- SAFE (Supporting, AFfirming and Empowering our LGBTQ friends and family)  is a support group founded in December 2006 by a team of 4 heterosexual women to provide information and resources for straight people struggling to accept their queer friends and relatives (see Fridae article).
It reaches out to parents, families and friends of LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning) persons who believe in a society that accepts, affirms and empowers everyone to participate fully in it, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.
- Khoo Hoon Eng
- Tan Joo Hymn
- Ong Su-Chzeng
- Susan Tang
Its mission is to form a network of support, affirmation and empowerment for families and friends of LGBTQ persons by providing information and resources and encouraging dialogue that promotes respect for human diversity and the well-being of all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning persons.
SAFE was born appropriately, at a Mother’s Day Forum titled “Unconditional Love” held on 7 May 2006 by AWARE (Association of Women for Action and Research). It was an afternoon spent sharing stories of unconditional love and celebrating the voices of mothers who love against all odds, stories that spoke of the power of a mother’s love in the face of negative societal stigmatization of gay people.
The forum surfaced issues of handling parental expectations and good intentions, the emotions that accompanied the complex issue of coming out, and how important it is to keep family relationships close and communication channels open.
One of the panellists, Khoo Hoon Eng, who is herself a mother of two gay sons, spoke of her love for both her sons, and expressed pride over how both are socially conscious individuals who want to make a difference to society. At the close of the afternoon, she was moved to moot the idea of a support group for parents and family, a group that she wished was available for guidance and perhaps just a listening ear, when her sons came out to her.
SAFE was thus born, and with its website, provides a place where parents, family members and friends of gay and transgender people can find information to understand the issues better, learn from accepting families, share stories and experiences, and most of all learn to build strong and close relationships with their loved ones.
The website was officially launched and made publicly accessible on 9 December 2006 at Pelangi Pride Centre. It is hosted on Blogger.com and maintained by SAFE. The domain name comes from its free account from Blogger. No money goes into maintaining a web space or domain name. The logo was designed by Regina De Rosario.
- The SAFE website:.
This article was written by Roy Tan.