Singapore students hit out at school for disinviting LGBT speaker

A student organisation in Singapore has hit out at a school for rescinding an LGBTI activist’s invitation to speak at a TEDxYouth event.

In a statement released on Facebook, the Community for Advocacy and Political Education (CAPE) expressed ‘disappointment’ with comments made by Leonard Tan, Vice Principal of Saint Joseph’s Institution.

Rachel Yeo, a Research and Advocacy Director at Singapore’s Inter-University LGBT Network (IULN), had been due to give a TEDxYouth talk at the school earlier this month, but was told a day before that she would not be permitted to speak.

Mr. Tan justified the decision to disinvite Ms Yeo by pointing to her being an advocate for the LGBT issue, elaborating that ‘any form of activism is socially divisive.’

In response, CAPE’s statement said ‘Activism is not in and of itself divisive; instead, it exposed and reveals the inequalities and injustices that lurk beneath the facade of stability and harmony.’

Coordinator of CAPE Carol Yuen told GSN: ‘There is a sometimes a tendency to stick with the status quo, to avoid challenges to norms and discussion on controversial issues.

‘There is a misinformed perception among many in Singapore of activism being disruptive, and activists being trouble makers, and this may be why an LGBT activist was so conveniently dropped. On the contrary, activists have helped society think about so many important issues and channeled the voices of the marginalized. Read more via Gay Star News