Am I homosexual if I’m attracted to a person of the same sex?

Same-sex attraction is not the same as homosexuality. A person can experience different types of attraction toward another person, whether of the same or opposite sex. Not every form of attraction is necessarily sexual or erotic in nature. Accordingly, experiencing same-sex attraction does not mean that a person is homosexual.

  • Same-sex attraction can take several forms – it may not be sexual, such as in an adolescent crush; and may be involuntary – it appears to be something that “cannot be helped”. Innocent same-sex attractions can spring from a normal need for appropriate affection, affirmation from and relationship with someone of the same sex whom one admires. On the other hand, same-sex attraction can also take on a sexual nature.
  • Same-sex sexual attractions are not immutable  –  they can be controlled and/ or changed. This is similar to how a married person can be “unwittingly” attracted to someone other than his/ her own spouse, but may not necessarily start an affair. Engaging in same-sex sexual behaviours or the homosexual lifestyle is clearly voluntary and based on a choice made by the individual. Heterosexuals have thus been known to “turn” homosexual or bisexual (sexually attracted to both male and female) by choosing to act on the same-sex sexual attractions they experience.
  • Sexual orientation refers to a person’s tendency to be consistently attracted to persons of the same or opposite sex in an erotic way. A lesser or unconfirmed orientation is sometimes referred to as a sexual inclination.
  • Sexual behaviour refers to the actions that a person undertakes in order to satisfy his or her sexual attractions or sexual orientation.
  • Sexual life(style) results when a person embraces his or her sexual behaviour and sexual relationships as a norm, e.g., a promiscuous sexual lifestyle.

Homosexual behaviour takes what could have been a harmless same-sex attraction further into an orientation and lifestyle that ultimately define who the person is.

While there are clearly exceptions to the case, research has shown that children who have experienced rejection, abuse or inadequate gender-affirming relationships are at greater risk of becoming confused about their feelings for someone of the same sex. In a study of 942 adults, almost half of the homosexual men (compared to only 7% of heterosexual men) reported molestation by a member of the same sex. In the same study, 22 times more homosexual women than heterosexual women reported molestation by a member of the same sex.1

Indiscriminate and excessive teasing – or even bullying – may push young people to misunderstand their gender identity. This may cause confusion over their sexual identity and orientation especially when innocent same-sex attractions become sexualised during puberty. This may lead them to experiment with homosexual behaviour and eventually embrace the homosexual lifestyle. Healthy intervention is needed to prevent young persons from misunderstanding their need for natural affections as homosexual inclinations to be acted upon.


1. M.E. Tomeo, D.I. Templer, S. Anderson & D. Kotler,  Comparative Data of Childhood and Adolescence Molestation in Heterosexual and Homosexual Persons,(Archives of Sexual Behaviour, 2001 October, Vol 30(5), pp535-41.)

How should I relate to a friend who takes an opposing view on homosexuality?

A sincere and humble attitude is a prerequisite to any discussion that you might have about your opposing views. Your friend may have tried to “change” in the past but the same-sex sexual attractions persist; he/ she may have faced or witnessed discrimination on account of being different from others of the same sex. Extend understanding towards their circumstances.

Willingly listen to their point of view. Ask questions in a calm and gentle manner. Avoid being hostile and defensive, or aggressively arguing beliefs. Your role or responsibility towards them is not to change their mind or ways. It is possible to maintain your stand against homosexuality without losing a “pro-gay” or homosexual friend.1

Acknowledge that neither party has all the answers. Prepare to respond to pro-gay interpretation of key bible verses that refer to homosexuality. Stay flexible when discussing theories (e.g., biological basis of homosexuality or ability to change sexual orientation), yet firm when discussing your convictions. Be aware of the complex issues within the discussion.

Continue reading “How should I relate to a friend who takes an opposing view on homosexuality?”

What does the homosexual lifestyle look like in Singapore?

Apart from Pink Dot (Qn. 24 & 37) and groups which cater to homosexual people, there are the occasional homosexual-themed plays/movies and gay events organized by regular entertainment outlets and night spots.

Tanjong Pagar Road is traditionally known as the thoroughfare of homosexual activity, but has since been replaced by Neil Road. Gay establishments in the form of bars/pubs, discos/clubs and saunas have sprouted in the area (e.g., Tras Street, Craig Street, Duxton Hill, Ann Siang Road) and in the nearby districts of Chinatown and Telok Ayer.1

With further development to various spots in Singapore, including enhancements to existing back allies and improvements to lighting in parks, outdoor gay venues have become less popular. Night “cruising” (i.e., where homosexual people roam about the area in search of a sex partner) is now limited to places such as the Fort Road carpark, Changi Business Park, Tanjong Beach at Sentosa and the upper-level carparks of Pearl’s Centre and Shaw Towers.2

A simple online search with relevant keywords about the gay lifestyle and personalities in Singapore would result in an extensive list of local gay sites and gay-affirming resources, such as Oogachaga’s The ABC’s of Gay Sex.3

1. SgWiki, Singapore Gay Venues: Contemporary (Accessed 23 July 2014)
2. Ibid.
3. Oogachaga’s publication available online: