Pink Dot has been instilled as an informal annual event since 2009 in Singapore. To support the freedom to love, Pink Dot aims to highlight the existence of LGBTQ community and acknowledging them. From a modest standing to a magnificent 22,000 crowd in 2013, and a whopping recorded 26,000 in 2014, the growing in size certainly shows a greater awareness but however, what has become of Pink Dot in Singapore?
1) The soft approach
Pink Dot 2014: Lighting Up Hearts
To learn to accept the LGBTQ community takes time and I appreciate Pink Dot as an event to highlight this issue yearly in a quiet and modest manner. No hard selling, no vicious stunts – Pink Dot quietly weaves its motif in the way it has organized their annual affair: what is it of LGBTQ that bothers people? Each year, supporters show up in pink for a good time of get-together. It is a great way to bring the like-minded together. They drive by the words-of-mouth, in hope that one day LGBTQ community will get assimilated in the society the same way.
2) What happens thereafter?
Should Pink Dot organizers be pushing their ideals for the legal rights of LGBTQ community after its 6 years? PM Lee’s stance is clear that while Section 377A still stands, the law may not be strictly imposed. The law is put in place to reiterate the country’s conventionalism stand on sexuality but it does not reflect on the attitude. It takes time and it is not going to be an easy fight.
Recent efforts by the Health Promotion Board to promote the understanding of various sexualities have been met with harsh criticism from the rigid-minded people. I am glad that HPB’s stand is firm and clear which is a progress for our society– this is a start of a promising, inclusive future.
3) Pastor Khong’s Agenda: a push for change?
Thousands showed up in White for church service
Using social media to garner like-minded community
This year’s Pink Dot was met with opposing forces – Wear White campaign by the religious Islamic teacher, a reminder served to the priorities of family value and ethics and the initial Wear Red family day, another initiative by Pastor Khong to promote family bonding. The latter became a blown-up church service on the Sunday following Pink Dot with 6,000 supporters donned in white. This certainly undermined the efforts of Pink Dot, with the primary concern to intertwine the existence of people of different sexualities together. One of the organizer at Pink Dot mentioned “if you ever see someone in white, do not attempt to attack them or spray them in pink” which brings out the essence of the event – accepting love in all forms.
Change is the only constant and Pink Dot is evolving in every way, albeit better or worse, glitters with a kind-hearted intention. What is the Singapore that you want to see in the future?
Writer: Leong Chee Sheng