(Photo credit: Singaypore.sg’s Facebook page)
I attended PinkDot for the fourth time this year. I was so proud. So beaming proud. We have done it again. We, the people of Singapore, the lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgendered, queers, questioning (LGBTQ), curious, undecided, and our straight friends, families, colleagues and loved ones, have done it again.
I was so proud.
I was so proud that we could stand here together, once again, in a sea of pink, believing and knowing that we have the freedom to love, knowing that if we have the commitment and dignity to love whom we love genuinely and sincerely, and to be loved in return, that we can continue to live our lives with pride, with honesty and with our strength in belief, that we are leading fulfilling, proud and inspirational lives, as our own.
As the helicopters flew past with the Singapore flag and we started serenading to the national anthem, my heart beamed with so much pride. I am a Singaporean. I am a proud Singaporean, living in a place, where even if there was 377A, or even if our society is perceived as being conservative, I can be here, I can be who I am, I can be proud that I am someone whom I can respect, and whom can live a life like all of us here, proud, and affirmed. I sang the national anthem with pride. Never have I felt so much pride for Singapore and my fellow Singaporeans before.
As the jet planes flew past next, it felt almost like a sign that our government was blessing us with their congrats – our pride, our reason to be. It was almost as if we are together as one, regardless of race, language or religion, and sexual orientation, as host Lim Yu Beng, had said. Indeed, we were – families with strollers. A single father with his adopted child; gay friends dressed in dynamic costumes. Everyone, in every creed, dancing alive to the music and even if they were standing awkwardly on the grass patch; today, once again, we have been affirmed for who we are, and we know today, we can walk on, head held high, knowing that we are proud individuals who can show others that love is who we all are, and love is who we will take pride in, and have the freedom to be, because we know what being committed to love, being genuine in love and being sincere in love is.
Even if tomorrow, we go back to work or school, or back to our homes, and things may look the same, but we know, inside, we have grown. We are able to hold our esteem high within ourselves and continue to believe in who we are, what we can do, and really, be ourselves – happy and free.
I am very grateful to the organisers for PinkDot for dreaming up this amazing ideal – the freedom to love – and to continue to reinvent themselves. Indeed, today, it did felt like the National Day Parade (NDP), but one that we truly feel for, are grateful and proud of, and are truly happy to be part of. As a friend had remarked, PinkDot is better than NDP.
I cannot put in words the immense pride, dignity and fulfillment I have, as I stood today, shining my pink light up into the sky, as all us of came together to form the PinkDot, as we sang our hearts out, under the stars, knowing that things can be better, will be better, and that we are part of what will make things better. I was beaming so proudly, as I looked to the faces of those around me, the hope in their eyes, the belief, the happiness and the knowing – that yes, things are better, and we have come this far, and can only go further.
(Photo credit: PinkDot’s Facebook page)
As PinkDot illuminated itself in the night, it felt as if all our lives have been illuminated, that our hopes are renewed and our faiths inspired.
I believe, and I know, together, we can, and we will – we will lead fulfilling, happy lives that we are proud of, with dignity and strength, and that we can have the freedom to love, be committed in loving relationships, and be blessed by the people around us, because simply, love is who we are. And today, we have come together, to show love, love, and be loved in return. And to let our love expand and be lit, like a beacon of hope to all LGBTQs, our straight friends and all alike.
Thank you PinkDot for an amazing fourth year running, and more to come. Thank you for making me feel alive and proud. I am grateful, from the bottom of my heart.
(Photo credit: PinkDot’s Facebook page)
(This post was written on 1 July 2012.)