Saturday, June 02, 2007
SAFE's letter in support of AWARE
The following is SAFE's letter in support of AWARE's premiere screening of the film Spider Lilies. The letter was sent to TODAY, but was not published.


Dear Editor
We refer to Mr Geoffrey Yeoh’s letter of 25 May 2007 “Women’s group support of lesbian lifestyle upsetting”.

SAFE is a group of family and friends who affirm and support gay and transgendered people as persons with equal rights to respect, dignity, acceptance and empowerment in society.

Just as Mr Yeoh aspires for his daughter to grow up to be a successful professional, there are parents who have the same aspirations for their gay sons and lesbian daughters. Sadly however, they do not enjoy an environment where they can grow, develop and reach their full potential because Singapore society is largely unaccepting and unsupportive of our gay children.

SAFE, like Mr Yeoh, supports AWARE’s goals of gender equality for all, and are heartened that AWARE has taken an enlightened approach by embracing the diversity of humankind, and fully including all who are different but no less human than us.

We commend all parents that continue to build on values of family, love, tolerance, respect, acceptance, sacrifice and commitment – ideals that are critical to healthy, functioning and close-knit families. Such families, in all their permutations, are essential for social well-being. What is true for individual families is also true for our nation. To the extent that we provide love and respect to our gay family members, these members can grow and develop to their full potential, and society can prosper from their vital contributions.

On the other hand, when families allow shame and stigma to overcome them, the environment our gay family members need to thrive in is greatly diminished or even lost, and the very unit that holds our society together – the family – unravels.

Films like Spider Lilies show us that the relationship between two women, or two men, carries within it all the potential for love, care, sacrifice and commitment that we associate with the relationship between a man and a woman. When we act courageously by integrating our gay children and their partners into our lives, we fulfil a larger purpose – fostering understanding and acceptance of differences in our national, and global family.


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