A Singaporean paralympic athlete has decided to come out as gay ahead of her country’s annual pride event next month.
Swimmer Theresa Goh (pictured), who was born with spina bifida and gets around in a wheelchair, was competing at the Rio Paralympics last year when she was approached by organisers about becoming an ambassador for her country’s annual Pink Dot pride march in July.
The 30-year-old told the Straits Times it “feels like the right time” to come out.
“I felt like I had to use that attention for a bigger message, I didn’t want to just make it about sports and me and disability,” Goh said.
She said she first confided in her best friend about her sexuality 10 years ago, but the lack of LGBTI visibility in Singaporean media at the time left her unsure.
“When I looked in the papers, television or movies, I never saw anyone on a wheelchair, let alone someone in a wheelchair who is gay,” she said.
“[But] in the end, I know no matter what happens, I have the important people in my life who care, are supportive, and who will be there if I need them, so no matter what happens, I feel I will be okay.
“My parents are amazing. From then on, I knew that I was safe, that I’m okay. It helped a lot once I had their backing.
“That’s something that a lot of people may not be lucky enough to have.”