexuality
I REFER to the article, 'What will the future be for our children if we decriminalise homosexuality?' by Mr Benjamin Ng Chee Yong (Online forum, July 21).
I can see how Mr Ng may be disgusted with his observation of men (supposedly gay) loitering in the changing rooms of swimming pools, peeping at other men at the urinals and the physical abuse (molest by other men) he himself experienced during his youth. For that, he calls for continued criminalisation of homosexuality as he fears for the safety of his children.
What about the less than desirable sexual expressions of heterosexuals that we are all too familiar with? Girls are taught to avoid taking the elevator alone with men, and tough night curfews are usually set for them as parents fear their daughters may fall prey to molesters and rapists. Parents advise their daughters against skimpy bikinis so as not to attract advances of men with questionable intentions. And we all know the hanky panky that goes on in some KTV lounges, not to mention the open solicitation of prostitutes that line the streets of Geylang. These are sexual activities of straight people, yet no one has called for the criminalisation of heterosexuality.
As much as the proposition of criminalising heterosexuality may sound absurd, most straight people do not realise that they are applying the same untenable line of argument when they call for the continued criminalisation of homosexuality. Surely not all heterosexuals are molesters and rapists. Likewise, not all homosexual men go around molesting young boys in elevators. If all homosexuals are to be criminalised for behaviours of the minority among them, then the same should apply to the heterosexuals.
In discussing the repeal of Section 377A, straight people have to re-examine the fundamentals of their own sexuality. Firstly, they need to understand their basic sexual urges and how the urges are expressed or contained. While the majority are able to contain and express their sexual urges in ways that are not harmful to others in society, there is a minority who are unable to restrain themselves. Homosexuals are no different.
Secondly, straight people need to realise how fundamental their sexual orientation and preference are to their being. Most heterosexuals would say that they were not influenced in their adolescent years into liking people of the opposite gender. They are just naturally inclined that way. It's not something they have to decide. It is also not something they can change even if they want to. Likewise, homosexuals will tell you that their sexual orientation is not something they choose or can change.
Key to the debate on Section 377A is realising the commonality between heterosexuality and homosexuality. Homosexuality is as fundamental to gay people as heterosexuality is fundamental to straight people. Only when straight people learn to see gay people in this light will we make progress.
Dr Peter Goh Kok Yong
angry doc once had the privilege of 'counseling' a young man who was referred to him for the 'illness' of homosexuality. He was engaging in high-risk behaviour, and angry doc spent a bit of time educating him about safer practices.
When the session was over angry doc asked the young man what his plans for the future were. He replied, matter-of-factly, that he wanted to go to university, get a job, and support his parents in their old age.
angry doc was shamed by that reply; he would not have asked the question if his patient was straight, or at least not known to be gay. The young man knew it, but he was gracious about it.
His sexuality aside, the young man explained, he had hopes, aspirations and a sense of duty just like other young people of his age.
The heterosexual majority may not realise it, but we flaunt our sexuality everyday. Men's and women's magazines alike place scantily-clad women or men on their covers and articles like 'How to have better sex' between them, match-making agencies advertise their services, and hotels and resorts sell 'couples' packages.
Yet we go about our daily business dealing with each other without being conscious of each others' sexuality because we take it for granted, while we see sexuality as the main defining feature of gay persons, and some of us fear that they too will be allowed to display their sexuality as we do.
What we find fundamentally loathsome about 'sexual immorality' and sex crimes has probably less to do with orientation, and more to do with the fact that they are about using another person contemptuously, violating other persons' right over their own bodies, or the betrayal of trusts and bonds.
angry doc would like to thank that young man for teaching him a very valuable lesson that day, although his ego is still a little bruised by the fact that the young man did not make a pass at him.