How often do we hear the phrase “so gay” in our society nowadays? I would say pretty often.
That’s why when the article “MOE should not hire homosexual teachers” was brought to light by TRS, I hesitated to believe. The phrase “so gay” is so callously used today that many don’t see the gravity of labelling someone as “gay”. The word gay has become so “well-integrated” into our vocabulary that gay no longer means a homosexual man. Currently, gay could mean effeminacy or someone who is being overly cheery (or “camp” in modern parlance). It no longer necessarily means that a male has a preference for a male partner.
(…his songs are pretty camp too…)
There’s reason to believe that the teacher as pointed out in the article may not have openly professed to be gay but rather may be rather flamboyant which has resulted in some students labelling him as gay. After some time, this label could have turned into a rumour. When such rumours turn to gossip, there’s no turning back from all the speculation and half-truths. All of us would have played the game of the broken telephone before. Stories morph and take on a life of their own, who knows what the initial piece of information might have been? If we were to agree to the writer’s plea to stop MOE from hiring teachers who are gay, do we also stop hiring those who are “gay”?
I’m not suggesting that parents shouldn’t trust their children, but rather learn to discern what could be passed off as a comment and what the truth is.
“The most disturbing part is that he claimed it is normal to be gay.” I honestly doubt the child would be that influenced by one teacher being “gay” to consider it normal. As society’s mindset evolves, I would say it is because of society’s greater tolerance and acceptance towards homosexuals as a whole that they regard it as more “normal”. Kids are exposed to social media. They would have seen Pink Dot, read debate about 377A and seen debate about homosexuality. Thoughts are not shaped by one source. Their thoughts and opinions are constantly moulded by different sources and one’s experiences. As parents, we can try to direct our children on a certain train of thought, but we must also understand that the wave of information that the internet has brought in will constantly undercut our efforts in influencing how our children think, for that ship has long sailed.
To her point about how MOE should not hire homosexual teachers, I disagree.
Just like how no one is discriminated based on race or religion or gender, no one should be discriminated on the grounds of sexual orientation. I agree that there is a concern of influence if a teacher is homosexual. However, if the teacher does not actively profess or glorify his or her sexual orientation, he or she should not be condemned or not allowed to teach. To discount one’s ability to teach based on one’s sexuality and to assume that a homosexual will actively promote his or her lifestyle would be absolutely discriminatory.
To use an extremely numbed down example, if a teacher hated eating vegetables although consumption of vegetables are important to our health and since every educator should set a good example, perhaps that teacher should not be allowed to teach as well. Especially since parents have a hard time trying to convince their kids to eat more greens.
Before I get shot down by the many who will point out that greens are in no way a viable comparison to homosexuality, my point here is – if the teacher is not blatantly trying to influence students to be like him, why should he be discriminated against? Does it mean that just because a teacher does not embody the values that one deems to be “ideal”, he or she is a lesser being and not worthy of the profession? In that case, we probably would not have anyone capable of being a teacher because everyone has different expectations of a teacher and it would be impossible to have them all converge within an individual.
This is not a manifestation of a gay agenda, neither does it represent my views on homosexuality. Because really, it isn’t about homosexuality, it’s about our view of meritocracy and whether homosexuality should be a reason for exception.