Personal Story: Readiness needed to stand up for LGBT community in Singapore

Posted On: June 30, 2022

Readiness needed to stand upRecently the Singapore government did a call out for public opinions around LGBT. I shared the link on my social media platforms once I determined it was legit. The next day, Oogachaga and Pink Dot shared it too. Within a day, I believe, the government received 30,000 responses and closed the survey on 23 March 2022.

Today my friend Jamie Nonis who received the survey link directly from me asked if I had submitted my responses.

I was taken aback and said, “I’m not LGBTQIA though.”

Jamie: “Yeah but you’re an ally.”

Me: “I didn’t think I have much to share. I don’t really have any personal stories.”

Jamie: “Yeah but you’re an ally. Your voice matters. Allies can get through for us in a way we cannot.”

I was silent. I thought about it. I do what I can when I can but with the public poll, I thought I didn’t want to “take up space” from other more deserving people. But then I didn’t know they would close the poll so soon.

Why do I think I’m not deserving to speak up? Why did I assume that I’m not good enough to share my opinion, not going to be effective enough in my words, or not powerful to help? I certainly feel a lot of times that I don’t do enough around LGBTQIA awareness and want to do more, hence the feeling of undeservingness.

If I, as a sexologist, can feel and think this way, what else? If I didn’t speak up for something I feel strongly about, then who would? For a moment, I doubted my power and influence.

And if I could do over, I would have completed the poll. Because I matter, you matter, we all certainly matter. Human rights matter. Freedom to be safe and love matters.

P.S. friend Jamie named with consent

Written: 25 March 2022

About Dr. Martha Tara Lee

Surrounded by friends who were sexually inhibited and struck by dire lack of positive conversations around sex and sexuality in Singapore, Dr. Martha Tara Lee set out to make a positive difference in embarking on her doctorate in human sexuality before launching Eros Coaching in 2009. Today, she remains dedicated to working with individuals and couples who wish to lead self-actualised and pleasure-filled lives.

She also holds certificates in counselling, coaching and sex therapy, and her fourth degree – a Masters in Counselling in May 2018. In practice since 2009, she is the only certified sexuality educator and certified sexuality educator supervisor by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) in Singapore.

Often cited in the media, Dr. Lee is the appointed Clinical Sexologist for Singapore Cancer Society. She was recognised as one of ‘Top 50 Inspiring Women Under 40′ by Her World in July 2010, and one of ‘Top 100 Inspiring Women’ by CozyCot in March 2011. She has published four books: Love, Sex and Everything In-BetweenOrgasmic YogaFrom Princess to Queen and {Un}Inhibited.

Martha works with individuals and couples in private coaching sessions, and conducts her own workshops. She takes prides in making sure all her workshops are also fun, educational, and sex-positive. This comes easily to her because even though she is extremely dedicated and serious about her work, she fundamentally believes that sex is meant to be fun, wonderful, amazing and sacred. As such, this serious light-heartedness has shone through again and again. For her full profile, click here. Email her here.

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