Gay History Of Hong Lim Park ?

   Being on the persecuted fringe of society, the " LOVE that dare not speak its name" had always tried to be very discreet and leaves very little trace that can be incriminating. There are so many of us yet collectively we leave so little trace that we ourselves were tricked into believing that people like us are as rare as 4 leaf clovers. Then the Internet came along and we were relieved to find that we are not alone.

   I remember that Yawning Bread has a link to an interesting web site documenting the tomb of two Egyptian male lovers. How romantic ! *sigh* Now, this is leaving a huge monument that speaks louder than words and refuses to hide all traces. Are there more ? Are there even discreet traces to be found here in Singapore ?

   Recently, the local media are having heavy coverage of Hong Lim Park as the new Speaker's Corner ala the model answers as found in London's famous Hyde Park. The glorious political history of Hong Lim Park was thoroughly researched and presented. Though the newspapers did discreetly mention that it is also a gay park, of course they will not present the gay history of that park also.

  The naughty side of me then wondered if I can find any gay historical traces at the park. So when given the chance, I went down to take a look around.

  The park was so brightly lit that you can setup an office there ;p The shady trees and bushes were all pruned. That's to discourage any hanky panky. There was a police station and a community centre with a small coffee shop. Beside the coffee shop was a TV set that helped to lure a few customers. There were a few Ah Bengs and Ah Peks cruising around the small park that's smaller than a football field. I being the uncle, fitted comfortably in between.

   There were benches set around a footpath that ran around the perimeter of the park. That's where guys would sit and wait while the rest cruise around. Some of the Ah Peks look well beyond 60 years old and were likely to have much to tell. I chose one who looked forlorn, expecting him to have much to say to any stranger who would spare the time to listen.

  After the usual lame small talks for introduction, I tried to get him to talk about his life history. It was difficult because like any gays, he also wanted to guard his privacy. Make no mistake about it, sex was on his mind and this nosy stranger asking him personal questions made him uneasy.He just ignored my questions and tried to ask me about sexual preferences. He tried to rub my crotch and was disappointed to find that the bulge was not growing. After a few more exchanges, he realised that things were not going anywhere so he got up and just left.

  After a few rounds of walking round, this time I chose a more aggressive Ah Pek who tried to catch my attention with a low whistle. Repeated the preliminaries as before and I tried to get him to talk. Same problems again. Apparently, somebodyelse did ask him the same sort of questions before. The conversation was mostly in Cantonese so it is difficult to provide a dialogue that's accurate; it is all translated approximates.

  " So when did you start coming out to play ? "
  " Oh, long ago"
  " Why don't you visit the 'chickens' for sex ? "
  " No like, no money. "
  " You tried before lah. "
  " Yah, no fun. "
  " What do you like ? "
  " You loh. "
  " I stingy man, why you like ? "
  " I can suck your stinky cock till you very happy. "
  " How did you know this place ? "
  " Everybody also know lah. "
  " Hope you don't mind, how old are you ? "
  " 60 plus and enough to be your daddy. "
  " So you old enough to know this place long, long ago ? "
  " This place is like that long long ago. "
  " What you do, long ago ? "
  " Last time there are many trees here so I come here and let people suck my cock. "
  " 1950s or 1960's is it ? "
  " Yah, I very popular you know. I even can play some towkays' backsides. "
  " Wah, towkay also have ? Famous or not ? "
  " That towkay has big villa, so must be famous lah. "
  " How you know ? "

  There was a slight sigh then a pause.

  " Why you so kaypoh ha ? Show me your cock then we talk some more. "
  " You crazy ah, police station nearby leh "
  " I put my hand inside your trousers, very safe "
  " Don't want. Who was the towkay ? "
  " Bluff you lah. Aiyah, why your cock made of gold ah, why cannot touch ? "
  " Shy lah. "
  " Men are like old dog, play is like nothing. You can come here then you must be itchy also lah. "
.........  so the conversation went on and on.

   The conversation was simply going nowhere. I don't know how it would produce what I was looking for.
But these guys certainly were not influenced by the West. They existed in China and they certainly did exist when the Chinese ( or Indians or any other races ) emigrated to Singapore in the 1800s and they still exist now. They may not leave much literal traces then but now with the Internet, you and I now can leave traces.

  Maybe some folks don't want to see any traces from us.
  How many times can a man turn his head
  And pretend that he just doesn't see.

  But when I looked at the trees, leaves and flowers of Hong Lim Park, they exist because they are there even though the busy office workers may hurry by without taking a look. As the wind blows through and rustled the leaves, the gays of those olden days rustled the leaves in quiet quests to satisfy urges that they did not quite understand. The traces of warmth from others like them were hidden in the deepest corners of their memories. No stories, no records, no news reports.... nothing. All those love juices of countless wild passions, they just returned to nature.