Why many won’t be at Pink Dot

It really doesn’t require much effort to go down to Pink Dot, does it?

You’ve marked the date on your schedule, and selected your pink outfit. Catching the MRT down to Clarke Quay, you might bring some family members along, or have arranged to meet friends. You’ll end up having a great time, come home and tag yourself on all those gorgeous photos the next day.

But for many people, it’s not that easy.

Maybe they’re not feeling very good about themselves. Maybe they have difficulties coming to terms with being gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or different.

Perhaps they’re unwell. With a mental health condition or addiction problem, or even struggling with self-harming thoughts.

Or they’re in hospital after a suicide attempt, or recovering from injuries inflicted by someone they love. Or still grieving a painful loss.

Some could be afraid to be seen at such a large public event, where they worry about being recognised. Their own experiences of being bullied by peers or persecuted by their religious community have taught them fear of those who hate them.

Others might have decided that they just want to blend into mainstream society, and dislike the sensitive issues of sexuality, gender orientation and same-sex love to be displayed in public.

And then there are those who have left Singapore because they’ve decided that here is a country that does not respect people who are different.

Had they still been in their darkest moments, each of the story contributors in I Will Survive probably would not have attended Pink Dot for the reasons above. Yet, time has passed since then, and being the resilient survivors that they all are, I look forward to seeing many of them at this year’s event.

But for every person who, for whatever reason, is unable or unwilling to be at Hong Lim Park on Saturday, 30 June 2012, there will be the rest of us who can and will.

Let us all be there for those who can’t or won’t, and believe that someday, they too might join us.

Leow Yangfa

Editor, I Will Survive

7 Replies to “Why many won’t be at Pink Dot”

  1. i am all way 4rm KL, and this will be my 2nd year coming, participate and support Freedom 2 Luv, regardless ur gender! y SGporean not all coming? this is groundbreaking social event in history not 2 b miss! u guys shud b lucky given this free, non judgemental, supporting freedom 2 gather! unlike typical close narrow minded Malaysian! ops!

  2. Is there a necessity to paint homosexuals as either deranged, unhappy or emotionally unstable?

    I’m not going simply because I’m not interested. You may have a book to push, but that doesn’t give you the right to simply portray everything in a negative light to suit your needs.

    1. hi duh,

      I’m sorry you’re feeling this way, because what I have written may have upset you.

      You are correct in saying that not all gay people are “deranged, unhappy or emotionally unstable”. In fact, I wouldn’t even describe any of the contributors or their stories using those terms, as those words are very stigmatising.

      You are also correct in saying that I don’t have the right to portray things in a negative light. I am only trying to explain why some people are not able or willing to come down on Pink Dot, for different reasons. And your reason of being “not interested” is yet another one.

      With the help of many, I have brought together this collection of stories to share with people; likewise, others can choose whether they wish to visit my website, to buy the ebook, or just turn away because they’re not interested or don’t care.

      My responsibility as editor is to promote the book & the stories within, so that we can have greater awareness of many of the difficult yet real-life issues raised, such as mental illness, partner violence, family problems etc.

      It is also to raise funds for Oogachaga & the Pelangi Pride Centre, both of whom are LGBT-friendly agencies who do great work with LGBT people in different ways, through a library, connecting to community resources, and offering some additional guidance or support for people who need that.

      Take care & hope you have a nice week ahead,

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