There would be people choosing not to turn up for Pink Dot every year, citing reasons such as it being “a waste of time”. Sometimes, people simply do not understand why I would even make it a point to go down every year dressed in a colour I barely like. They would say: “You are not even fighting for your own rights. Why even go for the event?”
Let me just say that Pink Dot is not just an event.
Sure, Pink Dot makes sure that everyone is having a good time with lovely performances and enough food and drinks to go around. Everyone would take this chance to dress in their best pink get up and picnic at Hong Lim Park, sitting among fashionable pets and bright balloons.
But please, look beyond the surface and go deeper. Underneath the laughter and the excitement of forming the dot at the end, Pink Dot to me, is about human love.
It is about love being an emotional experience that is beyond gender and sexual orientation.
I still remember feeling a little sad when I first went for Pink Dot back in 2010, because I saw couples that were still uncomfortable being in the open. Hands started letting go when they felt like people were watching and eyes mostly looking at the ground.
This year, it was special for me.
Standing around while waiting to form the dot, I was surrounded with affection. I saw couples sneaking kisses while the shy ones were quietly holding hands. Some were swaying together with the music and others resting on shoulders or sharing a hug. The physical expressions of affection and love were all similar and beautiful and every couple was different and unique in so many ways. It was truly incredible, feeling the affection and the energy of love all around me.
This year, the smiles across faces were bright and the pride was strong. I could feel the love.
The love in the painstakingly done up decorations and planning of the event for the people. The love in the body language of people and animals. The love in the words and sounds traveling in the air.
To me, love is universal and everyone feels love the same way. Love is more than the appearances and preferences of people. Love is about acceptance and it is an emotion that everyone deserves to experience unconditionally. Why should some people be more deserving of love than others? Why should we label some people as ‘normal’ and some others not? What exactly is normal?
Aren’t we all the same really?
So, every year, I choose to make a stand for what I believe in. I might be one person and I may not know much about the struggles or the complications the LGBTs face, but if me going for Pink Dot would make a small difference, then why not?
Can you imagine if everyone thought it was a “waste of time” and simply choose not to turn up? The dot would not even happen.
Everyone has a choice and individuals choosing to turn up for the event are important. Standing in the middle of Hong Lim Park under a camera and forming the dot as one, it is about lending each other support and knowing that we have got each others’ backs.
As people, we are empowered to make a difference when we all come together and really make our presence count.
And the part about me not even fighting for my rights because I am straight?
That’s not true, because essentially, I am fighting for the right to love as a human being.
Because no matter the orientation, we are all made up of blood, skin and bones.
And we all have a beating heart to love.