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Lester and Zippy - a comic by Alex Barber Lester and Zippy was a short run comic in Think Magazine, created by the late Alex Barber, a regular contributor, a talented musician, a well known and beloved expat in Prague who died tragically way too young... ...

All sexual orientations are natural
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Cher Tan explains that there is a thin line differentiating between what is 'natural' and what is 'unnatural'.

Natural is what is defined as “conforming to the usual or ordinary course of nature”. ‘Unnatural’? “Inconsistent with an individual pattern or custom”.

The definitions themselves are blurry, the lines oh-so-vague. How does one come to the conclusion that something is ‘natural’ and some other thing is not? How does society as a whole deem something as accepted because it is ‘natural’ and shun it when it is not?

And so goes the gay community is Singapore, and to a certain extent, the world. They are ostracised for “going against the norm” and looked upon with disdain because they are perceived as ‘unnatural’, amongst a sea of human beings who are heterosexual and ‘normal’.

Homosexuality is seen as a ‘bad habit’, sometimes even a ‘vice’, and just ‘wrong’, whereas ex-convicts, drinkers, gamblers, drug abusers and adulterers are given second chances in life.

It seems that once you come out as a homosexual, your life is destined to be doomed, all your dreams and aspirations slowly seeping down the drain, and you are subject to a life of discrimination and stigma.

I am a heterosexual female living in Singapore. I have never been homosexual before, and will never be, because I simply do not have such inclinations. I want to speak out for the homosexual minority here, they who are being judged upon and looked down on without being given a chance to shine, to contribute to the society and community as a whole, and for the majority out there to accept them as human beings and human beings alone, without any labels attached to them.

It saddens me greatly when I see people forming their own judgments on what gay people are really like, and to lump everyone in the gay ‘category’ into a stereotype, calling what they have a ‘lifestyle’.

If there really is a gay ‘lifestyle’, where is the straight ‘lifestyle’? When we see straight men going to clubs to pick up girls for one-night stands or to visit call girls in Geylang, why isn’t this defined as a “straight lifestyle”? And why aren’t all straight men seen as typically being this way?

And then when we see the gay men who have lots of sex we immediately jump to the conclusion that ALL gay men are the same. I understand that one rotten apple infects the entire barrel and all that, but we should take a step back, take a breather, and examine everything from a wider point of view.

It is because of this stereotype that the gay community is suffering. I believe in equality for everyone. This translates to me believing that everyone should have the exact same rights by default, regardless of their race, religion, social standing, and sexual orientation, on the sole basis that they are human beings. Being a human being is a right in itself, and there should not be any social bias as to what you “should do” and “should not do”.

Of course, we draw the line at criminal offenses which harm others, but does being a homosexual harm other people? Homosexuals should be given the same rights as heterosexuals. Just because they are attracted to and fall in love with members of the same sex does not mean they are committing a heinous sin. Artificial insemination is not natural, so does it mean it is wrong?

Along the same lines, how about abortion, sterilisation and contraception? Are they not “going against” the natural cycle of life too? Homosexuality is not a disease that breeds or a phenomenon that snowballs.

Being gay is not a choice, and neither is it a ‘lifestyle’ that people CHOOSE to adopt. They are gay because they just are, and they cannot help it. Think about it – in a society that is mainly made up of heterosexuals, why would anyone suddenly decide, “Hey, I want to be gay,” and subject themselves to discrimination? Homosexuality HAS been observed in animals, so who is to judge that such and such is not ‘natural’ anymore?

“Heterosexuality is not normal; it’s just common.”

Food for thought, no? I seriously hope that everyone will start accepting homosexuals for who they are, and let them have their place in society.

Everything is subjective; so let them have a chance to live their lives just as rightly as every other human being should. Who they decide to sleep with at the end of the day does not affect their morals or who they are as people.

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