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Gay & Lesbian Travellers

By: joyceho on 11 Apr 2011
Although the Singapore government does not recognize or support alternative lifestyles, there isn't any real threat for gays and lesbians in the country. The national stance on homosexuality is enigmatic. Sex between consenting males may be punishable by a two-year jail term (but no one is really going to bust into your room and drag you down to the police station). In local legal terms, lesbians do not exist, but lesbian couples are highly visible around Singapore but attract little obvious attention.

However, In 2002, the Minister of State acknowledged the biogenetic nature of homosexuality, a sure reflection of the State's slow but steady increasing acceptance of the LBGT. The general public is by and large conservative with a 'don't ask, don't tell' attitude. Checking into a hotel shouldn't be a problem but if you wish, there are some gay-friendly backpackers and boutique hotels around.

Interestingly enough, the gay and lesbian culture is very much vibrant and alive in certain areas around Singapore. You can find gay bars, clubs and saunas operating in and around Chinatown and its neighboring areas - Ann Siang Hill and Neil Road. These locales are worth checking up if you're up for a good night out, and gay establishments operate openly and are largely untouched by the police.

While the older gays and lesbians are more conservative and hence less likely to have an open to discussion about their sexuality or personal experience, the younger generations have far fewer qualms about describing the local scene and their personal experiences in Singapore. Do note that the mainstream Singaporean stance is that the country is not ready for the promotion of gay lifestyles yet.

Other Information:
  • People Like Us (PLU) is a lesbian and gay advocacy group. Their website has more background information on homosexuality in Singapore.
  • Information and listings at and local lifestyle site
  • If you're looking for alternative lifestyle based festivals and events, check out, the regional gay and lesbian site.

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