Why many won’t be at Pink Dot

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 difficultiescoming 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 bysomeone 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 theirreligious 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 bedisplayed 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

Personally, I am sitting on the fence for Pink Dot 2012. I attended it last year hoping to make new friends and feel a sense of camaraderie with others like myself. Neither happened. It was really, really hard to just strike up a conversation with a complete stranger, especially since I was alone. I observed the people who looked the happiest and most comfortable with themselves, were all with some gay friend or other. They had their own cliques, they had each other, they did not need any strangers. The ironical truth hit home hard: I had come to Pink Dot precisely because I had no gay friends, yet Pink Dot’s overwhelming sense of camaraderie had boxed me out of their inclusive equation because I had no gay friends. Feeling rejected and empty, I nevertheless stayed on just to be part of the dot. It’s hard to articulate why I stayed on, but perhaps it’s because I wanted to demonstrate to myself that I could be part of something bigger even if the reality was something completely different.

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3 thoughts on “Why many won’t be at Pink Dot

  1. Shiroi Ryuu says:

    I share a different perspective idea over Pink Dot Event.
    The whole point of the event is to raise the awareness of LGBT Community in Singapore, and on the other way round for the Straights to show their support, to give us the motivation to be ourselves.

    You may not have friends with you for the event 2 years ago but that doesn’t mean you are doom. In my view, it shows you shall have step out of your comfort zone and make friends within the LGBT Community.
    Heaven don’t drop anything for you unless you take the initiative and the very first step. Success don’t come by sitting on the chair without any course of action.

    I encourage you to take a step, the very first step to join some new friends for Pink Dot Event. I can promptly promise you, the experience will be very much different.

    From
    Shiroi Ryuu

    A story for you to read, hope it helps: http://shiroiluke.wordpress.com/2012/06/18/starfish-an-inspirational-story/

    • whyigiveup says:

      Hi Ryuu,

      Thanks for the comments.

      I know what you mean about the whole idea of the event – awareness of LGBT etc – because that’s why I attended last year in the first place. I was not disparaging the event itself. I know for a fact that thousands of LGBTs and straights draw inspiration from pink dot, and I’d be the last person in the world to deny them their inspiration.

      It’s just that when I attended, I felt strangely isolated. I wore pink and tried to blend in but everyone seemed either aloof or busy or having too much fun to even notice. There was undeniably a buzz of friendship in the air – the only problem was everyone had their own pals. It was so hard to approach anyone. In many ways it felt like a typical intimidating Friday night crowd at Tantric.

      As for taking the first steps, I am trying to find friends online to go with. So far, the only reply I’ve gotten is from someone who was not even aware of Pink Dot and when I explained what it was about, he said he didn’t want to go since this is the first time he’s hearing about it. … Sigh. People, especially LGBTs never fail to amaze me.

  2. Editor says:

    First of all, thank you for sharing my post on your blog. My name is Yangfa, & I’m sorry I can’t seem to find your name on your blog. To respond to your comments, I guess it’s not easy to go to any events alone, especially such a huge one like Pink Dot. But it’s so nice to hear you actually decided to stay on for the formation in the end!

    This year, if you do decide to drop by again, do check out the community booths & pick up the postcards & other information that they will be giving out. One way is to also ask the volunteers some questions about what they do etc. You may not make friends immediately (that usually takes time!) but at least you get to meet more people?

    Or if you do decide to stay home, you can check out the Resources section on the I Will Survive website to find out about community groups etc, some of which have excellent websites & FB pages.
    http://iwillsurvivesg.wordpress.com/resources/

    Good luck & Happy Pink Dot!
    Leow Yangfa

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