Category: Current Affairs
Published on Wednesday, 01 June 2016 15:09
Written by Shawn Danker
I've attended Pink Dot for the past 5 years, and have always been an avid supporter, but this is why I am boycotting Pink Dot this year.
I've watched the local gay pride movement grow from strength to strength as Pink Dot's turnout numbers steadily increased over the years.
I was always amazed by how well organized our Pink Dot activists are, but what was even more amazing was how their ability to organize themselves put many of our political parties to shame. I used to think that Pink Dot was the one annual happy occasion where people came out to show the world that love is stronger than hate.
But I won't be attending Pink Dot this year. Or any other years for that matter. This is coming from someone who has their fair share of LGBT friends and feels deeply for their plight of ostracization. But the Lawrence Khong Ikea saga
left an extremely bitter taste in my mouth. Just to be clear: I am not a fan of Khong. I think he has espoused many a vile idea in the past but I believe he is entitled to his right to free speech.
And his right to earn a living.
The Ikea saga had in my mind, exposed a very ugly side of our pro gay community.
I silently watched while people on my facebook feed screamed that Khong's magic show should be boycotted and shut down.
That he shouldn't be granted any platforms to air his views despite the glaring fact that Khong was simply putting on a magic show performance.
That it was shameful for Ikea to help sell tickets for Khong's magic show just because he has been public with his anti gay stance in the past.
I tried to reason with some of the rabid "anti Khongers" within my circle but they wouldn't back down from their position. They justified their frenzy by saying it was just for them to oppress someone who was hell-bent on oppressing them. When I asked if they were a part of an active coordinated boycott campaign to strike against Khong. "The reporters egged us on. This is not a boycott. We didn't call for a boycott or organize a boycott. But people are free to boycott if they want." was the glib response I got.
"The point of a free society is to tolerate a wide range of views whether you like them or not. But your actions towards Khong totally flies in the face of your message of inclusivity and acceptance." was all I could think about when I read their response. It was a wake up call that made me recoil. And that was when I made my decision to never attend Pink Dot ever again.
Will I ever rejoin my fellow Singaporeans in pink solidarity at Hong Lim Park? Maybe when our pro gay side finally decides to practice what it preaches. Until then I shall wear pink at home come Pink Dot day.