“I wouldn’t say I’m a representative of the gay community in Singapore. I cannot bear such a heavy burden. If I was a representative, then the community would have been doing quite well. I’m just a perspective, one story amongst many.

I’ve liked guys since I was in secondary school. I was in an all-boys school, so I thought maybe that’s why. However, I continued to like guys even when I went to JC and NS. Back then, my brain denied the fact that I was gay; liking guys and being gay were separate from each other.

When I went to uni, I had an immense desire to talk to someone about it. I decided to tell my roommate because he seemed mature enough to handle it. His reaction was very important because he was the first person I ever told. If he had rejected me as a friend after that point, I don’t think I would be able to turn to anyone.

It took a long time for him to guess; I beat around the bush a lot. When he eventually knew, I thought it would change everything, but it actually changed nothing. His reaction was very mild, and that was the case for the few other friends I confided in. It was such a non-issue, I was quite taken aback.

When I told my mom, she was shocked. She said maybe I didn’t give myself a chance with girls. Ultimately, she kind of accepted it in her own way. She cried the next few days according to my dad, but what meant the most to me were her words.

She said, ‘The most important thing is that you are my son, and I still love you.’

Why did I sign up for the Human Library? I’m here today because I want to start a conversation. Currently, mainstream media has nothing on the topic, and the government doesn’t want anything to do with the matter.

For example, sexual education for gay people is not addressed at all. If young people want to learn more, they have no avenue to find out. They can’t ask their friends or parents because it’s very sensitive. Teachers? Maybe, maybe not. I do know of friends with teachers who handle such situations very badly.

Without proper education, kids will turn to online sources like apps to get their information, and these apps are not exactly safe. You never know who they might meet; kids as young as 13 might get preyed on.

It’s important to talk about this issue. If you think it’s bad, then talk about why it’s bad. Open conversation is important. Enough with closed door dialogues.” – Marcus, 25

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