ADDED ON: 12/17/2020

Homophobia Is Not an Asian Value. It’s Time for the East to Reconnect to Its Own Traditions of Tolerance

12/17/2020 | Time Magazine

Tan Seng Kee, a 62-year-old retired doctor and LGBTQ+ activist, recently filed a motion in Singapore’s High Court, asking it to order the city-state’s cabinet to revoke a colonial-era law that could imprison men for up to two years for engaging in consensual sex. Asian critics of homosexuality have long argued that it is a Western behavior, superimposed upon Eastern cultures as a decadent, neo-colonial side effect of globalization. Even those who are not opposed to homosexuality tend to shrug their shoulders at what they believe to be a uniformly conservative continent when it comes to sexual politics. It’s just not Asian, many say. The public will never accept it. Yet reality yields a far more complex picture. According to a 2019 Pew survey, wealthier countries tend to be more accepting of homosexuality regardless of whether they are Asian or Western. For example Japan, which has the world’s third biggest economy, is significantly more accepting of homosexuality than, say, Israel, Poland, Lithuania, or Greece. Affluent South Korea is far more accepting than Bulgaria or Ukraine.


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