In January 2007, a survey of young people aged 15-29 conducted by students from Singapore Polytechnic's School of Business over 2 months found that exactly half of the 800 young people asked found homosexuality acceptable while 42% of the respondents found homosexuality unacceptable although no further details were available. Containing only one question on homosexuality, the survey respondents were asked if they agreed or disagreed with he statement, "I find homosexuality acceptable."
In February 2007, Nielsen/NetRatings rated Fridae.com one of top 10 web publishers in Singapore in 2006, leading the Entertainment category in page impressions. Fridae also emerged as the stickiest site in Singapore with an average session duration of nearly 12 minutes, double the market average of 6 minutes. With over 300,000 registered members, the web portal's users led in tertiary education, occupation and household income.
On 3 February 2007, Sylvia Lim, Workers' Party Chairman and a Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP), when asked pointedly by gay audience members at the party's public Youth Wing forum held to discuss the proposed amendments to the Penal Code, revealed that the WP was spilt on the issue of decriminalisation of gay sex and thus would not take the matter up in Parliament. The gay community was thoroughly disappointed as it had thought that the WP would be an ally in its effort get Section 377A repealed.
In March 2007, Fridae launched its highly anticipated Version 5 (V5) beta, the first major redesign since 2004. The launch was marked with a series of "Fridae Buzz" parties in collaboration with major gay party promoters from Hong Kong, Tokyo, Shanghai, Manila, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and San Francisco.
In the March 2007 issue of the "Methodist Message", the official monthly journal of the Methodist Church, the National Council of Churches of Singapore (NCCS) contained a statement commending the government on its stand not to repeal Section 377A and for the first time advocated the specific inclusion of lesbians in its scope. The NCCS represented Methodists, Anglicans and Presbyterians, among other mainstream denominations and was chaired by Rev. John Chew, head of the Anglican Church in Singapore and Archbishop of the Province of Anglican Church in South-East Asia. The NCSS' statement was slammed by the Free Community Church, SAFE Singapore and gay activist Alex Au.
In March 2007, bodybuilder-fashion photographer Chan Wai Teik published his first book, "Hypertrophy" which showcased the musculature of 6 male Asian bodybuilders. It was sold at boutique shops such as Venue Lab at The Heeren, The Asylum at 22 Ann Siang Road and online at www.hypertrophy.com.sg.
From 5 to 15 April 2007, Toy Factory presented "251" at the Esplanade Theatre Studio, a production by lesbian director Loretta Chen and gay playwright Ng Yi-Sheng. The play featured the life of one Singapore's most internationally known icons, porn actress Annabel Chong, who became world famous in 1995 for appearing in a groundbreaking adult movie entitled "The World's Biggest Gangbang". The then-22-year-old, whose real name is Grace Quek, was filmed having sex 251 times with 70 men over a period of about 10 hours. The play also included a scene which re-enacted Josef Ng's 1993 performance art protest against the police entrapment of gay men cruising near Fort Road beach (see main article: The Josef Ng affair).
On 14 April 2007, the then 23-year old director Boo Junfeng's gay short film "Katong Fugue" was screened for free at The Substation. 3 years prior to that, Boo had watched the stage production of Alfian Sa'at's groundbreaking gay play "Landmarks: Asian Boys Vol. 2" and was completely moved by a segment which depicted the fragile relationship between a mother and her gay son. So, he collaborated with Alfian and produced Katong Fugue, which was shortlisted as a finalist in the 2007 Singapore International Film Festival short film category.
In mid-April 2007, the Law Society of Singapore, after being invited by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in November 2006 to comment on the government's proposed amendments to the Penal Code and forming an ad hoc committee of 16 members to study the matter, released a statement advising the government that "the retention of s.377A in its present form cannot be justified".
In late April 2007, Florence Ang, producer of "Solos", the first gay feature-length film and undoubtedly the most sexually explicit gay movie to be made in Singapore about the relationship between a junior college student and his male teacher, announced that it would holding its world premiere on April 25 at the 2007 Singapore International Film Festival "to preserve the principle that films at the festival should be shown uncut". Censors had demanded 3 cuts to the 77-minute dialogueless film. The movie stars veteran actor Lim Yu-Beng as the teacher, co-director and screenplay writer Loo Zihan as the student and Goh Guat Kian as the latter's mother who suffers from depression.
On Saturday, 21 April 2007, nearly a decade after his widely quoted remarks about the gay issue in Singapore in a 1998 CNN interview, former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew again commented on it at a meeting with the youth wing of the People's Action Party. In response to a question from Young PAP activist Loretta Chen, who felt that current censorship guidelines were ambiguous and had asked where censorship was headed in the next 2 decades, Lee was quoted by The Straits Times as saying, "If in fact it is true, and I have asked doctors this, that you are genetically born a homosexual - because that's the nature of the genetic random transmission of genes - you can't help it. So why should we criminalise it?", (see main article: Lee Kuan Yew's views on homosexuality).
From 30 April to 21 May 2007, barely 6 months after Singapore-born, world-renowned fashion photographer Leslie Kee's book "Super Stars", which featured nude images of Asian celebrities, was banned by the government, 150 of 500 photographs made it past the censors and were displayed in an eponymously entitled exhibition at the National Museum, 93 Stamford Road.
On Thursday, 10 May 2007, a groundbreaking dialogue on "Christian Perspectives on Homosexuality and Pastoral Care" was held the Amara Hotel, 165 Tanjong Pager Road. It was organised by Safehaven, a ministry of the Free Community Church which saw an opportunity to have an open dialogue with mainstream churches, some of which have been outspoken against repealing gay sex laws, after Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew's recent comments about homosexuality. The discussion, moderated by Augustine Anthuvan, included a panel comprising Rev. Dr. Yap Kim Hao, a former Bishop of The Methodist Church in Malaysia & Singapore, Dr. Tan Kim Huat, Chen Su Lan Professor of New Testament and Dean of Studies at Trinity Theological College, Anthony Yeo, Consultant Therapist, Counselling and Care Center and Rev. Edmund Smith, founder of the ex-gay movement Real Love Ministry (headquartered in Malacca), testimonies by Alphonsus Lee, a gay Christian man and an ex-gay Christian lesbian and a question-and answer-session. Dr. Tan said, "There are lots of problems with criminalising homosexuality," and that the law itself was a "vestige" of the past. He added, "Singapore is a pluralistic society...There must be spaces for it", referring to homosexuals in society. This was the reason he gave for supporting repeal of Singapore's anti-gay law, Section 377A of the Penal Code. Rev. Dr. Yap also provided a gay-affirming Christian perspective on homosexuality.
On 1 and 2 June 2007, openly gay musician Mark Chan and the The ARTS FISSION Company presented "Dreaming of Kuanyin, Meeting Madonna", a magical communion of music, dance and video at the Victoria Theatre as part of the Singapore Arts Festival.
From 1 to 10 June 2007, lesbian artist Genevieve Chua held her first solo exhibition entitled "As Brutal As", which explored themes of psychological horror and sexuality, at La Libreria Gallery, 64A Queen Street, Bugis Village.
In early June 2007, the then 25-year old singer-guitarist Iris Judotter became the first out lesbian to launch an album - her self-produced, debut one entitled "The Importance of Being" under her own label. Judotter, a familiar face and voice to regular patrons at the now-defunct Mad Monk's cafe which used to host weekly lesbian parties in 2001. In conjunction with the launch, she performed songs from the CD at Earshot Cafe@The Arts House, 1 Old Parliament Lane on Saturday, June 9, at Toca Me, 95 Club Street on Wednesdays in June and at Play on July 5.
On Saturday, 7 July 2007, Singapore's first lesbian documentary, "Women who Love Women" premiered at Pelangi Pride Centre, Bianco, #04-01, 21 Tanjong Pagar Road at 4:30pm. The 65-minute film was produced by 33-year-old graduate student Ngiam Su-Lin, directed by Lim Mayling and features 3 Singaporean lesbians, Amanda Lee, Sabrina Renee Chong and Gea Swee Jean who share their coming out experiences, and their views on topics such as coming out and relationships. A question-and-answer session with the interviewees and filmmaker followed the screening.
On Tuesday, 10 July 2007, Fridae co-founder Robert Yeoh, aged 52, passed away from complications of pneumonia after spending a month in a Singapore hospital's intensive care unit. Yeoh trained and practiced as a barrister in Britain in the late 1970s and had an accomplished career in investment banking spanning nearly 2 decades before co-founding Fridae.com in 2000. He served as Fridae's CEO and was mainly involved in fundraising since the company's inception, seeing it through the bursting of the dot-com bubble before relegating the role to fellow co-founder, Dr. Stuart Koe in 2002.
From 11 to 29 July 2007, W!ld Rice presented "Happy Endings: Asian Boys Vol.3" (rated M18) at the Drama Centre Theatre, National Library. It was written by playwright/poet/social activist Alfian Sa'at, who in 2003 e-mailed Johann S. Lee, author of Singapore's first gay novel, "Peculiar Chris", soliciting his permission to adapt the novel into a theatre production which deals with what happens to the characters as they grow older, even creating an imaginary author as a character in the play. It starred an ensemble of both new and familiar faces including Lim Kay Siu, Karen Tan, Timothy Nga, Ben Seow, Pierre Goh and Hansel Tan.
On Sunday, 15 July 2007, for the first time in the history of forums on gay issues in Singapore, a member of parliament from the ruling People's Action Party, Baey Yam Keng, and a Nominated Member of Parliament, Siew Kum Hong, were part of a 5-member panel convened to discuss whether homosexual acts should remain criminalised. The other panellists were Rev. Dr. Yap Kim Hao, Fridae CEO Dr. Stuart Koe and gay activist Alex Au, with the discussin moderated by Ken Kwek. The forum was organised by W!ld Rice in conjunction with Happy Endings: Asian Boys Vol 3 and attracted some 250 people. MP Baey for the first time publicly voiced his support for the law to be repealed, saying "Personally, I think that the whip should be lifted for a very open debate and open expression of opinion by the MPs. And if that is so, I would vote for a repeal of the act...From my understanding of my parliamentary colleagues, my guess is that I will be the minority."
In July 2007, Fridae partnered with LOTL International, a new online lesbian magazine available at http://lotl.fridae.com to present a unique and exciting product that offered readers premium magazine content in a special easy to read format. The premiere issue of LOTL International after Fridae came on board included articles on pop sensation P!nk, Calvin Klein model Jenny Shimizu, Muslim lesbians, girl on girl casual sex, among others. LOTL International was launched in 2006 by the publishers of LOTL, formerly known as "Lesbians on the Loose" and Australia's most widely read monthly lesbian magazine.
From 19 to 22 July 2007, celebrity actor and international gay rights campaigner, Sir Ian McKellen, performed in 2 plays presented by the Royal Shakespeare Company in conjuction with the Singapore Repertory Theatre at the Esplanade Theatre - Shakespeare's King Lear and Anton Chekov's The Seagull. McKellen came out as a gay man on BBC radio in the 1980s, co-founded the UK's Stonewall gay rights lobby group, served as the patron of LGBT History Month and FFLAG (Friends and Families of Lesbian and Gays) and played the lead role in Martin Sherman's play, Bent. When interviewed on Channel News Asia's Primetime Morning on 16 July 2007 and asked what he intended to do in Singapore during his free time, McKellen came out and said he was looking for a gay bar. PLU also interviewed him in a video where urged the government to repeal the archaic law which his country imposed her former colony, Singapore - Section 377A.
From 1 to 15 August 2007, Singapore's 3rd Pride Month with 25 events lined up, IndigNation2007, was held. The theme that year was "Celebrating diversity, advancing equality." It kicked off with "Idiosyncracies", an art exhibition. However, "Kissing", a photo exhibition by Alex Au featuring 80 images of gay men and lesbians kissing, was banned by the Media Development Authority at the eleventh hour,. A lecture on how the British Empire enacted "unnatural sex" 337 legislation throughout the world by Prof. Douglas Sanders, professor emeritus at Thailand's prestigious Chulalongkorn University and Mahidol University was also banned at the last minute. The third event disallowed was "In the Pink" (more commonly referred to as the Pink Picnic), organised by Miak Siew and scheduled to be held on Thursday, 9 August, National Day, at the Botanic Gardens. The National Parks Board (NPB), which managed the Botanic Gardens, sent gay activist Alex Au a letter, even though he was not the organiser, saying that the picnic was deemed to be an "organised gathering" held by an "interest group to politicise (its) cause" could not be held on the grounds of the gardens. However, despite the ban, about 100 queer people and allies dressed in pink turned up to relax and share food next to Symphony Lake at the Botanic Gardens between 4:30 and 6:30pm. The success of the Pink Picnic led some astute observers to later suggest that a similar open-air LGBT-supportive event at Hong Lim Park would garner greater grassroots support than a pride parade as it was not a protest nor flagrant display of sexuality and even straight Singaporeans could take part. Thus, the Pink Picnic can be considered to be a precursor to the holding of the massively attended inaugural Pink Dot in 2009.
On Monday, 10 September 2007, the then 38-year old Otto Fong, a science teacher at Raffles Institution who posted a blog entry about his being gay two days before, was forced to remove it due to intense scrutiny and pressure from the Ministry of Education. Fong, who was an Oklahoma University Electronic Engineering and Beijing Film Institute graduate, had published 3 comic books, a 1992 full-length play, "Another Tribe", which became the first Mandarin play performed in Singapore which had a R21 rating as it contained stories of gay youths and their love stories, a 1993 play called "Cetecea" in an award winning anthology published by TheatreWorks Writers' Lab, "Happy Family" in 1994 and "Mr. Beng", a musical commissioned and performed at the Singapore Festival of Arts in 1999. In a 2000-word open letter, he made a plea for greater acceptance of gay people by society, citing Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew's (himself a Raffles Institution alumnus) remarks questioning Singapore's gay sex laws and MP Baey Yam Keng's public statement supporting the repeal of Section 377A as his reasons for coming out in his blog meant to be read by his colleagues. Fong was inspired to reassess his responsibility beyond academia to his students after attending an IndigNation forum the previous month where several young adults questioned the little guidance available to them as gay teenagers.
The highlight of the year was the parliamentary debate over whether or not to repeal Section 377A as part of the extensive Penal Code review (see main article: Section 377A of the Singapore Penal Code). On Monday, 22 October 2007, an open letter to the Prime Minister containing over 8000 signatures urging the repeal of Section 377A was hand-delivered to his office at the Istana on Monday, 22 October 2007 by co-organiser Alan Seah, accompanied by actress Pam Oei and playwright/theatre director Ivan Heng. The same day, a parliamentary petition to repeal Section 377A which had garnered over 2,500 signatures was presented to parliament by NMP Siew Kum Hong . In the heated discussion that ensued, voices calling for equal treatment of Singapore's gay citizens were heard for the first time in Parliament House. Following two days of intense debate, PM Lee Hsien Loong concluded the session by saying, "We don't harass gays. The Government does not act as moral policeman. And we don't proactively enforce Section 377A on them." His final decision was for Section 377A to remain and the proposed amendment Bill to the Penal Code was passed on Tuesday evening, 23 October 2007.
In the early hours of the morning of Saturday, 10 November 2007, the well known transwoman author of the book "From Leonard to Leona: A Singapore Transsexual's Journey to Womanhood" and vociferous advocate of transgender equality, Leona Lo, who was dancing in a bar at Clarke Quay called The Pump Room, was asked to leave by a bouncer, with its supervisor saying that the club did not welcome "lady boys". Via an e-mail to the media, Lo said hoped to turn the incident into an opportunity to educate the club's bouncers and management about gender diversity.
In November 2007, Johann S. Lee, author of Singapore's first gay novel "Peculiar Chris", published his second novel entitled "To Know Where I'm Coming From". Through a layered sequence of flashbacks, it tells the story of Ben Goh, a 36-year-old gay Singaporean banker working in London, working through a doomed relationship with Rob, a white English actor, descending into drug-filled debauchery upon his breakup, and journeying home to watch a play suspiciously similar to Asian Boys Volume 3.
On Thursday, 13 December 2007, The HOPE Concert (Rated R18) featuring Los Angeles-based gay pop group and real-life couple Jason and deMarco, was held at Kreta Ayer People's Theatre at 7.30pm. The duo were barred from performing in 2005 by the Media Development Authority when Safehaven, a ministry of gay-affirmative Free Community Church, tried to organise a similar event to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS. The concert, hosted by Chua Enlai and Mistevious, also featured prominent local celebrities Hossan Leong, Selena Tan, John Lee (pop icon Dick Lee's brother) and NMP Eunic Olsen. Proceeds from ticket sales and goodwill donations, after cost-recovery, were contributed to the Action for AIDS Medical Subsidy Fund that provides subsidies to HIV+ patients in accessing their HAART (Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy). Dr. Balaji Sadasivan, Senior Minister of State for Information, Communications and the Arts, and Foreign Affairs, who was the guest of honour in his capacity as chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on HIV/AIDS, made a speech citing Sydney's success in reducing HIV prevalence rates among MSM and urging greater co-operation between health authorities, NGOs and the MSM community.