Singapore can be excused for taking pride in its breakneck transformation from sleepy seaside port to fourth on the International Monetary Fund’s list of richest nations. This 50year evolution can be partly attributed to the rigid planning that has, on the one hand, fostered the world’s most successful public housing programme, and on the other, earned it the reputation of being the governmental equivalent of an overprotective parent.
Often called “The Nanny State,” the island nation can be seen as strict with its 5.6 million children. Rules govern what Singaporeans say (speaking against the prime minister and Christianity are both illegal) and how they behave (famously, there are fines for chewing gum, littering, graffiti, spitting, and jaywalking). The upshot is a gross national income of USD78,293 (the second highest globally), and a public programme housing 80 percent of the population, 90 percent of whom have their own Housing and Development Board (HDB) flat.
However, not all groups are included in the math of Singapore’s success. One such group? Singapore’s Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community.
Singapore currently has the world’s second highest rate of home ownership, largely due to a generous system of grants and subsidies the HDB provides its citizens. These, however, come with restrictive conditions. Married heterosexual couples, who can apply for housing grants at age 21, enjoy the