Quite a few of the guests on the Pink Dot Hong Kong stage at Tamar Park last Sunday related how they responded to questions of the homophobic public with this phrase ‘關你麼嘢事?’. In Mandarin it means ‘關你什麽事?’ and in English, ‘what business is it of yours?’ which can also mean ‘mind your own business…you !@#$%^&*busybody!’ One of the guests who said so was famous Hong Kong actor Anthony Wong Chau-sun and the other, the father of famous Canto-pop singer and actress, Denise Ho. She had come out recently.
How do you feel about so many people in the entertainment scene coming out as gay? –‘關你麼嘢事?’. How do you feel about your daughter being lesbian? –‘關你麼嘢事?’. ‘How do you feel about so and so being gay?’ – ‘關你麼嘢事?’. How do you feel about being gay? – ‘關你麼嘢事?’.
It may sound like a rude response especially in the Cantonese tone of voice. But seriously, isn’t it true? What business is it to others that a certain person is gay? A gay person is not out to convert, if medical science and psychology can be believed, there can be no conversion….you are either born straight or gay. All the gay community wants is to have the freedom to love without the judgmental look from the homophobic people. Is that so hard to understand and accept?
But then, it is so hard.
It is so hard because it goes against the grain of society at large and every time we meet with something which is different from us, we have a human tendency to squash and destroy it – think left-handers, think anti-Semitism in World War 2 Germany, think apartheid in South Africa, think our own aversion to foreign workers in Singapore. I once told a friend of mine that gay rights may be the final frontier of society….but then who am I to say seeing how brutal society can be to those not made in its own image.
To the religious right and Singapore is no different from Hong Kong in this, considering all the threats of boycott against gay friendly organizations in Hong Kong, it is a matter of protecting the moral fiber of their society. And this is a very serious matter. But this is really fallacious thinking. What constitutes a moral right? Who decides on what is a moral right? As long as it doesn’t involve doing harm to another person(s), who gave religion the right to their moral high horse? To them, I ask, ‘關你麼嘢事?’
The group that I feel the most for are really the parents of
gay sons and daughters. I cannot really say it is none of their business
because their children are their business. I can understand the anguish
they must feel when they discover that their children are gay.
The group that I feel the most for are really the parents of gay sons and daughters. I cannot really say it is none of their business because their children are their business. I can understand the anguish they must feel when they discover that their children are gay. ‘What did we do wrong?’ is a very natural although heart breaking question for many of them. I can understand their anxiety at the thought of the tough journey ahead for their children in a society that rejects them. I can understand their misguided fear of their children getting HIV and AIDS. These are normal reactions from parents who want the best for their children because they love them. What I’m trying to understand is how their love for their children can be so fragile for some of them that they resort to throwing them out of their homes once they find out about their child’s sexual orientation. To them I say, love your children unconditionally.
For the huge crowd attending the Pink Dot Hong Kong event, it must have been most gratifying to hear not just members of their community speaking out against homophobia in Hong Kong society, it must have been an affirmation to hear straight people, supporters of their human rights, a straight celebrity like Anthony Wong Chau-sun and a parent – the father of Denise Ho doing likewise.
I would like to pose the same question: ‘關你麼嘢事?’ to the gay community.
I have heard certain sentiments among members of the community which I find to be sadly selfish and self-serving. I remember having conversations with gay people during the height of the 377A controversy in Singapore. We were in the midst of pushing for a decriminalization of consensual sex between 2 men.
Not only did they not support the voice of those pushing for it, they were actually saying how stupid it was to fight for such thing in Singapore. Their reasoning was two-fold: firstly,we are sure to lose so why even bother? And secondly, we actually do not have it so bad here so why stir the sxxt and antagonize society – wouldn’t it make things worse?
I would like to do things to support their fight –
care for the wounded, care for the ones who fall by the wayside,
care for the victims of the vicious homophobia
that exists in our society.
I am no activist myself – I am not capable of a confrontational fight. However, I will not run down the efforts of those who are pushing our cause. We have come so far because of their fight so we who have done nothing shouldn’t speak against them. In addition, I will not just do nothing but wait smugly to reap the benefits of their fight – it goes against the grain of what I feel is right and fair. I may not fight but in my own way, I would like to do things to support their fight – care for the wounded, care for the ones who fall by the wayside, care for the victims of the vicious homophobia that exists in our society.
So does it concern us? My answer is a resounding yes. It concerns you and me, all of us because the way ahead is tough and riddled with many obstacles. It is only with our moral courage and the united strength of our belief that our present baby step will be a herald of better days ahead, that we will one day overcome.
Pink Dot Hong Kong may be over. Pink Dot Singapore is coming. It is time to be part of a growing dot.
Pink Dot Singapore will be at Hong Lim Park on Saturday, 28 June 2014 at 5 pm. Look into your wardrobe and bring out your best pink outfit. See you there!
picture source: http://www.timeoutsingapore.com/aroundtown/events/pink-dot-2013
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