Tuesday, May 10, 2011


On the 10th May, I was invited by Gayglers, the LGBT group in Google Singapore, for their first afternoon sharing session with their employees.

I was expecting a small room where a few LGBT employees and I spend the one hour chit-chatting. Instead, a sizeable number showed up, with a good number of straight and gay employees - it was the most diverse and international crowd I'd shared with. It makes sense too for Google - events like these allows employees to learn about local culture and thinking, giving them a broader perspective and hence greater ways of reaching out to different demographics.

As for myself, I was asking, "why do I keep sharing? I should be drawing my next comic book!" There is no answer to that. Deep inside, I know sharing is good for myself and others, as long as I share responsibly. My view is, we're all fleas on a very big elephant. Those of us living in the elephant's ears will have a vastly different view than those living on its arse. Our own truths are not the Whole Truth, and any "I'm right you're wrong" argument is at best futile. Sharing helps us see a slightly bigger picture. As our differences open our eyes, our commonality draws us closer.

Google Singapore is very supportive of their employees. Gayglers is just one of those interest groups set up by employees themselves. When introducing me, the management (who sat through my entire talk) quoted a line I wrote in my coming-out blog, "I won't be a Bonsai tree."

I shared a little about the lessons I learnt as an openly-gay person: My life has extended beyond the closet, and I'd reached out to friends from all walks of life, seen more schools and students than I'd ever did in my 8 years as a teacher. My comic books have promoted fun and imagination in the learning of Science. Just the other day, a student stood up and said, "a Muslim cannot be a scientist!" (A little heartbreaking when a child cannot dream freely even in a country like Singapore.) And I was able to show her the possibility that anyone can - and I could back it up because one of my books have already featured a Muslim scientist (can we fight global problems with just half of the world's scientists?). A week before the talk, another print of my Sir Fong comics sold out.

I gave up a closet, and gained the forest.

In other words, this little Bonsai tree is starting to grow its own branches. No longer constantly under the gardener's knife, I am reaching for the sky as nature intended me to. I don't know why I keep sharing, but that's the beauty of being out of the closet - I am learning day-by-day to trust my heart.

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