Some people, including some university student groups, have assumed that the solution to help youth with same-sex attraction is to push for the cause of affirming their alternative sexual identity at all costs.
These groups include The G Spot (Yale-National University of Singapore College), tFreedom (Tembusu College, NUS), Gender Collective (University Scholars Programme, NUS), Kaleidoscope (an independent Nanyang Technological University group) and Out To Care (Singapore Management University).
Yale-NUS College also organised an Ally Week in March to support the ideology that alternative sexual identities must be affirmed.
As a counsellor with more than a decade of experience helping youth with same-sex attraction, I urge caution against such an assumption.
Even in countries where same-sex marriage laws have been passed – for example, in Denmark – the quality of life of homosexual individuals has not improved.
Rather, married homosexuals have been found to die at an age about 20 years younger than their heterosexual counterparts.
This statistically significant difference cannot be ignored by anyone who truly cares for homosexuals.
It makes all sense to ask: Why do homosexuals affirmed in their alternative sexual identities, and even those who are married, not enjoy the same quality of life as their heterosexual counterparts?
This should eventually lead us back to question the starting assumption: Does helping an individual with same-sex attraction equate to pushing for the same-sex marriage agenda or affirming his alternative sexual identity at all costs?
Many of my friends with same-sex attraction live healthier, more fulfilling lives today not because they have been affirmed of an alternative sexual identity, but because of loving support rendered that enabled them to work on their social-emotional difficulties and to accept themselves.
Their specific sexual dispositions should play little role in their identity.
They are not pushing the same-sex marriage agenda.
This is especially important for society to understand, so that we do not confuse the goal of loving homosexuals with an agenda to change the moral laws of society.
We should love homosexuals and ensure they are not bullied or discriminated against.
But to link this to a need to push the same-sex marriage agenda would be a wrong conclusion.
It is, hence, of grave concern to see the developments in our student campuses.
Expertise in navigating through this sensitive issue holistically and factually is sorely missing.
Leo Hee Khian