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Gay Principal Coming Out in Singapore?
Wilson High School Principal Comes Out
After 50 years, Pete Cahall, the principal of Woodrow Wilson High School in Washngton, D.C came out at the school’s annual gay pride celebration.
"I never made this declaration before because I did not want my kids to think differently of me or to not respect me," Cahall told the students. "I have been in the shadows, but I am liberated today."
David Catania, the D.C. Council’s first openly gay member who came out as gay when he was 20, said he knew the “silent, quiet, isolating sense of desperation” of living in the closet, and said Cahall’s announcement sent a message not just about acceptance and courage, but also about honesty and integrity. “I think this is the most important lesson that these students will learn this year."
With Pink Dot 2014 (28thJune at Hong Lim Park) just around the corner in Singapore, questions about leading authentic lives are on the minds of many LGBTs and Singaporeans in general. Knowing many LGBTs myself, I have heard their stories of struggles first hand and I wonder if this level of support for diversity would ever be possible in Singapore? We are a first world country but do we have true first world diversity?
Pink Dot - Supporting the Freedom to Love
GDP, ERP, COE aside, diversity of thoughts, race, religion or sexual orientation is the true mark of a first world country. Are we so caught up in the pursuit of wealth that we forget the pursuit of happiness is what makes lives worth living? Diversity adds to our quality of lives in so many ways.
Diversity promotes innovation, it is because we think differently therefore we can create differently. Diversity isn’t asking for privelleges for some but for equality for all. Diversity shouldn’t restrict but liberate just like religion is meant to do. Diversity allows the opportunity for dialogue and not just assumptions. Diversity in and of itself encourages growth and progress, it is the refusal to accept diversity that impedes it.
A Singaporean Perspective
LGBTs aren’t asking for traditional family values to be thrown out, they are asking for it to be expanded to include them, they value and want to experience these things without fear or reproach. Singapore is as much a place for different races, religions, ethnicities as it is for people of different sexual orientations.
Religion & Diversity
I feel it is entirely possible that these 2 things coexist in harmony as long as there is respect for each other, we can always agree to disagree. People first, personal opinions second. The most inspirational religious leaders I know understand the magnificence of their God and that his grace is for all, not a selected few. They know that we might not understand but we sure can try to. They step up to heal rather than hurt. They know that religion seek to unite rather than divide. They know that their God’s love is abundant and there is liberation in love.
Some believe it is a choice. I can’t help but question why would someone knowingly choose a harder road? Did anyone wake up one day and chose your own sexual orientation? OK, let’s say you are adamant that it is a choice, does it mean it gives someone the right to discriminate? I think it is safe to say that we all have had to make choices that do not please everyone but are we allowed to do so? Yes. So let them choose this choice if you will.
Some say LGBTs are a sensitive bunch, I have also pondered this question. The fact is that LGBTs are very familiar with discrimination of all kinds. Be it at home, at work, in the media, from friends, etc. Is it so surprising when their experiences have been negative? We all have our sore spots, it makes us uniquely human.
Some say LGBTs are a suspicious bunch. Is it so surprising when people reject you in so many ways, you learn to build a wall to safeguard yourself, you learn to thread carefully. I think we have all been there at some point or another.
Distance is Nothing, Love is Everything
A Day in the Life of an LGBT
Many do not understand exactly how sexual orientation impacts a person’s life. Building romantic relationships are one of the greatest joys of life. Imagine if you are not free to date who you want to, just because of who you are. Imagine if you realise that you feel differently from most of the people around you, it is a lonely and confusing place to be. Imagine if everyone tells you are less worthy and put you down, would you not start to feel so at some point? Imagine if you have to hide an important part of your life from everyone around you, it's a stressful life to lead. Imagine feeling attracted to someone and constantly feeling conflicted, gulity and ashamed. These are just some daily examples of what an LGBT goes through and I have barely skimmed the surface.
So you see, everything that a heterosexual takes for granted is a luxury that a LGBT doesn’t have, so show a little grace, a little understanding, restore a little faith in humanity so they can feel the love and acceptance that you enjoy.
LGBT Parades Around the World
© 2014 Min