South China Morning Post, 17 October 2018
Oogachaga, a secular organisation that works with the community, received 155 calls for help on its hotline, email and WhatsApp counselling services in September – a 50 per cent increase from the month before. Jejaka, a smaller organisation focusing on Muslim and/or Malay youth, saw its weekly group counselling sessions double to eight participants in the same period.Leow Yangfa, Oogachaga’s executive director, told me: “As public debate on 377A peaked, counsellors reported a spike not just in numbers but also in the intensity of problems from clients, especially younger clients, who often lack the resources and resilience to cope. Some expressed fears about rejection by their families, peers and religious communities. Others felt overwhelmed by the hostility and homophobia they saw on social media. Several talked about having suicidal thoughts and attempts.”
Gay Star News, 14 October 2018
Today, 20 September 2018
Today, 15 September 2018
Mr Leow Yangfa, executive director of non-profit organisation Oogachaga that works with the LGBTQ community, acknowledged that the Indian court ruling played a “big part in re-igniting and re-inspiring the latest round of petitions, debates and discussions about repealing Section 377A”.
Today, 14 September 2018
Mr Leow Yangfa, executive director of Oogachaga, a non-profit organisation that works with the LGBTQ community, expressed disappointment over NCCS’ comments.“It is disappointing yet somewhat expected that the NCCS has taken such a strong position against the LGBTQ+ community in Singapore, many of whom also identify themselves as Christians, and/ or belong to loving and accepting Christian families and communities all over Singapore,” he said.
Gay Star News, 14 September 2018
Leow Yangfa is a long-time advocate and executive director of LGBTI support group Oogachaga. He said he was not concerned about how many signatures the petition had.Leow told Gay Star News that the NCCS does not represent all Christians or even all religious people in Singapore.‘What I am more concerned about (is) the fact that we lack open and factual discussions about how 377A impacts LGBT individuals, couples, families and communities. For many, it is not intuitive how legislation, even when not “proactively enforced”, can impact all of us. It is usually easier to sign a petition after reading an emotionally charged appeal,’ he said.Leow also said the petition didn’t concern him because Singapore mandates a separation of church and state.
The Straits Times, 7 September 2018
Mr Leow Yangfa, the executive director of Oogachaga, a non-profit organisation working with the LGBT community, told The Straits Times on Friday: “We would like to thank Prof Tommy Koh for the very generous word of encouragement for us to persevere in our efforts to seek equality and justice for everyone, regardless of our sexual orientation and/or gender identity.”Although not proactively enforced, the continued existence of section 377A in Singapore’s penal code creates an environment where it is acceptable to treat members of the LGBT community in an unequal way, he said.For example, he noted, there is a lack of protection for LGBT employees who may be fired on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and transgender individuals often face difficulty in accessing appropriate healthcare and social services.
Today, 7 September 2018
Oogachaga executive director Leow Yangfa noted that even though Section 377A is not “proactively enforced, as reassured by PM Lee and others since 2007”, its presence “creates an environment where it is acceptable to treat members of the LGBTQ community in an unequal way”.
Gay Star News, 7 September 2018
The LGBTI community does look to the government ‘to ensure equality and justice for ALL Singaporeans, including LGBTQ Singaporeans’ said Leow Yangfa of Singapore LGBTI organization, Oogachaga.
New York Times, 21 August 2018
It’s rare to see “such open and visible representation in local mainstream media,” said Leow Yangfa, executive director of Oogachaga, a support organization in Singapore for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. He said he hoped the international attention on Singapore — buttressed by the success of “Crazy Rich Asians,” a movie based in the country — might shine light on the state of gay rights there.“Not everyone in Singapore lives like the ‘Crazy Rich Asians’; homophobia, biphobia and transphobia are very real experiences for the L.G.B.T.Q.+ community in Singapore,” he said.
Gay Star News, 17 August 2018
JOY 94.9 - Saturday Magazine, 11 August 2018
Gay Star News, 1 August 2018
‘The reason we are making this public is because we believe in engaging in an open and transparent way with our elected officials, and letting them know that this is what we believe in, and invite them to join with us. Hence the last line in the letter to ‘invite you to help us create avenues for dialogue’,’ Leow Yangfa, the executive director of LGBTI-friendly counselling organisation Oogachaga, told GSN.
Open letter to the Prime Minister, 1 August 2018
Asia Times, 28 July 2018
“It has come to our attention that schools under [the Ministry of Education] are not allowed to refer their students for counseling support at Oogachaga,” says Leow Yangfa, executive director of LGBT-friendly non-profit counseling organization Oogacahaga.He notes that some schools encourage parents to send their LGBT children to “practitioners of conversion trauma.” “The reason I use the term ‘trauma’ instead of ‘therapy’ is because as a social worker and counsellor, it is widely recognized in my profession that such approaches are not therapeutic in nature,” he says. “It is an unethical form of practice, and has been shown to cause emotional trauma and harm.”
Bloomberg, 5 July 2018
“Singapore is still way behind Hong Kong,” said Leow Yangfa, executive director of Oogachaga, a nonprofit organization working with LGBT people. “The fact will certainly not be lost on our government that this means Hong Kong will now have an even bigger competitive edge.”
SG Magazine, 11 May 2018
Gay Star News, 7 May 2018
Today, 11 January 2018
As our society continues to evolve into a more inclusive one, we appear to be deliberately leaving some behind, to the extent of excluding them. Even as we love, accept and understand our own families, perhaps we can consider extending such empathy to other families, too.What is it like for us, as a nation, to deny a Singaporean parent the same citizenship rights for his biological child?Similarly, as the rest of the world moves ahead in these changing times, can Singapore afford to be left behind?
Dear Straight People, 9 Jaunary 2018