It is perhaps a shame that my reaction to anger, to provocation, is to turn away.
To tell myself to ignore it, to tell myself that I shouldn’t waste my energy getting worked up over other people’s ridiculous ideas.
It is also perhaps a shame that my reaction to scandals and things blown out of proportion is to shut up. Because I always feel that adding my own two cents to the already saturated pile of self-important opinions can’t possibly add any value to the discussion. Besides, anything I wanted to say has surely been put across more succinctly and in a more powerful manner by someone else with better writing skills, someone else who has lived though more reality than I have.
Yet there are some thing worth getting angry about.
There are some things worth shouting about.
There are some things worth repeating.
I “came out” on facebook today. Well, no, not exactly. I’d define coming out on facebook as posting a status or notes essentially saying just this, “Hi guys, I’m gay. kthanxbai.” While I’ve considered that before, the thought (after it’s initial flippancy) usually fills me with enough fear and apprehension for me to change my mind.
Perhaps a better description would be that I was “dragged out”, in the course of a ‘discussion’ with a friend.
I posted something, and she and another friend made some comments which I didn’t get involved with.
Then, she made this comment, “In any case, I’ve heard a lot about the LGBT lifestyle, and I don’t like what I’m hearing. They claim they are a peaceful group, but I don’t see that…”
That really got me mad. I couldn’t let it go. What the fuck is a LGBT lifestyle?
Last time I checked, I am a part of the LGBT community because I am female and I’m attracted to females. By definition, then I must lead this mysterious gay lifestyle. Well, this is my “lifestyle”, on average:
Wake up. wash up. go to work. Survive work. Head for home. Perhaps meet with friends for dinner. Surf the net/facebook. Read news articles, read science articles, read human rights articles, read funny articles. Watch some videos. Write some blog entries. Read a book. Pack my room. Time to sleep, good night.
Call it a monotonous lifestyle, call it boring, call it sedentary, call it antisocial, but please, highlight for me exactly which part of that can be considered as an “LGBT lifestyle”??
If you have a problem with, say, a clubbing lifestyle, then please fucking say so.
If you have a problem with, say, a promiscuous lifestyle, then please fucking say so.
If you have a problem with, say, a drugs and booze lifestyle, then please fucking say so.
If you have a problem with, say, a sex-obsessed lifestyle, then please fucking say so.
But none of those are synonymous, exclusive or inherently linked to LGBT. All of these can be found in any and all kinds of people across time, cultures, genders and sexualities.
This friend is an incredibly nice person. Yet, even having known her general stand on the matter, her reply to my question shocked me– things about promiscuity, pedophilia; it being a choice and proven as unnatural; proven that it can be walked away from; violence, death threats, militant-like behaviour and arrogance from the LGBT camp…
You can honestly say those things about promiscuously and pedophilia to my face? And the rest– do we even live in the same reality? Another friend commented, wow, the amount of propaganda they receive…
The other friend who was also commenting started going on a comment posting rampage on Lawrence Khong’s facebook page— a Pastor of a mega church in Singapore (in)famous for his vocally anti-gay stands (2:36 -onwards). The most recent incident has to do with the Singapore’s Health Promotion Board’s surprisingly pro-gay FAQs on sexuality. LK started a petition for the FAQs to be removes– albeit anonymously under the name ‘Aaron’. Then, he evidently circulated a guide amongst his flock on how to make their voices heard without revealing their Christian identity.
I try to read his page but I can’t quite do it, and I can’t find any motivation to want to reply comments there. It’s not merely about being offended of depressed about comments which flat out contradict my beliefs and reality, it’s also all the typically ugly internet comments– why do people always stoop to personal insults and sarcasm? Why do adults sound like immature kids?
More than that, it’s that I can’t shake my own fatalistic feelings about such discussions– while I rationally acknowledge that they can help or that it’s better than nothing, I can’t stop feeling that it’s just pointless. No one is going to change their minds. The people I’m ‘arguing’ with are faceless and can walk away or ignore what I’m saying anytime. They’re not going to listen to me.
Replying my friend was different though– she’s real. She might not change her mind, but hopefully what I say, because I am more real to her too, will give her pause and thought.
I consider writing a piece of my own– just putting my opinion out there. But I don’t know where to start. There can be so much to say. What do I focus on, what should I assume of my readers? Opinions and backgrounds are too varied.
Replying to accusations thus makes it easier to focus your argument– there’s to much to say otherwise. Although at the same time, because I’m focussing on convincing this one person, what I say doesn’t necessarily reflect my personal views exactly. I’m trying to look at things from her perspective and using what I think will be the most comprehensible to her. I mean, no point in differentiating the nuances between gender expression, sexual orientation and physical sex or sexual orientations besides gay and bi or even the gay and trans and so on when I’m just trying to convince her that none of these are inherently immoral. And of course I wouldn’t mention that I think polygamous relationships could be permissible and healthy in certain situations– that would just cause her to stop listening to me entirely.
Throughout the discussion I have to wonder– is there a point?
It there a point in me writing all this stuff to her?
Is there a point in my friend’s commenting on LK’s facebook page?
Is there a point if I write a blog entry about my beliefs and send it out into the net?
Does it change anything?
I’m back from Sydney! We went sand boarding and whale watching and all was awesomeawesome. It would be nice if I can upload photos and do a proper entry for my quick holiday, but I’m not sure if I will have the time to. :(
Anyway, being in Sydney was the reason I missed this years Pink Dot, so I’ve been combing through the videos and pictures from the event and it looks BEYOND AWESOME. Simply watching the videos makes me grin so widely and feel like crying. If I had been there in the swaying crowd singing along to ‘True Colours’, I would probably have been bawling.
When I went last year, the sense of community and belonging was already so strong. You look around you and it’s so… strange and refreshing. Positively heartwarming. You get this surprising sense of… oh wow, I’m not alone after all. There are people just like me! A surprising sense of feeling comfortable and at home. Surprising because you’re so accustomed to the norm that you don’t realize those out-of-place feelings are constantly there until you have this to contrast it with.
To think it was just last year when I attended with my ex; I wore my platforms plus borrowed a pink shirt from her. She was fully decked out in a pink yukata.
Well, I won’t say too much since I wasn’t even there this year. Shall leave you with some links to articles and pictures and sharings of the event. :) Can’t wait to be a part of this next year! It’ll be even bigger and better! <3
Shout out from Jason Mraz! Aw, I like him even more now. <3
Singapore shines at Pink Dot 2012!
Featured on inSing!
On the Wall Street Journal: Pink Dot in Singapore Highlights Gay-Rights Debate
A straight person’s (very moving!) perspective: Elyssa on facebook
Msn news: Pink Dot Breaks Record with 15,000 Attendees
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!)
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!
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.
All Christians need to watch this.
And all Christians who are struggling with the issue of homosexuality (regardless of their orientation) will be very glad to have watched this.
Matthew Vines, a 21-year-old gay Christian, took two years off from college to study the scriptures and find out what they really say about homosexuality. Earlier this this month, he gave a 1hr presentation on the material that he’s studied.
The article, The Bible and Homosexuality: Why I left College and Spent Two Years Finding Out What the Scriptures Really Say, here, and the full video of the presentation below
If you’ve read up on this issue before, many of his argument points won’t be too unfamiliar but still I think he makes the most compelling case I’ve heard thus far. He pulls everything together very well and presents everything in a systematic, objective yet powerful way.
But well, I’m not Christian so maybe my reaction wouldn’t be representative of a Christian reaction. So don’t take my word for it, watch it and see for yourself!
“Imagine finding someone you love more than anything in the world, who you would risk your life for but couldn’t marry.”
via All Love Is Equal.
Love is love is love is love!
…and everyone knows what it’s like to love, to want to love, to want to be loved. And if you know that, you are capable of putting yourself in ANYONE’S shoes, no matter how different you think they are from you.
They aren’t that different. We’re all the same.
also this Stars died so that we may live.
Well, it’s true. O_O
I am not a Miley Cyrus fan at all (I barely know what she looks like or what songs she’s sung, though I’m sure I can remember something if i think hard) but kudos to her for daring to stir up the waters to say what she thinks.
I didn’t know it was LGBT History Month, or that such a thing existed.
“Let’s change the world, one prejudice at a time.”