45 / 55
Male / Male
Queer / Gay
Born in Australia / Born in Singapore
Inclusion Advocate & Founder, Be Inclusive / Ad man, Activist, Fundraiser
It was a dear mutual friend Sonny San who introduced us to each other when we were both in Kuala Lumpur for a weekend in 2004. Needless to say, we hit it off. So much so that after three months of long-distance correspondence via phone and Yahoo Messenger, we took a leap of faith — Laurindo moved to Singapore from Sydney. Together, we built up and ran Happy, the nightclub Alan opened with one of his best friends, Glen Goei.
After Happy closed in 2007 a new chapter for us opened as activists. Alan was one of the organisers of the 2007 Repeal 377A campaign. He later become a member of the Pink Dot organising committee in 2009.
Laurindo worked with fridae.com to run HIV education programs and support the Southeast Asian response to fight AIDS. Later, he emerged as one the few openly gay and HIV positive voices from Asia, and was sought after as a speaker at regional and international forums.
Our hearts were broken during the Christmas of 2009 when Laurindo was barred from entering Singapore because of his HIV positive status. He was told at Changi Airport that he would never be permitted into the country again. We mounted an appeal for Laurindo and hope was restored after we succeeded in gaining limited short visit privileges in 2010. While the law prohibiting foreigners living with HIV entering Singapore was quietly repealed in 2015, to this day non-Singaporeans living with HIV are still unable to gain employment in Singapore, meaning that Laurindo must constantly shuttle back and forth, in and out of the country.
Despite being unable to live together permanently in Singapore, after 14 years, we are now married. Our commitment to each other is renewed, emboldening us to face new challenges that lie ahead.
Our passion for advocacy continues, through Alan’s work at Pink Dot and Laurindo’s start-up Be Inclusive. Together we are on a mission to make the world a more inclusive place for all, by encouraging more businesses and services to be inclusive of people with disabilities, single mothers, diverse women and LGBTQ. We are thrilled to be a part of Out In Singapore, share our story and let the world know that hope is alive and well in Singapore.