September 2018.


September was good to me, and I think you can see it on my glowing moon face.

The past 30 days have been nothing short of amazing: I met friends I never thought I would reconnect with ever since high school. All the times I went out dancing were fun, safe and with people I absolutely adore from the bottom of my heart. I caught up with familiar faces at various events that I attended to just keep myself updated with the happenings in the various scenes. Then I was again blessed with the amazing company of the women at Aware, who always fill me up with hope for change and a sense of empowerment.

There have been so many conversations I have had with people, with works of art and of course, with books, that gave me new perspectives on certain subjects I may not be very well versed in. And somehow, these conversations always happen to come at a good time in my life where I have the space and energy to take them in and really dwell on them to feel them fully.

Is it true that somehow everything will work out and that the universe is listening?

Who knows, but I know I have been lucky in more ways than one. The people I find myself surrounded by are all brilliant in their own ways – in work, in aspirations, in achievements. But more than that, they have big hearts and they are people who live for more than themselves.

It is not always the easiest decision that makes things worthwhile. A reminder I should keep close to me for certain events have been trying but I am okay. Still hanging in there and not letting the doubts overstay their welcome.

I will try to focus on things I can actually do and work towards changes I can actually make happen. It is more productive and useful that way.

Anyway, if you only have the time to read one book this year, I really urge you to pick up This Is What Inequality Looks Like by Teo You Yenn. It will deepen your understanding of Singapore and reaffirm how the power of your words, your behaviours and ultimately, your individual choices can gradually help shift a system to benefit more people.

What are basic needs? And what does it say about us if not everyone has easy access to them?

Yes, I am talking about equality and with that, the repeal of 377A.

I honestly don’t believe that another person getting granted to a basic need and a human right threatens another person from those same privileges. It only threatens a stubborn world view that the world should be how one views it, and that one is always right.

This argument is not about morals, values, procreation or even religion at its core. It has become about pride, ego and how one is right while the other has to be wrong, “different” and an “other”.

Not everything is so unreasonably competitive, and rights shouldn’t be like this. Rights are for everyone, regardless of difference.

What makes us inherently human has to be divorced from our economical value, ability to procreate and the expectation to fit into a system forced upon us – and a system that is not natural, for that matter, but built by humans who are already buried for centuries.

Systems are made to carry society forward and to right the wrongs made acceptable in the past. Systems are made to serve us, and not the other way round.

So if the system no longer works, we should be throwing it out instead of trashing each other for not fitting into old-fashioned categories, binaries and checklists of a “normal” life.

That’s why this year has been so powerful thus far. We are fighting for change, and though gradual, I think I will live to see it all happen.