Pink Dot 2012: Someday


Pink Dot is a non-profit movement started in Singapore in 2009 that supports the freedom to love for LGBT people. Every year, participants gather to form a giant pink dot to show their support for the cause.

Last year was my first time attending, and a record of over 10, 000 people turned up. It’s a very simple event– you just show up for a couple of hours and there’s some entertainment and performances as well as some booths. Then we gather as a photographer from a vantage point somewhere captures the moment. Nothing more. But such a simple thing can be so powerful; it was so heartwarming just to wander around and see so many LGBT and pro-LGBT people being open, being themselves and supporting the cause. It gives me hope.

The video above is this year’s campaign video, and watching it made me cry.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend this year’s Pink Dot (30th June), so if you’re Singaporean or are in Singapore at that time please do go down on my behalf! Bring your friends, family, pets… and share the video!

Find out more about pinkdot from their website, the wikipedia entry, their facebook page or watch last year’s campaign video as well as videos of the event itself on their youtube channel.

Someday… 

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Tiredness without the satisfaction


There’s this little piece of feeling, it should be here but it’s missing.

I ran my first half-marathon this morning; It was a night run starting at 12:30am. Slightly more than half-way through my knee started hurting and I had trouble walking, never mind running. About 3/4 way through, it started pouring. Tropical torrential downpour compete with thunder, lighting and strong winds. Nonetheless, I managed to complete the run without dying. Needless to say, I’m suitably drained and exhausted after that ‘ordeal’.

There’s this little piece of feeling missing.

It’s like the feeling after a day of swimming? Well, I don’t know if others experience it this way but I’d always feel really drained after swimming. Especially those times when we were younger and used to go swimming regularly. We didn’t just swim though; It was a club by the beach and as kids we’d of course be running around, sitting on the slide, moving from the baby pool to the big pool, playing in the sand, playing in the sea… There’d always be this characteristic physically drained feeling, with the lingering coldness of the water on your skin, sapping your body’s energy as you slowly get warm again.

But you’re tired in a good way. You’re happy. And, after everyone gets washed up, we’d usually go as a family for a really good and yummy dinner. Perhaps at the club’s restaurant, or, as I remember on some occasions, having a home-made picnic on the benches in the ‘park’ that overlooked the seaside. And it was precisely because you felt so drained and hungry that that meal and the down time with family really, really hits the spot. It was some good icing on an already good cake, transforming it into a perfect cake.

Or… it’s like the feeling of coming home from overseas after a holiday. You had fun, but after the last few hours in the plane you’re also exhausted from flying and waiting in airports and lugging luggages around. Not to mention, maybe you’ve had enough of a constant onslaught of the unfamiliar for a while. When you touch down and when you finally step back into your own house, there’s a deep sense of comfort, of satisfaction, of belonging, of… well, of homecoming. Of coming home.

Or… it’s like the feeling of coming home after a long day to a warm smile and a warmer, tight and loving hug. It transforms your day, but it does that by transforming you. Warms you from the inside out.

Simple things that rejuvenate. Simple things that add the final cherry on the cake, the dot in the dragon’s eye. Simple things that seem an after-thought to the main event, but actually are the most important. Simple things that can affect the colour and mood and final telling of the story. Simple things that can turn the entire situation around in your head.

Something sweet enough to delight, yet substantial enough to make you full and satisfied. You feel contented, but it goes a step further than that; you feel happiness. A sprinkling of glitter rainbow.

That’s the feeling that’s almost here, but isn’t.

It’s like missing the climax but you’re not quite sure why. It’s like almost reaching, but deflating just a tad too soon. Missed the sweet spot.

A feeling is missing, that final cherry on the cake that would make everything worth it, make everything perfect. Change the story.

Home is where the heart is, but where is my heart?


Home is where the heart is, but where is my heart?
Not here, but far, far away.
Somehow a large part of me seems convinced that you are home.
Have you not given me back my heart yet?

Sometimes that feeling comes back still– that confident, reassured feeling. That I have faith feeling. When I’m sure that we’ll get back together, I know you’ll come back to me. Just because. Because there’s no other possible possibility, because I can’t imagine it being any other way.

It doesn’t matter how desperately i try to tell myself how delusional I’m being, I don’t buy it. It’s not even an antagonistic feeling, like Ha! Call me delusional, I’ll show you! It’s completely calm and detached. It truly does not care that you think it’s delusional, it truly does is not affected by what you say or think, because what you say or think  has no consequence on its truth value. It knows. It has faith.

No wonder religions still exist; nothing you say or do has effect. My faith is unshakable. I believe, because. If even I cannot convince myself, what more other people?

Somehow a significant part of me is (still) convinced that you are home. Are you my home?
Somehow a significant part of me is (still) convinced that you will come back. Will you?

I guess we’ll find out soon enough.
If that part is wrong, I’m not sure what I’d have to do to hammer that truth home to myself. Emotion speaks louder than intellect.

It just has to make sense


I’m going to watch avengers with some friends and they insisted that I should watch Thor, Captain America and Ironman as preparation, so I watched Thor and captain America two days ago.

As I was commuting today, my mind was wandering and I found myself thinking about the movies. I still didn’t understand why Odin stole Loki. How is stealing the child of your enemy’s leader going to help with bringing the two kingdoms together? And why isn’t grownup!loki blue and why doesn’t he look like his race at all?

While thinking all that, I was reminded of what I kept repeating to my ex in my email, back at the start when the break up saga was just beginning: it just has to make sense. Show me how it makes sense.

I mean, we don’t even have to talk about proof. It just needs to be coherent in-story. Even if I’m watching, reading or understanding from outside of that framework (as we all are when we read or watch fantasy or sci-fi), I should still be able to make sense of it. It just needs to hang as a coherent story. Tell me the premise, tell me the rules and off we go.

When you read Harry Potter, you don’t fault the story by saying “They can’t do that, there’s no such thing as magic.” That’s one of the premises we’re starting with, that there is such a thing as magic. But you can fault it for inconsistencies. You can fault it for not following it’s own rules, or not having any rules. A fantasy story’s not much fun if the characters can do anything whenever, making up new rules as they go along with minimal or no explanations.

Isn’t it a mark of a well written premise if, the closer you inspect it, the more questions you ask, the more you find that it hangs all together? That not only are there answers to the questions you’re asking (Why is Loki not blue? How exactly does a time turner work?), the answers are satisfying ones that are consistent and coherent with everything else in that universe?

Reality should be the best at this because it’s reality. You don’t have to make sure it fits, make sure it’s consistent. It already is! If your reality is inconsistent, you can know that it must be your interpretation that’s suspect, and not reality itself.

If this story you’re telling me is reality, why does it seem to make less in-story sense then brainless action movies? Why does it make less sense the more I stare at it? Why do you have to do the same acrobatics a back-peddling author has to do if he discovers he made a mistake, a loophole or contradiction?

If it’s my interpretation that’s wrong, why is it so hard for you to help me see where I went wrong? My invitation still stands… I just want to understand.

Dreams and Reality


Nothing like dreaming about her all night to make me remember how much i miss her. I had already forgotten, already started to forget. (Or at least, had gotten very good at ignoring it, which is about the same thing.)

C’mon. You know that’s not her. It’s just an amalgamate of memories and imaginings, of memories and wistful thinking. That’s not her. It’s not her you miss.

Keep feeding yourself a lie, and eventually you’ll start to believe it too.

C’mon! Which is the lie here? When your reality tears and what you thought was truth turns out not to be truth, what you reconstruct over that torn reality… the new painting you paint over it to make sense of the mess it has become… that’s not the lie.

How do you know? Lies and truth depend on context. Truth is relative.

Barrack Obama and Gay Marriage


I guess I pretty much have to blog about this, right?

When I first read the news, I suppose I must have not been in a particularly good mood, for my reaction was somewhere in between, “Okay… So what? How does this affect me? Is he actually going to do anything? Sounds more like messy, American politics than gay rights.” and “Sure took you a long enough time.”

But hey, haven’t I always thought that any and every voice speaking up for gay rights count? It counts more than being silent. And here we have the most well known public figure in the world officially announcing his support– his unambiguous support– for gay marriage. Even if I can’t help feeling cynical about it (it’s politics, all politics), it’s still a very, very major score.

If you like, you can write Obama a thank you note and show your support for him and this cause here. It will apparently be sent to the White House sometime this week.

I still think that the main thing this will accomplish is to polarize America even further, but I suppose putting gay issues into the spot light must be a good thing. At the very least, it forces people to think about the issues. On the other hand… polarizing is probably not a good thing. I mean, if people who were previously ambivalent about it start to feel pressured or persuaded by their peers/family/authority to take a stand against homosexuality…

On a related note, I watched this video yesterday

and it made me want to say something to friends (and my past self) who think that what we have now is enough… that shouldn’t I be grateful and happy that I’m not being actively discriminated against? That I’m not actively persecuted? That I can be out without fearing for my life or my safety, that most people will still treat me no different, that I can lead a relatively normal life?

No, it’s not enough. Not nearly enough. Not anywhere close to enough. Until it is no longer the socially accepted view that homosexuality is wrong or at least controversial… until I don’t have to look at friends and wonder if they think its an abomination… until I can have a proper marriage, with legal rights…until I have all the rights that YOU, lucky-to-be-born-straight person, have… it’s not enough.

Can you imagine if your partner, your wife, your husband… the person you’ve been living with for 5, 10, 20, 50 years… gets into an accident or is in the hospital. And you have no rights to their information or to make decisions on their behalf. You’re not next of kin. You’re absolutely nothing, just a random friend like any other random friend. Despite the fact that you’ve been living exactly like a married couple for the past 50 years. You’re nobody.

That’s why it’s not enough.

Keeping yourself company


The sound of silence;
all there is.
I’m sick of my own company.

The sound of silence
is deafening.
Thoughts and words banging,
bouncing soundlessly
around my skull.
No outlet, no listening ear
to borrow for a while.

Blast the wall of sound.
Pretend it makes you feel better
and maybe it will.

Everything sounds better in a foreign language/
Everything sounds better sung– or screamed.
Everything sounds better with some rhythm.

Distractions, keep yourself distracted.
Keep yourself occupied. With distractions
Just keep moving.
Don’t stop, or you might sink.

That can’t be all there is.
That can’t be it.
Slay me.

Enough.
The silence is deafening.
It starts ringing, after a while.

My words bounce around in my skull.
I’m sick of my own company.

Maybe the secret to happiness
is being able to enjoy one’s own company.

Brain on breakup; forgiveness, memories and betrayal


When we first decided to give it a go, there was one thing that I really wanted to make sure of, a promise I kept repeating in my head to myself that we have to keep: that no matter what happened, we would remain friends.

Our friendship was too important to me and the dynamics of our little clique too precious to me to risk. Besides, I really never understood how or why ex-partners could become enemies. It’s ridiculous and absurd! Surely if you’ve been that close, been that intimate and know each other that well… all that can’t just disappear! How can understanding and love flip 360 into irreconcilable differences and hate? So for whatever reasons you have to part, but surely you can stay friends. Chemistry between people (how well you click) doesn’t just vanish.

曾经心疼为何变成陌生?

Ha. ha. ha. This is irony laughing at my naive, foolish younger self.

For all of my previous convictions, all of my mental gymnastics trying to make sense of the chaos in my head, all of my musings and waxing lyrical about the nature of love, unconditional love and forgiveness… I realize that I’m hardly any closer at all to forgiving her, and I still have no idea how to be friends.

You think you’ve come so far, so far
But you’re not any closer, no you’re not any closer at all

I recently watched Tipping the Velvet, a 3-part BBC Tv series based on Sarah Water’s novel of the same name. When the main character found out that her first love was cheating on her, she literally ran down the streets shouting, “You said you loved me! You said we’d be together forever!” over and over and over. (Okay, on re-watching the scene, I see that I’m exaggerating a little, but that’s how I remembered it!) Even after so many month, I still find myself slipping back into that.

but you said…!
but you said…!
but you said…!
but you said…!

All those promises, both implicit and explicit.

Not just the promises, but words said during the break up. After the break up.

all the things she said, all the things she said, running through my head, running through my head, running through me head… 

And the memories. Memories that keep playing of their own accord, over and over.

I like how they did the constant flashbacks in Tipping the Velvet, with the most poignant memory replaying and persisting, a shorter and shorter snippet, while the rest fade. That’s exactly how it’s like. A few favourite memories play and replay, and soon those are all you can remember. You’d think that the more you recall something, the better you’d remember it, but each time you pull it from memory, it’s a brand new retelling. Little bits dropped, little bits added; it’s changed. It feels more vivid, yes. But at the price of accuracies in the details. It loses it’s nuances. It becomes exactly what you’re remembering it for. ‘Exaggerated’, more than ‘vivid’. If you remember it as Great, it slowly turns golden: the best example of great. Remembered for sorrow, it’ll take that shape.

I used to think that no matter what happens in the present or the future, at the very least the memories are yours to keep. No one can steal away the good times you’ve already had. You can cherish them always. I see I was wrong here too. Things that happen now, or in the future, can reach back into the past to colour and change the meanings of memories…

What am I supposed to make of them now? What am I supposed to do with them? How do I make sense of them? I really don’t know.

All those promises, implicit and explicit.

I guess you can’t trust words. You can’t trust people. If you can’t trust words from the one you trust the most… if you can’t trust words that are said with deepest sincerity and love… then what’s left that you can trust?

And I guess that’s why it’s so hard for ex-partners to remain friends, if the break up is not a mutual decision. That’s why it’s so difficult to forgive.

SHE BETRAYED ME.

the closest you can get
sticking the knife
the deepest it can get
and the most unexpected it can get.

It’s hard to get over betrayal.