What brings out the best in me is my family. Their support is everything. But given the events that’s happened for the past year – my participation in Pink Dot and that article on Straits Times – I’m also thankful for my friends, especially those in the media who have had the opportunity to present my story. They were open-minded enough to present my story as accurate as possible, allowing me to be who I am.
From that experience, I learnt that nobody told me that I couldn’t.
I could be an out athlete. And I could talk about it in my own words.
I was never really in the closet when I first came out on the Straits Times. So it surprised me – this sense of fear I had. It definitely felt scarier than expected. I started to have hesitation on saying things. But when my friends encouraged me to share my story (and I eventually did), it felt so freeing to not have to hide everything.
To be clear, I did not think I was not free before. But a small part in me relished this sense of freedom I had in sharing everything about me. To be who I am.
Don’t get me wrong. Sometimes I feel like crawling into a hole, when things get overwhelming, especially given the demand of media attention. It really can get overwhelming. But what keeps me going is this belief that I only have one life. I’m only given one life, and it will be a waste for me to not do anything in the kind of world we live in now. I have some control and power to do something, so why not speak up with my newfound status? That’s why I decided to share my story on Straits Times, hoping to give that someone out there hope.
I’m most thankful to be in this time and age, to be who I am, in this place, with the people around me. Even though Singapore is not perfect, I’m thankful to be where I am today.