Nature Doesn't Judge

Nature has no prejudice – and with the rainbow being a symbol for diversity, openness and equal rights, it perfectly encapsulates the spirit of outdoor life.

This Pride, we caught up with two individuals to share their thoughts about the LGBTQIA+ community in Singapore.


NADIRAH, 30
FULL-TIME PR

STRAIGHT (SHE/HER)
LGBTQ+ ALLY


What does it mean to you to be an ally of the LGBTQ community? 

It means to never be afraid to speak out and always be in support of the community anytime, anywhere.

How would you recognise your privilege and use it to support and uplift the community?
I have been a familiar face in the nightlife and fashion scene for about 10 years now and I use my influence to showcase the community on my social media platforms, mingling events and connecting different industries together if there is a chance to work with anyone from the community, especially performing artists in both Singapore & international platforms.

How would you respond if a friend/coworker was treating an LGBTQ individual negatively?
I will not be afraid to call them out no matter their hierarchy in a workspace. I will also being them into a private room with the LGBTQ individual in a private space & discuss how we can reach a more tolerant setting in the future. I will also invite them to LGBTQ+ community events to allow them to understand better. Respect and tolerance goes a long way!

Have you faced any criticism from others for showing your support towards the LGBTQ community? 
I faced some criticism throughout the years but I never once gave up. The freedom to love should never be questioned. I’ve experienced people switching seats when they encounter me together with an LGBTQ+ friend on the train. I’ve also heard many negative remarks, catcalls and even had vulgarities hurled at, which were uncalled for. 

Do you think Singaporeans are more open towards the LGBTQ+ community today, and how can we progress into a society that is more compassionate?
I believe Singapore is more open now to a certain extent. However, social media bullying is still at large & it should be something we should all try to improve on. I believe advertising on more platforms for our community to perform in the Arts, create an open gender section for most job seekers and to include the LGBTQ+ community in anti-bullying campaigns should be some ways to move forward. We should try to educate the society by conducting classes to learn more about the community. After all, communication is the only and most effective resource in Singapore right now. We have to learn to appreciate everyone’s existence and never oppress anyone from celebrating love, pride and freedom.

JESLENE, 24
(SHE/HER)

SENIOR VIDEO PRODUCER @ THESMARTLOCAL


What are common misconceptions people have about the LGBTQ+ community?
People who lack understanding of the LGBTQ+ community think that it is our choice to be the way that we are. No, I did not wake up one day when I was 8 years old telling myself that “Okay, from today onwards, I want to like girls!” It doesn’t work that way. Honestly, if I was given the “choice”, I wouldn’t want to be born a homosexual because then it will make my life a lot tougher. I don’t have to face discriminations from my family members, the society and the government. I would want to lead my life like any other human being. Given my equal rights like a “normal human being”, but that’s not how life turns out for me. So don’t come at me saying it’s a choice.

What is the greatest struggle you have experienced being an openly LGBTQ+ individuals in Singapore? Family members’ acceptance is something I have been (and I'm still) struggling with. But never have I once blamed them for not being accepting. Our time now is so different from my parents’ time. The younger generations are bound to be more open with LGBTQ+ related topics because we are a lot more exposed to technology and information are a lot more accessible to us. Whereas for my parents, there’s a lack of exposure in that but I hope as time passes, they will be a little more accepting. We just gotta be patient with one another.

Have there been times you were met with derision, or even disparagement from the people around you?
If so, how did you overcome them?
Lucky for me, I have not been in that situation before. The people around me are truly amazing and I can never thank them enough for being so accepting :(

Do you think Singaporeans are more open towards the LGBTQ+ community today, and how can we progress into a society that is more compassionate?
I definitely think that Singapore has made great progress towards the LGBTQ+ community today. Quite evidently the number of people attending Pink Dot has been increasing yearly and I’m grateful for that. People are more open to talk about LGBTQ+ related topics too. For those who are still not as accepting, it’s fine to take it at your own pace. To me, it’s simple. If you don’t have anything nice to say, just keep it to yourself. The world needs a lot more kindness than anything else.

What has been the most uplifting moment you’ve experienced so far in your journey, and is there anything you wish you had known or done earlier on?
There’s nothing I would want to change about my life right now. I’m grateful to have a stable job and a healthy work environment where everyone is so accepting of me. I have nothing to complain about. Also given the nature of my job, I am able to spread awareness about the LGBTQ+ community through a notable platform. Being unapologetically myself on screen has been really rewarding so far because I have viewers who are around 15 years old messaging me on social media telling me how grateful they are to be able to relate to my stories. That has always been my motivation to do what I’m doing because when I was much younger, I didn’t have anyone to relate/look up to. I’m just doing what I can for the people of my community.


With Kånken Rainbow, Fjällräven celebrates each and every individual’s right to express themselves.

A portion of sales from each backpack is donated to projects within the Arctic Fox Initiative, a cause that gives back to nature. A special edition pack with all that great Kånken love, and a bit more.

The Kånken Rainbow in Classic and Mini size are available at Outside stores from 27 June onwards.
Only available in limited quantity.

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