What was I thinking? The Straits Times will NEVER published something like this.
(Unpublished - May 16, 2010)
Saturday evening saw the second Pink Dot held at Hong Lim Park.
Over 4000 participants decked in pink, gathered together in formation to make a large human dot.
The purpose of the event is to celebrate the freedom to love regardless of sexual orientation.
While this is a deemed a successful event, I personally look forward to the day when the expression of our acceptance of people regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity is more than just symbolic or abstract.
Most Singaporeans take for granted that gender identity, biological sex and sexual orientation are monolithic and should correspond to each other in binary terms.
As a result of this thinking, we lack the information and open-minded understanding that are required to make our land safe and accommodating of people of diverse orientations and persuasions.
In fact, there are those among us who will go the distance to create guilt, fear and hatred for those who identity as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.
Surely no one deserves to be at the brunt of intolerant moralising, fear-mongering and spread of misinformation, or at the same time regarded as diseased or trivialised as misguided.
I have close friends and loved ones who identify as queer, and I love them all the same. I want them to enjoy the same freedom from discrimination and harassment that I enjoy.
When society takes the lead in cultivating an appreciation for diversity, other institutions will follow suit, and Singapore will become a better place for one and all despite our differences.
On the one hand, we may have an annual event in Pink Dot that is symbolic. But on the other, all of us could do our part to make it a reality that our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender friends and loved ones are free from discrimination.
This is something our government cannot do, but Singaporeans as a whole can take the social initiative to make this place safe and livable for one and all.
I look forward to the day when Singaporeans can be accommodating and respectful of one another regardless of orientation and persuasion.
Ho Chi Sam