Singapore, 6 September 2023 – A new survey by consumer research company Milieu Insight in partnership with Pink Dot polled 1,000 Gen Zs (aged 16-26) and Millennials (aged 27-34) in Singapore on their views about issues facing the local LGBTQ+ community. The survey’s release follows recent policy announcements at the National Day Rally 2023, and marks a year after the announcement of the repeal of Section 377A of the Penal Code. Its participants include both LGBTQ+ and non-LGBTQ+ youths, randomly polled.

“With the repeal of Section 377A marking the beginning of a new chapter, the views of youths in Singapore are more important than ever in shaping what’s next for the queer community in Singapore,” said Pink Dot SG spokesperson Clement Tan. “We hope this research can be a resource for both policy-makers and community organisations to better understand the issues which are most pressing to Singapore’s LGBTQ+ community today.”

According to the survey, 6 in 10 respondents believe that the LGBTQ+ community continues to experience discrimination in Singapore, with Gen Z respondents (65%) more likely to agree with this statement than Millennials (55%). Unsurprisingly, LGBTQ+ respondents were more likely to agree that LGBTQ-based discrimination exists (80%) in comparison to their heterosexual counterparts (59%). Of the respondents who thought that the LGBTQ+ community experiences discrimination, only 11% believed that enough has been done to address such discrimination. 36% of Singapore youths agreed that generally, Singapore is a livable city for LGBTQ+ people.

Barriers to buying homes
According to the survey, barriers to starting families, harassment/bullying and barriers to buying homes were among the most pressing LGBTQ-related issues, with over half of Singapore youths agreeing that these were issues the LGBTQ+ community faced. Amongst LGBTQ+ respondents in particular, barriers to buying homes in Singapore ranked by far the most urgent issue to be tackled, with 31% of LGBTQ+ youths identifying this as their top priority.

“We see a lot of concern around bread and butter issues like barriers to homeownership, particularly by respondents who identify as LGBTQ+. In this context, the government’s recent review of housing policy is overdue,” said Tan, referring to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s National Day Rally speech announcing more options for singles seeking to purchase Housing Development Board (HDB) units (1).

“Affordable housing is a gap which needs to be plugged for LGBTQ+ people who face many challenges and structural constraints in obtaining housing in Singapore. We welcome the steps taken towards a more inclusive and equitable public housing system, and hope to see further changes which align with the diverse needs and aspirations of young Singaporeans. Everyone should have a place they are proud to call home, even those whose families do not conform to the state-sanctioned nuclear family.”

Harassment and schools
“LGBTQ-based harassment and bullying need urgent attention too, particularly in schools,” said Tan. Significantly more Gen Z respondents (61%) agreed that LGBTQ+ respondents face harassment or bullying compared to their Millennial counterparts (50%). When asked which stakeholders play the most important role(s) in addressing discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community, respondents pointed to the government (84%), individuals/community (72%), schools (61%) and religious institutions (52%). Significantly more Gen Z respondents (68%) pointed to schools as an important stakeholder in addressing discrimination compared to
Millennials (51%).

“We have heard accounts of teachers who are helpless in preventing the bullying of LGBTQ+ youths due to mixed messages from administrators. In some cases, teachers and administrators are themselves responsible for the discriminatory treatment. LGBTQ+ youths have been found to be at higher risk of self-harm and suicide (2), and not enough is being done to support them in schools. All youths deserve a safe and caring environment as they grow and learn.” said Tan.

1 Currently, singles who are 35 and above can only apply for a two-room flexi unit in non-mature estates, and are not allowed to buy units under the Prime Location Housing (PLH) framework. From mid-2024, singles will be allowed to apply for two-room flexi BTOs in all locations, and can also buy two-room Prime flexi resale flats, or Standard or Plus resale flats of any size except 3Gen flats.