locally published book
which may be ahead of its time has come out in print. But, it could be a blessing, as its
the further opening up of Singapore culturally and socially,
for the book, People Like Us, is all about them
(straight people) and us (gay people).
insightful book takes us into hitherto closeted
discussions on the rights and responsibilities of
Singaporean homosexuals and opens the local reader's
mindset to the dreams and aspirations of this sexual
minority in Singapore.
Like Us is a compilation of speeches by various
people - academics, social critics and interested
people - at two closed-door forums held at The
Substation in 1999. Transcripts of floor discussions
are provided. There is also a section with related
articles as well as the transcript of a chat between playwright
Russell Heng and artist Jimmy Ong.
speakers share their personal experiences on a topic
long considered taboo in the public's eyes. They
recount their struggle to come to terms with their
gay identity and gain support from their family and
Foreign speaker David
Birch throws a challenge to civil society to change
its perception that being gay is undesirable. There is
a detailed dissection of the three penal code laws
used by the prosecution against homosexual offences
also traces the development of local gay group
People Like Us (PLU), from which the book takes its
title, and its struggle for official recognition -
including its failed attempts to register itself
first as a society, later as a company.
large, People Like Us traces the tedious and
tortuous route which gay people, as well as
playwrights who expound gay themes in their plays,
have to plough through in their attempt to gain
Review by Raymond HAN ISBN 981-4022-21-7 Published in
2003 by Select Publishing Tel: (65) 6732 1515 Fax:
(65) 6736 0855.