Paris Jackson apologizes, but defends her decision to appear on cover of Harper’s Bazaar Singapore

Paris Jackson — the daughter of late great Michael Jackson — is bisexual. Not that her sexual orientation matters, but apparently it did when she was accused of being hypocritical when she appeared on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar Singapore. You know, the first-world country that still outlaws sexual relations between gay men (but doesn’t enforce it).

In an op-ed, Gay Star News editor Jamie Tabberer slammed the 20-year-old model for her appearance on the September issue of the magazine, calling it “problematic”. Tabberer takes issue with how Jackson is not aware of Singapore’s discriminatory laws against the LGBTQ community, despite the model having publicly stated her desire to advocate for the community worldwide.

“The hypocrisy is absurd,” declared Tabberer. “Put simply, I don’t believe LGBTI allies or LGBTIs should be granting exclusives to publications in such countries.”

The piece was written in response to Jackson’s Instagram post of her Harper’s Bazaar cover last Thursday, which has since been taken down following the hit piece. The image of the cover remains up on the Harper’s Bazaar Singapore Instagram account, with no mention of the controversy.

“Ridiculously mean”

Jackson has since apologized for her actions, stating that she wasn’t aware of Singapore’s stance on homosexuality.

“I don’t want to be hypocritical or hurt anyone, and my support for my fellow LGBTQ+ community comes first before my love for fashion and gratitude for this opportunity,” she tweeted about the Harper’s Bazaar cover.

However, she took issue with the tone of Tabberer’s op-ed, calling it “ridiculously mean”, while maintaining that being a bisexual figure featured in a country that doesn’t support the LGBTQ community could be considered progress.

Jackson’s fans and other LGBTQ pundits chimed in their support for the model, arguing that she did nothing wrong.

I think the article was reaching too far and from a spiteful perspective. You were on a cover for a magazine in a nation that is anti-LGBTQ. In my opinion, thats a small step toward LGBTQ people being normalized. Exposure and teaching is everything.

— Jessica Vill (@jbunzie) August 19, 2018

BBC also found out that the model’s appearance on the Harper’s Bazaar cover isn’t exclusive to Singapore as Gay Star News reported. The magazine’s publisher, Hearst, confirmed that Jackson will also be appearing on September covers for seven other countries.

Is Singapore homophobic?

Photo: Watsamon Tri-yasakda / Coconuts Media

If compared to other countries with more oppressive rules against homosexuality (Chechnya, Afghanistan, Guyana, Nigeria, and more), then no, Singapore is not that homophobic.

But the conservative country still has a long way to go towards acceptance of the LGBTQ community. Same-sex relations between men is still considered illegal (though it hasn’t been enforced since ’99); same-sex relationships and marriages aren’t recognized by the law, and same-sex couples aren’t allowed to adopt children. Most recently, the country’s Ministry of Education allegedly barred an LGBTQ activist from speaking at a school event.

Still, not everything is bleak. Open support for gay rights has grown in recent years, aided by changing social norms among the younger generation and a large influx of tourists and expatriates. Singapore’s annual gay rights rally this year celebrated its 10th anniversary in a triumphant gathering in the middle of the city’s CBD.

The post Paris Jackson apologizes, but defends her decision to appear on cover of Harper’s Bazaar Singapore appeared first on Coconuts.