pink dot singapore 2014

it was great fun, really. crashed the party of friends-of-friends and was happy to be included in the festivities.

here’s a view of hong lim park from parkroyal on pickering at about 1730.

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decently crowded, many in pink (but the mismatched colours of the picnic mats somewhat spoil it)

a friend who volunteered as a crew member shared that there were some white-wearing placard-bearing anti-pinkdotters who turned up, but the organisers were well-prepared for them. pink flowers were distributed to them by volunteers bearing wide smiles and welcomes, and the protesters became paiseh and trotted off after a while. think that was a wonderful way of managing conflict, so kudos to the team!

what i really like about pink dot is that it is a safe place for homosexuals to be with their significant other. and this precious safe place was so close to being destroyed by the actions of religious groups, which saddens me (and of course i am well aware that professing christians like myself who celebrate their love saddens them) i saw homosexuals holding hands, hugging, kissing, things that they cannot do in public without garnering unwelcome stares. even my close gay friends don’t hold hands in front of me, stating, ‘it’s not you, it’s others’. this is an annual affair where they can be their authentic selves, how can we think of taking it away from them?

and, well, speaking of authentic selves, it’s one place where they can be as flamboyant as they want to be, and so drag queens went all out (how do they bear the heat?), and even i walked around displaying an artpiece of a headdress, one of three created by one who let his inner-baba take charge.

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im actually quite intrigued by how all the different elements are held together.

all in all, good fun, and im glad the event was a successful one, amidst all the tension leading up to it.

watch the light-up here, filmed by none other than junfeng.

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go pink!

i had the privilege of being the only straight person at a table of six (was mistaken for being les by virtue of association even though my fashion sense (or lack thereof) is a clear indicator of my non-membership) and it was only then that i found out about the very sad and disturbing developments raging on the social media sphere about the pink vs. white campaigns.

i feel upset that apparently the online debates have been getting so ugly that even those who have come out to close friends are slightly frightened to attend pink dot on Saturday, for fear of being caught in the fray, of possibly having their pictures taken by the media (given the extra attention this has been getting) and then having to come out proper because they do not want to lie about their sexual orientation (they shouldn’t have to; the society we live in should not be so prejudiced as to make them feel compelled to lie in order to protect themselves).

as a practicing (though struggling) Christian, i do hold conflicted views regarding the status of homosexuality. yet what i do sincerely believe is that homosexuals do not love the gender they do out of wilful defiance, but because that is just the way they are. i have heard many personal accounts of how they struggled through their teenage years, trying to date the ‘right’, opposite sex, but finding that it simply is not what they desire. i imagine it in the same way that i may find a girl hot but feel nothing when she comes close, but when i like a guy and he comes close, my breath gets caught in the anticipation of being near him. it’s not something i can help or control, it’s just the way it is, and if so, i cannot fault homosexuals for loving in a way where they are true to themselves.

thus, i will wear pink tomorrow, and pop by the event, even if for a short while.

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safely home

back from my first diving trip ever! it was stressful at the beginning, and then, after i got used to it, loads of fun!

i went with scuba institute singapore, under the ssi programme. (padi is more well-known, but this school was highly recommended by a friend. my instructor also added that the programme doesn’t matter as much as the instructors do, and i had fantastic ones.)

i was well-taught and well taken care of by alan, bryan, david and iris. you can tell that the student-instructor ratio is highly favourable (esp for nervous learners like me). my instructors were attentive, and actually noticed that my hands were shakey while i was rigging up, and took turns to pep talk me. underwater, when i was struggling to be neutrally buoyant, they gave me encouraging hand signals and reminded me to breathe calmly (and not hypervenilate, which i was close to doing on my first dive).

i signed up for this alone, and was pleasantly surprised to find that the three girls i was rooming with signed up alone too – new friends all round!

here’s hoping I’ll make the time to dive more, now that i can.

leaving you with a group picture of my new friends!

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read about my second dive with SI here!

off on an adventure!

here’s an appropriate opening post:

im off to pulau tioman to learn diving! am incredibly nervous, anxious, but extremely excited too. perhaps this is what feeling alive feels like – fear mixed with anticipation.

just wanted to park this here before i go, to remind myself that, hey, there’s something to look forward to (and also somewhat dread), because i gave myself the opportunity. is this what anais nin was referring to when she wrote that

‘life shrinks or expands according to one’s courage’…?

hope everything goes well!