|billy & andrew
Love is a beautiful and all-encompassing feeling that knows no boundaries. It transcends gender, defies societal norms, and brings people together in the most remarkable ways.
For Andrew and Billy, a gay couple living in Singapore, love is an integral part of their lives. In this heartfelt interview, they share their journey of self-discovery, the importance of community, and the power of love in shaping their lives.
what does love mean to you in 2023?
A: Love means any kind of relationship that is based on compassion, support, and care for one another. Whether it's between partners, like us, or among family members, friends, or even our furry companions. As long as two or more people genuinely care about each other, that's what love is to me. Self-love is also incredibly important.
B: For me, love is inclusive, genderless, colourful – and just wonderful. It shouldn’t feel like work. Simply put, if you like someone, appreciate them and care for them, that's love. It's also important to give love opportunities to grow and thrive.
A: Yeah, I also was just going to add, I think that love is sort of underused as a word.
“we tend to reserve it for romantic relationships, when really love can exist in any kind of relationship between folks. I think if we all embraced the use of the word love more freely and expressed love more often, we would be happier."
love can be expressed in various ways. how do you personally show love to your partner, family and friends? What is your unique way of expressing love?
A: Well, when it comes to our cats, we shower them with pats, attention, and treats. In general, I express love through quality time spent with loved ones, by being affirming, and putting in the work to truly understand them. I also believe that love involves being unafraid to have difficult conversations or address conflicts.
Being honest and transparent with someone is an expression of love because it shows that you care enough to share your feelings, even if they may be uncomfortable. As for us, one way I show my love is by going to the gym with Billy, which is something I wouldn't typically do.
B: Yes, we often think of each other's preferences and do things that the other person enjoys. Personally, I show love, especially to my partners and family, through acts of service. I'm always there to lend a helping hand and support them in whatever way I can.
what do you appreciate most about your partner or yourself?
B: One of the things I appreciate most about my partner is his unwavering commitment to social justice. Andrew has opened my eyes to the true meaning of equity and has inspired me to be more aware of the inequalities that exist around us. He encourages me to use my voice and stand up for those who are in less privileged positions.
A: I absolutely love how resourceful Billy is and his wealth of knowledge in areas that are completely different from mine. His ability to think outside the box and his playful, creative nature never ceases to amaze me. These qualities are what make him truly special to me.
can you share a special moment or memory that exemplifies the power of love in your life?
B: During the Covid lockdown, I met Andrew online. It wasn't until two months later when the lockdown lifted that we had our first physical date.
"i invited him over to my place and prepared my signature dish. that night, we had a deep, heartfelt conversation, and in that moment, i knew he was the person i wanted to spend my life with."
A significant milestone in our relationship was when we decided to move in together, merging our households and creating a family with our three beloved cats.
A: One particular memory that stands out for me was in the aftermath of the Pulse (nightclub) shooting in Orlando. I organised a gathering for queer individuals to come together and simply be present with one another. Another special memory is when Billy and I exchanged our first "I love yous" on our second anniversary. I wrote it to him on a card, allowing him the space to respond in his own way. When he read the card and said "I love you" aloud, tears immediately filled my eyes.
“we shared stories of how we met our partners, our experiences as queer individuals, and our coming out stories. it was a beautiful moment of community, sharing, and honesty emerging from the midst of a tragic incident."
our pride campaign this year revolves around the theme 'Come Together.' what does that mean to you?
A: When I first arrived in Singapore, forging friendships, particularly with local queer folks, was super important to me. They helped me navigate challenges at work, helped me understand the queer culture in Singapore, and shared the LGBTQIA+ history here. We need to be there for one another. These connections helped me acclimate to Singapore and keep me supported and grounded here. While my journey of self-acceptance was largely resolved before coming here, these connections have reinforced my resilience, and strengthened my sense of belonging in this community.
B: There are so many things to consider. I echo Andrew's sentiments — it's about engaging in collective action, fearlessly addressing issues, and finding resolutions. Understanding each other and building trust are vital. Trust forms the foundation for supporting each other during difficult times.
"coming together as a community, to me, is akin to love. It means caring for one another, truly listening and seeing each other. it's about embracing growth and learning from each other's experiences."
“in today's increasingly self-centered society, we often lose touch with empathising with others' situations. it's crucial to cultivate open-mindedness, empathy, and embrace the diversity among us. together, we can foster unity and create a strong sense of community."
can you share a message or advice for others in the lgbtqia+ community in Singapore?
B: Don't wait for change to happen, be the catalyst for change. Waiting for others to make a difference for you will only waste your time. Take action and create the change you want to see.
A: I guess mine would just be that like, there are lots of us here and we love all of you. We are here to support the entire spectrum of the LGBTQIA+ community, including those who are often overlooked or excluded from conversations about queer identity. Just know that there are always people who genuinely support, love, and care for you."
|“just know that there are always people who genuinely support, love, and care for you."
Our ‘Love+’ scarves are available in a spectrum of colours to symbolise love, unity, and interconnections.
All profits from the sale of the scarves go directly to The T Project, that proudly supports the transgender community in Singapore. Read more about their work here.
Photography Darren Gabriel Leow
Photography Assistant Rex Teo
Creative Direction & Styling Daryll Alexius Yeo
Featuring Billy & Andrew
Story Shenali Wijesinghe