This article examines the opportunities and challenges of using the Internet both to promote collective action and identity in the Singapore gay community and as a medium for health intervention. It presents a case study of a community-empowerment project by civil society group Action for AIDS. Framed within a societal context which is hostile toward gay people, and in a place where mixed-media campaigns targeting men who have sex with other men (MSM) are prohibited, this article explores the viability of the Internet as an alternative channel to mass media in reaching out to MSM in Singapore. Through a series of semi-structured interviews and virtual ethnographic content analyses, this article weighs the democratizing and collaborative affordances of the Internet against the uninhibited nature of online discussions in the formation of a counterpublic of sexuality where gay individuals collectively elaborate on meanings about erotic practices, identity, and relations between each other and with the state.
|Number of pages
|International Journal of Communication
|Published - 2009