Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Reaching out to the ones we love
This February brings us two special occasions to be with the people we love the most - the Lunar New Year holidays and Valentine's Day.

For Chinese families, Lunar New Year is a time to reunite and strengthen ties through festive food and home visits. For couples and friends, Valentine's Day is a day where gifts of love and appreciation are exchanged.

While not all of us may be observing the festivities, and some may argue that an occasion like Valentine's has been overly commercialised, these moments still provide us with a good opportunity to gather with family and friends, and to show them how much they mean to us.

This February, we've included several personal stories about family:

- In 'A Family Outing', Alphonsus Lee shares his experience about attending, with his father, a reunion dinner organised for gays and their family members.

- In 'Coming Home', Clarence Singam talks about coming out and coming home to his family. We publish an extract of his story.

- SAFE founding member Khoo Hoon Eng speaks about her relationship with her two gay sons - a sharing which first appeared in the book, SQ21.

Alphonsus Lee, in his sharing, talks about the importance of reaching out:

"...in our lifetime, we will only have one father and one mother, and that term of endearment "kor" (elder brother in Chinese) or "zheh" (elder sister) will only sound genuine for our blood brothers and sisters. If we do not make an effort to reach out to them, then we have only ourselves to blame."

We feel this applies to every one of us, straight or gay.

As brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, as extended family, as friends, as a community, we can all do our part to reach out, and speak up, to show love, support, and true acceptance. Of course February isn't the only month when we can do so, but it can definitely be a good start.

With best wishes,

The SAFE team