Society must learn to accept LGBTs

IS SINGAPORE ready for the legalisation of same-sex marriage?

Maybe not. But we must learn to accept lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in our society.

I attended my first Pink Dot event this year and it was eye-opening.

It must be one of the few events where LGBT people can show their love openly and without inhibition. I felt somewhat awkward - not because I thought it was not right, but because I wasn't used to so many LGBT people in one place at the same time. A bit more time with them and I started to get used to it.

As I reflected on my experience, I found it hard to believe that LGBT people have to endure this every day - feeling out of place and having to mind how society views them, almost every day. This is unnecessary - because all they do is choose to love and to be themselves.

This is why I think we are not ready for same-sex marriage. Our society needs to learn to accept LGBT people, like how we accept our friends and neighbours of different ethnic groups, races, religions, genders, educational levels, socio-economic status, cross-cultural marriages, and so on.

Naturally, with societal acceptance, recognition of same-sex marriage will take place. Policies and laws will change, without too much objection and unnecessary debate - rushing a move too fast for us to accept will backfire.

Love, as we all know, is universal. I hope we, as a society, can try to accept LGBT people like anyone else.

Yang Mingyi (Ms)