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TOC Exclusive: Otto Fong’s Open Letter

Posted by theonlinecitizen on September 10, 2007

Theonlinecitizen has obtained a copy of the original blog entry by Raffles Institution teacher, Otto Fong. It also includes comments which were originally posted by readers of his article.

The original posting on his own blog has since been taken down.

AN OPEN LETTER FROM OTTO FONG

I am Otto Fong. I have been teaching Science in Raffles Institution for the last eight years.

Being a teacher has been the most rewarding part of my professional life thus far. My students continue to amaze me daily with their wit, maturity, independent thinking and leadership. It is very fulfilling that I am a part of an institution that moulds the future generation of Singapore‘s leaders.

Leaders are people who can rise above the tide of popular opinion, people who are guided by the conviction of rightness and justice and in being so guided, lead others towards that right path.

Recent events leading to my action

Recent events have made me decide to write this open letter. In April this year, Minister Mentor Mr Lee Kuan Yew – one of the school’s greatest alumni – called homosexuality a “genetic variation”, questioning the validity of criminalising gay sex. In July, MP Baey Yam Keng expressed support for the repeal of Section 377A of the penal code (which criminalises gay sex acts). In August, Malaysian columnist and ordained pastor Oyoung Wenfeng released his inspiring new Mandarin book “Tong Gen Sheng”, encouraging gay men and women to come out of the closet.

A few evenings later, I attended a forum organised by People Like Us on gay teachers and students. A few brave twenty-something guys asked, “Why has there been so little guidance available to me as a gay teenager?” It was a question that I had asked myself often, growing up.

When I became a teacher in 1999, I looked back on the good guidance my own teachers gave me as a template, and tried to be a better teacher to my students. Besides teaching them Science, I spent considerable effort in imparting good social values: give up your seats to the needy, save the handicapped parking lot for those in wheelchairs and their caretakers, respect people regardless of profession or social status.

How hate is perpetuated

Yet, in the eight years I have taught, I have done little for that small group of students who are gay. When the religious group Focus on the Family masqueraded as sex guidance counselors and gave a talk full of misinformation about homosexuality to our students, I was furious but kept my mouth shut.

When my niece returned from school saying, “Gays are disgusting!” I knew she learnt that hatred from a classmate, who had in turn absorbed that hatred from a parent. I knew that this hatred has been perpetrated for generations. But hatred grew out of fear, and hatred, as a line in a movie goes, “leads to the Dark Side.” This is the same environment of hatred I grew up in, as a gay teenager and student.

Until Section 377A* is repealed, there will be precious little the Ministry of Education can do to help these students. As a teacher, I am bound by my professional duty to follow the directives of my superiors.

While these events helped crystallize my decision to come out of the closet, my motivation remains deeply personal.

My family and I

As far back as primary six, I have been aware of my attraction towards classmates of the same sex. For those who argued about nurturing factors of the family, my brother and sister grew up under the same parents and remained heterosexuals despite growing up with me in close proximity.

As a teenager, I was very quick to sense society’s aversion towards the ‘sissies’ in my classes. I worked hard to distance myself from them. While I was successful in modifying my outward behavior, my sexual orientation remained unchanged. My denial gnawed at me, and the suppression of my true self resulted in self-destructive behavior during my overseas university years.

Fortunately, my American fraternity mates were supportive. I began to see a counselor who helped me accept myself for who and what I am.

Returning to Singapore, I came out to my family. My father, mother, brother and sister, out of love for their son and brother, walked the long road to acceptance. It was not easy for them, but they loved me before I came out, and they love me after. When I finally settled down with my longtime companion (we have been together for more than nine years), my entire family made sure my nieces and nephews included us in their lives. I loved my family too much to keep them in the dark, to deny them the chance to really know me. And they loved me too much to let some old prejudice tear our family apart.

I kept my sexual orientation a secret at work, and only a handful of my colleagues knew about me.

I don’t want to be a bonsai tree

Not counting my childhood, I have spent more than twenty years in the professional closet. I am nearing my fourth decade on Earth. While I have had some successes in life, I am not content to be just average. As I have often told my students, “Why be average when you can be your best?”

Do you know what a bonsai tree is? A bonsai tree is an imitation of a real tree. It is kept in a small pot with limited nutrients, trimmed constantly to fit someone else’s whim. It looks like a real tree, except it can’t do many things a real tree can. It cannot provide shelter, it cannot find food on its own; its life and death are totally reliant on its owner. It is the plant version of the 3-inch Chinese bound foot for women: useless and painful.

Being in the closet, pretending to be straight, trimming our true selves to suit the whims and expectations of others, is just like being a human bonsai tree. By staying in the closet, we cannot even hope to be average, much less above and beyond average.

I felt that in order to reach my fullest potential as a useful human being, I must first fully accept myself, and face the world honestly. I have lived long enough to know that what I am is not a disease, an aberration or a mental illness.

Hate is not a religious value

Many people have cited many ‘reasons’ for hating homosexuals, just as many people tried to justify their views that the Earth was flat, that the darker skinned should always be inferior, and that women should subjugate their lives to men. The teachings of the world’s great religious traditions offer many words of wisdom, but the interpretations of their human followers are not infallible. As Jesus said in his Sermon on the Mount (yes, a personal Bible was given to me by a great lady and I honored her by reading the book), we must love our neighbors as ourselves. It is a simple teaching, but one that’s rarely followed by those who seek to oppress people different from themselves. The path to enlightenment always faces stubborn resistance. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you…”

There are some people who are using homosexuality to advance their personal ambitions vis a vis religion. They claim that the homosexual ‘agenda’ is to make the whole world gay and threaten the stability of the family. Yet, let us examine the evidence: Denmark, Norway and Sweden, the first countries to legalise gay marriage, are more stable than ever – their population has not been converted by gays and their heterosexual divorce rates have even decreased since gays have been afforded legal rights. (William N. Eskridge, Jr and Darren R. Spedale, Oxford University Press, 2006).

The only agenda gay people have is to be able to live with the same rights and dignity as our heterosexual brothers and sisters. Our very vocal opponents are the ones actively preying on innocent people, recruiting them to their cause by spreading fear and misinformation. I hope thinking people will quickly see that it is this small group of vocal objectionists who have a more dangerous agenda, that their fight with gay people has nothing to do with what’s right or wrong, but is merely a litmus test of their political influence. For peace and prosperity to continue, Singapore must always uphold secularism, where each different segment of the population respects the beliefs and rights of the others.

Can a country with no natural resources afford to drive away its own citizens?

There is a very pragmatic reason that you should support the rights and dignity of gay Singaporeans: in this globally-competitive era, Singapore needs her gay sons and daughters, just as we need our Singaporean Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, immigrants, men and women, old folks and young. Most importantly, we need those gay sons and daughters because those gay sons and daughters are Singaporean Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, immigrants, men and women, old folks and young. Can a country without natural resources continue to flourish when it starts to drive away its own children?

As I said before, leaders are people who are guided by the conviction of rightness and justice and in being so guided, lead others towards that right path.

I am still a teacher. My main purpose and joy is to teach our youngest citizens, the same ones who will be the leaders of our nation tomorrow. But, I feel I am shortchanging both society and myself by staying in the closet. I must be true to myself. If my colleagues and students, both gay and straight, see that being true to one’s own self has great value, perhaps we can produce a new generation who is truly courageous. A new generation of young people who are proud to be themselves, no matter what difference they have from their classmates. Then I will have succeeded in providing them a better education than I had the opportunity to receive during my years in school.

So here’s what I am, and I am a friend in need at the moment

So here it is: I, Otto Fong, have always been and always will be a gay man. When you ask about my spouse, I will say he is a man. I am as proud being gay as you are proud being straight. I am not, as some people like to label gays, a pedophile, a child molester, a pervert or sexual deviant. I did not choose to be gay, just like heterosexuals did not choose to be straight. I am not going to hell (not for being gay anyway).

I am not going back in the closet. When you ask me who I am, I will answer: I am a son, a brother, a long-time companion, an uncle, a teacher, a classmate, a colleague, a part of your community, a HDB dweller, a Singaporean. And I am also gay.

I would like to enjoy the respect that all other Singaporeans enjoy. I will not let the closet bind my feet, because I am made to sprint. I am not interested in being a bonsai tree, my DNA is programmed to climb higher. My heart aspires to reach my fullest potential as a human being.

I hope, dear friends and colleagues, that you look back and remember what I am, and see that I am not someone you fear. I am essentially the same person – flawed, imperfect, but brought up properly by two loving parents to lead a productive, beneficial and meaningful life. My friends and family love me for who I am, and I hope you can too. I come out to you with as much hope and trepidation as when I first come out to my mother and father. Your support and understanding are very important to me at this moment.

Thank you, may you prosper in health and soul.

Yours sincerely,

Otto Fong

8th Sept 2007

 

Comments:

christao17 said…

Yeah, Otto! Tawn and I are so proud of you! You’ll certainly face resistence, ignorance, and hostility – but you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how much more support, affection, and appreciation you receive. Best regards!

September 8, 2007 8:47 AM

Bong said…

GO SIR!

As an ex-student from RI, your sexuality was never in doubt. Although you have never taught me, you came across to me as a very cheerful, artistically inclined teacher 🙂 I remember how you tried to teach us how to draw cartoons with your workshops.

Now that you have decided to open up, I can only wish you all the best in your struggle against societal views. I don’t know if this is the right media to open up to, or if the timing is right, or if you have taken precautionary steps beforehand to protect yourself, but one thing that is undeniable is your concern for youths. A simple question of “why has there been so little guidance available to me as a gay teenager?” contributed to this courageous move, by appealing to your “teacherish”/personal instincts to come clean. That is a mark of a great teacher 🙂

Bless you

-Lim Bing Li (class of 2005)

September 9, 2007 5:01 AM

Jock said…

Hi Otto,

Firstly, I want to let you know that I admire and respect your decision to come out to your friends and especially to the people you work with. I am sure you have thought this through and have the support of your partner, family and your friends.

I will never understand your motivations for choosing a public media like this to reveal such personal insights about yourself and how it can help you be a better teacher and colleague.

What it will only do is provoke a knee jerk reaction from your school, the school’s board and the parents of the students who are paying high tuitions fees to pay your salary. Unfortunately, the group that will stand to lose most are your students, whom you have been an inspiring and admirable teacher, guide, mentor and friends to.

I truly believe that it is time for a change. But I don’t believe that RI, MOE or Singapore is ready to contemplate having a male gay teacher, especially in an all boys school. I may be wrong, but I foresee that in the knee jerk reaction, you will be asked to leave the school. The students, that you so hope to provide guidance to with this announcement will then be deprived of that guidance by such a forward looking teacher like you.

I do sincerely hope that your actions will lead to a positive change in your students, your school and Singapore.

September 9, 2007 6:27 AM

1029 said…

=)

a great read, and great to know. like it or not, i have so many gay friends who are teachers that i have lost count. you made the right decision, and it is time. if not, you wouldn’t have done it.

all the best.

September 9, 2007 8:42 AM

‘ [ gAnNie ] said…

Dear Mr Fong, regardless of your sexuality, you’ll still always be one of our greatest ever teachers.

We believe that your decision to announce this in public media like a blog is not an uncalculated one. Right now we are feeling afraid for you for the potential backlash that you will get. The world isn’t perfect; we have learnt that through our experiences and what you have taught us. The backlash will be great, people being people, gossip will spread like wildfire.

RI’s motto reads “Auspicium Melioris Aevi”. Hope of a better age. Its ironic in a sense that the direction this school is taking may not be relating to this ideal you are strongly advocating. Even right now as this is being typed, people we know, students you might like, are already having an adverse reaction to this. On msn people are reacting. This is life, Headmaster may know, but whatever his stand is, diplomatic or not, do not worry. You are more than justified in being unique and being a special person. Live in that glory, have self belief.

We as leaders under you for two years have seen how you set the foundation for us and pushed us forward. Where we are now, especially in our cca leadership has come from you. We strongly believe that your teaching is too valuable to be compromised because of sexual orientation. RI cant lose this gem. We hope they don’t.

Life in 1E and 2E would have been extremly boring and uneventful if not for your being our FT and we greatly appreciate what you’ve done for us in our lower sec years.

To us, you were definitely more of a teacher than any other teachers we ever had; especially in light of your post. Hence, we thank you for everything and my family supports you in every way too.

Again, this is not a letter in which Si Yuan and Eugene are following the crowd to write letters to you. This is a sincere encouragement to the ideals in which you push for, however faint and unrealistic they seem at the present moment. Eugene “I being a Christian, I know that my religion does not condone this, but I tell you that Christianity is not a religion of rules and strict restrictions. It is one of love and acceptance.” Keep that in mind.

We being your students who have looked up to you so much, admittedly are shocked, but are certain that our respect for you will never change. To end this, we only have to say, expect the worst, its life, but hope for the best, and know that amongst the group of people behind you. Family, partner, friends, you have Yeo Si Yuan and Eugene Gan as well.

We wish you the best!

Yours sincerely

Yeo Si Yuan (Asst. Monitor 0’5, Monitor ’06), Eugene Gan (Treasurer ’05,’06)

September 9, 2007 8:49 AM

Ng Yi-Sheng said…

Thanks, Otto. I’ve read both your comic books – “Sir Fong” and “Sir Fong 2”, so I know about your love of teaching and I can see how brave a step this is. I wish you the best of luck in school, and I only wish my own gay teachers had been as open as you.

September 9, 2007 12:30 PM

skinnylatte said…

I applaud you. Your decision, whatever the implications, makes a difference.

Adrianna
http://www.popagandhi.com

September 9, 2007 1:39 PM

Kevin said…

Mr Otto, as a fairly straight person, I must admit it’s hard to realize the social prejudice faced by someone in the gay community in Singapore.

Aside from your clear documentation of local events, it’s neat that you’ve share your cross-cultural experience as well, so we know how social support structures could be improved.

Finally, I find it quite appropriate that you’ve shared this on your blog, and I do hope more readers / bloggers are encouraged to bear a more open mind and a supportive heart.


Kevin Lim
http://theory.isthereason.com

September 9, 2007 3:07 PM

kohfamey said…

Hi Mr Fong. I’m Jie Kai, and I worked with you in a play about 7 years ago, back when I was in RI. This is a very brave decision you are taking. I wish you all the best.

September 9, 2007 5:39 PM

Randuwa said…

Otto,

Your words and your act of integrity is being discovered all around the world. I am also a teacher, 23 years in the elementary school level here in the United States. For the past 13, I have had the privilege of working for a school district where my being gay was no more important than my wearing a green shirt to school! I know it’s not so easy in Singapore. You have all my well wishes.

randy
randuwa.blogspot.com

September 9, 2007 5:54 PM

Sivasothi said…

Dude, what a powerful letter! It was also inspiring to read your student’s comments. You sound like an insightful and dedicated teacher, well done.

All the best.

September 9, 2007 7:02 PM

numbernine said…

Hi,

As an old boy I’ve always found that RI, in spite of its ambivalent attitudes towards unconventional sexuality, has always been a more tolerant place than many would expect. A teacher who taught my year was transgendered. A student from my year was gay. He came out of the closet after he left school but many of us suspected he was gay anyhow. (Later on, the aforementioned student became the subject of controversy when he was dismissed from his post of relief teacher with no explanation given.)

I was also involved (only a bit part) in a drama production which tackled the topic of homosexuality. It won the drama feste, even though admittedly the rest of the script was quite ordinary, so I think the judges were applauding its courage.

I bring all these up because the RI that I studied in did give a fair bit of leeway to homosexuals / transgendered people. I don’t want it to be easy for other people to say “RI is supposed to be like ___” (insert euphemism for “intolerant”).

Because the RI that was so much a part of my youth and growing up was not like that.

September 9, 2007 7:24 PM

Monkey said…

I really applaud you. I have so many gay friends who are as you said, in a professional closet and I think you’ve a great leap forward. This letter was superbly well written and expressed so much love and if nothing else, I can tell you are a great teacher just from reading these words. Indeed, who is there to give students the objective perception of other sexualities in our school systems! We need more like you 🙂

September 9, 2007 7:30 PM

Colin said…

Well done, Otto. I wish you courage and all the best in the tough days ahead. Thank you for standing up and to be counted.

September 9, 2007 7:37 PM

Lucian said…

This is my personal opinion (insert standard disclaimer).

MOE should fire you.

Only if they’re willing to fire all heterosexual teachers working in schools which have students of the opposite sex.

Thanks for being courageous. We could definitely have a litle more openness and straight (pardon the pun) talk.

September 9, 2007 7:53 PM

loupgarou said…

you are so brave in homophobic singapore..(ok lah,.. only the extremist xtian sects are homophobes)

September 9, 2007 8:13 PM

Saltwetfish said…

Great courage, well done!

September 9, 2007 8:42 PM

Miak said…

we stand with you.

truth, love and courage will stand all trials and tribulations, and there are no greater values to teach the next generation but these

September 9, 2007 8:51 PM

d8nnis said…

You share the same name as my BF!

I’m proud of you coming out, doing the things you believe in.

I live overseas, not because of prejudice, as you get those everywhere in the world (except SFO, AMS and SYD) but also of better opportunities.

I do not think it’s a Singapore issue. We should not have an arguement based on religion. We should also not base our arguement on the pink dollar.

We should leave Politics, Religion and Capitalism out of the picture.

Why should equality be debated on those? We should just have equality regardless, Period.

September 9, 2007 9:15 PM

Eileena said…

Wonderful! I remember you from Oyoung’s “Tong Gen Sheng” launch, glad that you took the big step to come out. Take care and keep well!

September 9, 2007 10:31 PM

Sandy said…

I am so glad the hear that the law may be repealed in Singapore in the near future. I am looking forward to a world where everyone is accepted for who they are everywhere. No prejudices or bigotry. My best to you.

September 9, 2007 10:44 PM

guapochino said…

We are so proud of you! Way to go! I think you have just shown the way. We’re proud to stand behind you and give you our full support!

September 9, 2007 10:54 PM

jeff said…

Wow! this is definitely great!! and wishes more people will have some time to read it.

Bravo Otto, you are fantastic, brave and motivated.

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202 Responses to “TOC Exclusive: Otto Fong’s Open Letter”

  1. JFK said

    Hi dude

    I am straight and married with Kids and I have lots of respect for gays and people like you.

    Be free, be you.
    For those with a rather shallow mindset.
    Please forgive them and heal.

    Cheers and god bless!
    JFK

  2. […] I just realised that The Online Citizen also has a copy of the original entry along with the comments left by his former students. […]

  3. old rafflesian. said

    I am so damn proud of you, Mr Otto. You are already having a good effect on your 2 students who wrote in their support. Of course RI will support you. The old boys will expect nothing less! Towards a better age, and boy – you sure as hell is showing the way! BRAVO!

  4. A citizen said

    Taken from Fridae:

    In a statement released today, MOE said that it “does not condone any open espousal of homosexual values by teachers in any form, in or out of the classroom” as teachers are in a unique position of authority and are often seen as role models by their students.

    “The school has spoken to the teacher concerned and the teacher has agreed to take down his blog in the best interest of the students. The Ministry supports the action taken by the school on this matter.”

  5. A Citizen,

    Thanks for the heads up. 🙂

  6. […] Update: Copies of the letter from his post have been reproduced here and here. […]

  7. […] the meantime, if you want to form your own conclusions, you can access the open letter here Filed under […]

  8. miak said

    i wonder what homosexual values otto was expousing?

    his want to impart good social values? his desire to be honest? his willingness to stand up for what he believes in? his passion to teach the younger generation what is right?

  9. Alex Liang said

    Well done Otto – I am very encouraged by what I read here. You are truly an inspiration. I am also very happy to read the reaction here, all of which has been extremely positive and supportive of your actions. If the MOE thinks that Otto is the only gay teacher in Singapore – then they are seriously deluding themselves. There are, were and always will be homosexuals in the teaching profession – it is just the climate of homophobia which keeps them in the closet. It doesn’t stop them from becoming great teachers though.

  10. BL said

    Otto,

    It takes great courage to speak truth to power and resolute strength to overcome the prejudices of little people who do not understand.

    I wish you well and you have my utmost respect and support.

  11. RC said

    How typical of the higher beings in our ministry deciding what is the best interests of us common folks. Have they read at all the response from his students past and present?

    I salute you, Otto. As an old boy, I am glad the present boys can learn the values of true courage and authenticity from a teacher like you. Coincidentally two of my closest friends in RI and RJC are gay, and I sincerely hope your action would result in a proper support/guidance provided for gay teenagers, something which my friends didn’t have back then.

    Towards a better age – thank you for showing us the way

    Class of 1991

  12. Wong Shin Ming said

    My congratulations and thanks to Mr. Fong. The time never seems right to speak the truth, and then, of course, once someone has courage enough to do it, it becomes a question of, why didn’t anybody say this sooner?

  13. Christao17 said

    While I’m not surprised by the MOE’s response, I’m very proud of Otto for both his pride and bravery. The impact he has had on his students – the POSITIVE impact – will be widespread. The negative impact he has had? The only negative impact (in the eyes of the anti-gay zealots) is that some students tainted by their parents’ bigotry may begin to challenge their assumptions, and I think that’s an impact we can all live with.

  14. RaymondChua said

    I’m not too sure why the commotion about gay’s right. Lesbian is also on the increase. Why just focus mainly on gay ? How about lesbian ? All sex are equal. I just see the number of lesbian has just the same issue as gay.

  15. ganchau said

    I am not a statistician, pastor or politician. However, I find gays are often, the kindest and gentlest of people. I prefer them anytime to some with a holier than thou attitude!

  16. Jun Han said

    Sir, being an old boy of RI, I really do applaud your effort in showing the courageous side of you to others to open up. When I was your student in lower secondary, I respected you greatly for a teacher as well as a friend. After reading your post, I would like to say that you now have my utmost respect not just as a teacher, a friend, but as well as a person.

    Not many people dare to open up, especially in a relatively conservative society like ours, and your courage in speaking up with regards to this issue is indeed admirable. Sir, though the tide may be turned against you, all I want to say is, remember the people around you, your loved ones, we will always stand by you.

    No matter what you do, you will still remain in our hearts as one of the role models who set out to educate the young and guide them along the right path.

    I sincerely wish you all the best 🙂

  17. puzzled said

    is TOC a gay haven? why is the whole website littered with gay stuff?

    so gay!

  18. Hi Puzzled,

    TOC is not a gay site. Otto’s case is the main thing happening on the net right now. So, naturally, we’re giving it the most coverage. It was the same when the Li Hongyi saga happened.

    Don’t worry, we’re not a gay site – though I wouldn’t see anything wrong with it if we were.. 🙂

  19. *Comments disallowed for irrelevance to the article.

  20. Andrew Loh said

    Dear Robert Teh,

    Your posting will be removed because it has no relevance to the article on Otto Fong.

    I will be replying to your email privately. I think some things are best kept private, don’t you agree?

    regards,
    Andrew

  21. gayprider said

    Salute TOC! We are finally reaching there, at last I see the light! Great one Otto, you are really a brave man. I am inspired to do the same only I fear losing my job.

  22. LifesLikeThat said

    Apparently, from the witnesses of his students and those who know Otto, his sexuality doesn’t seem to intrude with his professionalism in teaching.

    Reading his original blog post, I am quite touched with his words. He comes across as someone who has his head firmly fixed on his shoulders and his heart in exactly the right place.

    Thing is, when MOE and RI pressured him to remove his post, aren’t they effectively saying: “Please don’t be honest”?

    I always wondered: Doesn’t that teach kids that first, it is ok to pretend to be something you are not? Second, that if society disapprove of who you are, you should keep quiet and shut up?

    And third, is honesty not the best policy anymore?

    I think if MOE and RI had taken a different stance, things would be so much different – and better. Just imagine the lessons our kids would have learnt!

    But as it is, our kids have only learnt the above 3 points – all of which would be negative.

    Now, who are the ones talking about values again?

  23. Nigel Collett said

    Otto,

    From someone in Hong Kong who is inspired by your courage. I will be circulating this site to my contacts here. I hope you may remain in teaching; honest men like you should be honoured by your colleagues and students.

    Nigel Collett

  24. sieteocho said

    I think the significance of people coming out is basically this: they just want to say that they’re not hiding anymore. They may not be normal but it’s nothing to be ashamed of. And even if they have to suffer discrimination, they are not suffering it silently anymore.

    It is also an affront to the MOE: they sacked Alfian but hired this guy for 8 years. (Although he was more discreet about his orientation – until now.)

    It would sound evil if the MOE said to him, “sit down and shut up, get back in the closet. We only hired you because you kept your mouth shut about this.” But it would sound less evil if they were to say, “you are highlighting the conflict that’s going on over the gay issue you are tainting the school, people could think there’s some infighting going on” or “people will think that pupils at our school are doing it with each other”. Then he backs down. But the effect is the same.

    It’s still OK. People can still cut and paste. Would you think that people didn’t know what Wee Shu Min wrote just because she took it down? That’s now how the internet works.

    I’d like to congratulate this guy for coming out, but in an ideal world, it should be as prosaic as me standing on a soap box and saying “I’m straight! I have sex with women!” and people around me trying to stifle yawns, and saying “so f**king what”. I’d like to yawn at him and say “ho hum big deal” but it’s not like that yet and we’ve got a long way to go before we get there.

    Objections to homoxuality come mainly from the Christian right. Chinese may disapprove, but not as loudly. In any case both Buddhism and Taoism are opposed to dualistic thinking. Peranakans don’t object at all. Malays are tolerant, even though they’re Muslim. Don’t know about Indians. But the main problem is with the Christian right. Homophobia has never had that much to do with Asian values. RI may be a school founded by a white man but the followers of the white man’s book shouldn’t be telling us what to do and how to think.

  25. sevenleleven said

    i salute you for your honesty, but what is the right value of a gay? I accept your choice but definitely not my kind of value. unfortunately, your honesty is going to give you even more problem than you can think off.

    best wishes.

  26. […] in RI just published an open letter in his blog about his coming out…To see the letter, click here… Just like a cicada in the night, the gay community is seldom seen but we always know of […]

  27. Someone said

    Dear Otto Fong,

    I salute you for your courage. If MOE ever decides to fire you (touch wood), it will be their loss. You are an wonderful teacher.

  28. […] A teacher in RI has come out of the closet after many long years with an open letter similar to the one written by one Derek Wee last year. He’s been teaching at the school for 8 years now, and if all the numerous testimonials that he’s received from past and present students, both online as well as offline are to be believed, he is a very very good teacher. In short, he fits the mould perfectly, as the heart and soul of the class, as the mentor who inspires his students to learn. […]

  29. Aaron Tan said

    Touching, eloquent letter. Thank you for teaching us to see beyond our own internalised prejudices against gay people and learn to accept and embrace diversity.

  30. sh said

    Dear Otto,
    Thank you for your inspiring post… I admire your courage and I fully support you in this 😀
    Be strong!

  31. Just curious: Has anyone seen any reports in the mainstream media about this incident? Seems like there is a news blackout or something…

  32. somebody said

    Dear Mr Fong,

    I appluad your bravery and courage for standing out and be what you are. You are a Great teacher and if you are dismissed , it will be at MOE loss.

    Best of luck

  33. Mush said

    Dear Mr Fong,

    Thank you for showing us the right way to lead our lives – by accepting ourselves.

    Even though you only taught me for 8 weeks, you have left a deep impression on me. And I have got to say – you are one helluva teacher!

    So rock on, Mr Fong! And thank you for inspiring others who are also struggling to accept themselves and their sexuality.

    Regards,
    Mush (2A ’07)

  34. […] original coming out letter can be read here. MOE’s and the school’s response can be found […]

  35. ponder said

    My response is rather different from most of those I’ve read so far.
    I seriously question Otto’s motive for telling the whole world (especially knowing that his students will come to know about it) about his being a gay. My point is that as a teacher, he is definitely imparting values beyond what he teaches academically. I don’t think one can separate the values that a teacher observes (in this case, expounds publicly) from the content of his teaching.
    Is he encouraging RI students to experiment with homosexuality? I believe that many gays started out when someone older approaches them and manages to persuade them that it is ok to experiment with their sexuality. With blogs like Otto’s, these teenagers would be much more easily “persuaded”.
    If an adult wants to be a gay, then I would say that they are making a choice as a mature person. But to impart such values to impressionable teens (especially by a teacher), then I say that is stepping out of line.

  36. […] it is this issue of prejudice which Otto Fong’s letter deals with. Prejudice against a fellow human being. The ruthless dehumanising of a fellow human […]

  37. old rafflesian. said

    I agree with Ponder that if Mr Fong encourages the students to experiment with homosexuality then Ponder is right. If Mr Fong does not encourage them, but tells them hey, if you are homosexual and needs counselling in this area, and is depressed and wants to commit suicide, Mr Fong is here to talk to you about it. So I guess, Ponder, we do not know unless we are his students.

  38. According to Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, most blogs have a readership of one. These are truly online diaries that have no repurcussions whatsover on the rest of the nation.

    But when a personal blog becomes popular suddenly, we cannot ignore its effects on the rest of the nation.

    Mr Fong is proudly declaring he is a homosexual. I have nothing against that. But I wonder the effects of his actions on the rest of our nation.

    Will Mr Fong inadvertently start a movement? Of people confessing all kinds of tendencies and fetishes to the rest of the country? If that is so, so what?

    If our society can tolerate such tendencies, then there wouldn’t have been any problems to begin with. But is our society generally receptive? Should we force our opinions and tendencies down their throats and disregard their wishes?

    Let’s say I have a fetish for animal sex. Does that mean no one should deny me the right to talk about it in public or to even promote it?

    What if love to go nude? Can I just strip myself bare and sunbathe at Raffles Place and then blog about it? Do I not consider that some lady might find my nakedness offensive? Does it not constitute outraging of modesty?

    What if I love drugs? Why can’t I say I love to do drugs? Why deny me drugs in the first place?

    I love guns and love carrying them around and I want to tell the world it’s perfectly alright to carry a gun around. Why the nationwide manhunt for the NS men with the rifle then?

    Should we as a responsible member of this society, do whatever we like and say whatever we like, in the name of personal liberty, without ever considering the effects of our actions on others?

  39. LifesLikeThat said

    Truly Singapore,

    Society bases its idea of right or wrong on moral precepts at a given point in time. Morality is like a moveable feast – it changes as society changes.

    The same arguments you are making were the same ones made in the past – such as those concerning equal rights for blacks, slavery, women’s rights and so on.

    The arguments borders on taking the extreme scenarios. Just as some christians are saying that gay people want to, basically, annihilate churches.

    In my opinion, nothing is better than allowing and legalising homosexuality in order to see if what is feared is justified. Short of that, we are all speculating – some taking extreme views, others more moderate.

    Otto, having been a teacher for 8 years (?) has, by all accounts, been an excellent teacher. I am not persuaded by arguments that just because he has now declared his sexuality that he will suddenly turn into some sort of mental, raving, militant loony out to brainwash young minds and turn them into homosexuals.

    As for sex with animals (bestiality), nudist tendencies and what not, I think they are extreme examples you are giving. Still, if society is able to accept that, then it will be accepted – however abhorrent you may think it is now.

    Just as when people thought blacks having equal rights were abhorrent, or women having rights, or slaves being free.

    Or abortion being made legal. In Singapore.

    Measure a man by his contribution to society, if you must. Don’t measure him by what you think he is going to do.

    Simply because he hasn’t done it yet – if indeed he is ever going to do it, whatever “it” is.

    Innocent til proven guilty.

  40. beAr said

    to Trulysingapore,

    I find heterosex offensive. Since your actions are offensive to me (I’m assuming that you’re straight by the way you write), maybe you should stop promoting it to the rest of the world? Get a divorce if you’re married; stop seeing your girlfriend if you’re attached etc…

    Such a ill-conceived argument masquerading as truth… sigh… And btw, if you want to hit back with the “majority” argument, think first of the government’s push for the Casinos even though a large majority of Singaporeans would probably publicly decry gambling as a vice not to be encouraged.

    The difference between homosexuality and pedophilia and gun-carrying is rather apparent, isn’t it? In the former case, no one gets hurt; not so in the latter cases.

    to Ponder,

    Please stop kidding yourself about teens being “impressionable”, much less RI kids. This is the internet-age; people will find out what they want to know, information about homosexuality notwithstanding.

    and finally, to Ottofong,

    I admire and applaud your courage in deciding to come out as a proud gay man; for it is nothing less than commendable to be so well-adjusted in our rather bigoted society. I too, await the day when I can be comfortable enough to be out and proud; until then, do know that your letter has made a difference to this person in his search of himself. my only regret after reading your letter is that i left the gates of RI 2-3 years too early to know you.

    Hope for a Better Age,
    beAr

  41. TrulySingapore, I would be delighted if Otto Fong succeeded in opening up the Singaporean society on all those issues you talk about by sticking to his guns. Public debate for any issue should always be encouraged.

    We may even laud him one day for being kickstarting equal treatment between sexual orientations – the way Rosa Parks is remembered for breaking the law by simply not getting up from her seat in a bus.

    I hope that he sticks to his guns and takes the MOE to court – and get MM Lee, who said that gays are simply born that way, as his star defence witness.

  42. tirex said

    dear sir,
    i was your student in lower-sec for 2 years .1-2A was a fun-filled class partly because of you.Don’t be to caught up with what other people think of you .Just know that your students, will always remember you as the cool science teacher who drew comics and told witty jokes, never failing to brighten up our day.Honestly, I kinda miss those days in the junior block.I really hope your passion for teaching is still as strong as before.You really do make a difference to the lives of your students.I can safely say that my interest in physics was planted since my lower secondary days.Your zeal and charisma in teaching science definitely helped me to find this passion within myself.For that , I thank you …
    Hope to see you soon sir, please stick around longer next teacher’s day!

  43. Justin said

    I have nothing for you…. except my respect!

  44. James Chia said

    Great letter. I love the section on “I don’t want to be a bonsai tree”!

  45. […] 8 September, a school teacher from the bestest best school in Singapore wrote an open letter, revealing his homosexuality to all, on his personal blog. Our Riuva readers here from the more […]

  46. […] real police random: no paper tml, hooray. but i’m already dead for the nxt few papers. read: Otto Fong’s Open Letter lesson: to bring panadol to maths […]

  47. Heng Leun said

    Hey Otto,

    Think this is a very brave and important action…. you have my admiration

    Heng Leun

  48. ponder said

    <>

    To: BeAr

    This being the internet age is precisely why I am concerned that a teacher is encouraging a gay lifestyle. Yes some teenagers will learn about homosexuality from the internet, but to have a “respectable” teacher to nudge them along ?

  49. Ponder,

    Is he encouraging his students to turn homosexual, or sending a message to those who are confused that they have someone to talk to and come to some closure over whether they might be or might not be homosexual.

    The latter is probably the role he did play.

    Furthermore, having a role model does help homosexual adolescents traverse this rocky period in their lives.

  50. sieteocho said

    There are some people who think that homosexuality is wrong. I don’t understand the way they think.

    If you rob a bank, it is wrong because you take money that isn’t yours and you deprive people of it. Murder is wrong because you’re depriving people of life. Hitting people is wrong because you hurt them.

    In what way are people harmed by homosexuals? Some people are saying that it’s wrong because it’s obscene. But heterosexual people are equally capable of obscene acts. Then some people are saying that it’s wrong because you might corrupt youngsters. If there is nothing wrong about homosexual behaviour then why is it corrupting youngsters?

    The only reason why it’s wrong is because people say that it’s wrong. And to say that it’s right is like saying all those people who thought that it is wrong in the past are wrong. (Actually they are.) And that is truly unacceptable.

    So coming out is just saying, “we should be intolerant of intolerance”. Which is right, that’s the only thing we should be intolerant of.

  51. hansel said

    Ponder doesn’t make any sense at all. Encouraging a homosexual lifestyle?! If we can encourage a homosexual lifestyle, why don’t we encourage a heterosexual lifestyle to the gays? In this way, everyone will be straight.

  52. Pui Yee said

    what do pple mean when they say otto is “encouraging” students to experiment with “gay lifestyle”????

    i don’t remember “experimenting” with “hetero lifestyle” in my school days and i turned out hetero. if anything, i was in a single sex sec school and was very much aware of some surrounding students “liking” other students – in a christian school and without any “encouragement” from gays.

    the fact is, if you’re attracted to a certain sex, you just are. kindly don’t impose your value on the others. the world can certainly do with less bigotry and hatred.

  53. ponder said

    To Pui Yee,

    You brought up a good point. You were in a girl school and noticed that there were girl/girl relationships in the school without encouragement from gays. And you turned out hereto.
    Question is would the situation be different if your school had several teachers (popular ones, highly respected) who are openly lesbians. Brought their partners to school functions and so on.
    Don’t you think that would have a strong influence on how some of the students of your school would turn out with regard to their sexuality?
    It may not have affected you, but can you say the same for your fellow schoolmates. Especially those who have a passing crush on another girl – who are then “encouraged” (by how their esteemed teachers behave) to decide that they are not hetero.
    Apart from parents, the other adults who have pretty strong influence over teens are teachers, don’t you agree?

  54. asdghjkl said

    Well then, Ponder,

    Instead of wasting so much time trying to convince us that Mr Fong is encouraging RI students to be gay, why not spend your precious time more constructively and offer some solutions for gay teenagers who have no one to turn to for guidance and counselling? You are entitled to your opinion, and so are the rest of us, this highly fallacious argument will only go nowhere and result in frustration on both sides.

    On a sidenote, I hail from a single sex school as well and we openly discuss lesbianism, and we even know who is lesbian and who isn’t. Or bisexual, for that matter. But it doesn’t matter, really. By the way I highly doubt that sexual tendencies can be encouraged.

    Fong ftw.

  55. sieteocho said

    I don’t like people talking about whether gays coming out can influence other people to experiment in homosexual behaviour. The answer is pretty obvious: yes it can. More people will be coming out. Once people think it’s acceptable there will be more gay people around. More people will experiment and they may or may not revert to heterosexual behaviour. It was acceptable in ancient Greece and so many of them had gay lovers.

    The real problem is the notion that there is something wrong with homosexual behaviour.

    My question to ponder: just explain in plain English, as best you can, tell me why you think homosexual behaviour is “wrong”. Give me a reason that doesn’t sound irrational.

    Here is an example if you’re confused: guns are wrong because they hurt people. Drugs are wrong because they ruin your health and addiction drives people to a life of crime. So just complete the sentence: “homosexuality is wrong because…”

  56. Steven said

    “homosexuality is wrong because…”
    “you cannot procreate naturally”

  57. Slayze said

    To Ponder,

    And so? If you were originally heterosexual, would you bother changing to become homosexual through the influence of someone else? If people start changing their own sexual orientation, it would be near entirely their own preferences, would it not? Hence, if they were to change to being homosexual, it is still not forced on to them. References to homosexual people are also not too uncommon these days. All this particular teacher is doing, is not hiding the fact that he is homosexual. I fail to see how would this directly cause anyone else to suddenly change.

    Also, how would the students’ choice of sexuality affect anyone else negatively? If students were to realise that they are more comfortable with being homosexual, to disagree with their own personal opinion would simply be discriminating against homosexuality in general, wouldn’t it?

  58. Pui Yee said

    to ponder, if my school had openly gay teachers who were popular, it would definitely encourage gay students (or students who think they were) to out. so??? these same students would have the same feelings of attraction towards the same sex regardless of the presence or absence of role models.

    with both hetero and gay role models around, these students can then be properly counselled to better understand their true sexuality.

    what you would like to see is the repression of gay feelings in school because of your dispproval of homosexuality. think about that.

    to steven, “cannot procreate naturally” means it is wrong? wahahahah…zzzzzz…

  59. Steven said

    I believe that piece of meat is made with a certain function in mind and that orifice behind it as well.

  60. Trimmed Bonsai said

    “A bonsai tree is an imitation of a real tree. It is kept in a small pot with limited nutrients, trimmed constantly to fit someone else’s whim.”

    So dear Otto, why did you really take down your blog? Did someone trim your bonsai tree?

  61. procreation said

    “cannot procreate naturally” is wrong?

    What about couples who are unfortunate not to be able to bear their own children? What about couples who underwent artificial insemination or IVF? What about couples who adopt?

    Lets all tell them that they are wrong because they “cannot procreate naturally”.

  62. Steven said

    i never said they are ‘right’
    they are either medically ‘wrong’ or don’t need a child or don’t want to put the effort to concieve on their own.

  63. procreation said

    Dear Steven,

    You cannot seriously believe what you just posted right?

    So lets eliminate everyone who is “medically wrong” then. The crippled, the blind, the disabled…. (need I go on?). Lets eliminate anyone who don’t want to put an effort to do anything too!

    Either we are still in the dark ages or Hitler is still alive!

  64. Steven said

    neither. People are asking me what is wrong with homosexuals, I am merely replying to that sentence. I’m not eliminating anyone with my statement. I have no power to eliminate them even if I wanted to. Hitler? Dark Ages? These guys are in the past and have nothing to do with what we’re talking about.

    People want to equate homosexuals with people who cannot concieve naturally because of their health? That is something I want to question. I don’t want to use the word gay here but homosexual is a bit of a fistful to type 😉

    Is it disease of the mind, or genetics that makes the mind think their same gender is attractive? That is what I want to know.

    IMO, not being able to procreate is a good enough reason not to be homosexual.

  65. ponder said

    “what you would like to see is the repression of gay feelings in school because of your dispproval of homosexuality. think about that.”

    Pui Yee,

    I won’t call it repression. The important point is that homosexuality should not be encouraged in school. And teachers who have the most influence over teenagers, should not be allowed to glamourise homosexuality. And yes, I do believe that teenagers can be coerced to experiment with homosexuality because “it’s ok lah, even my teacher is doing it”.
    By the way, if Otto were a teacher in a primary school, would you still feel that what he has done is appropriate ? Just curious.

  66. Steven said

    I would not go that far, Ponder.
    It’s a touchy issue, and I believe Mr.Fong is a very brave man for coming out of the closet, I certainly would not do so if I were a teacher. Imagine what the parents would say as well as the school reputation!

    I have to get off my workstation now. Cheers.

  67. sieteocho said

    There is a big misunderstanding that sex is only about procreation. This is wrong. Sex is also about social harmony. Sex keeps a family together. A mother and a father only need to have sex a few times to create a family, but they will have sex hundreds of times. Why? Because it helps them live together. It’s already part of our national values that the family is the building block of society, and sex is an important building block of the family.

    It’s not hard to see that gay sex fulfills this function and can help foster stable relationships. It is useful in a way that doesn’t have to do with procreation.

    We live in a society, and in our own way we keep humanity going on. It is not necessary that every person has to play his role in reproducing.

    Furthermore there are plenty of people who take the vow of celibacy and “cannot procreate naturally”. People who are amahs, priests, nuns, and usually they are held up as bastions of virtue. Are they sinful? Medically unfit?

    And what is ponder’s answer to this question?

  68. xtrocious said

    Ponder said – I believe that many gays started out when someone older approaches them and manages to persuade them that it is ok to experiment with their sexuality.

    Is your belief based on your opinion or actual studies?

    I have several gay friends and none of them concur with your belief…

    Likewise for me (straight guy), I knew from young that I prefer girls and there was no need for an older women to approach me to encourage me to do so…

    And this may come as a surprise to you but so did my gay friends…

  69. Zheng Ho said

    I am dont really know what to say. I guess the only guy who I can really resonate with as far as this subject is concerned is that Dr Darkness from the Brotherhood Press abt this whole matter. The words he used, I believe is, forgive me, if I dont join the bandwagon…..

    He just makes it all look so simple and complicated at the same time so accurately. I think that’s really how it is to most of us, although admitting it is a different matter.

    Good Luck Otto and Best Wishes.

  70. Zheng Ho said

    Otto,

    We were in the same year at TTC, there are at least over 20 of us rooting for you. Hang on there buddy, be strong and I hope it all turns out cherry.

    Say hello to D for me. Bye

  71. I ain't just anybody:D said

    Hi all,

    Gayism ISN’T something normal. It is made for opposite forces of magnets to attract, and hence, this would be a clarification I would make. Apart from the many confessions of people who are gay coming here, for example, the person MUSH from 2A and more, I would like to say, gayism doesn’t make more people like you. Perhaps only gays would. YES, just stick with tradition k? I know Mr. Fong is saying something truthful, he is in no wrong. But all the other gays who think you can just do another confession here, please stop it. THANK YOU:D

    anonymous

  72. RI Student said

    Dear Sir,

    I am a student in RI and I support what you said. I believe that whether you are gay or not would not make a difference (to me at least), as judging a person requires many other aspects and this is but one. Plus, I have nothing against gays. Personally, I think that you are a great person, cheerful and brave, even though I am not your student. I would just like to say that I support gay rights and believe that they are in no way different from the other sexes. It may even be a third and accepted gender in the future to come.

    The trend in all the world is one of that that is moving towards supporting gay rights and gay marriages. It is only a matter of time that Singapore does so too. The very presence of your article, stirring up this great controversy, could be the very thing that speeds Singapore up on the way to the inevitable, and save precious time. Therefore I applaud you for your undeniable courage.

    Sec 2 student in RI

  73. scb said

    The Subject of Homosexuality broached by the many bloggers lately has got so much unneccessary arguments. It is a waste of time and space and causing much frictions, can it not be left to every man(kind) him/herself to do what he/she likes and be answerable when he/she faces question and problem themselves? Sex apparently gets many interested in the Subject as it is an inbuilt nature to all living things. However, as in any deed of humans, there got to be a sense of proportion. There were many very good arguments from both sides which mean that each has got his/her reason to be what they are. So why not let it be and keep it to yourself, why argue with others about who you are? If you are challenged by anyone over your sexuality, challenge the other party directly, there is no need for publicity for the matter, Regards.

  74. RI Student said

    I ain’t just anybody:D Says:
    September 12th, 2007 at 4:53 pm
    Hi all,

    Gayism ISN’T something normal. It is made for opposite forces of magnets to attract, and hence, this would be a clarification I would make. Apart from the many confessions of people who are gay coming here, for example, the person MUSH from 2A and more, I would like to say, gayism doesn’t make more people like you. Perhaps only gays would. YES, just stick with tradition k? I know Mr. Fong is saying something truthful, he is in no wrong. But all the other gays who think you can just do another confession here, please stop it. THANK YOU:D

    anonymous

    hello this person here. i’d just like to say that u cant just keep ostracizing ppl like this. just bcos one is a student and one is a teacher doesnt make so much difference. they’re both gays. gays are normal, u just got to accept it. pls dont make personal assaults. why shouldn’t they make their confessions?

    u might find gayness abnormal and all, but who knows how humanity’s mindset would be in 20 yrs. half a century ago, a woman coming out to work would be highly unacceptable, but now it’s a commonly accepted fact.

  75. RI Student said

    i think we should try to get the govt. (or at least the general public) to accept gayness and approach it with an open and mature mindset. this is a global trend and will happen to singapore sooner or later, so why not speed up the process and not waste time?

  76. RI Student said

    referring to scb’s comments, i feel that there is a need for publicity. the way i see, the majority of the general public do not accept gayness. so there is a need to actually speak out against this general population. just going against the singular person who challenges the gay’s sexuality is not going to be of much help at all. it’s the broad, general public! because of this, there needs to be a voicing out to instigate a larger discussion so as to further perpetrate this issue that has been so distastefully disregarded for a long time. only when ppl start talking abt it can there be hope for any change in the current situation.

  77. […] words are my own comments.] AN OPEN LETTER FROM OTTO FONG (taken from theonlinecitizen) I am Otto Fong. I have been teaching Science in Raffles Institution for the last eight […]

  78. sieteocho said

    Now first I would say that ain’t just anybody has a problem with reading comprehension as I don’t see anything MUSH said that he’s gay. Accepting yourself as who you are is not the same as being gay.

    Announcing that you’re gay quite simply means, “I’m fed up that the world thinks that being gay is wrong. I’m fed up with having to hide it. ” It definitely doesn’t mean “please be gay like me” If people find that it’s disturbing it’s meant to be. It is saying “I’m not tolerating you not tolerating me”. Which is to say, given a choice between their changing their sexual orientation (the historical record shows a very low rate of success) and your changing your attitudes towards them, we should choose the latter, because it’s much easier, and also there’s really nothing wrong with deciding not to hate another human being.

    As for the reason that being gay is wrong, when people say it’s because of procreation, it’s disingenuous and not the truth. The real reasons are:
    1. It does not conform to the behaviour of majority of people.
    2. For people to accept that there is nothing wrong with being gay it means you have to admit that you were wrong in the past.

    In fact this is the reason the government gives for not taking away the law against “unnatural sex”: it’s wrong solely because “society does not accept it” (ie some people think it’s wrong) and not because it’s really wrong. And in a way they are accepting that the reasons why homosexual behaviour is not condoned are largely irrational.

    As for the statement that “gayism” (use the proper word: homosexuality) is not “traditional” the Greeks lived more than 2000 years ago and a lot of them were homosexual. Alexander the Great was homosexual. I wonder how traditional is traditional enough for you.

  79. sieteocho said

    Yes I agree with RI student that this is a public issue.

    You may ask, why can’t it be that we can accept homosexuality so long as they keep their mouths shut? Because if everybody’s acceptance of homosexuality is kept quiet and not vocalised, it doesn’t really count. It’s too easy to slide back into intolerance. If it’s something that you have to keep quiet about then you’re not really accepting it.

    Second reason is that if you have to force them to keep their gay lovers a secret then it’s a form of oppression and not really acceptance. Imagine you have to keep you relationship with your girlfriend a secret.

  80. An RI Sec One from 1D said

    Sir,

    We will always be behind you!

  81. […] for our own good I knew of this thing a bit late. But apparantly a teacher from RI wrote an open letter on his blog about being gay. Hmm, he probably won’t even know of my existence let alone my […]

  82. people of the world said

    We are you.
    We love you.

  83. Harveen said

    Strength, hope, love and comfort to you. You are a shining example of a courageous human being. I couldn’t think of a better role model for your children at school.

    Harveen

  84. SuicidalRJCstudent said

    Let us construct an argument against the openly homosexual teacher, Mr. Otto Fong, teaching in a school with boys.

    Let P be Premise, C be Conclusions, SC be Sub-conclusions

    P1: Homosexual cannot reproduce naturally
    P2: If one cannot reproduce naturally, one is an aberration of nature and what is unnatural is wrong

    P3: Homosexuals harm people. The thought of homosexuals disgust me, causes unpleasant feelings and fears. People who disturb me are wrong.

    (P1+P2, P3) – SC: Being a homosexual is wrong

    P4: A homosexual male teacher encourages unsafe sexual practices

    P5: A homosexual male teacher can influence otherwise straight male students to become homosexuals as well
    (P + SC) – P6: Since being a homosexual is wrong, the homosexual male teacher should not be teaching in schools with boys since he would be doing them a disservice

    P7: A homosexual male teacher could make sexual advances towards male students
    (P7) – P8: The male students are underage and it is an undesired act, hence the homosexual male teacher should not be teaching in schools with boys since he would be doing them a disservice

    (P4,P6,P8) – C: An openly homosexual teacher should not be teaching in a school with boys

    Criticisms!
    P1 + P2
    If being unable to reproduce naturally, and even to say that what is unnatural should be considered wrong, then stop driving cars, wearing clothes or using the Internet. Those are unnatural instruments, and to be consistent, one must denounce their usage. To say that reproducing naturally is an important factor in consideration of the moral status of being a homosexual is to put reproduction in pride of place above other non-natural goals. There is more to life than reproduction, although frogs living in wells would disagree. Why should anyone be condemned because they do not reproduce? Should impotent people be likewise condemned? If homosexuals could produce an offspring through a female proxy, would you consider it right?

    P3 + P7
    If it is right to punish people who are different but pose no harm to you, then one must, to be consistent, endorse the Holocaust, the Crusade, Salem witchcraft trials – examples generally accepted as inhumane, cruel and unjustified.
    Homosexuals are in as much risk as harming you, your offspring or any member in society as heterosexuals. If the argument is that homosexuals could make sexual advances to students (e.g. William Ding Chun Fong), and hence should be dismissed, the argument is valid. However, for every William Ding, there are several more heterosexual sexual predators. E.g. Khairulhizam Din Ahmad and recent news of a 32 year-old man who molested a 16 year-old girl. Clearly, the argument is undermined with Mr. Fong’s case. He is a teacher at Raffles Institution, an all-boys school, and clearly exhibited no paedophilic behaviour. On the contrary, he was celebrated for his ability to engage students through his creative cartoons and witty comments in class. There is a risk that Mr. Fong could be a sexual predator but we are able to accept the same risk for heterosexual teachers (male teachers in schools with female students, female teachers in schools with male students). To be logically consistent, one must exact the same consequences to those teachers in situations with such risk. Fire one, fire all for the same reasons.

    P4
    If you believe P4, you must be very disconnected from society and most certainly not a student. In any case, there is no mention of Mr. Fong actually doing so and, if the past is any indication of the future, is unlikely to do so in future.

    P5
    “”This business of homosexuality . . . it raises tempers all over the world. And even in America! If in fact it is true, and I have asked doctors this, that you are genetically born a homosexual — because that’s the nature of the genetic random transmission of genes — you can’t help it,” MM Lee said in remarks published by The Straits Times.
    Heterosexuals cannot assume that homosexuals choose to be homosexuals. Indeed, who would choose to subject oneself to the prejudices from society and create distance between one and one’s family members? It seems more plausible to believe that one is genetically determined a homosexual. Think about it. If society were prejudiced against heterosexuals, would a heterosexual choose to be a homosexual? Can s/he do so and be true to her/himself?
    Similar argument can be made for the “influence” from a heterosexual teacher. If influencing a student’s sexual orientation, if it is a significant factor in the first place, is wrong, then heterosexual teachers who influence would-be homosexual students to be heterosexual would be wrong.

    P7
    See above

    Merits
    If Raffles Institution chooses to let Mr. Fong go, it would be a great loss indeed. Such a premier institution is only made great through facilitation of interaction between great minds – teachers and students. There is no doubt that Mr. Fong is a great teacher beloved by students for the past 8 years before his sexual orientation was made an issue. He would definitely be able to counsel students who are coming to terms with their own sexual orientation. First, there are definitely homosexual students in schools with or without the influence of openly homosexual teachers. Second, homosexual students, without the proper guidance, often engage in destructive behaviour. Oftentimes, repression leads to depression or rage. If Raffles Institution were to let Mr. Fong go, it would be sending a message to all its homosexual students that being homosexual is wrong. That would be the ultimate disservice. Students who are forming their own self-esteem would feel like aberrations of nature, a mistake. Parents, in your honest opinion, would you desire the dismantlement of your child’s confidence, self-worth and identity? With your own hands, pluck the leaves transforming your child into the desired bonsai tree?

    If reason is not your cup of tea, consider a Singapore without homosexuals. Sisters, brothers, friends, teachers, students, classmates, colleagues, employers, employees, healthcare workers, volunteers, service providers, shop owners, people in every part of our community who are different from us in ways we might not understand. We could choose to reject them, but lose the opportunity for interaction, ties, learning, helping and being helped. From a pragmatic point of view, surely, there is merit to making these people who are part of our community feel at home so that we gain mutual benefits. Singapore is purported to be a tolerant society. In the same way that we accept the presence of races, religions and cultures different from our own (to the extent that they do not harm us), we should be accepting of homosexuals.

  85. tc said

    I think this opening up of issues is good and educational. It allows students from all schools to read Ponder’s point of views, Steven’s point of view and make sense of their own values. I worry about Ponder – sack all teachers who are willing to counsel students who are gay? Keep the issue of homosexuality a state secret?

  86. Nitebirdsg said

    If Steven says… IMO, not being able to procreate is a good enough reason not to be homosexual

    Then by the same reasoning if a married couple who is unable to procreate naturally , their love for one another wrong and a good enough reason not to stay married ???

  87. tc said

    To students of the world – read the comments here. The youtube clip is fantastically awesome!

    http://mollymeek.livejournal.com/165772.html?view=1960076#t1960076

  88. Auspicium Melioris Aevi said

    Mr Fong, I truly admire you for standing up for the rights of gays in Singapore. You are truly the hope for a better age!

    Although there exists quite a number of gays in society, and even in Raffles Institution, none of them is as courageous as you in expressing their sexual orientation, and I am truly proud of you for declaring this and accepting it as a part of yourself.

    This really makes me feel irked by our Cabinet. It’s truly outrageous that your views are being oppressed by the MOE, and I will support you in whatever you decide to pursue, be it teaching, playwrighting or any other occupation.

    Mr Fong, although I have never had you as my teacher, I have personally seen you conducting your lessons, and I must say that I am truly inspired by your interesting lessons.

    Auspicium Melioris Aevi

  89. Jeremy said

    Being a Christian, I have always known that homosexuality is religiously wrong.

    However, my religion is one of love and peace, not about hatred and abbhorence for people who are conventionally different. I am glad that you have opened up, and definitely more people like you should do so too.

    Unfortunately, our government is not as open-minded as we would want, and it is sad to hear of your resignation. I’ve heard great things about you from my friends in RI (I am personally studying in ACS(I)) and it is a great pity.

    You are a great man. Now, you can live your life to the fullest and reach your highest potential.

    I hope that one day the nation will be able to see homosexuals as they see heterosexuals. God bless you.

    Best wishes,
    Jeremy

  90. RI student from 1B said

    TheOnlineXitizen, nt b rude, but ur post abt Mr Otto Fong has sparked off several dissatisfactions among MR Otto’s students. There is nothing wrong wif it. It shows that Mr Fong has courage. On behalf of evy1, i hope u will end this thread. Rest assured if u continue 2 do this more students will post their dissatisfaction here.

  91. Student said

    Sir you were my the teacher leading my group for a certain activity and I can only say you made a very good impression on me as a teacher. However, I am not a supporter of homosexuality .I would rather remain neutral. However, I see there was an argument previously about women who go to work. Well, the Aztecs used to believe it was acceptable to sacrifice people by the hundreds to their gods. Does it make it acceptable. Whether something is accepted or not, does not make it any less moral or non-moral.

  92. kyl said

    It’s indeed ironic how we have been preaching about development and progress for the past few decades. We all want to be improving as time passes. It’s the 21st century yet somehow, we seem to have left our ability to accept somewhere back in history. I really believe the selective ability of humans is amazing.

    The silencing of homosexuality is an attempt of denial. Do we really believe that so as long homosexuals can’t be seen or heard, they cease to exist? We need to think again. Delusion is nasty, really.

    Denial or acceptance, it’s all in the head, really.

    As a Rafflesian, albeit a female one, I don’t know you personally, Mr. Fong. However, you have all my respect. It’s tough to conform. The pressure society offers is difficult to ignore.

    It is even harder to reveal who you really are, to be who you really are, to cast aside your fears of rejection to stand for what you truly believe in. You had all things going right for you, Mr. Fong. Your ability to take all risks just to make things right is indeed honourable.

    Do we not accept them because they are different? Or do we reject them because in a way, they prove us wrong? That they show it to us that people out there do have the ability to think for themselves and fight for themselves, unlike us, the cowards of society, only able to type such derogatory comments behind closed doors.

    I know you will lead a fulfilling life. You don’t need any luck in your future endeavours, Mr. Fong. At least not with courage like yours.

  93. Azazel said

    You people are just. Stupid.

    Firstly, his official site is http://sirfong.blogspot.com/.

    Secondly, anyone can put a pic of him on a blog and say its his.

    Thirdly, most people who know him agree he doesn’t write like that.

    Lastly, coz of a fake letter, you started a whole discussion on homosexuality.

    Well done society.

    Geez.

  94. ponder said

    Student,

    Your posting reflects the mind of a young person with sound moral character and principle. My hats off to you.

  95. Search the Web on Snap.com said

    Worst part. Its “deleted”.

  96. LifeLikeThat,

    yes, morality changes with time, but at what pace? do we push society faster than society wants to or do we adapt to society’s pace?

    abolishment of slavery came with bloodshed. is that the price we ought to pay for homosexuality? is homosexuality worth that price? women’s rights was first championed decades ago, and is still work in progress. do we expect society’s view of homosexuality to change over night?

    i do not think these are extreme scenarios but scenarios in tandem with homosexuality. if you think they are extreme but not homosexuality, then there is double standards being practised here. saying that gays are out to annihilate churches is ludicrous and is not the line of argument i am employing here.

    you can’t legalise homosexuality without also legalising pornography, open nudity and soft drugs. where does it end?

    i respect otto as a decidated teacher too. but i think as a teacher, he should place society’s needs above his own.

    i think nudity is more acceptable in our society than homosexuality. someone should do a survey to verify. you are right, as i’ve said so too, if society accepts it, then so be it, no conflicts, no issues, no arguments. in other words, if there is uproar and heated arguments, it means society doesn’t quite accept it … yet.

    i don’t think it is wrong to put the issue of homosexuality on par with slavery. no one is spying on your bedroom to see if you’re homo. even if you’re homo, no one’s gonna chain you up, beat you up, deny you freedom, deny you rights, own you like an object. no one’s beating up otto right? no one’s chaining him up right? no one’s forcing labour upon him right? he’s not denied freedom in any other way right?

    so you see, in the eyes of a slave, otto’s situation is that of a man in heaven.

    no one’s measuring otto by anything other than his contributions. in fact, no one’s measuring anybody who isn’t famous.

  97. beAr,

    am i the only heterosexual offensive to you? there are probably more than 4 million people in singapore that are heterosexually offensive to you. should we then all get divorced to suit your wishes? why should the majority bow to the wishes of the minority? is singapore a democracy by the way? does 67% win you elections or 33%?

    kindly enlighten me to which part of my argument is ill conceived and i shall be more than happy to trade point for point.

    exactly. if we as the minority do not have the power to stand up to the government’s forcing of policies down our throats, then all we can do is grumble and complain. and that is what you can do no doubt. that’s all you can do.

    why should i hurt people just because i’m carrying a gun? can i not want to show off my gun? i used the example of animal sex not pedophilia. i think pedophilia is inexcusable.

  98. Brandon said

    Hey Mr Fong, admittedly shocked as though we are, we just want you to know that in my eyes you are no less bright a star. My respect for you continues undiminished, and i’m glad that you have come forward with all of your honesty and integrity. Those are the real colours of a true blue Rafflesian, and it will be both RI and MOE’s loss if by political reasoning they choose to dismiss you. Its just that Singapore is not yet as open-minded as some of us would want it to be. You’ve definitely positively changed the lives of many of us, and I guarantee my support through the storm that may be ahead. All the best,

    Brandon Yap/Lennard Tay
    RI 2H 07′

  99. A Little Bird Atop the Canopy,

    well said my friend. however, i feel there’s a difference between Rosa Park’s case and the case of Otto Fong. Rosa Park is denied the right to a seat. Is Mr Fong denied his homosexuality? No. no one will be bothered with, let alone stop what he does in bed. but Rosa Park doesn’t even have the right to a seat.

    i’m afraid you are getting the wrong witness for Otto Fong, for MM Lee’s isn’t as concerned with Mr Fong’s preferred mode of sexuality as the economic value of his teaching on future leaders of singapore.

  100. RI Student said

    To Trulysingapore, (and a couple more ppl)

    i think that the true thing that is being discussed here is not simply Mr. Otto Fong. it is more about homosexuality in singapore as a whole. therefore, i dont think there really is a point in stating the difference between Rosa Park and Mr. Fong, bcos it’s all dealing with the same issue, that of homosexuality, and not the individual gays or lesbians

    and i believe, that that what Mr. Fong is trying to teach his students is not to embrace homosexuality (as some ppl believe, refer posts above), but one of acceptance and tolerance to ppl with different ideas from you. and again to Trulysingapore, the idea of tolerance does have great economic value. the global trend is now one of that moving towards becoming supportive (or at least not oppressive) of gays, so in the future, we may have to deal with gay business partners. that should be a concern for MM Lee. racial tolerance in this time and date is no longer enough. we must also be tolerant of homosexuals.

    another point i’d like to state is that, in PM Lee’s natl day speech there was a lot abt the physical development of singapore. i feel there needs to be effort into the psychological development too, as many ppl are still repulsed against gays and they must be taught, at least, to treat him/her as a human being, which would also apply to the outrageous issue of Rosa Park that Trulysingapore pointed out

    Note: the last paragraph has nothing to do with Trulysingapore’s post. it’s just a new point to raise

  101. Andrew Loh said

    Hi RI student from 1B,

    I am one of the editors of TOC.

    I understand your feelings. Raffles Institution is undoubtedly one of the top schools in Singapore (some would say it IS the top school) with a great tradition.

    And it is heartening, to me at least, to see Rafflesians stepping forth to support Mr Fong. The courage of the students is indeed admirable. What is also evident is the stout-hearted protective instincts of Rafflesians, quite unlike what we may perhaps have thought about students in general.

    To paraphrase a teacher friend of mine from a junior college: The students really love and admire him. It is rare for students, especially boys, to show such sentiments towards a teacher.

    Having said that, I feel that the comments posted by readers here have been civil, mature and even enlightening. Thus, I am not sure why you would ask us to “end this thread”.

    TOC is not on a campaign to either defend or attack Mr Fong. Neither are we on a path to disparage Raffles Institution. TOC is a platform for singaporeans to share their views on issues of the day.

    But we do understand your sentiments and will take your suggestion into consideration. Rest assured, we are monitoring each comment posted.

    Lastly, allow me to say that on a personal note, I am quite happy to see that Rafflesians (both past and present) have handled this issue with a lot of dignity, courage and quite admirable maturity.

    Regards,
    Andrew Loh

  102. RI Student said

    i think wat RI student from 1B meant was that since mr. fong has removed the post from his blog it shows that he does not want to talk abt it anymore. therefore, we, esp ppl from RI (and RGS and RJC) should respect his wishes and stop going on and on abt it.

    that’s what i interpret it as, am i right? someone pls confirm.

  103. Slayze said

    Azazel.

    Kindly read the second and third comment on the most recent post on that official blog of his.

    Of course, you could just argue that it’s someone else again.

  104. InfernoXV said

    gannie,

    “RI’s motto reads “Auspicium Melioris Aevi”. Hope of a better age.”

    ‘auspicium’ does not mean ‘hope’.

  105. A Little Bird Atop the Canopy,

    >>>well said my friend. however, i feel there’s a difference between Rosa Park’s case and the case of Otto Fong. Rosa Park is denied the right to a seat. Is Mr Fong denied his homosexuality? No. no one will be bothered with, let alone stop what he does in bed. but Rosa Park doesn’t even have the right to a seat.

    >>>i’m afraid you are getting the wrong witness for Otto Fong, for MM Lee’s isn’t as concerned with Mr Fong’s preferred mode of sexuality as the economic value of his teaching on future leaders of singapore.

    I acknowledge that’s where analogies break down. However, you can’t deny the similarities between the two cases – they are cases where the might of the authorities have unreasonably tried to censure both individuals who stood up for their rights [and unfortunately, appear to have succeeded in Mr. Otto Fong’s case].

    Teachers like Otto Fong are not deprived of their homosexuality, but that’s where in fact Mr. Otto Fong may have a stronger case than Rosa Parks. Rosa Parks. In Rosa Park’s case, she had the word of the law against her and it was only social pressure. But there is no written law here saying that gays have no rights to teach – and MOE’s press statement, as far as I can tell, can be challenged in court as an openly discriminatory campaign by the national education system against people like him. I doubt the principal had summoned him to his office to give him praise.

    Summoning MM Lee [and SM Goh] as defence witnesses is good because the national leaders have publicly called for gays to be seen as part of our society, and if the MOE is not following their own leaders, this can potentially make their anti-gay stance very embarassingly uptight – and anti-Singapore – indeed.

    (And I feel your “what he does in bed” line is uncalled for. Being homosexual doesn’t necessarily make one sexually active.)

  106. Hello RI Student:

    it is understood that we are discussing homosexuality. but it is also more than that. Someone has rightly compared Mr Fong with Ms Rosa Park and pointed out that they’re both fighting for their own rights. because when you think about the whole issue, it isn’t just about homosexuality. it is more importantly about fighting for our own rights, be it rights to free speech, rights to a seat on the bus, rights to practise sexual tendencies and so on.

    the thing we need to ask ourselves is, are we actually denied of our rights to homosexuality? is there a govt agency out there that actively finds out who is homosexual and then rounds them up into jail?

    yes, I agree that acceptance and tolerance are important. but do you force acceptance down people’s throats? is that how you get people to tolerate your quirks? by shouting about it and demanding attention? and what if i don’t accept? you’d start a war with me? even though i do not accept your quirks, do i restrict you in any way? do i not talk to you like i talk to anybody else?

    the moment you bring in the economic value of the tolerance of homosexuality, you degrade it into something that no longer is worth fighting for. there is a lot of money to be made from drugs. so let’s do drugs? there’s a lot of money to be made from casinos. so let’s do casinos? there’s a lot of money to be made from prostitution. let’s do prostitution? if everything we do is based on money, then what are our souls worth?

    having to deal with gay business partners doesn’t mean i have to become gay like them. just like i need not be a muslim to have muslim friends.

    i understand why you refer to MM Lee. he is the most powerful man in singapore and if there’s anyone who can help you fight this campaign, it would be him. but which do you think is more meaningful? fighting for something with what you have versus hiding behind someone strong and powerful?

    you insist we must be tolerant of homosexuals. how do you define that tolerance? what must i do to make you approve of my tolerance? must i abandon my own beliefs and subscribe to yours? and if i don’t, am i intolerant?

    could you give us incidents or situations where homosexuals here haven’t been treated like human beings? i don’t see homosexuals here ill treated. i see them treated just like any other ordinary people. as such, what is there to teach about treating homosexuals as human beings?

  107. sieteocho said

    I think truly singapore needs a point by point rebuttal from fake singaporeans like myself.

    “abolishment of slavery came with bloodshed. is that the price we ought to pay for homosexuality? is homosexuality worth that price? ”

    The causes of the American civil war were more than just slavery. Let’s just say that there was a dispute but the dispute wasn’t properly managed. Before Abraham Lincoln, there were a few idiot presidents who allowed the problem to grow bigger.

    Plenty of countries other than America had abolished slavery earlier and with much less trouble than America.

    I think in a way you are behind in accepting homosexuality. Some cultures here, like peranakan and malay have not much problems with it.

    “you can’t legalise homosexuality without also legalising pornography, open nudity and soft drugs. where does it end?”

    Now homosexuality doesn’t mean you’re humping somebody in the ass 24 hours a day (although admittedly if it did that would fully justify the moniker “gay”). It is different from obscenity. When you were first taught sex education, did you have to train yourself to stop thinking about your father having sex with your mother? Yes. In the same way, gay people don’t have sex in front of you and you can train yourself to stop thinking dirty thoughts when you are in the presence of a homosexual. Is that very difficult? If you see a homosexual and all you can think about is how they are f***ing each other in the ass, are they dirty, or are you the one with the dirty mind?

    There is a way of drawing the line: you can always think about the harmful effects of something. Is open nudity wrong? Yes it is because it makes people behave like animals. So it’s wrong. Is pornography wrong? Maybe it is distracting, maybe it shouldn’t be sold to children. Are soft drugs harmful? Some are (ecstacy, ketamine) and some are not (cannabis). Bestiality is animal abuse. Paedophilia is child abuse. Homosexuality, it’s hard to see how it’s harmful. Deviant, yes. But so is wearing a cap backwards. How is anybody harmed by that?

    “i think nudity is more acceptable in our society than homosexuality. someone should do a survey to verify.”

    Many people have spoken out here for Otto Fong. Does this qualify as a survey?

    “if society accepts it, then so be it, no conflicts, no issues, no arguments. in other words, if there is uproar and heated arguments, it means society doesn’t quite accept it … yet.”

    The process by which society learns to accept something will involve arguments. The arguments have to go on for quite a while.

    “no one is spying on your bedroom to see if you’re homo. even if you’re homo, no one’s gonna chain you up, beat you up, deny you freedom, deny you rights, own you like an object. … he’s not denied freedom in any other way right?”

    I thought you were saying just now that homosexuality is illegal. Like he just says “I’m gay and I’m tired of hiding the fact that I’m gay” and you just tell him to sit down and shut up. That is not denying freedom?

    As for ending this thread, I understand that Otto Fong’s original post was not taken down entirely voluntarily. I mean you got to be quite psycho to just spend a few hours writing long long long essay and just tear it up right?

  108. A Little Bird Atop the Canopy:

    despite MOE’s press statement, we have not seen any disciplinary action against Mr Fong have we? is he not a teacher at RI still?

    i think is is good that the MOE adopts its own stance irrespective of what MM or SM says. because that would mean they have a mind of their own.

    i apologise if the words i used offended you. no pun intended, they’re simply used to say what they mean

  109. sieteocho said

    Wow trulysingapore is trulyprolific. It is hard to keep up.

    “is there a govt agency out there that actively finds out who is homosexual and then rounds them up into jail?”

    Homosex is illegal is it not?

    “yes, I agree that acceptance and tolerance are important. but do you force acceptance down people’s throats? is that how you get people to tolerate your quirks? by shouting about it and demanding attention? and what if i don’t accept? ”

    you are forgetting that you live in a country with a long tradition of forcing acceptance down people’s throats. Never heard of the religious harmony act? Sedition? If you foster hate speech, they throw you in jail. Now if they were to impose laws against people speaking out against homosexuals it would not be inconsistent.

    “the moment you bring in the economic value of the tolerance of homosexuality, you degrade it into something that no longer is worth fighting for. there is a lot of money to be made from drugs. so let’s do drugs? there’s a lot of money to be made from casinos. so let’s do casinos? there’s a lot of money to be made from prostitution. let’s do prostitution? if everything we do is based on money, then what are our souls worth?”

    All these things can be explained with economics. Yes lots of money from drugs, but the damage from drugs actually costs even more money. So drugs are economically inefficient and should be harmful. Casinos, never really liked that idea. I thought they were more trouble than they’re worth. As for prostitution, it’s legal in Singapore, sunshine.

    Would actually recommend you to go down Geylang for a pop. It should help you simmer down somewhat.

    Now if you know Buddhism, they talk about karma. And karma is just like your bank account. So we have here an example of a great and venerated religion explaining morality in terms of money. Seriously what’s wrong with that?

    “having to deal with gay business partners doesn’t mean i have to become gay like them.”

    nobody’s asking you to be like them. If you see a gay man and his partner go on a date, it’s just nice to not glare at them, want to punch them, tell them to go somewhere else, or carry on secretly. That ought to be good enough.

    “but which do you think is more meaningful? fighting for something with what you have versus hiding behind someone strong and powerful?”

    Yes, but many of us have come up with our own arguments without writing him and asking him what he thinks.

    “what must i do to make you approve of my tolerance? must i abandon my own beliefs and subscribe to yours? and if i don’t, am i intolerant?”

    Well what I listed a few paragraphs up should be concrete enough. If you don’t I would think that you’re intolerant. But of course that’s only my opinion.

  110. sieteocho said

    “is there a govt agency out there that actively finds out who is homosexual and then rounds them up into jail?”

    Now a pretty good point that. There are 2 ways to think of this. First you say “the law is there, but it never gets used against homosexuals. So it can stay, it is harmless”.

    Or you can say, “if it’s a useless law, then get rid of it. We don’t need laws that are not enforced. Otherwise people will think that laws are there for fun, and they don’t count”. In that sense, you should just abolish that law.

    My stand is the second one.

  111. beAr said

    trulysingapore,

    “why should the majority bow to the minority”, you say. i’d say, why can’t the majority and the minority learn to accept one another? then there needs to be no head-bowing by either side.

    btw, if you are more astute in reading my comment, it would have been blatantly obvious that i don’t hate heterosexuals; i was merely using a flip argument to demonstrate your unsound reasoning in your first post about why homosexuality shouldn’t be tolerated (and supported by the next paragraph in my post). please do not put words in my mouth; it reflects badly on you.

    it’s also funny that you mention the part about “why should i hurt people just because i’m carrying a gun?”, since it was you yourself who brought up the example of why we should NOT support people who espouse gun-toting as a parallel to why we should not support homosexuality. talking about shooting yourself in the leg…

    also, do not for a moment think that all “we” can do is to grumble and complain of our situation; many people like us have up-ed and left this place that you call home because of discrimination. and there are many more who stay back and fight because we want to be able to call this place our home. isn’t that what mr fong is doing? his letter certainly doesn’t sound like mere “grumbling and complaining” to me.

    finally, there is simply no point in arguing with you, since you’re the one who has all the preconceived notions of what’s right and what’s wrong. hence, my response to you will end here. you’re welcome to have the last word; i’ll let others here judge our comments. you have a good day.

  112. sieteocho,

    has anybody been thrown into jail for homosexuality so far?

    so just because you have been used to things being forced down your throat so now you do the same to other people?

    if a police office tells me i shouldn’t take drugs because our country would suffer economically, i would give him one tight slap. we stop drugs because we want to save lives not to enrich the economy but simply because it is the morally right thing to do.

    prostitution is legal not because of the money it brings but because of a social need that it satisfies. because it isn’t about money, prositution is neither promoted nor advertised.

    i jog past a hotel with hookers standing outside almost every night.

    you can use money to explain concepts. but you can’t use it to judge matters of principle and morality.

    i don’t think anybody would glare or want to punch or tell a gay couple to shoo. people may stare but that’s simple out of curiosity. that’s the price to pay for being at the forefront.

    yes you have fought on your own, but RI boy chose to hide behind LKY. so what if LKY wasn’t around? he won’t fight anymore?

    you sure have listed enough to satisfy yourself. but it is not enough to change my beliefs. and if because of that you say that i am intolerant, i can only say, your paragraphs aren’t concrete enough.

  113. beAr,

    the problem is that the minority is insisting on the majority to accept their views. so if the minority can take a step back and say “i have stated my stance, i have made myself clear. i have been heard. i have also heard from the other side. we can choose to agree to disagree.” then we can be harmonious. if the minority won’t take no for an answer and keep perstering the majority to convert, it’ll simple mean endless quarrels and arguments.

    no, your flip argument isn’t obvious, maybe i’m not asture enough. could you unflip it so that i may come to understand how my unreasoning has been unsound? could you also enlighten me how i have put words into your mouth and what bad is it that you mean? thank you.

    in switzerland, all men have weapons at home. so having a gun isn’t necessarily wrong.

    it’s also funny that you mention the part about “why should i hurt people just because i’m carrying a gun?”, since it was you yourself who brought up the example of why we should NOT support people who espouse gun-toting as a parallel to why we should not support homosexuality. talking about shooting yourself in the leg…

    you can call it fighting. but it is only verbal fighting. i think that is only as far as we can go. as for leaving this place, you call that fighting? more like giving up isn’t it? i’m not saying you are wrong. i’m just saying leaving means given up.

    since you like flipping, why not flip it around and think of it as you being the one with preconceived notions?

  114. sieteocho said

    OK, so it’s a law that is never used. Why leave it there? Why not abolish that law? Because if a law is not used and you leave it there other people might think it’s alright to break other laws right?

    You can’t have it both ways. If you agree with me that it’s OK that that law is never used then you are saying that it shouldn’t be illegal now or in the future. Which means that the law should be abolished. Or you can say that the law should stay, in which case homosexuals should be thrown into jail. Or you can take the third position and say that we can have laws that aren’t followed in which case you are saying that you can mess around with the law.

    About forcing things down people’s throats, you need to realise that by thinking that homosexuality is wrong and should be illegal, it is intolerant and it is forcing your beliefs down other people’s throats. People are gay and can’t help it, and you are forcing them to be a second class citizen. If you think forcing things down other people’s throats is wrong then why do you do it?

    Maybe you don’t use only money to judge matters of principle and morality, but I will demand that you have to explain in a concrete way why things are wrong and not use abstract principles. You might want to know that that was the way that the Nazis were thinking. A lot of Jews, homosexuals, gypsies and mental patients died because it was somebody’s “gut feeling” that it was immoral. Just want you to know that there is a lot of similarity between your thinking and their thinking.

    If you say that something is wrong but you are not able to explain why it is wrong then it is bigotry, simple as that.

  115. […] Read the rest of Otto Fong’s letter here>>> […]

  116. scb said

    Nobody is absolutely right and none is totally wrong and so it appears. For thousands of years discussions and studies have not reached any conclusion and none can be expected. But maybe we have much fun and entertainment from the arguments.

  117. John Lee said

    Hey BeAr and sieteocho

    I personally feel there are many serious problems created by homosexuality (for reasons different from TrulySingapore’s). Ultimately, our own beliefs are just too ingrained in our psyche to be changed by the most rational arguments.

    Trulysingapore and I are probably not gonna change our minds, ever, but I’m sure you have reached out to those who are not burdened by baggage, religious and/or otherwise.

    And, Otto, I wish there were more straight men who have the same courage and integrity as you in this world.

    Iife is definitely stranger than fiction because my first living and breathing Singaporean hero is a gay man!

    *Comments edited by moderator. No personal attacks, please. Thanks.

  118. rin said

    The issue shouldn’t be about homosexual TOLERANCE but one of ACCEPTANCE. Gay people are still people after all. The only difference is they seek sexual intimacy with other people of the same gender. I salute Otto’s brave move and hope that this will help bring more public awareness to the plight of homosexuals not just in Singapore but everywhere in the world.

  119. Goh Bun Hiong, bunhiong@magix.com.sg said

    to mr fong, i salute you for your honesty. to ri, i can only say that this is a perfect opportunity to take the lead and show the way, that we’re not content to just accept ‘mainstream wisdom’ and practices, that we’re enlightened enough to distinguish between issues of morality (homosexuality is not a morality issue), job performance (“was mr fong good at what he did ?”) vs personal inclinations and mainstream practices.

    if ri has to lose mr fong, it has to be for the right reasons and not because he was different.

    if i had a son, i would be more ashamed of him if he did not give up his seats to the needy or if he engaged in low-down shameless office politics and corporate backstabbing. strangely enough, i know of many who are held in high esteem despite such questionable character traits (which i should add, IS a morality issue in my opinion).

    we should take a leaf from history and remember that many important discoveries and milestones were achieved during the dutch golden age, where many researchers flocked to the netherlands (due to her reputation for tolerance) to avoid the fates of galileo and copernicus. they were discredited professionally on grounds that have absolutely no relevance to their profession.

    [just some food for thought on the issue of tolerance, ‘am not proposing that we embrace the dutch system, i can already predict detractors trying to sidetrack this discussion with the chaos caused by the casual attitudes towards drugs and sex in the netherlands. let’s not confuse the issues, we’re now on the issue of whether mr fong should stay as an educator, if not, we should support that purely on professional and moral grounds and not on grounds that he is different]

    btw, for the records, i am non-gay and singapore.

  120. Goh Bun Hiong, bunhiong@magix.com.sg said

    ps : the last line should have read : i am singaporean and non-gay

  121. Clarence said

    For a gay person (guys especially), it is so hard to come out of the closet.

    Otto, I salute you on this occasion that you choose to reveal yourself to the public eye. For this, gay people will remember you and other pioneers who try their best to change public opinion towards homosexuality. I am ashamed to say that I was, and am still a little, predisposed against the gay population, but I’m trying hard to get rid of my own prejudices.

    Thank you for coming out. =)

  122. shoestring said

    As an ex-Rafflesian, I have been following this closely. I do admire Otto Fong for his courage, regardless of the motivation behind his letter. To be fair to my Alma Mater, however, I hope TOC and/ or Mr Fong would oblige with the following information:

    It would be great if TOC or Mr Fong could provide the original full statement from the MOE/ RI on their websites. I believe it is important to view the quote on Fridae’s website in its full context. The last time I checked, it wasn’t found on the MOE website.

    It would be very much appreciated if Mr Fong could clarify whether he had already intended/ been confirmed to leave RI before coming out on his blog.

  123. Andrew Loh said

    Hi shoestring,

    We’re not aware of any press release by MOE. We had expected MOE and RI to issue press releases but as far as I know, they didn’t and haven’t.

    I am not sure why Fridae.com cited (or quoted) an MOE press release.

    Regards,
    Andrew Loh
    co-editor

  124. anon said

    To Rin,

    I just like to clarify, to love someone does not necessarily mean to seek sexual intimacy. Love can be expressed through other means.

    To others,

    I just hope that all of you please stop arguing constantly over mr otto fong. No matter whether he’s gay or not, its his own private affair. Please don’t make baseless accusations out of empty air, and digress from the main point. I also feel shocked after reading Ponder’s comments. I am currently in RI, but not taught (yet) by mr otto fong. Only now did i know he was gay. He has never gone around advocating homosexualism. And i’ve never seen any of his current students turn gay. He just acts normal, thats it. Insiders know the best about the situation, so please control yourself if you’re not one of them. And anyway, a person’s sexuality can never be changed by others, only yourselves. Of course there are exceptions, in cases of sexual abuse. A “gay agenda” spoken by a local pastor is really stupid, cos its nearly impossible and meaningless. Gays have better things to do, like everyone else.

  125. gambling is against the law, but that doesn’t stop people from gambling at home during chinese new year. so everyone’s breaking the law during chinese new year yet nobody gets caught. nobody bothers with the law yet the law is there. should we abolish gambling laws too?

    the law is there as a deterrent. gambling is not tolerated but who cares if you do it as part of a festive custom behind doors? similarly in the case of homosexuality, the law is necessary as a deterrent because it is against general public sentiments. but nobody will stop you doing what you do behind closed doors.

    so you you can have it both ways and i do not agree it’s ok we abolish the law simply because no one hasn’t been caught yet. it is because of the law that no one hasn been caught yet.

    you claim that it’s wrong to think of homosexuality as wrong. but you also think of nudity and porno as wrong. but someone else, like the french may say nudity and porno are right. so you see, everyone has different standards. as such, there is no right or wrong standard to follow. there is only the general standard set by society, followed by most people. that is the standard we stick to.

    it is precisely because i think forcing down the throat is wrong that i refuse to let you force your opinions down mine.

    you need to be specific about your demands. what precisely is it that you demand that i explain?

    you analogy is too far from the truth. the nazis systematically exterminated the jews and homosexuals. do we see homosexuals exterminated? do we see them rounded up in concentration camps? do we even see them scolded or beaten up? nothing! nothing at all. nobody touched them. why do you say we’re nazis when we didn’t even touch them? your reasoning is a little twisted to be believed.

    you never, never judge matters of principle and consience with money. the moment you do that, it means someone can buy your consience.

    i did not say homosexuality is wrong. i am only saying that our society doesn’t accept homosexuality as yet. so it is wrong to force society to accept homosexuality just because a small minority says so. the homosexual isn’t denied of his rights, so there is no wrong done to them.

    so don’t use the word bigotry on me. i don’t think that’s being fair.

  126. nutCase said

    To all,

    A teacher informed my class that Mr Fong would have left RI next year anyway, for plans to further his studies overseas, his leaving RI was not a result or consequence of this letter.(To whoever taught he left because of this)

    I feel that ever since this letter had received so much attention, I have noticed that students started averting their eyes or some avoided him, he also appeared downcast. This is saddening, if homosexuality is truly a result of genetic traits being passed down, then what could those gay people have done about their sexual orientation, as Mr Fong has stated. A teacher says that he had known about this for some time already, and he expects our class to support Mr Fong.

    Also, I can see that Mr Fong is very much a normal person despite his sexual orientation, this came as a surprise to us, he taught his lessons really well and we all just think of him as a great science teacher.

    I don’t particularly support homosexuality, as it just feels unnatural, but I believe we should treat them as we would treat any other person. As a Christian, like so many others who have said, even if it does feel ‘wrong’ they are still human, and God loves them as much as you and I. Other religions also would tell their believers that we should treat people equally right?

    Well. I’m tired.
    Good luck people
    and bye bye

  127. […] 13th, 2007 · No Comments I read Mr Otto Fong’s “coming-out open letter” (and the ensuing comments) with some interest.  First up, I will say that I take the same stance […]

  128. NG said

    Hello
    “I being a Christian, I know that my religion does not condone this, but I tell you that Christianity is not a religion of rules and strict restrictions. It is one of love and acceptance.”
    I am a Christian too, I do not support homosexuality too and completely agree with this.
    I admire your courage to write this article and I am sure many others do too. Perhaps you may be asked to leave the school, and some people will still look at you in disgust, but always remember that many other people will look at you in admiration.
    You have led other homosexuals in this stand of respect, and for many heterosexuals with new found insight and respect.

    God loves You,
    NG

  129. >>>A Little Bird Atop the Canopy: despite MOE’s press statement, we have not seen any disciplinary action against Mr Fong have we? is he not a teacher at RI still?

    Yes, but how do you know that implicit disciplinary action was not meted out? I doubt the principal called him into the office just to chit chat.

    And you would know that there are many ways for a boss to get his/her subordinate to do his/her bidding without handing out outright punishment. As you have read the blog entry, Otto Fong was adamant that he wasn’t going to go back into the closet. So what did the principal do to make him go back inside? Only Otto Fong and the principal would know, and it would be an entire story in itself.

    >>>i think is good that the MOE adopts its own stance irrespective of what MM or SM says. because that would mean they have a mind of their own.

    As a government ministry, the MOE has to base its education line on directives handed down from the government ministers, and given that the biggest minister of them all has already stated that homosexuality is linked to genes, they should be expected to toe the government line.

    ====

    And as for the laws against gambling, there’s a reason why the authorities call it the “Gambling SUPPRESSION Act”, not “Gambling ERADICATION Act”. Therefore, you are wrong in saying that gambling is illegal. It has never been, for the law draws a line between social gambling and operating a gambling den.

    On the other hand, the anti-gay sex laws are draconian and sweeping – no ifs, no butts [sorry for poor pun], no exceptions. As Mr Wang has said before, the punishment for anal penetration by a man on a man is as serious as culpable homicide not amounting to murder – yet it is ok for a man to penetrate a woman’s anus.

  130. shoestring said

    anon @ 124,

    Whether Mr Fong is gay or not isn’t the issue. The issue to me is, why virtually everyone is jumping into the bandwagon pointing fingers at RI and MOE with unfounded accusations when there is no concrete evidence? Fridae.com is a gay site and I am curious as to why only they have access to the “statement”, not even MOE. Are arguments based on conjectures reliable? You are right. There shouldn’t have been a big hooha.

    But it seems to me, some people are making a mountain out of a molehill. I know of students who have been asked to close down their blogs or delete blog entries for various reasons although they may not always be valid. They don’t cry wolf, do they? Or should teachers be given special privileges? They should in fact be more aware of the consequences of their actions and hence be more prepared to face them.

    Really, what is the big deal? Unless there is a hidden agenda. And it becomes an issue when they mess with something as dear to my heart as my Alma Mater.

  131. ponder said

    >>NutCase: I don’t particularly support homosexuality, as it just feels unnatural, but I believe we should treat them as we would treat any other person. As a Christian, like so many others who have said, even if it does feel ‘wrong’ they are still human, and God loves them as much as you and I. Other religions also would tell their believers that we should treat people equally right?

    Ponder: Well said. Good to read postings from RI students who show a sense of maturity and sincerity.

  132. Fong said

    i am really curious..

    Why the big fuss on a homosexual saying he is one??

    No one is condemning you so please dont make a big fuss and be a drama king or queen.

    There are many people out there with bigger problems than yours and who need to be listened to as well so please move along, get along with your life, nobody’s condemning you, so shut up and live your life like the rest of us, and stop trying to claim gay rights in singapore, i’d rather support handicapped rights or yellow ribbon rights, people who really need help rather than people who keep imagining they are victims…

    honestly, i am not homophobic but am tired of all these publicity grabbing antics, of reasserting yourself in the world.

    why dont i reassert myself as well? i would like to come out of the closet!

    *Comments edited by moderator.

  133. sieteocho said

    “you need to be specific about your demands. what precisely is it that you demand that i explain?”

    When people claim that things are immoral, they should explain why it is immoral. That is the question I’m asking all people who think that homosexuality is wrong. Why is it wrong? So far the reasons are irrational, such as “it feels wrong”, or “the moral majority think that it’s wrong” or “it doesn’t lead to procreation”.

    If moral standards are arbitrary then you can anyhow mess with the system and just say anything is wrong. The Nazis did this too. Sending the Jews (and homosexuals too) to be exterminated was step 5, but in order to get to step 5 you need to get through step 1, which is to say that they are immoral, without explaining why they are immoral. Maybe it will stop at step 1, but maybe it won’t.

    That’s why, if you insist that something is wrong without being able to explain why it is wrong, then it is forcing things down people’s throats and is bigotry.

    And as for you, I don’t understand, you can link homosexuality with promiscuity, prostitution, gambling, nudity, taking illegal drugs, that’s OK. Once I start linking prejudice with Nazism you start kaopehing.

    I’m not going to insist that these people (who think that homosexuality is wrong) change their minds. So long as they admit: 1. they’re irrational and 2. so long as they persist in their beliefs, people are going to get hurt. Then it’s for them to change their minds.

    And if trulysingapore doesn’t think that it’s wrong then why does he say that accepting homosexuality is the first step on the slippery slope to moral oblivion?

    “why virtually everyone is jumping into the bandwagon pointing fingers at RI and MOE with unfounded accusations when there is no concrete evidence?”

    RI and MOE should know that if and when they issue press statements that answer the questions that people have they will stop gossiping.

    People need to come out because they need to realise that if they have to keep quiet about their sexual orientation this is not the same as “being treated the same as everybody else”. Is it possible to think that they are immoral and still “treat them the same as everybody else”?

  134. a fellow human said

    you are a very brave man. i respect you for that. singapore is not ready to accept gayness, and i dont think it will be anytime soon, our asian influences will make sure of that i think. however, i think that does not mean that we should not try to remove this discrimination, and accept people who are gay. as long as a gay does not promote people change their sexual orientation and are law abiding, i see no reason to dislike them or discriminate against them. i say we should accept the homosexuals in our society and respect them.

    however, considering singapore’s political climate and culture, and the fact that you teach in a boy’s school, i think MOE or RI will try to get you to resign or fire you outright. because what you did will definitely endanger your ricebowl, i think it was a foolish thing to do, posting this letter under your real name. i know you feel outraged at the discrimination in singapore, but you should have thought about the consequences that might follow. your students might not be able to accept you now(this is obviously because of their sterotypes, you are in all ways a very good teacher) and this will impact your ability to teach.
    i admire you for your bravery. =)

  135. AverRal said

    Otto Fong is a remarkable man
    to come clean and acceptance with his own sexuality

    Coming from a good background, good profession .. everything is going well for Otto Fong

    But he risked it all for a clause.

    The clause is gain social acceptance about his sexuality
    and not be looked down by others.

    How many of us will risk everything we have to fight for a greater clause?
    Not many i would say.

    Otto Fong had made his mark on history by doing just that.

  136. Jgcc133 said

    Dear Mr Fong,

    Well-said letter. I have learnt many things myself.

    I know it has been a tough decision as to whether to take the risk of ostracizing, but at look – you’ve cleared the boulder in your heart! It IS not good to keep secrets to yourself.

    If anyone should fire you or avoid you, it would be because of the dark patch in their own class. Being your student (I currently still am), I feel that you’ve been a wonderful teacher. With this letter in place, it seems like the complete building block for a model teacher.

    We often do not have choices in our daily life and when we are made out to be different from the crowd, the crowd learns to respond by looking from you at a very different angle.

    We may tell our peers and juniors to be this and this or this and that, but what is the use of that if we do not do it ourselves?!?!

    I don’t think anyone should be telling you to take this letter down. Forcing someone to do it is as bad as marginalizing people. They’re saying,”you should be what you are and so don’t ever try to step out of that tiny circle we’ve drawn out for you. If you’re given this tag (the common perception and stereotyping), then be proud of it whatever it is, and hold it up high.” However good the reason may be, this is what it is.

    I know this sounds very repulsive of the fact that people are pushed back into their closets. I am saying this once and for all. This will always have oncoming support from whoever out there, and will always receive criticisms on the morals and the moral values this action promotes.

    Note to general public
    Role modelling should be the way. We should lead by example and not be shy to admit who we are, or what we are. We are Homo Sapiens, sentient creatures capable of wisdom. DO NOT OSTRACIZE HOMOSEXUALS. IT’S AS BAD AS RACISM.

    It is also wrong to term such people as gay or what. Homosexual is only alright if you do not call yourself straight. After all, we’re all fellow human beings.

    I hope this message has inspired you to rally against ostracizing homosexuals.

    BE REAL. BE TRUE TO YOURSELF. DON’T BE AFRAID. BE YOURSELF.

    Regards to all Earthlings,
    Jonathan Chow of class 2H, RI 2007.

  137. […] 14th, 2007 For all you homophobes out there who read my blog. Posted by robyn Filed in […]

  138. disneyanime91 said

    Dear Sir,

    Since I came into contact with you in Sec 3, I have never doubted your ability to teach. Even though you never taught me before, the simple gestures you gave to me while mentoring me in cartooning were more than enough to convince me. No matter your sexual orientation, I will always support you and respect you as a great teacher!

    And to everyone else, being gay is not wrong. I feel that homosexuals are just like any other human, it is their choice, and who are we to deny them their rights? One should not be discriminated against because of his/her sexual orientation, it is, after all, moral courage and uprightness that defines a person.

    Mr Fong, thank you very much for all the things you have done for me!

    CGoh

  139. yj said

    Since when did God love homosexuals? The wave of “empathy”, or even sympathy i see here is simply too hypocritical. This man here is emphasizing the fact that he’s being true to himself, and comments given here opposes this outrightly, and seems to be ridiculous to such an extent that i see it as a mockery rather than an encouragement to him. Ask yourself some questions before you post sweet sounding comments like ” God loves you” or “i support you”. What if your son turns out to be gay? Will you tell him the same thing that you’re telling Mr Fong right here?

    I’m not trying to ostracize homosexuals. The truth is the society is not ready to accept them as healthy and normal individuals. Voice your views truthfully, and responsibly, or it might create a facade for homosexuals in Singapore that the majority of the population condones homosexuality. Meanwhile, if I’m in Mr Fong’s position now, I’ll be more worried about the government’s action against me than protecting my sexuality.

    Peace

  140. chris chin said

    My son is being taught by you. I used to be a person that really disliked guys and felt that they were not normal.

    However, as i grow up, i found that the prejuiced was all mine. I applaud your courage, I am proud of you as my son’s teacher.
    I think you have a lot to teach and impart.

    chrisc

  141. Victor said

    Hi Mr Fong,

    I am from Raffles and is Secondary 3 this year. It was certainly a brave confession from you, however I believe we as students of RI will continue to see you as a kind and caring teacher. Looking back last year when i was Secondary 2, you have published self-drawn comics which looked great and sold really well. Additionally, despite the fact that RI has an extremely and i stress, and extremely hectic schedule, you have never failed to show kindness and compassion on us students. Although I wasnt taught by you, i saw how you joked with your classes and your care and concern for not only your pupils, but every student in Raffles.

    I have believed and experienced since Secondary 1, that RI teachers are the best. No, they do not only go RI just to get a high paying job. Treat others as you would like to be treated. This is a sentence which I live my life by, and we the students from RI will definitely repay your care and concern. Gay? I would like to chide people who resist gays. In Singapore, what we have been taught and reminded over and over again, is to respect one another, regardless of race and everything else. Therefore, I find debates about gay rights, gay marriages etc. really contradicting to what our teachers and parents preach to us. There is nothing wrong in being gay, and whats most important is to face it.

    In conclusion, I hope you would come up with more brilliant works of art and continue to stay strong, stay happy, ignore negative comments about your sexual preference and most importantly, continue to work in RI to carry on the league of excellent teachers we have had in the many years since RI was founded. Auspicium melioris aevi. =)

  142. anti gay said

    I dont have an extreme aversion towards gays, but the downright perverse and disgusting form of sex(sodomy/anal sex) that they do absolutely disgusts me. I rank it THE most disgusting act among with gay paedophilia and necrophilia and beastiality (farm sex). Can you imagine the filth and the pain and the diseases transmitted when the penis is inserted into the anus? It is not only UNNATURAL, it is UTTERLY REVOLTING!!!

    *Comments edited by moderator for irrelevance.

  143. Dear Otto,

    It’s great that you can be honest with yourself and the world. You have nothing to be ashamed about. It’s no use suppressing your true self, when you know it is emotionally damaging. Live your life to the fullest =) and don’t think too much about what others think!

  144. Steven said

    oh dear, here comes the kids.

  145. to anti gay said

    Dear Anti Gay.

    what about oral sex. Is that ok in your books?

    Or is that sinful cos some sperm are wasted instead of fertilising healthy eggs?

    Thanks.

    Anyway, I think this is a great educational site and should be made compulsory reading for all secondary school students. It might prevent a future hitler fascist Leegime.

  146. Ted said

    Dear Otto,

    I salute you for stepping out of the closet. You taught the world about true courage and honesty which is the essence of a human being in the finest.

    Christians claim that they “love your neighbors as yourself” and want to build church without walls. However their actions are a far cry from their words when they judge gays and are determine to exclude them from the society. Instead of promoting love and tolerance, they propagate hatred and bigotry in the name of Jesus to persecute this minority who are already marginalized by society. “Hate the sin but not the sinner”. Did the 10 Commandments, any prophets or Jesus Himself condemn gays? Not a single word mentioned. Rather Jesus healed the servant (or call boy) of the gay centurion. Like how they had misused the bible to make women 2nd class citizens, to promote racial segregation, to justify slavery, to reject Gandhi at doorsteps of church, to condemn Galileo and his “earth is flat” theory etc in the past, history repeats itself and now the target is on gays. They quote scriptures from Old Testament without knowing they are breaking half of the other laws meant for Jewish society in Leviticus or quote scriptures from the New Testament being ignorant that the word “homosexual” only appeared in late 19th century. Their so called “love for sinners” is shown by forcing homosexuals to convert their sexuality which usually ends up in depression and suicidal thoughts or to live a life of shame and lies thinking one is “healed”. Is that what the blood which Jesus died on the cross for? Isn’t it to reconcile rather than to discriminate?

    Religion aside, the society shows prejudice against homosexuals mainly because of the government and the main stream media. Instead of police catching thieves they ended up catching gays who went jogging together. Gays are usually generalized with pedophile, Aids and promiscuity but the truth is that most of them are just normal people you see in the streets who just desire to be accepted by society. Is straight marriages ever so perfect too with the ever increasing divorce, pre marital sex, adultery, youth pregnancy and abortion rates? Many in this forum says gay sex is disgusting and abnormal. This is because mainstream media never shows that same sex activities are common in NATURE. From majestic lions to beautiful dolphins to cute penguins, same sex activities are as natural as heterosexual mating in the animal kingdom. In the scientific aspects, homosexuality is no longer seen as a “mental disorder” which needs treatment but a possibility of genetic variation.

    Being human is to see the people around you as humans too.

  147. Gerry Lee said

    Way to go Otto. Your letter is very well-written. I agree it’s a small minority of the religious who are the vocal ones who seek to sow distrust and hate by scaring the majority esp. parents about how societal values would be compromised if Gay rights were recognized by the government. Some of their viewpoints are so ludicrous that it would be a laugh, except the opinions expressed are so bigoted that its actually sad.

    I salute you for your letter that was written with so much love…we need more of that now…when there is so much hate being expressed in the world..

  148. tim said

    Mr Fong,

    For your courage and guts, you have my respect.

    What gay men and women can do most in support of their cause is not by arguing louder or harder, but just by the simple act of honesty.

    There can never be a wrong time to speak truth to power.

    An old boy (’02)

  149. not anti church said

    please see this.

    Hold on to your views first please. Not all are the same….

    http://www.forthebibletellsmeso.org

  150. fey said

    It’s a brilliant letter, Otto.

    The citizens are controlled by fear. The goverment and religions are acheiving what they want through control by fear. The fear of being ostracised, an outcast, being pursued by the government, and going to hell 🙂 that is what keeping Singaporeans under-cover and having a mindset that agreeing with the government will keep them well. Can we say.. Dogma?

    I salute your bravery to stand up (and wake up from among the mass of fear-controlled citizens) for yourself and good luck in your future.

    Best Regards,
    Fey

  151. LifesLikeThat said

    This guy says it all for me. Why can’t we just be open-minded about this and have a national dialogue? Isn’t that what “education” is suppose to be? Why are RI and MOE covering it up so quickly? Why not use this as an opportunity to educate our young, especially our young from our top schools who might go on and become our national leaders?

    Education is not and should not be limited to textbooks.

  152. t r u l y s i n g a p o r e said

    sieteocho,

    the stance has always been that society can’t accept it. whether they feel it is immoral or are simply uncomfortable about it or don’t like it, the fact remains they can’t accept it. it’s like i don’t like coffee, i cannot explain why i don’t like coffee, but you insist that i explain why i don’t like coffee and if i can’t, you say i’m being irrational. what kind of rational demand are you making?

    furthermore, having been told explicitly that i don’t like coffee, you still insist in shoving it into my face. are you not being unreasonable? despite the fact that i don’t like coffee, i don’t prevent you from drinking it. but why must you insist on shoving coffee into my face?

    everyone has different moral standards. some people can be bought with money, some cannot. but the society as a whole has a general standard that most conform to. you and i may be at extremes but we cannot expect everyone else to be like us.

    if you are saying that the nazis exterminated the homosexuals, then it automatically means that singaporeans are not nazis, because homosexuals are not being exterminated here. on the other hand, you see similarities between the nazis and the proponents of homosexuality. the nazis is a small group that ended up controlling the entire nation. do we also let the will of a small group of homosexuals control the fate of our country?

    so the moral thing for the homosexuals is to not force those who cannot accept their lifestyle to accept their lifestyle.

    so i’ve explained why my stance is not wrong whereas yours is. so bigotry isn’t commited by me but by you rather.

    the similarity between homosexuality and such things as animal sex, drugs and carrying of arms is that they are all frowned upon here. if you say one thing is acceptable but not another, then you are merely contradicting yourself and have no basis for argument.

    don’t say i kao peh, because it really feels like the other way round.

    you insist that those who don’t like to drink coffee are irrational. how rational can you get? you say that if i persist in not liking coffee, people are going to get hurt. how?

    care to show me where i wrote “why does he say that accepting homosexuality is the first step on the slippery slope to moral oblivion?”

    i don’t see many fingers pointing towards RI and MOE. where do you find them? we are already having so much discussion. what makes you think when MOE issues a statement, it is going to lessen the discussion?

    i don’t think you should keep quiet about your sexual orientation. neither do i think you should shout it in our faces.

    if you are really convicted about something, then whatever the world thinks or says will not change that conviction. you do not need approval to do what you want to do. you do not need approval to feel good about who you are. because if you do, then perhaps you aren’t really as convicted as you claim to be.

  153. yowza! said

    sir,

    what you did took a lot of courage,no matter what, you will always be a great teacher
    who will never be forgotten.Gd luck with Sir Fong 3 and all that may follow.

    arun

  154. Russell said

    Mr Fong

    You are a very brave person, a good teacher, a good man, etc…

    Although i spent only 4 days under your care in the Malaysian Montage, you will leave a deep impression with your openess, kindness, humour, and pleasant nature.

    All the best for you, Mr Fong and those that are supporting you or are supported by you,
    Russell(2C,07)

  155. sieteocho said

    If you want to talk about coffee, then of course we can. It’s perfectly alright that you don’t like coffee. But what you are insisting is that people do not drink coffee in public (because it’s offensive), that nobody advertises coffee in public. What you want is for coffee drinkers to either drink them in their own houses or some secret underground chamber.

    Coffee drinkers are just going to drink their coffee in public. They’re not forcing you to drink it.

    And I will think that it is unreasonable.

    Also, I’m not very clear what you mean by “accept their lifestyle”. It is a very vaguely worded concept. Yes you claimed they are treated like human beings. But these coffee drinkers have to drink their coffee secretly and make sure that nobody finds out they are drinking coffee.

    Imagine you couldn’t be seen with your girlfriend in public, and every time you had a date with that girlfriend, you have to arrange a secret place, in case people find out. You call that being treated like a human being?

    But maybe you don’t even know what you mean by “accepting their lifestyle” because you already claimed that you are treating them like human beings.

    If you are merely disgusted at homosexuals, I tell you picking your nose is a disgusting habit but I’ve yet to see laws against that.

    “you can’t legalise homosexuality without also legalising pornography, open nudity and soft drugs. where does it end?” (= accepting homosexuality is the first step on the slippery slope to moral oblivion)

    Also, I’ll put 2 of your statements side by side, without any further comment.

    “the stance has always been that society can’t accept it. whether they feel it is immoral or are simply uncomfortable about it or don’t like it, the fact remains they can’t accept it.”

    “if you are really convicted about something, then whatever the world thinks or says will not change that conviction. ”

    And another 2 of your sentences:

    “you do not need approval to feel good about who you are. because if you do, then perhaps you aren’t really as convinced as you claim to be.”

    “the similarity between homosexuality and such things as animal sex, drugs and carrying of arms is that they are all frowned upon here.” (ie homosexuality is wrong simply because the law says so, or because it has always been wrong all along and not because you are convinced it is wrong.)

    I’ll tell you why all these other things are wrong:
    animal sex: animals get hurt.
    drugs: people get addicted, leading to social problems.
    carrying of arms: people get injured / people might get injured.
    homosexuality: ???? (this is the only thing I cannot explain.)

    Last time in some countries it was considered wrong for white people and black people to use the same toilets, but according to you it has to stay that way otherwise people will start taking illegal drugs and stripping for porn magazines as well.

  156. There will always be people who resist change, because they love sitting in their comfort zone and do not want to see their little enclosed world tossed around by reality.

    Get with the program guys..

  157. perm sec said

    There is only one org in my view that has a very clear and balanced view of what’s really happening.

    BP. There are very clear, straight and level.

    The rest is just very far!

  158. RI student from 1B said

    Yes Ri student, i feel tat way too. I dun understand y a short letter caused u ppl 2 comment on it this way. cant we respect him, even though he is gay (which we dun really believe)?

  159. trulysingapore said

    you demanded explanation on why the public cannot accept homosexuality. some people don’t like coffee and that’s that. do you demand explanation for not liking coffee?

    so the coffee analogy is used to illustrate that – you cannot demand an explanation for individual / societal preferences.

    now, about drinking coffee in public. you certainly can do that. but can you strip in public? can you carry guns? can do do drugs? why is it reasonable to advertise homosexuality but not animal sex, pornography or guns? do we practise double standards?

    i’m always straightforward, accept their lifestyle means accept their homosexual lifestyle.

    you see, they’re not just drinking coffee, they want to do something that is equivalent to animal sex, drugs and guns.

    i don’t see why homosexuals cannot go out on a date to public places. they probably can’t hold hands but they certainly have no problems going out together right?

    you try telling 4 million singaporeans not to be disgusted with homosexuals. if you can, i have nothing else to say. similarly, you try telling 4 million singaporeans to stop nose picking. would they listen to you?

    i feel homosexuality is equivalent to pornography, nudity, drugs and so you allowing for one means allowing for all. so in that sense, it’s a downright plunge rather than a slippery slide down to moral oblivion.

    what is wrong with the following two sentences?

    “the stance has always been that society can’t accept it. whether they feel it is immoral or are simply uncomfortable about it or don’t like it, the fact remains they can’t accept it.”

    “if you are really convicted about something, then whatever the world thinks or says will not change that conviction. ”

    and what is wrong with these two?

    “you do not need approval to feel good about who you are. because if you do, then perhaps you aren’t really as convinced as you claim to be.”

    “the similarity between homosexuality and such things as animal sex, drugs and carrying of arms is that they are all frowned upon here.” (ie homosexuality is wrong simply because the law says so, or because it has always been wrong all along and not because you are convinced it is wrong.)

    you say in animal sex, animals get hurt. how? are they actually in pain? how do you know the animals aren’t enjoying themselves? how do you compare animal sex with chaining animals by the neck or locking them in cages or keeping them in a fish tank?

    yes, drugs and carrying of arms lead to harm but homosexuality when practised in public is like public nudity or pornography. you mentioned that public nudity = behaving like animals so homosexuality = behaving like animals?

    public nudity and public homosexuality are the same in the sense that people find them offensive. when you thrust something offensive into people’s face, you’re wrong in the context of our society today.

    there is a time and place for everything. black and white sharing the same toilets occured some time back. homosexuality’s time may arrive in the future but not now as far as public sentiments go.

    yes, i think what i said makes sense and i will say it again. public nudity is perfectly fine in countries like France. today someone wants homosexuality, tomorrow, someone else may want public nudity. if you do not wish to be denied public homosexuality, you certainly wouldn’t deny public nudity if someone wants it tomorrow. would you?

  160. Xinying said

    MOE and the school keeps stereotyping

    gay teachers as people who would spread their own homosexual beliefs, students as gullible followers of their teachers, and parents as people who would hate for a gay teacher educating their children.

    but why doesn’t anyone initiate a survey for both students and parents, to give evidence that Otto Fong in fact had not attempted to persuade his students to be gay, or to ascertain whether parents really felt that way about a gay teacher whom, as a matter of fact, is teaching the cleverest minds of the generation?

    they are underestimating RI students and parents, man.

    they shouldn’t jump to conclusions, and for that matter, RI students who have expressed their views on Otto’s coming out have all said the same thing – they respect and admire Otto Fong for his courage. Isn’t the response just biting them in their ass?

    MOE and school managements really screw their ideas up sometimes.

  161. random dude said

    hello to everyone on the online citizen!

    Addressing the issue of a male teacher, Otto Fong, publicly declaring himself as a homosexual in society, i would like to an inconsistency with his blog post.

    Otto fong mentioned that he is not a paedophile. I’m sure none of us, straight people (as referred to by otto), will consider ourselves to be paedophiles. but can one really control his sexual urges and tendencies? It is total beyond our conscious control and is imbued into our biological programming. Hence if a gay would be in an all-boys school (RI in this case), he would definitely be attracted to at least one pupil in the school, or worse, in his class. augmenting this problem, some students may have matured faster and hence would look and act more “manly”. Now can we question Otto Fong’s word on his declination of being a paedophile??

  162. Lenox said

    To Random Dude,

    If that is the case, should not all Male teachers be barred from teaching in all girls or mixed school since straight people too have sexual urges and tendencies ?

  163. The dude with ill logic said

    Hi Random Dude,
    Then let’s remove all heterosexual male teachers from all girls school and heterosexual female teachers from all boys schools while we are at it. Since there will always be kids that mature faster, now we won’t want our teachers here to end up like those in some of the other countries who have none professional relationships with their students now, do we?

    According to your implied reasoning, that is something that is innate in everyone and that we should as far as possible try to prevent by pulling people of certain preferences away from their environment, no matter how unreasonable it may seems.

    I believe that there are people out there who value their work and live their lives professionally, I don’t think anyone should look too seriously into this matter. Otto Fong is merely trying to reach out to some of the students that he felt that were left out I supposed.

    And I guess, the supposedly if Otto Fong is a paedophile, why would he then out himself? Doesn’t it seem weird for someone who like that to draw so much attention to himself?

    All I can say is that if he’s a good teacher, and remain professional, who really cares at the end of the day if he’s gay, bi, straight?

  164. scb said

    Does anyone sincerely believes he/she is wiser than another in understanding homosexuality? And honestly tell us, is any enlightened in the Subject matter? For many thousand years, the Problem persists; philosophers, scientists, sociologists and governments tried and are trying to tackle the Issue the best they could but to no consensual conclusion. It’s complex and let’s handle the problem the best it can be handled till an acceptable solution is found. Meanwhile it is not too much to ask the homosexuals to resist publicising themselves.

    As pointed out by many, the Local Authority has hardly being harsh towards homosexual and dare I say, they appear to close one eye if not both. It is also natural to say that none of us are perfect and as such there are deeds and nature that are best kept within ourselves as secrets as private matters. No one can truthfully be ‘opened’ one hundred percent in everything, is there any harm in keeping some personal matters private?

    An issue that one knows very well has no solution with none insight should be dealt with with the next most sensible way and that is do not involve(trouble) others with ones’ personal problem(s) and accept it(problem) with grace; regards.

  165. young parent said

    If my son has undergoes a teenage homosexual phase – and needs counselling, personally I would prefer that he sees a straight counsellor / teacher than an outed teacher. I would hope that it is a phase that can be resolved and worked out such that he would be part of the heterosexual majority. I would not feel comfortable that he sees an outed homosexual teacher. Again, if my son has suicidal tendencies due to his homosexual tendencies, then I would wish that he sees Mr Fong. Therein lies my personal conflict on this issue. Would an outed homosexual persuade him more strongly not to let go of that probably temporary phase and cling on to it at whatever cost? Call Pride ? I do not wish to think that I am a homophobe, but I probably am….

  166. Lenox said

    Dear Young Parent,

    Being gay really isn’t a choice. You can have the best of environments for your child to grow up straight but you could never stop him if he is born gay. I can see that your child will never be ‘straight’ with you and talk to you if you hold such thoughts. That is to say, he will forever be a ‘closet’ in your eyes and you probabaly will never know it.

  167. O rly? said

    If the simple expediency of being counselled by a heterosexual rather than a homosexual one would precipitate a vicissitude towards heterosexuality, away from the “phase”, given standard milieux that tend to encourage the suppression of homosexuality, don’t you think that all gays would have turned straight by now?

  168. haiz said

    looks like people do make LOTS, and i mean LOTS of hasty sweeping generalised comments, and w/o much convincing reasoning.

    please…please if you have any strong opinions please use some level of PROPER reasoning. it does not help make the discussion fruitful and encouraging. it takes quite some courage to come out.

    but he still has to be careful of potential lashbacks from extremist parts of society.

    good luck to him

  169. OBSERVER said

    SERIOUSLY.
    CAN U ALL STOP IT
    CAN U GUYS LEAVE HIM ALONE
    HOW WOULD U FEEL IF U WERE HIM?
    WITH SO MANY PEOPLE TALKING ALL THIS CRAP ABOUT HIM

    PLEASE

    LEAVE HIM ALONE

  170. sieteocho said

    Well I am not accepting of your homophobic lifestyle. I think it is based on lies and hatred, that there is something inherently immoral about it. If we allow homophobia to carry on, we’ll have to give way on sexism, racism, and it will be a slippery slope down to moral oblivion.

    We will probably treat you homophobes like human beings, but it is not right to voice out your aversion towards gays. You will just have to voice it out in private, or maybe talk it out amongst yourself, but it will be criminalised. Actually we won’t use the law but I guess it will have to stay criminalised because many people out there have an aversion to homophobia.

    Just remember, we are not sending you to be exterminated. So we are not not treating you like human beings.

    You say it is not alright for gay men to hold hands in public. But it is OK for a man and a woman to hold hands in public? Are they behaving like animals when they hold hands?

    You can’t teach people not to be disgusted at homosexuals? But we can teach people not to be disgusted at people of other races even though their skin colour is, like, so dark. We can teach people not to be disgusted at women even though they, like, can’t pee standing up.

    Animal sex is also immoral because it can’t lead to a reciprocal relationship. There is no emotional commitment involved. You can’t form a family with animal sex.

    I already said that there are 2 purposes of sex: procreation and emotional commitment. Animal sex does neither. At least with homosexuality there is emotional commitment. With nudity and promiscuity, there is no emotional commitment, and if there is procreation involved it becomes a problem. That is why it is animal behaviour.

    As for whether the animal you are having sex with enjoys it, I recommend you an experiment: pick a random girl from the street, have sex with her without asking her first, and see what happens after that.

    You think that since it’s OK to lock up animals it’s OK to have sex with them? I thought you were the one who had a moral aversion to perverted behaviour, how could you say such things? So let’s say I bump into a person, and say sorry, and he say’s it’s alright. Should I proceed to beat the crap out of him and break his legs because he says “it’s all right”?

    Some people say that the problem of homosexuality has not been solved. This is not true. The Greeks were perfectly accepting of homosexuality and they had cultural standards which until today are considered equal if not superior to ours. They taught that homosexuality between men is superior to relationships between men and women. (And if you think that only the ancient Greeks practiced it, it was also very widespread in ancient Japan.)

    Some people may say that homosexuals actively encourage people to be homosexuals. If that is true then why is a heterosexual like me speaking up for homosexuals?

    Some people think that we should leave Otto Fong alone. First of all some of us are not talking about him per se, since we are arguing about homosexuality. Second I think he brought up the subject in part to stimulate debate, so here we are.

    Some people get sidetracked into arguing about whether homosexuals “can’t help it” or “choose” it. That is besides the point. The point is that there is nothing wrong with homosexuality and therefore there is no need to “convert” people back.

  171. esg said

    Young Parent,

    Sorry to have to say this, but yeah, you sound pretty homophobic. Your comment shows that you think that there is something wrong with homosexuality in itself. If your son undergoes a teenage homosexual phase, then let him work through it himself. Let him figure out his own sexuality, let him realize for himself whether or not he’s straight or gay. If he was gay to start with, then no amount of counselling by a straight teacher will make him straight; all it will do is prove to him that he has to keep an aspect of himself hidden so that the rest of the world can be happy. Which, I think, is a very unhealthy situation for any teenager to be in. If he’s straight, then, well. You don’t have to worry, do you? It’ll pass in time, with or without encouragement from gay teachers.

    Random Dude,

    As a matter of fact, YES, one really can control his/her sexual urges and tendencies. You don’t go out and have sex with every attractive woman on the street, do you? So that’s that.

    Trulysingapore,

    You can dislike homosexuality if you want. That’s your opinion. You don’t get to force your opinions on others. That’s just wrong.

    Your argument equating homosexuality to bestiality, pornography and guns–we call that a slippery slope fallacy, not to mention a really bad analogy. Bestiality is wrong because the animals are incapable of giving consent–which a gay adult is able to do. Pornography…I’m actually not sure why pornography is wrong. Let’s say that pornography is wrong because it promotes gender stereotypes and lewdness. Homosexuals don’t promote their lifestyle–they don’t try to make straight people gay, which is impossible anyway–they just want homosexuality to be accepted. And we don’t allow guns because guns hurt people. Two gay men having sex doesn’t hurt anybody else. So.

    They can’t go out on a date to public places like heterosexual couples can. Why should they be forbidden to hold hands? Why should they not be allowed to kiss? In that sense, they don’t have the rights that straight people do.

    And yes, we are trying to tell 4 million Singaporeans not to be disgusted with homosexuals. We’re going to keep trying until it works. See Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.

    Homosexuality in public is *not* like public nudity or porn. How the hell did you come up with that? It’s not as if they’ll go out and have sex on the street.

    The only reason black and white share toilets now is because people stood up and yelled about it, like we’re doing now. To say that homosexuality’s time isn’t now–is bullshit. There is no right time except now. And at any rate, opinions should not be made because of emotions, they should have a logical basis. Show me one solid argument w/re homosexuality being bad. Go on.

  172. ponder said

    >>>Esg: Bestiality is wrong because the animals are incapable of giving consent–which a gay adult is able to do.<<<

    Ponder: You reasoned that sex with animals is wrong because they are incapable of giving consent. You are implying that if you can somehow come up with a way of getting consent from an animal, then “hey let’s do it”.

    I truly believe that we human beings have within us a sense of morality and a sense of right and wrong. Not just some logical and well reasoned lines of thoughts to justify just about anything.

    Come on, do you even need logical arguments and reasoning with regard to the idea of having sex with animals ? Can’t you feel within you that it is wrong to have sex with an animal with or without it’s consent ?

  173. trulysingapore said

    you can don’t accept my homophobic lifestyle. it doesn’t in any way inhibit my lifestyle. your heart can be filled with lies, hatred and vehemence. it would only consume you. this is not about a decision that needs to be made today by everyone. it is something that has to be evolved to gain acceptance.

    we are not voicing our aversion to you gays. we’re only saying behave yourself in a manner consistent with the culture of our society. no one is saying our culture is right or wrong. it happens to be the way we have always been for centuries. who do you think we are to change that culture overnight? the only person who can do that are dictators like Hitler.

    in a way my voicing out is simply in response to your outburst. to put you in your proper place. to make you realise, there are 4 million other people, not just you and me.

    you jolly well know that this discussion will not lead to criminalisation and probably won’t lead to conclusion. it stays criminalised because that is how our culture is.

    just think about it. arabian ladies have to be fully covered up. arabian people cannot hold hands in public, cannot kiss in public. they cannot even go shopping together but must be separated as if they were going to toilet. are you going to barge in and say they’re phobic this and phobic that? it’s their culture and that’s that. it’s not for us to say anything. so similarly, we have a culture here that the majority subsribes to. respect that, if you have any self respect.

    of course homosexuals can hold hands, but be prepared to be stared at.

    race discrimination has improved but hasn’t as yet been eradicated despite having evolved through centuries. you want instant change to attitudes towards homosexuality? i never knew people were ever disgusted with women who can’t pee standing up. that’s something new to me.

    paid homosex with bangras is immoral because there is no emotional commitment involved? you can form a family with your nightly visits to little india?

    how do you know all homosexuality sex comes with emotional commitment? there are also homosexuals who pay banghras to bang their backside right? where is the emotional commitment then? so homosexuals who pay banghras for sex are exhibiting animal behaviour?

    if its a guy doing it to a bitch or a girl, yes, you can have sex without consent because you can overpower the bitch or the girl. but what if it’s the other way round? can a lady have sex with a dog without its willing participation? kind of difficult isn’t it?

    you don’t understand my point about chaining animals and animal sex. so i shall explain to you more simply. essentially, they’re both wrong. yet animal sex is readily recognised to be immoral but nobody thinks there’s anything wrong with chaining dogs. so you see, your argument that animal sex is immoral simply because it is animal abuse doesn’t stand. because chaining of dogs is also animal abusive but not considered immoral in our society.

    in other words, morality isn’t something you can define like a set of rules. the law is a set of rules but morality is a set of do’s and dont’s that has evolved over centuries and come to be accepted by our society. so when you look at morality of homosexuality, you should look at how it is being perceived by society, not you or me.

    the greeks essentially started the hellenistic civilisation. it is a great civilisation no doubt but it is debatable if it is greater than the other civilisations that graced this planet. in any case, we are not living in greece or any other society derived from it. our civilisation is fundamentally asian but not japanese.

    we can speak up for what we feel is right. but i suppose there comes a point when there’s no point arguing until the cow comes home. no matter what, we’d be of the same opinion still.

    Otto Fong comes into the picture when it comes to his role in shaping our future generation. do we allow him to inculcate his personal views or would we rather inculcate a view that is more acceptable to society? other than that, yes, it is essentially about homosexuality.

    you think there is nothing wrong with homosexuality but most people think homosexuality is wrong. we can’t change you and you can’t change us.

  174. trulysingapore said

    esg,

    you have gotten it wrong, it is you proponents of homsexuality who is forcing your opinions on the rest. my opinion is merely a response to your outbursts. you look at the sequence of events and you should know. so remember friend, you can’t point a finger at me and say i’m wrong when you are in fact wrong in the first place.

    i don’t call it slippery slope, not to mention fallacy. if it’s a bad analogy, we would not be discussing it endlessly would we?

    have you seen a girl perform sex with a dog? i believe it is the dog that is actually ‘going through the motions’ if you know what i mean. morality tells us that animals are incapable of giving consent. but a dog can actually do it with gusto.

    so it is not because of consent or lack thereof like someone mentioned that is the reason why it is immoral. it is simply immoral by societal standards – our society that is.

    why should lewdness be more wrong than homosexuality? the arabs are known to be homosexual (at least they sodomised lawrence of arabia) but their women can’t even show one inch of skin. so whether lewd is wrong or homosexuality is wrong depends on the society. in the context of our society today, they’re both wrong.

    What more acceptance do homosexuals want? They can do whatever they want in bed right?

    in switzerland, all males have guns at home. it is because the citizens are matured enough that they are entrusted with guns. in that sense, you can say that the swiss are even more ‘infront’ then you homosexuals. but just because you are ‘behind’ so you deny their right (duty) to hold guns? so you see, holding guns doesn’t necessarily hurt and can in fact be a national obligation. so at the end of the day, the basis for deciding what is right or wrong is still to look at the culture. we’re not ready for guns, neither are we ready for homosexuality.

    why is it two gay men having ses doesn’t hurt anyone? because they’re doing it at home or in a hotel right?

    of course you can hold hands and kiss, but don’t be surprised if people stare. that’s the price to pay for being at the ‘forefront’.

    the only reason why ghandi and Martin luther king succeeded is because people supported them. without the support of the rest of the 4 million singaporeans, you can shout all you want and still fall on deaf ears.

    homosexuality in public is like public nudity or porn. you cannot accept that but that’s how the general populace perceives it.

    even until today, racism against blacks still exist. yes we have come a long way since black / white toilets but how long did that take? you want instant acceptance to homosexuality? yes, people stood up against black / white toilets but at the end of the day, the population had to agree in order for it to be accepted. yes, you are fighting now but you are not gaining acceptance. that is the difference.

    i think the bullshit is yours lah, the only reason why you think the time is now is because you want it, as simple as that. the reason why i think the time is not now is not just because i don’t want it. more importantly, 4 million other people also don’t want it.

    i’ve illustrated before and i shall illustrate again by asking the same question back. show me one logical reason why everyone should like coffee.

  175. young parent said

    Thanks everyone for their comments. I talked to my homosexual friend – he says that if the teacher / counsellor is really good, it would not matter if he is homosexual or hetero. And I respect him and thank him for reminding me about that!! Thanks everyone.

  176. Mitch said

    To trulysingapore:

    Your writing seems well thought of and civic.

    You stated:
    ‘i did not say homosexuality is wrong. i am only saying that our society doesn’t accept homosexuality as yet. so it is wrong to force society to accept homosexuality just because a small minority says so. the homosexual isn’t denied of his rights, so there is no wrong done to them.’

    Just imagine in the 40’s, a White was eduacating the Black that there was nothing wrong for being Black but the society had not accepted them to had equal right. They could voice their concern and even unhappiness once in a while but not too often caused it will disturb the peace of the society (or White, probably). And please not forced down their throat, they were not really for it. Anyway, they have food though could not sat with the White, still work though as workers and servants, still could take bus though not sat with the White.

    Cant imagine what the Black are noe if they adopted this advice.

    I understand that the society might not really to accept homosexuality and change dont come overnight. If we dont start pressing for it, it will never come. Since you ‘did not say homosexuality is wrong’, then sit still and wintess the movement and change. It might take years but the change had already started some times back.

  177. […] September 19, 2007 AN OPEN LETTER FROM OTTO FONG Posted by shishoi under Uncategorized   (copied from theonlinecitizen) […]

  178. truly singapore said

    hello Mitch,

    while the proponents of homosexuality like to compare their ‘plight’ with those of the blacks, they need to seriously consider the appropriateness of that comparison.

    you mentioned the blacks couldn’t eat with the whites. they could not sit with the whites on the bus.

    are homosexuals prohibited from eating with non-homosexuals? are they prohibited from sitting with non-homosexuals on public buses?

    none of the unfairness the blacks were dealt with are being subjected to by the homosexuals.

    so while it was good that the blacks stood up for eating and seats, what exactly are the homosexuals standing up for? what exactly is it they don’t have that non-homosexuals have?

    so while you keep pressing on, don’t press for things that you already have.

    it is not that i’m sitting silently witnessing injustice. there is no injustice.

  179. FzI said

    “so while it was good that the blacks stood up for eating and seats, what exactly are the homosexuals standing up for? what exactly is it they don’t have that non-homosexuals have?”

    Urm… sexual desires for the opposite gender…?

  180. Lenox said

    Truly Singapore,

    Just by reading the response from this forum, who do you suppose are the majority arguments ?
    For or against ?

  181. truly singapore said

    Hello Lenox, the answer to your question can be inferred from answers to the following questions:

    How many people do you think engage in discussions on internet forums? What percentage of the population do they form?

    Homosexual proponents are mostly young and ‘infront’. The majority of the older generation are neither ‘infront’ nor engage in online forums. So what percentage of them do you think are in favour of homosexuality? Even the generation in their 30s and 40s are generally conservative too.

  182. Lenox said

    Truly Singapore,

    For your info, I am in my forties.
    So, how do you perceive that forumers here made up of mostly gays here since most are supportive ?

  183. […] sure you’ve heard about Otto Fong. We talk about the case of Otto Fong this week, how it may affect/change the society views towards […]

  184. esg said

    Ponder,

    Yes. If the animal consents, then yes. What the hell is wrong with interspecies sex? If aliens came to Earth one day, and they were sentient, and a relationship developed between a human and an alien, you going to say that they shouldn’t have sex too?

    Actually? I don’t see that much wrong with having sex with an animal, assuming you’re not hurting it. But I don’t want to get into that argument, because for crying out loud homosexuality isn’t like bestiality, or paedophilia. So.

    The problem with innate senses of morality is that people have different ideas of what’s wrong. White supremacists innately feel that blacks are evil, that Chinks are cunning, and that the Aryan race is superior and should wipe out all other races. Misogynists innately feel that women are inferior and that it’s just and correct for them to obey men. Are you going to say that *they’re* right, too, because that’s their sense of morality? Surely not. Logic is necessary, in the end, to determine standards of behaviour to which we *all* can conform. That’s how living in communities works.

    So no, I don’t go by my gut feeling. Not when gut feelings result in alienation of other people and blind hatred and ostracism and genocide. Not when I know where “feeling within me that something is wrong” leads.

    Trulysingapore,

    Yeah? The difference between us is that my opinions don’t actually hurt anybody. This homophobia, this idea that homosexuality is wrong, on the other hand, has royally screwed up many homosexual people’s lives. They don’t deserve to be forced to repress themselves because they’re different. Primum non nocere–*first do no harm*. You can think it’s wrong all you like. That’s fine. You just don’t get to tell them to stop doing it, or to shut up about it.

    There is no endless discussion. It’s just that people keep bringing up the same ridiculous fallacy again and again. But look, I’ll be fair–explain to me how homosexuality is like any of those three things. I’ll listen, and then see.

    Yes, I have. Yes, the animals look like they’re enjoying it.

    You *can’t* say that because something is immoral by societal standards, it shouldn’t be challenged. You think standards change by themselves? You think racial segregation ended magically, by itself? No, it changed because black people got up and started fighting for equal treatment, in a society that *wasn’t prepared for it*. You think that was wrong?

    To start with, I don’t agree with the Muslim idea of how woman should dress, either. But it’s their religion, not mine, and any change has to come from one of them. Not from me, an outsider. This issue with homosexuality, on the other hand, concerns all of our society–a society I’m part of. This I can argue about.

    And look, I would argue that lewdness in and of itself isn’t wrong. It’s inappropriate when shown to minors, let’s say, because it engenders wrong and possibly destructive concepts of sex within them, e.g. any man is entitled to sleep with any woman he wants (I’m not making that up, people think that way). It is, perhaps, inappropriate in public areas, because sex is usually (emphasis on “usually”) a private thing. But it’s not particularly harmful, and it’s not wrong.

    NO. THEY CAN’T. Under Singapore law, sodomy is still illegal. LKY says it’ll change soon, but it hasn’t changed yet. And what do they want? They want the privileges that every other heterosexual person enjoys. They want acceptance, which means that regardless of what you think of their behaviour, you don’t go and hound them about it. They want to be able to marry each other, so they can have the legal privileges a spouse has. Homosexual couples now don’t have visitation rights in hospital, they can’t have a shared bank account, one spouse doesn’t get financial benefits when his/her partner dies, I COULD GO ON for a very long time. They want all the little things that you and I and other straight people all take for granted. You say they’re not prohibited from eating with heterosexuals. Not by law, sure, but by people’s opinions, they are. Many straight people wouldn’t sit with homosexuals. Some employers don’t employ homosexual people, regardless of their qualifications. That counts as discrimination–it’s not the exact same kind that black people faced, but it’s discrimination all the same.

    They don’t hurt anyone because, yes, they do it in private, and also because whatever they do with their bodies is their own damn business.

    Staring’s okay. Unfortunately, people often *do more than stare*. They heckle, they verbally abuse.

    …So if no one else supports you, you don’t stand up for it? You don’t *try*? That makes me sick.

    Likewise–so if they perceive it in a particular way, I shouldn’t try to change it? Sorry. I don’t work that way.

    No, not instant acceptance. Bit by bit is okay. But none of its proponents are shutting up until we’ve made it all the way. Acceptance doesn’t come free, you have to fight for it. So we will.

    No, I don’t *believe* in right or wrong times for things to change. Homosexuals don’t get the respect that heterosexuals do? Then that should change. Now. It’s not a matter of it being the right time or wrong time, it’s a matter of fixing this *problem* ASAP. Oh, and not all 4 million people are in agreement with you.

    You don’t have to like coffee; you don’t have to like homosexuality. But they deserve the same privileges that straight people get, and they deserve the same respect. If you drink coffee, you don’t discriminate against tea-drinkers, do you?

    You know, I’m not even sure where the argument is going. I don’t want to make you think that homosexuality is right. You can *keep* your current opinions on that. I just want homosexuals to be able to talk freely about who they are, as Mr Fong did, and for them to be able to act according to their nature without fear of repercussions. Basically, if I’m arguing about anything, it’s to get you to not oppose them. But you can think they’re wrong. That’s fine.

    Saying that it’s wrong to get society to accept them, however, that I disagree with. Is that what you’re trying to say?

    And for the record? I’m a straight 18-year-old female. Just so you know.

  185. ponder said

    >>>Esg: Yes. If the animal consents, then yes. What the hell is wrong with interspecies sex? If aliens came to Earth one day, and they were sentient, and a relationship developed between a human and an alien, you going to say that they shouldn’t have sex too?

    Actually? I don’t see that much wrong with having sex with an animal, assuming you’re not hurting it.

    And for the record? I’m a straight 18-year-old female. Just so you know.<<<

    To hear these from a young lady like you really saddens me ……. my only wish is that these thoughts are merely philosophical and conceptual, and not something which you would really incorporate into your life. Keep walking straight, else you may have to walk with a limp the rest of your life (didn’t mean to be a pun, but anyways).

  186. esg said

    Ponder,

    What, so if I were older and male, you wouldn’t care? What kind of logic is that?

    And yes, they’re philosophical. I don’t swing that way. But if someone else were to do it, hey, I have no objections.

  187. Mitch said

    Hi trulysingapore:

    “while the proponents of homosexuality like to compare their ‘plight’ with those of the blacks, they need to seriously consider the appropriateness of that comparison.

    none of the unfairness the blacks were dealt with are being subjected to by the homosexuals.”

    Let say:
    What if a black man and a white woman were in love then?

    I see more commons in them and homosexual couple, hopefully you do.

    They CAN’T let the world know they were/are in love.
    They CAN’T be married.
    They CAN ONLY do all things in private.
    They AIN’T accepted socially.
    Their togetherness DISGUSTED the shit out of the millions.
    Of course, they still can be in love, but DONT ever be found out. Otherwise, they might be force to leave their jobs, throw out by their families, look down by their friends (for the Black then, he might even be killed).

    “what exactly are the homosexuals standing up for? what exactly is it they don’t have that non-homosexuals have?”

    What do you think they, Black & White couple, wanted?

  188. Ng Kok Lim said

    Hello Lennox, how many in their forties support homosexuality?

    are you representative of those in forties?

    NTU survey shows that older folks are less inclined to accept homosexuality. i’m not saying 40+ is old. i’m only saying that 40+ is older than 20+.

    so how do you expect anyone, you or me, to conclude society’s preference on the views of a small number who posted here?

  189. truly singapore said

    ESG,

    how exactly have my opinions hurt anyone? how has it screwed up the lives of homosexuals? you mean just because the public disapproves, the homosexuals don’t do it? they still do it regardless of what others say right? how are they being repressed?

    ‘first do no harm’ applies to homosexuals too. in a way, they’re causing unecessary disturbance to society. i have never once asked them to stop doing it have i? and i also didn’t ask them to shut up. i merely said that we can discuss but after a while when the stance is made clear and you still won’t budge, then probably you can’t take no for an answer instead.

    there is endless discussion because our legitimate concerns are deemed fallacies by you yet you insist that your concerns aren’t fallacies.

    homosexuality is the same as animal sex, guns, porno and nudism in the sense that it is against public sentiments. as simple as that.

    yes you can challenge the moral standards of society. but at the end of the day, having challenged and firmly rebuffed, are you going to keep challenging and challenging? you’re wasting everyone’s time right? because in the natural course of things, what you want will naturally come given time because society evolves. the only way you get society to change instantaneously is through a dictator or through war. is that what you want?

    don’t you realise there were actual injustices the blacks were subjected which is why they were being supported by the people? what injustices are the homosexuals being subjected to? what exactly is it that they don’t have that the rest have? it is not wrong to fight for injustices. problem is there is no injustice.

    suppose you were born in arabia and you are required to be wrapped up all the time? what are you going to do about it? what can you do about it?

    so while you think homosexuality concerns our society, nudity also concerns our society but isn’t an issue simply no one has yet come out to strongly demand for nudism.

    why is lewdness wrong? the french sunbathes in the nude in front of children and don’t consider it wrong. why should lewdness be wrong yet homosexuality is right?

    exactly, if sex is a private thing, then homo or heterosexuality are both private things and should be kept private.

    are you saying that homosexuals are not sodomising one another because the law says no? you must be kidding me. name me one homosexual who doesn’t practise it because the law says no.

    you are confusing two things, homosexuality and marriage. homosexuality is an individual’s sexual tendencies whereas marriage is a social institution built upon social norms. all the things you mentioned like shared bank account and visitation rights are associated with marriage which in the context of our society is between one man and one woman. if you think that restricting to this format is wrong and we should also have marriage between a man and another man or a woman and another woman, then are you prepared to accept that we can have even wider combinations like one man with four women or one woman with four men or four men with four women or many men with many women? even LKY once mooted that we should have polygamy and some joker actually wrote to the press to suggest men should be allowed to marry their maid while keeping their wife.

    so who is right and who is wrong? answer is as i’ve said so many times, there is no right or wrong. right or wrong is a function of time and in our time the only marriage institution that is accepted is between man and woman. it may evolve still but as of now, it is still man and woman.

    you say that people don’t sit with heterosexuals but how do i believe you when i don’t see it happening or reported anywhere? not even in onlinecitizen.

    are you required to declare you are a homosexual during employement interview? if not, what’s the fuss with employers not employing homosexuals? so i still don’t see discrimination like you described them.

    but they are being accepted and no one hounds them. have you ever heard any case of homosexuals being hounded here? i have not.

    yes they do it at home and it is their damn own business. in that case why publicise or advocate to the rest of the world?

    come on, you’re telling me people heckle and verbally abuse. i think that only happens in the western societies. we are a mild mannered lot … except for road rages perhaps.

    yes you can stand up but do you insist your way even though it affects others and they have clearly said no? does it not make you sick when one person forces ten others to abide by her wishes? that’s barbarism isn’t it?

    why do you insist on changing core values of others? it is core and dear to them. are you not committing what you claim that non-homosexuals are committing, denying their rights?

    but from the amount of fierce shouting we are getting, it doesn’t seem like bit by bit is it? i suppose your mouth is yours and no one can or should shut you up. but you have asked, and we have said no, you ask again, we say no again, you ask again and we say no again … how long you want to keep this up? 10 years ago, we were less accepting, 10 years later there are more people like you who are accepting. we are evolving. it is a matter or time. why fight against the forces of our time? why not ride along with the passage of time?

    just because you say there is no right or wrong time doesn’t mean the society thinks likewise. just because you say we should change now doesn’t mean 4 million people say likewise. ok, maybe not 4 million people but based on findings, probably 3 million at least?

    in what ways are homosexuals deprived of the same privileges or respect as straight people? i don’t discriminate against tea drinkers, neither do it discriminate against homosexuals. homosexuality, like heterosexuality, is a private thing and ought to be practised at home.

    yes, Mr Fong can talk freely about his sexual orientation but he is doing more than that. because the internet is a public domain, it becomes a public issue. you did say that it is their own private thing didn’t you?

    and what fear does Mr Fong or any homosexual have? nothing untoward has happened to them right?

    you say that i say that “it is wrong to get society to accept homosexuals”. but i never said that. i have always been saying that our society accepts homosexuals because there is no discrimation against them. they are not subjected to any of the injustices suffered by the blacks.

    it’s a pleasure discussing with you, but what’s with telling me that you’re an 18 year old lady?

  190. sieteocho said

    Hi,

    Pls note that I have always been referring to gay people as “them”. The reason is simple: I am not one of them.

    First of all you claim that your attitude does not hurt the feelings of homosexuals. So I do an experiment, I turn it around, and say that I espouse those exact same attitudes towards you.

    Then you get annoyed and irritated. But then again you can turn around and say that you are not really discriminating against them. I don’t understand. So are you or are you not discriminating against them?

    But for the record, yes, I actually think you are a sinner. I won’t talk about why gay people get hurt by these attitudes since others have already done it for me.

    If you do claim that it’s alright for homosexuals to be stared at when they hold hands. Would you stare at a heterosexual couple holding hands the same way you’d stare at a homosexual couple? I don’t think so.

    You say that homosexuality is wrong because some homosexuals are promiscuous. But some heterosexuals are also promiscuous. Does that mean that sex between men and women are wrong? Bottom line is, promiscuity and sexual orientation are 2 different matters.

    Lewdness is also wrong, but lewdness and sexual orientation are also 2 separate matters. Problem is, you would define homosexual behaviour as lewd in itself. I’m sure that when you first found out that your parents had sex in order to give birth to you, it was really disturbing, but you did get used to it. I’m sure when you found out that half of the population have different types of genitals from you it was really disturbing but you got used to it. My point is that it’s simply a matter of getting used to it.

    Bestiality is wrong because bestiality is always rape, and rape is always wrong.

    The other thing is, since I made this point earlier and you didn’t address it, is this: do you think that something is right based on your own conviction, or do you think that something is right or wrong based on what “society” thinks? Because you’ve given me very contradictory answers on this issue.

    My stand is that it’s not what I think, but rather you need to give a reason why it’s wrong. I just don’t accept the reasons given that homosexuality is wrong because I haven’t come across an argument I can poke holes into.

    And it could be that an 18 year old might be idealistic about these things but I was 18 more than 10 years ago, I didn’t see anything wrong with homosexuality at that point, and I haven’t changed my standpoint since.

    Many of the young kids that were taught by him will make a stand on this issue now, and after that I don’t think they will change their minds easily.

  191. ponder said

    It seems that most of the discussions about homosexuality is among “outsiders”. Even the most ardent supporters of homosexuality eventually pop up and say that “I support gays, nothing wrong with it, but I am straight”. This is turning out to be a philosophical debate.

    Siteocho,
    >>>Pls note that I have always been referring to gay people as “them”. The reason is simple: I am not one of them.<<<

    If one wants to be pedantic, your statement can be construed as discriminatory towards gays. Of course I know you don’t mean it, but this is what I mean by the discussion getting “philosophical”.

  192. truly singapore said

    hello mitch,

    i do not agree. i often see female pairs that are obivously together with one of them dressed up like a man. so if female pairs today have no qualms showing they are in love, i don’t see why male pairs have any inhibitions. they probably can’t be bothered since falling in live is a private thing isn’t it?

    yes they can’t be married but they can cohabit and are not prevented from homosexuality.

    what exactly is it that they want to do in public that they are prevented from doing?

    they may not be accepted socially but nothing untoward happens to them.

    i’m not so sure if they’re disgusted the shit, my opinion is that people can’t be bothered or they are curious.

    you say the black may be killed if people now they’re in love with whites. do you actually see homosexuals being threatened and getting killed here? are you sure you’re not making all these up?

    what is it that the black and white couple have that the homosexual couple today does not have? apart from marriage and associated stuff that is?

  193. truly singapore said

    you have said so right from the beginning you are not gay. you do not have to keep repeating it.

    i get annoyed and irritated not because you tell me your feeling about homosexuals. i get irritated and annoyed because you keep going through the same points over and over again, non-stop. worse still, i have to repeat the same story not just to you but to a few others too. why can’t you fellows just read one another’s postings and refrain from repetition?

    i say once more i am not discriminating against them and they are not being discriminated either.

    it doesn’t matter what you think of me for you are not god who decides who sins and who does not.

    i still do not find any concrete evidence of how what i say leads to hurt. you say something i don’t agree. i reply in kind and you say i am hurting you. i hurt you just because i told you flatly i don’t agree with what you’re saying?

    come on, you said so yourself people who disapprove of homosexuals are ‘backward’ while people like you are ‘infront’. you see someone in outrageous fashion on the street you’d take a second look right? that’s what you get for being ‘infront’ and for being different, right? people enjoy being ‘infront’ don’t they? otherwise they wouldn’t do it, would they?

    i never said “homosexuality is wrong because some homosexuals are promiscuous”. kindly quote where i’ve used those words.

    if you can accept homosexuality but you cannot accept promiscuity, then aren’t you being selective about what you choose to accept and what you choose not to? so if you are choosing and i’m also choosing, who is to say your choice is right and my choice is wrong? so you see, at the end of the day, we all have different opinions so we need a universal barometer. that standard would be that of society’s.

    i don’t define homosexuality as lewd. i’m only saying, in the context of what is or is not acceptable to society, both lewdness and homosexuality are frowned upon so when an individual decides one is good but not the other, then who is he to prevent another from saying both are good or both are wrong?

    you think bestiality is wrong yet homosexuality is right. yet i see them equally wrong. the 18 year old girl seems to suggest they are both acceptable. at least she’s being consistent in her logic whereas you are arbitrary.

    come on, who says i did not address your concerns. how many thousand times you want to make me repeat myself? i have my convictions and i will say them. but up to a point i would say, i cannot change what society thinks, i should respect society’s choice, i still have a right to my own opinion and i will continue to live my life based on my principles. but i will not insist that society conforms to my whims and fancies. who am i? god?

    please use a little common sense to digest what i just said. spend some time please. it is not contradictory.

    i have said so many times. you still insist that i give a reason for my distaste for coffee?

    if you still can’t accept it, so be it. i shan’t explain further as i think i’ve entertained you enough.

    you sound like you were 10 years ago.

    yes they will make a stand. but do you think if they had been taught by a different teacher they would not have made a different stance?

    it has been a long conversation with you. you appear incapable of accepting an argument. when you don’t agree with a statement but have no counter arguments to it, you simply say you cannot accept it. if you adopt that position, there’s nothing more that i can say.

    and so my argument ends here.

    thank you

  194. WeiHan said

    Truly Singapore,

    I have read your posts and I agree that they are inconsistent and you still owe everybody a reason.

    For example, you said “i have said so many times. you still insist that i give a reason for my distaste for coffee?”

    You need not give a reason for your distaste for coffee but at least you should support that drinking coffee not be encoded as a criminal offense in the book just like 377a. Yes. Then of course you are straight and can continue to have a distaste for homosexual sex. However, do note that some curious straights like to try homosexual sex.

  195. […] http://theonlinecitizen.com/2007/09/10/toc-exclusive-otto-fongs-open-letter/ […]

  196. […] This is rather interesting as it coincides with another issue; namely the spotlight on homosexuals. The spot light on homosexuals arose as a result of Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s comment that the unlamented Section 377A (or lamented; depends on whose perspective you come from) would have to go. This brought about a flurry of chest beating and cries from the fundamentalists ranging from academics and the common man in the street. Then you had the revocation of Prof. Douglas Sanders license to speak in Singapore, the ban of a picnic in the Botanic gardens, police filming a run at the Singapore river and Otto Fong’s coming out. […]

  197. S. said

    Here’s another blog reply i found…

    http://p_eppermint.livejournal.com

  198. sieteocho said

    If you don’t see how homosexuals get hurt by your attitudes towards them (but then again you know you get hurt by my attitude towards you – I don’t understand how you think). I explain why there are big holes in your logic and you don’t get it.

    I mean those young people who made up their minds shouldn’t make up their minds because they were being influenced by homosexuals? But you just said that it’s up to how society thinks. It seems like it’s important that we listen to how society thinks so long as society thinks the same way that you do, so long as they don’t get influenced by the “wrong” people.

    And homosexuals are not that way because they are “in front”. It is not fashion. They are like that because they are born that way. Like I enjoy putting my dick in the same hole where the baby comes out because I was born that way. And there’s nothing modern about homosexuality, if our morals are evolved over centuries why shouldn’t we be like the Greeks 2000 years ago who didn’t see anything wrong with that? It is traditional.

    It’s not OK for people with your kind of attitude to go wandering around because you are a menace to society. That’s why I am patient with you but you abuse my kindness!

    And once more it’s not about what I think. I always back up what I think with reasons. It is not arbitrary, my whim and fancy. People get hurt when they’re discriminated against.

    “i never said “homosexuality is wrong because some homosexuals are promiscuous”. kindly quote where i’ve used those words.”

    – “how do you know all homosexuality sex comes with emotional commitment? there are also homosexuals who pay banghras to bang their backside right? where is the emotional commitment then? so homosexuals who pay banghras for sex are exhibiting animal behaviour?”

    So do you think I am gay or not? Because earlier on you said “you gays” to me so it’s very confusing whether you get it or not.

    I never said that you are hurting me by the way. I don’t lie in bed getting angry over murderers, rapists and homophobes. I just think that they should get locked up, that’s all.

  199. Shi Jie said

    Hi Mr Fong,

    you are a brave guy, an excellent teacher and a superb artist. I will always stand up for you!!

  200. JoyToKnow said

    Good To Know everyone comes out being totally or Much more of their sexual identities.for this is much healthier and Not allowing yourself to mental disruption.for this is true,and we all will be of a kinder better people towards each other in our societies everywhere we go.Thats where HE made us,allow us to be different to be respected,Treated Equally for we all contribute donate equally to our people or neighbours next to us From our every each Diversed talents and strengths;we learn from each other to be a better ONE People,Much better If around the globe whereever we go.
    doesnt everyone agrees?

  201. Dearest Otto,
    We have had the pleasure of your friendship since China 1996, and you have always proved to be a very professional and careing person. Your dedication to humanity and the world around you is paramount to herds of humanity that don’t even open thier eyes to that which surrounds them. Your artistry, your belief in the human soul, your strength in self are all a testimony to the rare and divine individual that you are. Every student with half a whit in their brain could benefit from your moral tensel alone. We salute you and wish your road to smooth out from the social ruts that have thus prevailed. May you live long and have many successes that fulfill your soul.

  202. cubo said

    Yo Otto,

    I am straight, what you have done already made you the best teacher!!!! better than alot of straight!!!

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