In its thick-skulled response to Arts Engage’s position paper on censorship which cited ten examples of censorship, including the gay and lesbian ContraDiction, the Media Development Authority (MDA) tried to deny that they censored anything, by playing with words.
In response to these and other examples raised by the arts community, the Media Development Authority (MDA) told Life! yesterday: . . . .
‘For instance, ArtsEngage, in its position paper, had highlighted the reading event ContraDiction as an example of ‘censorship’.
‘MDA has actually approved all five ContraDiction events since 2005. All the events were classified R18 (Adult themes) due to the homosexual themes. Only one poem was disallowed in 2006. Entitled Come On Straight Boy, the poem promoted homosexuality by challenging straight men to try out gay unions.’
— Straits Times Life!, 15 June 2010, Recent examples of censorship.
This is doublespeak a la Animal Farm. When a film has had a scene cut by the censor, we say, in ordinary English, that the film has been censored. You can watch the film, just not the whole of it. So if one part of the planned 2006 ContraDiction (a festival of gay-themed writing and poetry) is banned, then by the same token, we can say, in ordinary English again, that ContraDiction was censored. The MDA is trying to mislead when it says “approved” when it was selective in giving the green light.
Here is the poem by published Singaporean poet Koh Jee Leong (see his bio), which as noted above, the MDA believes will turn you gay (if you are not already) on reading or hearing it:
Come On, Straight Boy
Come on, straight boy, and make gay love with me.
One night of loving will not turn you queer
if queer is not what you will bend to be.
Loving a man is but a change of gears.
Why do it with a girl, an undulating
waterbed, and stress leaks pinched too late?
Why with an oven she loves regulating,
you stick your tray of cookies in, and wait?
Men love themselves when they love other men.
Loving themselves, they know well how to give
each other head, maneuver two or ten
round the bend of straightforward relief.
What have you got to lose? Leap, acrobat!
You can still fall back on pussy cat.
* * * * *
Right, I am now promoting homosexuality!
Is it such a mortal threat to society if straight boys should experiment with gay sex? Well, I guess it is, if you believe that the moment your gay friend even looks at your wee-wee, you would immediately lose all interest in girls and turn queer. What would happen to civilisation as we know it? What would grandmother think?
But that kind of belief is unfounded. You can’t change your sexual orientation any more than you can change your skin colour. (Look at the late Michael Jackson and see what a freak he became by trying).
Lots of gay men and women have engaged in heterosex and, to the great dismay of religious fundamentalists, they didn’t turn straight. They even got married and begot kids, and then in their thirties or so, discovered what love or orgasm should really feel like when they have their first experience with a same-sex partner. They go: “So that’s what it should feel like, heavens, I’ve been doing it with the wrong person all my life!”
Isn’t that proof enough that sexual orientation is immutable?
Want more proof? Ask the countless young heterosexual men who sell gay sex for a living anywhere around the world, including quite a number in Singapore itself. None of them turn gay even when they do it every other day, sometimes more often than that.
So what is there to fear? How exactly does a poem “promote homosexuality”?
* * * * *
I would even argue that maybe it serves a good societal purpose if straight boys did in fact experiment with gay sex. Just as we feel one of the most effective ways of bridging prejudice and attitudinal snobbery is to interact with those we despise, why not with sexuality too? We would probably say it’s a good idea for children of the rich and powerful (especially those with elitist attitudes) to experience living in a slum. Hardline Christians with blinkered views of Islam should live with a Muslim family for a while. Racist Chinese should stay in an Indian home for a week.
Shouldn’t straight boys have a gay sex week too? They can only be enriched.