Monday, May 24, 2010

As my blood boils...

I have given up on communicating with Christians who cannot understand the plight LGBTs all over the world are suffering especially those Christians trying to camouflage bigotry with academic research and scholarly lingo.

When I described how LGBTs are denied the basic human right of marriage, I was asked "is it really love you have, or just an extension of friends-with-benefits" and then I was smoke-bombed with "marriage is denied to people for a whole variety of reasons other than sexual orientation and sexual fitness... even heterosexuals don't have a right to marriage... even very trivially, there is the age limit... and when in human history before the 1970s was marriage regarded "a basic human right?".

Then the ultimate insult was hurled "I would like to ask, you asking for the right to "marriage", properly understood in the social sense, sans orientation, or asking for the right to state-supported lifelong sexual indulgence?".

"State-supported lifelong sexual indulgence"??!? WTF?? I have never heard something so idiotically-extreme before!

When I lamented how faith-guided people will continue to vote for the retention of Section 377A including some so-called friends who are willing to make their LGBT buddies criminals-without-rights for another 25 years all in the name of religion, I was asked "have you tried to understand the details of their stance... fundamentalists like Prof Tho Li Ann have been driven into their fundamentalism partially because of a frustration that they are not being heard out properly. There is a perception that this "dialogue" is a one-way street... so you want them to think about how you feel... why don't you also think about how they feel?".

That left me speechless. Somehow they (yes, even the scholars) fail to grasp the fact that LGBTs are the real victims here.

Then the scholar went on to sling mud onto others like Alex Au by saying "for instance, what do you think a Christian who has been taught the "inclusionary" nature of Christ's love, of a bliblically-centered love, feels when he reads Alex Au's article deriding Christianity as an "exclusionary" religion?".

Boo hoo.... as they carry on crying as victims in their multi-million dollar church premises.

More mud-slinging followed–this time round the pro-LGBT activists were on the receiving end. "The Pro-LGBT activists appear to be fighting for equal rights. Instead, what they are fighting for is opinion imperialism, no different from what they accuse religious groups of doing... the Pro-LGBT activists know their priorities, but their priorities are the wrong ones, and ones that are bringing more division to society than healing harm."

Scholarly lingo alert!!! "Opinion imperialism"–what does that even mean?! Pro-LGBT activists bringing division to society? Somehow to these people, this line of argument never gets old.

Then this "I am Roman Catholic, and I know that the Vatican has an official Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue; what does that say about the potential of Christianity for inter-religious dialogue? (As an aside, I think that the Vatican would be willing to form a Pontifical Council for Catholic-LGBT dialogue if it sensed that any LGBT groups did actually want a genuine dialogue, which they currently don't)."

Win already right? Yes, they most certainly want to engage in dialogue, that is if they still have energy after spending all day covering the tracks of paedophilic priests, demonising condoms and explaining how natural disasters are a direct result of sodomy.

Then something was said that showed how unscholarly the scholar was. "There are also many Christians around the world suffering from persecution on a daily basis. Remember, Christianity is a global religion... there are incidentally many more Christians than there are LGBT people. It is a ratio of 1.5 billion to six million. Quite majorly significant."

So what if Christians are in the majority compared to LGBTs?!

All of the above is still palatable (I have a high level of tolerance) but then my endurance was pushed over the brink with "because I really do want to understand and help you through your problems. But I can't help if you refuse to acknowledge that you have a problem in the first place."

*** Must fight the urge to scream my guts out
and smash the computer ***

I was then given some advice to "stop labelling people "fundamentalists and bigots" and for a change, ask and then sit down and listen to what their real opinions on the issue are. If you do that, I am sure they will stop calling you "sinner"... stop thinking about yourself and think about others for a change... if you are willing to give up your siege mentality, I think that you would suddenly find many Christians, even the "fundamentalists", becoming much warmer toward you."

Who cares about them calling me a sinner? I just want them to butt out of government policies in a secular country!!!

And then I stopped replying for I needed the madness to end.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

All this started from a discussion on whether the "Agree To Disagree" publication (meant to teach Buddhists how to tactfully turn down proselytising Christians–website here) is considered "polite bigotry". By the way, that scholar found the publication ultimately "disengaging" and does not promote inter-faith dialogue, if you are interested (duh). And if you are REALLY interested, here is the thread in context in gory detail.

If we cannot get through to scholars, how then can we get through to the hordes and hordes of fundies who know much less? Can you blame me for giving up on communicating with these people and only keeping within my gay and gay-friendly cliques so as not to elevate my blood pressure? Please tell me–am I doing the wrong thing? If so, what do you recommend I do?

(PS: Incidentally, the 'Hokkien pengs' of my platoon were much more embracing. When I showed them pictures of me and my partner during my last in-camp training, they asked me to invite them to my wedding! How sweet!)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The ultimate way to be shot

Back in February this year when I went back home for Chinese New Year, I grabbed the opportunity to squeeze in a shoot with a friend and photographer Cobalt.

It was just like any other hot and humid day in tropical Singapore except that we were shooting nude in the open forest. This is my first professional outdoor nude shoot. Not only did we have to trek a long way in, we had to risk being spotted. We had to abandon our initial location as some people were seen jogging (I wonder what would happen if they saw me in all my naked glory).

We had a photographic assistant with us and another person to constantly stand guard–our early warning system. Shooting in the bushes was tough as maneuvering in my own skin meant that I was constantly scratched and prodded by undergrowth. Luckily my skin was left in tact and everything went smoothly.

With all the trouble and hard work from everyone, the many shots taken that day have been distilled to the following few. It was worth all the effort as I think we had spectacular results but I will let you be the judge. Even if the whole exercise were to fail standards, at least I got to be one again with nature and trust me, nothing beats that feeling.

PS: Artistic license had to be maintained by the photographer and hence the way one of the pictures was censored (I would have done it differently if it were up to me).

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Musical journey (1)

It is time for a little musical sharing once again. I have here the newest collaboration between my friend (the lyricist) and I (the composer), the same team who brought you "Stay Away" and "不由自主的幸福". This song writes about the memories of being with someone and how it would be like if there were a reunion. I feel that the song is ultimately telling us that we should all be spending more time with the people who are dear to us so that we will never be in that melancholic state of regret, when what one could only do is to reminisce and imagine. I feel that with a simple arrangement, one can better receive this message and so that was how I went about my composition. I have included both a male- and female-keyed version so everyone can sing along. I hope you will enjoy this one of many musical journeys.


/词: 惜妹//曲: 锦泉/








我知道 我现在 也只能 想想

PS: We need to start writing more upbeat songs!