Singapore: Paralympian Goh shows the way for queer athletes to be themselves

She has five tattoos and, under her baseball cap, hair coloured ash blue. Born with spina bifida, she often travels alone in her wheelchair. In the Rio Paralympics she took a bronze in the 100m breaststroke but was a Singaporean icon well before that. Yet, the one reason to listen to Theresa Goh is this: Her bravery.

Goh laughs – she does this a lot – when you talk of her courage in recently coming out as gay to Singapore’s largest daily, The Straits Times. “It was easier for me,” she shrugs. “I don’t have to worry about food on the table or losing my job or the support of my family, friends and sponsors. It’s not that easy for so many others.”

So, why come out?

“This is the role I am in -- a queer, disabled, paralympic medalist athlete,” laughs the 30-year-old. “I did not choose it, but I am in service of a greater good, of a more inclusive society.”

Goh is one of three brand ambassadors at Singapore’s annual LGBTQ rally, Pink Dot, now in its ninth year. The event, being held today, is a reminder that Singapore, like India, criminalises same sex relationships.

Singapore’s Penal Code absorbed India’s section 377, word for word. In 2007, Singapore scrapped 377, but continued to criminalise sexual acts between men under a new section, 377A. Read more via Hindustan Times