Thursday, June 30, 2011

Musical journey (14)

Before I amassed all the confidence I have now to bare all in front of the camera countless times and seize every chance I have to perform on the stage, I went through a period of identity-crisis. Although every one goes through this phase during their adolescent years, this problem poses itself in more layers for homosexuals and sufferers need to dig deeper into themselves to attain that harmony with who they really are, what they can and cannot achieve and be contented with the outcome, whatever it may be.

I recently watched Oprah's farewell show and something she said hit me. Oprah said every single person in this world seeks validation and wants to be heard, be it the richest, most famous person down to the homeless and destitute. That is so very true and relevant as well to an identity-crisis. We all need to know that we are worth something and we have to rely not only on ourselves but on others to give us that validation.

And that was the source of all the pain during my battle with living as a gay person, coming out and just being comfortable in my own body–I relied only on myself to think through and rationalise all doubts and insecurities (that was also largely due to me being left alone in my family for most of my growing-up years as every one was busy making ends meet). If I had someone to validate me then I think my fight would have been much shorter and easier. But then again I rationalise (I like doing that if you do not yet know) that long-drawn war as a huge character-building lesson, something that made me the strong and secure person I am today. Moreover without that exact experience, I would risk not turning out gay (GASP!) and instead be a boring-as-hell hetero doing all the mundane hetero stuff like raising kids in loveless marriages. I shudder at that thought.

Once in a while, we need to look back at our past and see how far we have come along, when we can take a moment to reflect on what went right and think of how we can do better in the future and only then can we take the next step with a sure spirit. In this month's musical journey, I look back at one of the more representative songs written during my coming-out years in which I poured my heart out, expressed all my angst and vented in vain, lamenting how we were all taught lies about fairy tales as kids only to grow up to find out that real life couldn't be farther from that. Through my voice, I hope you can hear the suffering and the helplessness that once almost drowned me.


/词 / : 锦泉/






Snow White's prince comes to her side in the end
The ugliest duckling becomes pretty one day
Even beauty and the beast can fall in love
And to think that we believed in all of that

The little matchstick girl though led a wretched life
Still ended up in heaven with a smile on her face
How many times can you hear these stories before you get sick of them?
Why can't you see that they are nothing but lies?

We have been taught the idea that all things in life come with a happy ending
Only to grow up and discover that we have all been denied the truth
Not every story ends beautifully
In fact they play out as tragedies over and over again

If this world were fair I wouldn't have to cry myself to sleep every night
How I wish I could go back to the innocent past
When the land of sweet dreams comes after bedtime stories
But all I can do now is to heave a sigh into the air
And there goes another day

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

3 revolutions around the sun

On this day three years ago, I was lugging all my bags through customs and in the sea of people at the gate, I saw a face, a face that I have only seen for the third time then and a face that I cannot live without today. As I set foot on this strange yet familiar ground on 21st June 2008, I have begun The Next Phase of my life in Sydney Australia.

Though time flew by quickly, I have since established myself in the workforce, built a solid relationship with my partner, got published in the top gay magazine around here, made some really good friends and already formulating plans for my next relocation. There were ups and downs along the way and looking back, I think I have accomplished quite a bit in these short years. As icing on the cake, I was featured as "Mr. Friday" this week in the "Hottest Members" newsletter of one gay dating site. That is a far cry from being attacked by racism on another site not too long ago. Yes, there were ups and downs.

As I look forward to my next three years, I shall fondly remember all the experiences of the past three. Although I will always call Singapore my home, Australia is where I belong now. This is the place where I can explore everything life has to offer and truly flourish. And indeed I have.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Fight on Singapore!

Today is Pink Dot 2011 which is taking place at 5pm in Singapore's Hong Lim Park. It is Singapore's unique version of the fight for gay equality, the freedom to love and just being who you are. In this tiny red dot of a developed nation, things like that are best tackled with baby steps as human rights are only taken off the "denied-list" at glacial speeds if there is no economic bonus to providing that basic dignity, a simple no-brainer move in many other developed countries.

I could have attended Pink Dot 2011 should it have been in May like the previous years but I guess I can only send my moral support from wintry Sydney again just like before. I am fortunate to be living in a country more progressive than Singapore in terms of human rights but I will never take that for granted. We have to be ever-vigilant in guarding what we have because all it takes is one religious fundamentalist to take control of the government to end all this. In Australia, our current battle is for gay marriage but at the end of the day the fight is essentially the same ie. taking back what society has owed us for generations.

So fight on Singapore, I am so proud of all of you! Oh, and I will be wearing pink today.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Back to Carriage Works (3)

Here you go, the last of the series. I am tempted to say that I have exhausted Carriage Works but I have a feeling I will go back again for it is so near and convenient (just a stone's throw from Redfern train station). In fact I have done yet another session at this fabulous location so stay tuned for more pictures from that and my many, many other shoots!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Back to Carriage Works (2)

Here is the second part of my shoot in this superb location. Though some sneaking-through-the-hole-in-the-fence is necessary, the many photographically-interesting spots in the huge area makes it all worthwhile. Enjoy.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Back to Carriage Works (1)

One of the really good locations I have been shot at is Carriage Works in Redern and I know a lot of other people have had their best captured there too. Here is one of those series that I am really happy with–the location, the photographer, the lighting, the editing, everything! I also realise that I have done a lot of shoots recently (4 in Bangkok and 3 in Singapore) and there will be a whole lot of pictures that I will be blogging so let's quickly get the show started with this first one out of three posts of this series.