I got to know Andrew about 6 years ago through volunteer work. He was a full time staff of Oogachaga where I was a volunteer. I remember him as a sincere, earnest and warm person. I also found out that he had started a local special interest group called Rainbower for local gay men with some friends. So it came as a surprise that he was still unattached; someone like him should have many admirers.
Six years on, Andrew left the organisation and started his own social enterprise called MOVE Community. It was testimony to how much he had grown as an individual and developed as an important contributor to the community. I continued to be surprised why he wasn’t attached.
I was finally pleasantly surprised when, through Facebook, Andrew invited me and many others to his wedding dinner at the end of the year. This is the story of his coming wedding banquet.
THE WEDDING BANQUET
By Andrew Chan
I turn 40 this year; I guess I’m now considered a mature man by social standards.
What have I done with my life so far?
I started Rainbower in 2010 with a few friends because we saw the importance of social support in a gay man’s life in a society that often misunderstands and even discriminates against us. We felt the need to organize social networking events for our community hoping that gay men will be able to find important moral support within the community.
In August 2012, I attended a life-transforming forum and developed a concept which led to the formation of MOVE Community, an activity hub based in Singapore. It was started in 2013. Our vision is to be an inclusive and sustainable community hub that nurtures lifelong relationships through life-enriching activities and creating an environment where people are free to express themselves, connect and care for one another. We hope to be part of a gay man’s search for the meaning and purpose of life.
And to many of them, one very important aspect is to find that special someone. A milestone in their lives is to marry that guy; I guess gay men are just like straight people.
I’m no different.
Of course, I wish to get married and I think everyone has the right to experience his or her own wedding, a special occasion that marks the romantic reunion of two people. As a single gay man, I have dreamt of a romantic relationship for a long time. I would like to have someone to wake up with in the morning, go grocery shopping in the supermarket on weekends and hold hands as we shop for furniture together…all these without bothering about how others are going to look at us.
But so far all my relationships have not lasted for more than 2 months as far as I can remember. Still I long to experience how it is like to be wearing a gown (as a man) or special wedding attire walking down the aisle, reading the commitment vow. I want to thank my parents, my family and my friends on a special occasion like this just like everyone else.
I’m not sure if I can eventually find a partner in my lifetime. But I’m hopeful though sometimes I’m fearful as well.
I have waited for the ‘One’ long enough and do not wish to wait any more. So I thought, instead of waiting around, why not do something about it? That was the headspring of the Wedding Banquet. Even without a boyfriend, I decided to plan my own wedding – maybe it can be something of a target date for me to find someone. If I’m luck, very lucky, I will find someone by the date. If not, well…..
I plan to have my wedding on 20 December this year (2014), on my 40th birthday.
So, if I am lucky enough to find “him” (provided of course that he agrees to marry me), you will then see two bridegrooms walking down the aisle. Otherwise, it will just be me, getting married to my future husband. Well, I can dream, can’t I?
So I’ve decided that I would attend Andrew’s wedding banquet. How can I refuse to rejoice with a good friend who just wants to fulfil his dream of a life time? Not only will I send my best wishes, I intend to kiss the bride, erh, I mean the bridegroom.