I sit in front of my laptop, reflecting on this very year that brought so many changes not just to our lives but on a global scale – the way people act, socialise, work, travel, make purchases, eat, exercise etc. We all recognise that 2020 has been a year like no other, from the intensive bushfires, to the global pandemic, from Black Lives Matters movements to the death of Ruth Ginsburg and of course, not forgetting the US presidential election results. Looking back, what have you discovered? What are some of the joys you’ve experienced? The challenges overcome? The friendships forged? And were there any moments that tugged your heart strings?

As much as dates and times can sometimes be blurred in 2020, we’ve had a number of activities within Yellowkitties to keep us all connected and they are not necessarily in order:

  1. We’ve had a remarkable turnout for the Lunar New Year celebration at P&L’s residence. Our super hosts always made sure we were well fed and had a great time. Some more experienced members came prepared with empty containers for take-aways! We caught up with our friends from Gay Asian Proud (GAP) and am looking forward to future partnering events with them. This was also the time when we started brainstorming for YK2020.
  2. Who doesn’t like awesome summer weather and the collective rainbow community get togetherness? We soaked in the celebratory spirit and joined in the Midsumma Pride March in our YK tees. And yes, we welcomed our international visitors with arms wide open!
  3. The common phrase for 2020 must go to “You’re on mute”. YK went virtual – agility at its finest! We had a number of virtual catch ups over ZOOM for dinner. It was different from physical chats with only one person speaking at one point but it was still great to mingle and catch up. Subsequent virtual food related events included scones making and anything zucchini that floated your boat.
  4. We joined forces with Melbourne Bisexual Network and had a Spirited Away movie night together online. It was certainly an enjoyable experience watching the show and commenting over Facebook group chats. None of the “Please turn off your mobile phones or put them on silent” as long as you muted yourself. Choc tops were replaced by Cobs slightly sweet and salty popcorns. Let’s not forget Uber Eats too – all in the comfort of your home.
  5. Mid-way mark during the year, Victoria had a slight respite from restrictions and we managed to head out to the Werribee Gorge for a decent 10km hike. It was certainly strange to see people again but the social interactions and exercise were very much welcomed. Time to warm up those muscles.
  6. Talking about muscles, we had four sessions of YK virtual exercises, mainly taught by our very own N. We got to see each other’s garages, living rooms and outdoor areas – whatever space we can find to place our exercise mats and not wake our neighbours up at 9am.
  7. Who would have thought that virtual Escape can be so challenging and fun? We were given lots of puzzles to solve and it was as if we were in the real world, trying to get out. Sad to say, we ran out of time though everyone’s problem solving skills were truly exceptional!
  8. Trivia quiz night was fun! The adults had fun competing with A (I think he’s five but I could be wrong!) on naming capital cities around the world and recognising flags. It was entertaining and all I can say is we bowed to Master A. We had some deep chats after – always nice to have the opportunity to hear everyone’s stories and life experiences.
  9. What does it mean to be resilient and how could we strengthen our resilient muscles? A 3-hour digital Resilience Workshop was organised to guide us through that. Sharing is caring, Yellowkitties offered spots to Melbourne Bisexual Network, Melbourne Inclusive Church, LAHRC, and volunteers at Thorne Harbour Health. It was so well received that we had a follow up session recently.
  10. If you’re wondering what you could do to occupy your time in the lockdown period, an e-library was rolled out to pilot users who expressed interest for shared resources – there are more than 35 e-books available and if you’re keen to know the details, ping me!
  11. 2020 is also Yellowkities’ 20th anniversary, a huge milestone! There were grand plans/ideas but they were shelved temporarily to ensure everyone was safe. Instead, we had a magic performance by Trace of Magic followed with a quiz night. It was heart-warming to see so many YKers dial in through ZOOM for the special event. CP taught us how to be the best dressed by bagging the award.
  12. Last but not least, we had our final catch up in person for dinner at Ants Bistro. It was a massive turnout with us taking up half the restaurant’s capacity. We met many newbies for the first time. With the night still young, most of us headed for dessert after. We just can’t get enough of each other! ?
And now, it’s 31 Dec 2020, the last day of a truly remarkable year. I hope your reflections have brought you many insights. As 2020 draws to a close, I encourage you to consider what is one thing you feel grateful for and one thing you look forward to in 2021. Personally, I’m grateful for the love and care received and I look forward to a year of new challenges and creating our garden bed. Take good care of yourselves, stay safe and see you in the new year!