Gay activist Alex Au wins Singapore Humanist of the Year award


Life has been slightly hectic for me recently and while I’ve had ideas and inspirations for posts, I haven’t had time to sit down and write them. Hopefully things will ease up next week and I can be more active here again.

In the meantime, I have to share this speech by Alex Au aka Yawning Bread, a well-known Singaporean blogger and activist. He was recently awarded the Humanist of the Year Award by the Humanist Society (Singapore). You can read more about that here (Fridae).

“It strikes many people as somewhat strange that I, like many other gay men, foreground my gayness as one of the key defining characteristics as a person. Well, there’s a simple reason for it. Those who are heterosexual live in a world where heterosexuality is normative: social conventions, expectations, law and institutions are built upon assumptions of heterosexuality. It’s as comfortable as wearing a right glove on your right hand. After a while, you’d hardly notice you have one on. But gay people have to go through life wearing the left glove on our right hand. There is no moment when we are not conscious of the misfit.”

I personally would give his speech a standing ovation.

Definitely do read the rest of his speech at his blog at here at yanwingbread.wordpress.com.

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Battling Demons (That feeling)


that feeling
on the edge
almost coming

fighting, fighting
fighting the demons (of self)
fighting the darkness
fighting back tears.

sharp smells
bright lights
memory is like smell and taste
can’t quite pin it down
describing never does it justice
but it’s so strong, so poignant.

fighting back thoughts.

that feeling:
all consuming
an emotion morphed
and spilling over
into sensation

that feeling
suffocating, all around
pressing in, closing in
can’t
breath

that feeling
like it’s
not worth moving
not worth opening
your eyes
not worth breathing
not worth living

that feeling
so unbearable
that a mental scramble
for remedies
leaves you thinking
only this:

chop off my head
just wanna chop off my head
surely that would make me feel better
make the thinking
and the memories
and the almost-crying
and the want-to-dying
stop

or just dig a hole in my chest
both sound good
sounds like comfort.
whichever’s faster, easier
quick, do it, quick!

fortunately
perhaps surviving confers immunity
perhaps having gone through it once
it’s lost some power
lost some effect
you get numb, maybe.
you get bored, maybe.
you think, i’ve seen this before.
I can get out.

fortunately
it’s much less
all consuming now
it’s much less.

fortunately
i feel it coming
but just hovering at the edge
and i battle not to let it in.

i’m never.
going back there.

demons, away!
be gone.

leave me in peace.

Pretend till it’s true


Sometimes you can only to do much. Sometimes, you can only bring yourself up to such a point. Then you have no choice but to cover up that last distance by pretending. You know: smoke your way through; just wing it; make do the best you can; put on your game face. Pretend you know what you’re doing. Pretend that everything is fine, is great! Act confident, act happy, even though you’re not. And soon enough, even you’ll start buying it. Tell people “I’m fine!” enough times, act the part of ‘fine’ enough times and it’ll become a habit, a ritual. You’ll forget you were ‘pretending’. That’s when you realize that you’re no longer pretending.

Did you know that when you force yourself to smile, your mood improves?

Sometimes, lies can become truth and reality. Sometimes, you have to change from the outside in…

 

Annoyance


When is annoyance at another individual justified?
By justified I don’t just mean that there ‘are good reasons’ for your annoyance, but ‘making it acceptable for you to be annoyed at another person‘. That is, I can allow myself to feel annoyed without trying to to eliminate those feelings, without feeling like I should try to be nicer and more understanding.

I suppose it’s entirely based on how high a standard you set for yourself?

Everything he says just seems to rub me the wrong way. And it feels like he’s doing it on purpose– being vague and deliberately difficult to understand and arrogant. Like he knows better than you. And if you can’t keep up with him, too bad. He’s not really interested in discussion anyways, just in shooting down other people’s opinions.

But I can’t tell if this is just me being biased. Or that’s just the way he expresses himself, he’s not really being arrogant. Maybe if he were a closer friend of mine maybe I’d just think, ‘Oh, that’s just the way he is. He doesn’t mean it that way.’ and take no offence. Maybe i’m just projecting a whole bunch of things that aren’t really there.

Maybe in being so quick to judge and blame and take offence, I’m the one who is being arrogant…

When in doubt, take a step back and err on the side of niceness. 

Pink Dot Plushie!


I hate the colour pink. I don’t know why exactly, but I always have. Somehow, 5 year-old-me already treated pink as the ultimate representation of everything I didn’t like, or didn’t identify with. In fact, I never knew people actually liked pink– I thought it was the colour you were just supposed to dislike. The only people who liked pink were little girls who had been brainwashed into liking it by their mothers who dressed them in pink from head to toe. (I may have gotten this idea from my mother. Oh, the irony.)

Okay, so I’m no longer that ignorant– as unbelievable as it may seem to me, people do actually sincerely like pink. And many times little girls and not-so-little girls deck themselves out, head to toe, in pink because they do like it. And I guess now that my eyes have been opened, I’ve softened my position somewhat– I suppose I can see how certain shades of pink might be pretty. Oh, and pink flowers. Pink on flowers can be absolutely lovely!

…It’s still my least favourite colour though. And I don’t own any pink clothes and wouldn’t buy any pink accessories of any kind if I can help it. Last year, when I had to beg/borrow/steal something pink to wear to pinkdot, I was very… “WHY, pinkdot organizers, WHY? WHY PINK? Why not… rainbow! I can do rainbow dot. I like rainbows!  Why not… purple dot! I thought purple was a ‘gay colour’? I can do purple. I like purple!”

Well. Despite my innate resistance to the colour pink, look what I have hanging on my bag now:

:D :D :D A pink dot plushie/keychain! I think the pink contrasts very nicely with my black bag (I can’t believe I’m saying this).

This is the smallest size they have. There are two larger sizes. You can buy them online from here, or go down to any one of three physical shops in Singapore. My friends and I went down to VERY Wooonderland in B3 of Ion and the two of them spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to choose the roundest, cutest ones while I kept trying my best to convince them that ALL THE PINK DOTS LOOK THE SAME C’MON AREN’T YOU DONE YET.

I feel like buying extras to give out to people, but I don’t know who I could give them out to…

(If you don’t know what Pink Dot is, check out my previous post for a short explanation and this years campaign video!)

Rambling thoughts on the insufficiency of God’s love


You don’t care*. No, don’t deny it, it’s true; but I understand. Humans have a limited capacity to care, limited time and attention to give. You have yourself and your family and so many other closer friends to care about first- there’s not much space left for a once a year friend except maybe once a year.

Humans have a limited capacity to care- limited time and attention. That’s one reason they invented god (or the modern concept of god, anyway). God, who has unlimited capacity to love all and everyone, and does it better then any human ever could. Because that’s what most people want most in life- to love and be loved. To feel cared for. To feel like they matter.

And yet some people would take that away from others– forbid them to love and be loved. (I’m referring to homophobic sentiments, of course.)  Why do you and how can you deny people such a fundamental need of their emotional well-being?

And this god– supposedly his love is all you need, his perfec love. The love that quenches your thirst eternally while every other leaves you wanting. And yet people who feel his love, who bask in his love are not satisfied– god is not enough (what blasphemy!) and they still need the love and support if their community, the love and support of their family, the love and support of their friends, and the love and support of a significant other. Why can’t you subsist on god’s love alone?

All men have a god shaped hole in their hearts, they say. Yet even when you’ve filled that hole with god, there’s still some hole left. How can it be that god’s not enough?

One of the favourite ‘trump cards’: the fall. We live in a fallen world. Our relationship with god now on earth is not as it’s supposed to be. It’s been tainted with sin, restricted by sin.
But even in paradise, even before sin and the fall, god wasn’t enough. Man was made to worship god, but worshipping god didn’t fulfill man enough, didn’t make man satisfied. God wasn’t enough, and god said so himself: it is not good that man should be alone. But he wasn’t alone, he was in PARADISE, with god, in his intended, untainted state, with all the incredible wonders of creation at his beck and call. And… It still wasn’t enough.

How can it get better than that? As Adam, the first man, in paradise, knowing god? Isn’t that what Christians claim is god’s original, intended plan? Trump card ‘the fall’ is out of commission; it hasn’t happened yet. Isn’t that the thing that is separating us from god, and isn’t separation the thing that is keeping us dissatisfied? Apparently not. Adam had it all, and still it was ‘not good’.

Apparently you still need AT LEAST a mate (in addition to all of paradise and being on one-on-one speaking terms with god) to be satisfied and fulfilled.

As little sense as this makes, it makes even less sense to believe all that and still deny some people the right to love another**. God himself said that even with everything else absolutely perfect, it’s still ‘not good’ to be alone.

*Is there a difference between actively not caring and not actively caring? If there is, I mean thelatter.
**I guess this refers specifically to people who admit that homosexuality natural and beyond an individuals control but insist that they should abstain from being an ‘active’ homosexual. 


We may have limited power, but still we have the ability to make a stand for the kind of world we want to live in.

Yawning Bread

“To be very honest,” said Mei, a student aged 23, “I don’t know much about what happened then.” She wasn’t even born when the arrests began in 1987.

“But somehow the whole idea that you can imprison somebody without having to show proof in a court just strikes me as wrong.”

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