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