Leading Their Authentic Lives

Posted On: June 21, 2023

Leading Their Authentic Lives

Many years ago before I began my training to be a Sexologist, I was on a movie date with my Australian boyfriend. We were riding on a downward escalator when two men who looked like a couple came towards us on the side of the upriding escalator.

I nudged my date to get his attention and to take note of the two men. When he ignored me, I nudged him again. When they passed us, he turned to me and asked: “Why did you do that?”

Me: “What do you mean? I was trying to get you to notice that gay couple.”

Him: “So what? So what if they’re gay? Leave them alone. Let them lead their lives.”

The moment he said that, I felt like I was slapped in the face and I asked myself this for a long time after: “Yeah why did I do that?”

I did it without any thought. I did it because I’ve had people do that to me as if it’s a joke. Why would being gay be a joke? Even if they were dressed funny, it’s not right to make others feel uncomfortable. But of course, their lives are not a joke to them.

Making fun of others is not funny. It’s rude and cruel. Those two men would have wanted to go about their day without having people point, stare, laugh, mock, or talk behind their back just as I wouldn’t want that to happen to me. So why did I do that to others? When did I become the bully?

I realised I was so wrong but I didn’t know what to say or how to redress it. Years later, when my now ex-boyfriend and I caught up, I recounted that incident and thanked him for calling me out on my unconscious behaviour and promised him that I have learned since and don’t do that anymore.

If anything it helped me realise we are all leading programmed and unconscious lives not questioning if what we were brought up to do and say is still right, fair or relevant. If anything that incident helped me realise my privilege of having had more exposure and fueled my desire to advocate for LGBT people.

To that date, I remain embarrassed about my behaviour in that incident, but I feel it is important to share this story. We do hurt others in our micro aggressions and it’s not ok to hurt others. We are all humans sharing similar human experiences, and what we can do is be kind to one another – not just tolerate, be kind and loving. Because being loving is in our nature.

I encourage you to work through your LGBT bias and ignorance if you can as I have been. LGBT people aren’t people from an alien planet. They are all around us. They are our friends, family members and esteemed members of our society. When one suffers, we all suffer.

Written: 7 August 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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