Amos Lim

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Photograph of Amos Lim

Amos Lim is a gay Singaporean activist who has worked extensively on issues concerning immigration. While growing up in Singapore, he dated girls who would complain that he was “emotionally blocked off” and eventually stopped at age 21 after falling in love with a man.

In 1995, after breaking up with his HIV-positive ex-partner, he met Mickey, who would later become his husband, online. Mickey, an HIV educator and pharmacist, answered all of Amos’ worried questions as he endured the lengthy HIV testing process. They corresponded frequently and visited each other occasionally. In 1999, Amos finally moved to the US to live with Mickey. However, as an impermanent resident in the US, Amos experienced the stress of an expiring OPT student visa. He also saw how other same-sex, bi-national couples were classified as “overstay risks” and unjustly denied entry to the US. Being politicized to the intersections of queer and immigration justice issues, Amos realized how critical it was to create a grassroots organization for other couples in these situations. This led him and Mickey to co-found Out4Immigration, an organization that empowers bi-national same-sex couples to share their stories. Although Amos is optimistic about the state of LGBT rights, he believes that LGBT still activism has a long way to go. He currently resides in San Francisco with his husband and daughter.

And what we did actually, so forced me to reckon with the fact that y’know, we need to start a grassroots push for an organization that will talk about the issue of same sex bi-national couples. And so, we started…we co-founded a group called “Help For Immigration” where we basically tried to empower individuals who speak their stories because my experience, since ’99 coming here is that the foreign partner that is afraid…

“Out” is a very interesting phrase that’s been bandied about, but there’s a big degree in terms of the “out”ness, y’know? I’m out to people, but not to everybody. At that point in time when I started feeling comfortable with who I am…