Pink Dot – hope of a more inclusive, open-minded Singapore

by: Otto Fong/

My friends, gay brothers gay sisters, straight brothers and straight sisters, welcome! My name is Otto Fong. Some of you may know me for publicly outing myself as a gay man while I was teaching in a secondary school. Thank you for being here! Because of you, we have made history again! This is the single largest gathering of people in support of the freedom to love in Singapore! Do you know that 30 or 40 years ago, the Hong Lim Park area used to be the main gathering place for some gay men? Isn’t it ironic? Isn’t it coincidental? Or is it fateful?

Many years ago, I was a frightened, lonely young man as I looked for love along the back alleys near here. It wasn’t easy, and how could it be? We met in the dark, we used fake names, gave out fake numbers because we were so afraid! Worst of all, we broke each others’ hearts because noone taught us how to love. We had to learn about love the hard way.

But things have changed! And we are a part of that change! I am living with my partner, and this year, we just celebrated our 13th anniversary. Many of my friends are in committed, long-term relationships with the support of family and friends. As we stand here today, we are sending a strong message of love, acceptance and inclusivity. We declare that we are also a part of the Singapore family.

Over the years others have spoken out for us, many of them straight people – many continue to stand with us here, now. Were it not for their courage and determination, Pink Dot would not be possible. Please join me in a round of applause in thanking our straight friends for being here!

Today, we reaffirm our love for Singapore. Singapore, belongs not to any one segment, any one group. It belongs to us ALL – gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or straight. Together, we signal a hope of a more inclusive, open-minded Singapore. Together, we support each other’s freedom to love, so that every one of us can have someone to call his or her own in this life!

Otto Fong was formerly a teacher in Raffles Institution who came out openly in 2007 to to say that he is gay.

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