Why I bought a pink shirt

Pink Dot 2012, the celebratory gay event in Singapore, will take place on 30 June. And for the first time, it will be held in the evening. See here for details. This year’s event will be the fourth Pink Dot which started in 2009.

Personally, I’ve always supported the event but have also always attended it as a reporter. This year, I thought it was time I stood as a supporter instead. So, I went out to purchase a pink t-shirt – it’s the first pink shirt I’ve ever bought – to wear to the June 30 event at Speakers’ Corner.

Why did I do this?

I guess the reasons are quite simple:

I have friends who are gay, some openly so, others – for various reasons – prefer to keep this private. I’ve seen how they struggle with their sexuality and I feel I have a part to play to tell them and show them that there are people out there, heterosexuals, who support them. It is important that they do not feel alienated, or that they are somehow “less” than the rest of us.

The second reason is to lend a voice to the changes that we need – in society, in law, and in mindsets among our people.

Thirdly, to tell the religious fanatics (here I am not referring to all religious people but only those who see it as their religious or god-given duty to be homophobic) to keep their religions to themselves. That whatever their gods dictate should and must stay within their own minds, and not be used to dictate how others should live their lives.

The last, and most important reason, is to show that gay people are acceptable (I hate using this word, which I shall explain below) and that they are as human as us, the heterosexuals.

The fact is that when human beings appeared on the earth, gay people have always been with us. They did not just appear in some particular century. Correct me if I am wrong. Homosexuals have as much right to what life has to offer as heterosexuals. Just because they may be the minority does not negate this fact.

Gay people have always been a part of humanity.

This is why I would like to see my country accept them as part of our one people. Therefore, confused laws like 377A should be removed. It is unconscionable that we could have such a piece of legislation in our Penal Code which makes criminals of those whose sexual orientation are a natural, human phenomenon – and then, hypocritically, to turn around and say we will not enforce the law, as if that is some sort of compromise or grand magnanimity. It is not. It is hypocrisy.

Truth is that the gay people I know are no different from the heterosexual friends I have. The only difference is that they are gay. That is, they like people of the same gender as themselves. Are we then to ostracise them, or condemn them, or say they are somehow “less than human”? Truth be told (again) I can name you many groups of heterosexual people who would fit that description more perfectly.

Having said all that, I would not pretend to know what a gay person (whether here in Singapore or anywhere else) go through in their journey through life. I do not know what it feels like. But I do recognise the pain I see in their eyes and the fear that they feel when they face their families and society. Many continue to keep their sexual orientation private and secret. Many suffer in silence.

This need not be so. No one should have to go through life being ashamed or terrified for being who they naturally are, or for loving whomever they feel attracted to.

And so my wearing pink to this year’s event at Hong Lim Park is a small show of support to those who are still fearful, who feel ashamed, who feel that the world is against them, or that they are somehow less worthy of life and its wonders.

There are still a few more days to go to Pink Dot 2012. If you feel the same way as I do, perhaps you would also like to show your support and, as it were, come out of your own closet of fear and wear pink.


  1. i AGREED wholeheartly with what you said. I have at lot of gays & Lesbians friend and I have also seen what they go through to be true to thier own sexuality. So I say GO ANDREW

  2. Bravo! And yes it is a major journey in every gay person’s life to accept who he is and it should not be filled with hatred, anger or discrimination. We should be there to support and stand by these individuals who deserve the respect, freedom and rights as every other human being in our society

  3. Dear Andrew,

    What are your thoughts on the legalisation of gay marriages, and the right of gay couples to adopt?


  4. Hi Andrew,
    Thanks for timely reminder and being just a decent human – yr thoughts and views resonate – I will also go out and wear a pink polo on 30th June.
    Love your neighbour as you would yourself and the world will be a better place for each of us.

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