The Terrible Cost of Saying ‘No’ To The Gay Community

November 6, 2007

I am reminded in life, there is always a cost to everything. During my averagely miserable university days, I loathed the body of knowledge known as fluid dynamics. To exacerbate matters, I hated the lecturer and considered him an incoherent fool, enough to I skipped every single one of his lectures and seminars. Neither did the subject endear it’self to me despite my best efforts, all it did was induce a semi-comatose state. In all honesty fluid dynamics held as much allure as perusing through the compendium of urination techniques. By some miracle, I can only describe as the mother of all providence. I managed to ace the paper after using my Shamanic skills to successfully spot 6 out of 7 examination questions. Fast forward to working life today, whenever the subject of fluid dynamics crops up, that’s the cue for me to slink off for a cigarette or another toilet break – yes, I am reminded there’s a cost to everything and it seems there’s no possible way of closing the gap now – it just comes back to bite you. 

Recently, when I watched the parliamentary debate on S377A on TV – I couldn’t help feeling that same sinking sensation. You know the same one that leaves one mumbling, what’s the cost to all of this?

That’s to say, what’s the real cost of saying ‘no’ to the gay community? I know that I should be focused on the jurisprudential, ethical and moral issues of the 377A debate, but for some reason, my mind kept on turning on the first hurdle issues – cost, cost and cost. 

Well before diving into the subject in earnest, let me just say that as far as the gay community goes. They’re an international fraternity roughly 3 to 4 times larger than the Illuminati, Opus Dei, Freemasons and the Mickey Mouse club combined together. When you consider some of the greatest thinkers in human history such as Alan Turing, Leonardo Da Vinci, Alexander the Great and Oscar Wilde were gays – if you are gay, you’re probably in good company and they all pack roughly the same intellectual punch as probably the entire ivy league alumni and the Mensa society put together. So let’s get one thing straight, when one says, ‘no’ to the gay community or tribe – you’re are not saying ‘no’ to some motley crew of cross dressers who regularly cruise around Changi Village – they are a veritable super power, a force to be reckoned with under every definition of the word ‘power’ and if you are still in doubt, you have to be dumber than dumb!  

Now let’s get down to the brass tacks.  The problem is calculating the cost of saying ‘no’ to the gay community may not be as straight forward as it seems, only because much of the aggregate cost remains invisible. That of course doesn’t mean, we can’t trace out the rough outlines of the fall out. 

The first ‘cost’ is many of us wouldn’t be seen dead with a gay. Hey, lets be honest, if I was let’s say, a teacher aspiring to climb up the ram-rod ladder would I be seen going out for a two hour lunch with a gay colleague? No fear lah. This scenario of induced fear or kiasuim incident exemplifies the kind of cost, I am talking about.

It’s damaging because it scissors through the fabric of human relationships. That’s what happens when gayness is criminalized, anyone who even remotely goes near to it is guilty by sheer association. Since associating with gays can get one tarred and feathered, prudent folk would regularly avoid been seen with them. The danger of course is on the surface at least, everyone plumbs towards the conformists line. 

If this reminds you of McCarthyism’s “Silence of Fear” that’s precisely what it is – till today, sociologist are shifting through the debris of the social Chernobyl that once course through the America psyche in the 60’s – the cost is astronomical!

Not only did McCarthyism hollow out meaningful political dissent but along the way everything else went down the chute, it withered away the creative and innovative enterprises, arts, culture and even the sciences – because no one wanted to be associated with anyone who could be labeled a social reactionary.

The question is whether the gay tag can be equated to a form of McCarthyism? Well not exactly, but the whole discourse relating to why to gay’s should not be recognized does go a long way towards institutionalizing the whole idea of gayness as being a character defect that is both undesirable and even a bane to society. The real question to paraphrase should be; whether being pronounced gay is an oblique equivalent of McCarthyism? Well, it really hinges on whether being gay affects employment and promotional opportunities? And how it goes on to affect the lives of not only gays but those who choose to associate with them and beyond – like I said earlier, the cost is hard if not impossible to quantify.

The statistics are imprecise. Even if there were cold cut numbers and charts to flesh out what I just said. It still doesn’t go very far to give us a handle on the real cost of saying ‘no’ to the gay community.

It may do well, at this point to reflect on the apparently low number of whippings administered under slavery in the South in 18th Century America to realize that it may not be necessary to whip many slaves to keep the rest of the plantation in line – that in real terms is the cost, much remains tacit and accountable only in our heads – the to be or not to be calculus.

Quantification aside, it may be helpful to stick to the analogy of McCarthyism only because it provides us with a lens of how far it actually permeated the psyche of the average American?  Such an appraisal, tentative though it must be offers insights into the extent of the damage saying ‘no’ to the gay community is able to produce in the psyche of the average Singaporean. Granted it’s a rickety model, but hey what did you expect from 20 minutes of filler time typing on my Nokia while waiting for a client who can’t even be bothered to keep time? 

“We should keep in mind, like the cost of saying ‘no’ to the gay community McCarthyism’s most corrosive impact may well have been in what did not happen rather than in what actually happened. The personal relationships that were never forged – the friendships that were never allowed to grow from strength to strength – the conversations that never past from the realm of theory to reality – the books that were never penned and the plays that were never staged – the list of ‘nevers’ – ‘could haves’ – and ‘missed opportunities’ goes on and on Senators. The price I feel is too high for any thinking man to bear and I for one will rue the real cost as one that we shall never ever know for what could have been, but was never allowed to be – surely that must be a criminal waste!…this is not wise….not wise at all……gentlemen, I move for a motion to strike.”

Councillor Vollariane

Primus Aldentes Prime / Great Hall / 3rd Nov 2007.

(By Darkness – Sociol / Political – EP 992729167 – Brotherhood Press Articles 2007)

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6 Responses to “The Terrible Cost of Saying ‘No’ To The Gay Community”

  1. Dr Lee Tat Boon said

    A very insightful and powerful piece. Thank you.

    I agree the cost will be very high and really dont know how well this whole idea sits with the concept of globalization – if we say, we have no choice in X or Y or even Z.

    Then pls tell me why, we seem to have a choice to this matter?

  2. Dr Lee Tat Boon said

    I am also very impressed Dr Darkness that you have managed to rope in so many new writers from the BP readership.

    This makes me feel like writing something.

  3. dotseng said

    Dr Lee,

    OMG what a privilege is for you to drop by my humble blog! I hope you like the lay out. I kept it fuss free with very little in the way of distractions.

    Just to let you know, if you wish to write. Do get in touch with your read club and just com-sat us using the bulletin board.

    The Bro have set up a communication network routing everything through the genuie SLF, so if you post here on a non-SLF line, it just goes straight to the spam cache.

    Many thanks and once again, its been a pleasure to have you Dr. Do drop by again and we will certainly look forward to your article.

    Happy Reading Yah!



  4. Dr Lee Tat Boon said

    Aha Missy Dotty and her trusted companion Kokopops.

    Let me see, where shall I begin? Which is the best article in terms of hits so far?

    Is this the last site the brotherhood will be landing on?

    I find it rather tiresome to keep on moving. I really don’t know how darkness & Co can get used to it.

    Oh dear, I am starting to get a headache.


  5. dotseng said

    Dear Dr Good Morn,

    The star will still have to be the ‘city of lights – ville de lumiere’ by darkness.

    I believe it still occupies the top spot after nearly 2 weeks! I dont really know why, probably end of the yr and most ppl are planning to clear leave.

    I hear Paris is beautiful, this time of the year.

    ta ta


  6. Olivia H20 said

    A very perceptive and insightful article. 100% agreed. We may have been too preoccupied with protecting – I am reminded there is a saying, to kill with honey. Many a time parents do this to their children, they sheild them from all the evils of the world to such an extent, when they go out to the real world, they are just overwhelmed like Annabel Chong.

    The wiser approach would be to integrate gays into our society and interact with them, so that we are able to forge a culture that is able to support this type of relationship. Thats how smart people deal with differences, they dont give up but rather put in the effort to find common ground.

    I believe gayness is not to be feared, but rather to be understood. I am not surprised the brotherhood has taken such a stance with all the technology floating around, you people probably cannot alienate gays or for that matter martians, what more of a sovereign country?

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