The term "sexuality" is usually defined as the quality of being sexual. This not only refers to eroticism and sexual activity, it also includes one’s sexual orientation and sexual identity.
Sexual orientation is the term used to describe whether a person feels romantic, emotional, physical and sexual attraction towards other people. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual and asexual are just words used to describe someone’s sexual orientation or attraction. This should not be confused with gender identity, which is quite different.
Here are some basic definitions:
Gay man Man who is attracted to some men. Some women may also use the term 'gay' to describe themselves.
Lesbian Woman who is attracted to some women.
Bisexual Someone who is attracted to both women and men.
Pansexual Someone who is attracted to all genders, including persons who may identify as transgender, genderqueer or gender non-binary.
Asexual Someone who does not feel attraction (in some or all forms) to any gender.
REMEMBER! Just because these and many other terms exist does not mean you have to label yourself if you're not ready. While definitions may guide us, we do not have to put others into categories. When in doubt about someone’s orientation, try asking them politely!
Commonly asked questionS
Are people born this way? While some theories may try to establish that being gay, lesbian or bisexual has biological explanations, others explain it as a result of other factors. Nonetheless, the reality for many people may be a lot more complex than what theories can provide. Or does it really matter?
Could I be gay, lesbian or bisexual? Discovering your own attraction or feelings toward someone of the same gender can sometimes be a complex and stressful experience. However, do remember: this is a question only you can answer, and nobody else.
Now what? Realising that you may be gay, lesbian or bisexual may evoke a range of emotions, including confusion, worry, fear, isolation, sadness, and even surprise or relief! Coming out is a personal process that is different for everyone, and for some, it may be challenging due to fears of rejection, or a lack of support. However, if you do decide to come out, it can be done with care, with help and support from understanding friends, family members and caring professionals.
LOCAL COMMUNITY RESOURCES
We have found the following local LGBTQ community resources to be useful:
Pelangi Pride Centre LGBTQ library, community space and resource centre run entirely by volunteers. 'Pelangi' is the Malay word for rainbow, since Malay is the national language of Singapore. The centre was started in 2003 by a group of friends.
IndigNation The LGBTQ Pride season in Singapore, reaffirming our participation in the intellectual and cultural life of this country, reminding all that we are as much a part of Singapore as anyone else. The first season was in 2005, and was started as a community response to the banning of the Nation circuit parties.
Pink Dot SG Non-profit movement started in 2009 by a group of individuals who care deeply about the place that LGBTQ Singaporeans call home. It is a group for everyone, straight and gay, who support the belief that everyone deserves the freedom to love.
LOCAL LGBTQ+ MEDIA
Dear Straight People Online LGBTQ publication that provides followers with a mix of positive content that is informative, inspiring and engaging.
Queercast Podcast dedicated to informing, entertaining & empowering the local LGBTQ+ community.
Prout Meetup and support platform for local LGBTQ+ community.