NOTE: I was not triggered to write this because of the Pink Dot itself or the Wear White movement itself (which by themselves are peaceful things). I was compelled by the online angry remarks I saw that resulted from those 2 movements.
When the Singapore Govt announced the building of big time casinos in Singapore, and when activists stood up to voice their views, I chimed in. Casinos were clearly harmful to heartlanders and I did not see my stand as being politically incorrect nor socially insensitive. I saw the government’s decision as an economically driven one and knew that it was unlikely to be dropped. But it was still ok to stand up for what I believed in to strengthen a voice that hopefully would be heeded. It did not look likely to turn into a civil war.
Now comes the ping-pong game between the LGBT community, those who support their choice of the unconventional partner and those who don’t… and I stay silent. Well… not quite since I’m writing this blog. But “silent” as in I do not go around involving myself in obviously anger-driven self-righteous debates.
Now… why do I stay “silent”? Think about it… where is all this angered debates leading to? More unity or more division? More resentment or more mutual respect and understanding? More inner peace or turbulence? They probably lead to greater fears which lead to actions that cause greater anger, unhappiness and maybe even hatred. And of course… probably more fractures in this already-small and fragile society.
Some* LGBTs want to be heard because they fear that they may not be truly accepted or be truly free – and they are fighting for that freedom. Well… with all these heated debates, I think they are causing others to have more fear of them. (*I say some cos I’m sure some are not interested in any of these ping pong stuff and just wanna live life.)
Those who want the LGBTs to quieten down do so because they fear that their children will get influenced. Well… with all these heated debates, I think the children are getting more influenced by and exposed to the LGBT community in a negative way.
For the LGBT who feels discriminated and don’t feel free… hey… I think you have it pretty good in Singapore already (can walk on the streets without getting assaulted, can get jobs, can buy house, can have straight friends like me ;p ). The feeling of freedom is up to you – within you – and how you interact with people. No need to play ping-pong and get all angry and upset. And don’t play it up so much till you end up doing the exact thing you originally wanted to take down – i.e. discrimination against people with different views and taking away their freedom!
Everybody faces discrimination some how…. discriminated cos of gender, race, religion, age, even physical stature, intellect, wealthy/poor, pretty/handsome. We all face discrimination in some form or other. What I’m trying to say is… LGBTs are not a specially targeted group… cos everybody is targeted somehow. So I don’t like it when some LGBTs exhibit the victim mentality when they are so much better off than the poor and suffering, the human-trafficked-for-sex-trade and more.
I’ve read remarks from both sides. I get what the pro white shirts want. I also get what the pro pink dots are saying. But I think the problem is that they are not listening to each other correctly and getting all heated up instead!!! Those having heated debates are seeing through tainted (red) eyes! I see it as LGBTs just want to be less discriminated. Those who stand by conservative values just want to protect their children. That’s it!!! All sounds harmless enough. Instead of forcing one way through, shouldn’t we be trying to figure out how to have both desires met? Maybe society has to go through all these to-ing and fro-ing before reaching equilibrium. Maybe.
At the end of the day, I still want to live in a harmonious Singapore with Singaporeans who love one another regardless of race, language or religion … and may I add… sexual orientation.
P.S.1: To Christians who might view my choice to stay “silent” as “not making a stand for God”: “How about your children?” you might ask. Well, my children will be taught the values and beliefs I have, including being resilient to their changing surroundings. Do your best. Live the way God wants you to live. Suffer trials and tribulations if you must (including being discriminated because you are someone with “outdated” values). Always be ready to help others understand your point of view, if they are willing and ready. Have a quiet & listening spirit and leave the rest to God. Be peace makers; choose your battles wisely. Live and let live.
P.S.2: To those curious as to what my stand is after saying so much: As a Christian, I stand by God’s Word that marriage is between a man and a woman. The definition of a man, to me, is one born with male genitals. The definition of a woman, is one born with female genitals. And for those who were born with both genitals or other abnormalities, life (e.g. parents or doctors) could have already made that choice for them while they were still infants (or they could choose when they grow up). It doesn’t matter whether a man is sissy or a girl is tomboy. The man is still a man and the girl is still a girl. There are men who don’t mind marrying manly women and there are women who don’t mind marrying effeminate men. And there are the “typical” fine men and women who choose not to marry or never met the right person of the opposite sex – they fill their lives with family and good friends and activities like tennis, swimming, soccer… or pigging out!!! Without the responsibilities of family, some devote it to helping the needy.
That’s my definition of the world of genders, marriage, and single-hood.
P.S.3: I’m not against movements like the Wear White and Pink Dot movements. If not for feminist movements, women today would probably still be a lot more oppressed in many places around the world. If not for Martin Luther King, slavery could have lasted much longer. But, as a Christian who believes that godly life principles are the best, I believe in having limits to certain things. True freedom is when there are still some boundaries in place. Having no boundaries is slavery and dangerous.
There are movements that arise because of fear, pain, oppression or perceptions of inequality. We should hear them and see how things could be worked out. If 2 seemingly opposing movements arise (as in our current case of pink and white), we have to be careful… cos both groups are in pain.
Then there are those that arise to overthrow existing power out of greed, fame and power… which… well… is another thought for another day.