Teenager in Singapore Challenges Education Officials on LGBT Issues–on Live TV

Posted by MK on 7/11/12

In a panel discussion broadcast on live television in Singapore–where homosexual sexual activity is illegal–a brave teenager challenged education officials to provide clearer answers on how they would support LGBT youth.

LGBT youth ally Melissa Tsang speaks up
Melissa Tsang spoke up for LGBT youth on live TV in Singapore. A video link appears below.

A woman who called into the Channel News Asia program asked what students would be told if they asked about homosexuality at school. An official for the Ministry of Education responded with a surprisingly LGBT-supportive, but implausible, explanation, claiming that students learn about the law regarding homosexuality but also learn to “respect everyone regardless of their sexual orientation.” Melissa Tsang, the youngest person participating in the conversation, politely but firmly asked for a clearer, more specific answer: “What kind of counselling are you going to give this child? Are you going to support this child or are you going to portray homosexuality or transgenderism in the light of deviancy?” She also pointed to the inconsistency: “You say that you’re going to educate children and teenagers about the legal provisions in Singapore about homosexuality,” she added, but “you have to know” that Singapore criminalizes homosexuality.

The education official’s answer was again implausible. She responded, “We give you full information about the legal provisions, about the homosexual acts. So we don’t criminalize homosexuality.” (Note: Singapore criminalizes homosexuality.)

Additional coverage is available at Gay Star News, where you can also find the video itself.