Don’t we repeat ‘to build a democratic society, based on justice and equality’ in our pledge? Don’t we repeat it from a young age to ensure we remember it, to hold fast to it, because we supposedly believe in it? Then if this society is based on equality, why are some denied their right to love? Why are some prejudiced against? Why are some discriminated against, the subject of hate speeches and bigotry, just because they have a different sexuality?
June 29, 2013. Pink Dot was held at Hong Lim Park. Pink Dot is a non-profit movement where the participants care deeply about the place that LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Singaporeans call home. It is a group for everyone, straight and gay, who support the belief that everyone deserves the freedom to love. Pink is the color of our ICs. It is also the color when you mix red and white – the colors of our national flag. Pink Dot stands for an open, inclusive society within our Red Dot, where sexual orientation represents a feature, not a barrier.
In 2009, the first Pink Dot was held. 2,500 people attended this event. Now in its fifth year, Pink Dot 2013 attracted a grand total of 21,000 people. That’s an increase of 740%, in just 5 years.
Actress Michelle Chia says that some people disagreed with her being an ambassador of Pink Dot 2013, “But to my surprise, I had some negative feedback and criticisms. They say I am a bad role model. Some people even asked if this will affect my business. Why would it? Aren’t we all the same? We have parents, siblings, friends. We study hard, work hard and meet people. And we fall in love! Which is a beautiful thing.
Accepting someone with a different sexual orientation or gender identity does not make me a bad role model. I am taught not to judge, to be kind to another, and not to think that I am better than anybody else. Being a straight person does not make us any better or more successful. It does not give us the right to discriminate!
Singapore is progressive and forward-thinking in so many ways. We should not be held back by prejudice and ignorance. All of us should open our hearts and learn to understand. We all want to be who we want to be, and love who we want to love! And that includes our LGBT friends.
Let’s love and not hate!”
Some people believe that only LGBT individuals will support LGBT equality. It is because of this mind-set that many people remain passive, that they rather not show outright support for LGBT equality in fear of being labelled. But it is because of this fear that progress is hindered, that many LGBT teenagers today struggle with self-acceptance, with coming out, because they feel alone, because they fear being the subject of scorn. Tell me, do animal rights activists have to be animals?
More and more people are joining the fight to chip away the stone walls of prejudice, yet it will need more people and time. When will these walls finally crumble?