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Pink Dot 2019 ambassador Tosh Zhang apologises for old homophobic tweets

He says he has matured and learnt to respect people.

Joshua Lee | May 16, 08:27 pm

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Pink Dot announced on May 15, 2019 that local actor Tosh Zhang is one of the ambassadors for Pink Dot 2019.

However, the announcement has been met with scepticism.

This was after his old tweets from as far back as 2010 have been dug up to show that he might not be suited for championing LGBT rights.

Anti-LGBT tweets dug up

A Facebook post by Sarah Yip on May 16 has shared a sampling of past tweets by Zhang, which are less than friendly towards lesbians in particular:

In one tweet, Zhang wrote: “This butch in front of me has a nice ass. Mm wasted.”

In another tweet, he slut-shamed girls who “dress+behave like a slut”, saying that it’s “human nature not to appreciate what is obtained too easily”.

Zhang also once tweeted that he is “OK with gay guys…until they hit on [him]”.

Zhang: “I used to be ignorant”

In an Instagram post dated May 16, Zhang apologised for his past, claiming that he used to be “ignorant to the pain, struggles, and discrimination” that LGBT folks face daily.

“Looking back now, I feel awful and disgusted that I spoke that way. It had never occured to me back then to try and understand what life was like for them,” wrote Zhang.

He added that as he matured and connected with people from various walks of life, his views evolved and changed:

“I learnt to treat & respect people as HUMAN before anything else and to measure a person by the content of their character and how they treat others, rather than their race, religion, class, sexual orientation or gender identity.”

View this post on Instagram

I’m one of the #PinkDot11 ambassadors this year & I’m supporting the movement because as a straight Chinese male in Singapore who is of the privileged majority, I wanna do my part & fight against discrimination & stand up for equality for ALL Singaporeans, no matter your race, religion, class, sexual orientation or gender identity. Years ago I used to be ignorant to the pain, struggles & discrimination that our LGBTQ brothers & sisters face everyday. I recall when I was much younger, saying insensitive things about LGBTQ people without giving it much thought or considering how my words would hurt people. Looking back now I feel awful & disgusted that I spoke that way. It had never occured to me back then to try & understand what life was like for them as I had never experienced discrimination in SG as a straight Chinese male and I was oblivious to the unspoken privileges I enjoyed that our minorities don’t. Over the years as I matured, expanded my circle & connected with people from various walks of life all over the globe, my views evolved & changed. I learnt to treat & respect people as HUMAN before anything else and to measure a person by the content of their character and how they treat others, rather than their race, religion, class, sexual orientation or gender identity. There are people close to me who have inspired or made an impact on me both personally & professionally, who are from the LGBTQ community. They are people I hold dear and it’s saddening to know they face discrimination & stigma from society simply for being who they are. They are our fellow Singaporeans but they’re not accorded the same rights as everyone else. They’re hardly represented in mainstream media. They’re unable to get married to the love of their lives. We’ve an outdated law like 377A which criminalises gay men & though the law is not enforced, the fact that it still exists in a first-world nation like ours, is IMO utterly wrong. The only thing that’s truly constant is change and I believe positive change we can & will achieve, together as ONE people! #LiveAndLetLive #LoveAndLetLove #AgainstDiscrimination

A post shared by Tosh Zhang 张智扬 🦁🇸🇬 (@toshrock) on

In case you cannot see the post above, here’s what Zhang wrote:

I’m one of the Pink Dot ambassadors this year & I’m supporting the movement because as a straight Chinese male in Singapore who is of the privileged majority, I wanna do my part & fight against discrimination & stand up for equality for ALL Singaporeans, no matter your race, religion, class, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Years ago I used to be ignorant to the pain, struggles & discrimination that our LGBTQ brothers & sisters face everyday. I recall when I was much younger, saying insensitive things about LGBTQ people without giving it much thought or considering how my words would hurt people. Looking back now I feel awful & disgusted that I spoke that way. It had never occured to me back then to try & understand what life was like for them as I had never experienced discrimination in SG as a straight Chinese male and I was oblivious to the unspoken privileges I enjoyed that our minorities don’t.

Over the years as I matured, expanded my circle & connected with people from various walks of life all over the globe, my views evolved & changed. I learnt to treat & respect people as HUMAN before anything else and to measure a person by the content of their character and how they treat others, rather than their race, religion, class, sexual orientation or gender identity.

There are people close to me who have inspired or made an impact on me both personally & professionally, who are from the LGBTQ community. They are people I hold dear and it’s saddening to know they face discrimination & stigma from society simply for being who they are. They are our fellow Singaporeans but they’re not accorded the same rights as everyone else. They’re hardly represented in mainstream media. They’re unable to get married to the love of their lives. We’ve an outdated law like 377A which criminalises gay men & though the law is not enforced, the fact that it still exists in a first-world nation like ours, is IMO utterly wrong.
The only thing that’s truly constant is change and I believe positive change we can & will achieve, together as ONE people! #LiveAndLetLive #LoveAndLetLove #AgainstDiscrimination

We have reached out to Pink Dot and Zhang’s artiste management agency Fly Entertainment for comments.

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