It Begins With Three Books


I grew up in a family without a father figure. My dad passed away when I was young. My mom worked at the office during the day. My oldest brother, only three years my senior, was essentially the dad in my life then. Of course, I had other dads too. They came in the forms of my uncles. My aunts were sometimes my mom, when I went to their homes to stay, during my school holidays or to wait after school.

So, I did not come from a one father, one mother, family upbringing. However, in my mind, for years, the picture in my head of a family, my definition of a family, was, a father, a mother, and two children, as prescribed and subscribed by our government, our schools, and our society then.

I remember being teased and yes, bullied, by friends for not having a father. Who could blame them? They did not know any better. Our government, our schools, and our society did not educate them any better.

And I always felt like I did not belong and out to place, in school or out of school. And I attributed everything that I was or was not, to the fact that I was a misfit. And one day, subconsciously, I assigned myself the label, that of a misfit and it became a determinant to many of the processes, events, and outcomes, that occurred in my life.

I think about the children today, who do come from “alternative” family types and which, do not “reflect society’s norm” of what a family should be. How much of an outcast they may think that they are and feel. The teasing and bullying they may receive as a result of peers who are not exposed to ideas of diverse family units. How damaging all these can be to a child’s developing self-concept; self-recognition, self-esteem, self-awareness, and self-definition. How the effects can impact in such detrimental ways in their adult lives. And because our government, our schools, and our society refuse to educate them any better, even today.

Now, the National Library Board, the one establishment that is supposed to furnish free resources with potential to extend knowledge, promote critical thinking, open minds, present different and alternative views and ideas, has decided that it would join our government, our schools, and our society, in limiting our children’s vast potential to learn about diversity, inclusivity, empathy, anti-bullying, and so much more, by deciding that it would censure any books in the children’s section which, do not reflect our society’s discriminatory and parochial definition of a family.

And hence, continues the trend of an exclusive and intolerant society and hurtful and hurt children.


You Are Not “Pro-Family” For Removing The Books. You Are “Pro-Stupidity” – Deborah Tan

Words cannot explain how disappointed I am with the National Library Board’s decision to remove the books “And Tango Makes Three”, “The White Swan Express: A Story About Adoption” and “Who’s In My Family: All About Our Families” from its shelves.

A library is a place where people go to read up on a wide variety of topics and genres. It is where you go to read books written from different perspectives so you can FORM YOUR OWN OPINIONS. A library has no business telling us what we should or should not be reading. It certainly should not be acting on the opinions of anyone – vocal minority or silent majority. Rather, it should act on whether a book has the ability to inform and educate.

Can animal-lovers ask for books on Hello Kitty to be removed because they feature a cat that is anatomically wrong and may lead people to believe that cats should have their mouths cut out? Can women ask for the removal of Archie comics because all self-respecting women should not stand for a guy who vacillates between 2 girls and sometimes dates both?

The point is, in the world of books and literature THERE IS NO RIGHT OR WRONG. A library provides the material and information so people can decide for themselves.

By having children’s books that promote an alternative view of Family isn’t wrong. Rather, you offer parents the opportunity to open their kids’ minds and broaden their views of the real world. Do you not think it is important for children to grow up understanding that such topics are not taboo and that they are not society’s outcasts for thinking they might want something different? It’s not just an education for the kids, but also an education for parents who need to learn how to embrace their children for who they will become.

Here’s what it means to be a family:

A family is a group of people who will unconditionally love and support each other through the good times and the bad. Whether a child is healthy, ill, or handicapped, the family will always see him/her as perfect. In a family, we accept everyone for who they are. Some families have a husband and a wife. Some, have a father, a mother, and a child. Some families are made up of two parents of the same gender. Some, are great with just a single parent bringing up a child. Some families are made up of friends – my Material World partners are my family too.

Material World

By removing three children’s books based on the feedback of a few people, the National Library Board has made enemies of many writers and members the LGBT community. The “pro-family” stance is now, unfortunately, looking like a “pro-stupidity” one. By Deborah Tan


I’m just going to come right out to say it: YOU have no right telling me how to live my life. YOU – the “concerned” public, the “pro-family” public, the public with the most narrow-minded view on what constitutes as “family” – have no business telling me what I should read or should not read.

I’m sick and tired of YOU defining the “family unit” as one that consists of a father, a mother, and a child. I’m sick and tired of you forcing your own narrow-minded definition of what makes a “family unit” down everyone’s throats.

I’m sick and tired of YOU using the “family” to decide…

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My letter to the Assistant Chief Executive and Chief Librarian of the National Library Board

Ms Tay Ai Ching
Assistant Chief Executive and Chief Librarian
Public Library Services Group
National Library Board

Dear Ms Tay,

I am writing in response to the news that two books have been taken off the catalogue and shelves of your libraries after receiving feedback that these books run in contrary to Singapore’s “pro-family” position.

I would like to emphasise that the two books which have been withdrawn from your shelves, are in no way contrary to Singapore’s “pro-family” position. As experience has informed me, “atypical” family units, for the lack of a better term, have been wrongly misunderstood and discriminated for far too long.

Having been an early childhood educator for the past 10 years, I have met and worked with children from different family backgrounds. While most of them come from the typical family unit consisting of biological parents who are in a heterosexual union, there are some…

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Appalling Anti-Gay Comments from Singaporeans (Comment section)–unprecedented–discrimination-112620712.html


The anti-gay comments coming from Singaporeans in the comment section are appalling.

To those who bring in Jesus to justify your stand against the LGBT community, please, do not shame His name.

Jesus in separating the sheep from the wolves spoke about deeds and not who a person is.

“For I was hungry, and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me drink. I was a stranger, and you took me in. I was naked, and you clothed me. I was sick, and you visited me. I was in prison, and you came to me.’

Jesus ended this parable with,

‘Most certainly I tell you, inasmuch as you didn’t do it to one of the least of these, you didn’t do it to me.’ These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Matthew 25:31–46


The Love of God Becomes Real When Through Me It Touches Another.

For God, it is all about Love.


Let’s look to these people instead for what love is.