Thursday, October 16, 2008

Out

I am not sure if many of you know this but Singapore has recently relaxed the anti-demonstration laws and gays are capitalizing on that to organize a mini gay pride parade at the only government-designated space for such "demonstrations" -- Speaker's Corner of Hong Lim Park.

You might find the concept funny -- having a parade in such a small area but it is important for the gay population in Singapore because it sets a precedence. It is also an opportunity to show the rest of the nation that we are but like them, normal and well-adjusted Singapore citizens. It is a daring move by the organizers and I applaud them. I have waited for this for so long but now that it might really be happening, I can only watch it from across the ocean for I am now so far away. Words cannot imagine how frustrated and sad I can get knowing that I will miss this historical event. You will have my moral support, the brave homosexuals of Singapore. It is time to step out of the closet and I will be there with you in all your hearts waving the rainbow flag so high.

I urge all of you (straights and gays) to attend the parade if you can -- that's why I am writing this in my blog to spread the word. Please leave a comment expressing your interest and I will point you in the right direction. This event has also been reported by The New Paper. But you will be surprised at the level of apathy in Singapore -- there are actually many gays who are completely unaware of this! Come on, I know freedom should be afforded to us by the government in a democratic country but Singapore is different (not right but it is just so) -- we must fight for our freedom as much as against the hypocrisy the government is knee-deep in.

To whet your appetite, here is an extract of what the parade organizers have tentatively put together:

===============================================

Date: 15 Nov 08, Saturday
Time: 5pm - 7pm
Venue: Hong Lim Park, Speaker's Corner

Proposed Theme:
Gays Are Like You and Me

Objectives:
1) To be publicly heard as gay or gay-friendly men and women
2) To show Singapore that her gays citizens are like you and me
3) To lobby for gay equality in all aspects of life

Target Audience:
All people currently resident in Singapore. We welcome family members, friends, colleagues, schoolmates, and everyone who is gay-friendly and accepting

Icons and Banners to be displayed:
1) "Gays Are Like You and Me"
2) The Rainbow Flag

Event Souvenir:
Bookmark

Dress Code:
Casual (what you would wear when walking down the street)

Theme Songs:
Over The Rainbow - Judy Garland
Make It Happen - Mariah Carey
We Shall Overcome - African-American Equal Rights Theme Song

Important Note:
Keep the park clean

Tentative Programme:
5:00pm - 5:15pm Assembly
5:15pm - 5:45pm Welcome and opening speeches
5.45pm - 6.00pm Briefing on March
6.00pm - 6.15pm First round of March
6.15pm - 6.20pm Short Briefing / Break
6.20pm - 6.35pm Second round of March / Songs
6.35pm - 6.50pm Public Forum: "Why is there so much shame associated with being gay in Singapore and what can we do about it?"
6.50pm - 7.00pm Thank you speech
7.00pm onwards Dinner Time; Free & Easy

Publicity
Flyers: Distribute to bath houses, pubs, fitness centres, etc
Banners: Online and offline -- PLU, Fridae, Sgboy, IRC, Signel, Spaces (Oogachaga), Safehaven, Men After Work, Yawning Bread, Heartlander, Fabulous Asia, and any other PLU-related sites

Committee Members:
Parade Leader
Assistant Parade Leader
Secretary / Time Keeper
Treasurer
PR Manager, including briefing the media on which segment of the gathering is non-comfortable with being caught on video or photographed
Team Leaders
Graphics / Webpage Designer / Facebook or Yahoo!Groups co-ordinator

To-Do List:
Setting the deadlines
Recruit committee members
Meetings
Publicity
Print Park terms & conditions (http://www.nparks. gov.sg)
Get graphic designer to do flyer and bookmark
Video and music
Make small coloured flags for all participants
Make placard and banners
Get name tag / stickers
Bring trash bags

Logistics:
Talk to Hong Lim Park Cafe to arrange for food & drinks
Buy whistles, rattles, ghetto blaster
Get pole for rainbow flag
Forming a committee
Arrange for first meeting
Get the songs lyrics and practise with all

===============================================

We all know how organized gays can get right? So are you impressed yet? There are actually many gay activists in Singapore organizing many activities for the community eg. seminars, workshops, talks, etc and I have attended many of them. The biggest one is the annual month-long Gay Pride event called Indignation (it coincides with National Day) which consists of many small events. Take a peek at IndigNation 2008 at http://www.plu.sg/indignation. Gay life is actually not all that boring when you strip off the clubbing, sex and drugs. We should all get involved and keep the gay flame of Singapore burning strong.

To do my part for the inaugural gay pride parade, I have put together an MTV of the Mandarin song I have written during the time when we had a fighting chance to tear down 377A and I wanted to make that the theme song to garner more support (but no one got to hear it). I then wanted to share the song with the community during IndigNation 2008 but alas I did not have the chance to perform it before I left for Sydney. Finally I can present it here as my support for the parade. The song is called "" which means "pride". I find this title especially apt because it sounds very much like the word "out".

Here are the words to the song (as well as a rough English translation) followed by the video:


[傲]

爱一个人的自由我没有, 这又有什么理由
你试图掠夺我们权力的拥有, 如此丑陋
我们再也不能够, 无条件等候
让我们在今天圆梦

我们的傲气比天高, 绝不让人嘲笑
迎着逆风, 我们能飞向天涯飞到海角
若能够用这力量去创造
平等待遇的一天会来到

我们的傲气比天高, 绝不让人嘲笑
誓要用无极限的爱, 把这世界改造
我们知道, 你不是不能是不要
请你听听我们这祷告

那道彩虹在空中, 七色虽不同
但我们得团结行动

我们的傲气比天高, 绝不让人嘲笑
不屈不挠, 要世人看清我们坚忍的容貌
若自己不主动争取寻找
我们生活怎能够更美好

我们的傲气比天高, 绝不让人嘲笑
你我他之间的差异, 是如此渺小
为什么你总不去理会不明了
我们急切的需要

我们的傲气比天高, 绝不让人嘲笑
我爱一个人的自由, 你主宰得不了
手牵手, 心中涌现的骄傲
我们现在要让你看到




[Pride]

I do not have the right to love a human being
How can there be a reason behind that?
You try to snatch our rights from us, how very ugly of you
We can no longer wait without any conditions
Let us realize our dream today

Our pride is high and mighty, we will not stand to be mocked
Against the wind, we can fly towards the ends of the world
If we harness this energy to create
The day of equal treatment will come

Our pride is high and mighty, we will not stand to be mocked
We swear to use love that knows no bounds to change the world
We know it is not that you cannot but do not want to
Please listen to our prayers

That rainbow in the sky, though it has seven different colours
We must all unite and strike together

Our pride is high and mighty, we will not stand to be mocked
Unwavering, we want the people of the world to see our strong and determined faces
If we do not fight and seek for ourselves
How can we better our lives?

Our pride is high and mighty, we will not stand to be mocked
The differences between you, him and I are so very minuscule
Why do you keep trying to not care and understand our urgent needs?

Our pride is high and mighty, we will not stand to be mocked
My freedom to love another is something you can have no control over
Hand in hand, the pride that surges from our hearts
We want you to see it now





Do you like the song/video? It is a tribute to all the brave gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered folks in Singapore staying on to fight the fight. One day we will claim what is rightfully ours and on that day, our pride will be so high and mighty, no one will ever mock us again.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pink Triangle is a true thing? You mean they actually selectively pulled out 600,000 ppl to kill?

Kim said...

I think the number might be more than that.

Check this out:
http://www.e-z.net/wtv/v-icht-1.htm

Bigotry knows no bounds and if one has the power to back that bigotry up, there is going to be big trouble.

Thanks for dropping my blog by the way!!! May I know who you are?

gabriel said...

too bad u not around,else i will go with u

Kim said...

Thanks for the support. Yes, if only...

Anonymous said...

I will also go with you. haha

Anywayz, the world is so freaking small you wouldn't believe it. Remember you, me and xm went to watch the documentary? The producer is my present colleague's gf. haha!

ML=)

Kim said...

Yes! Another supporter! But what's the use when I cannot even be there?

That Mei Ling producer woman? Yah, the world is such a small place.

Hope Red Cross is treating you well so far. I am so looking forward to you coming next year!

And happy birthday!!! I am glad you like the card I sent you.