The just concluded PinkDot2014, albeit which much controversy particularly from the more conservative segment of the population, was successful at least in the manner it was conducted. The organisation was efficient and polished. But what was more striking was that it did not degenerate into an orgy of `us against them’ mayhem. There was no straight bashing. No anti-government rhetoric. No self-deprecation. No lewdness or debauchery that the homosexuals have been accused of. No gay agenda being forced down the throat of the mainstream population. What happened on that day was just a celebration of gaiety; of people both straights and homosexuals coming together to show support and acknowledgement of the existence and the contribution of the third gender. They were proud of Singapore and to be Singaporeans and if ever there was an agenda, it was an appeal for the government and the general population at large to recognise their rights. But it was done so subtly that you would not even notice it.
The organisers have done a commendable job in getting to grips with the atmosphere and context surrounding the event. The threats from some quarters have caused them to not only boost the security, but also the realisation that they are up against a formidable conservative force that would be difficult to coax into accepting their alternative lifestyle. This made them more wary of the impact the event could have caused to the more traditional, pro-family elements in the society. Perhaps it was for this reason that they have decided not to have an `in-your-face’ occasion, but rather a more toned-down, carnival-like merrymaking; a slowly-slowly approach to win the hearts and minds of the antagonists.
Contrast this with the recent `Return Our CPF’ protest. That event was nothing but a full-on assault against the senses. It was an orgy of anti-government diatribes and anti-establishment rants filled with fiery and popular anti-government slogans that did not at all serve to push their stated objective that was lost in the trollish muck of idiotic posturing. One would expect that in discussing an important issue such as the CPF, there would be sensible arguments with viable alternatives and plans being laid forth. There should be acceptable reasons as to why the CPF should be returned and an appeal to the government to re-consider their position. There was none.
So in comparing the two events, the gays certainly did it better. They were more professional in conducting their business that was calculated to gradually being accepted into the society. Whether they will be successful or not only time and circumstances will tell.