A conversation with a Geography teacher

Diversity.

That's the word that stayed with me long after the conversation with my friend ended.

Too many Singaporeans love to fit into a mould. Or perhaps they have been forced to fit into one.

With the tall poppy syndrome asserting itself ever so often in Singapore, or with people critical of difference, it is difficult to showcase your individuality if it doesn't conform to societal's preconceived notions of what the norm is supposed to be.

Old people are discriminated against, seen to be less valuable. Why else would the government have to run ads to encourage fair employment for those who've had a lifetime worth of experience?

Gay people are discriminated against with 377A. Although not actively enforced, the presence of this penal code means that gay people are seen to be less than in the eyes of the law, than heterosexuals. I never quite seen this as a problem, and only appreciated it when she brought it up in our conversation.

She then added that she wasn't a conventional Christian.

I said that that's alright, there's already too much hate from Christians to the LGBT community as it is.

People are different. We need to recognise that. As much as rules are important for the healthy functioning of society, legalistic adherence to things that do not matter only enforce a herd mentality and groupthink.

Some other friends who've studied abroad often comment how one is free to be themselves overseas and no one would judge them for it. They would then emphasise how it is that this is not found in Singapore.

I wonder what I can do to change this.

One person at a time I guess.

One conversation at a time.

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