SQ21: Singapore Queers in the Twenty-First Century.

At the National Library now. Decided to take a break from writing by reading something and ventured over to the shelves behind me.

Picked up SQ21: Singapore Queers in the 21st Century by Ng Yi-Sheng and could not stop reading the book because the stories are so compelling.

Here’s a nugget that made me chuckle:

The word [that the interviewee was gay] spread higher and higher up the command chain until it reached my course commander, who was this Senior Warrant Office. He was this big Indian man, a really old-fashioned conservative fella, very regimental. Everything had to be in tiptop shape, our boots had to be shiny, our bunks had to be clean all the time, and he was always telling us, “Fucking hell. You all better run faster! You all so slow!”

I realised this could turn into something big, and I was really afraid for a while. But then once, during a lecture, he was saying, “The weekend’s coming. You all are booking out. Why don’t you all go get yourself a fuck? So how many of you got girlfriends?” Various hands went up. “Boyfriends?” Then everyone turned and looked at me, and I was thinking, “Shit you!”

Then the course commander said, “Why? What’s wrong? Why? Who’s anti-gay here?” A few people put up their hands. He pointed his finger and said, “Okay you. Get out of your seat. You also, get out. You go sit over there one corner. You all can form the anti-gay corner over there. (p. 133; emphasis mine)

Go read it if you haven’t already done so!

About the author

Laremy Lee

A versatile educator, writer and editor, Laremy Lee (李庭辉) has the uncanny knack of being one of the few among his generation in Singapore who crafts compelling stories in different genres.

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