Over 4,000 pink-attired people gathered at Hong Lim Park today at 6pm to form a giant pink dot in a show of support for inclusiveness, diversity and the freedom to love. This makes Pink Dot 2010 the largest public gathering ever seen at the Speakers’ Corner since its opening in 2000, and is nearly twice the number of people who turned up at last year’s event.
The milestone event, held for the second time here, is organised by a group of local volunteers and aims to raise awareness and foster deeper understanding of the basic human need to love and be loved, regardless of one’s sexual orientation. This year’s theme is family, and the peaceful event was attended by both straight and gay Singaporeans and permanent residents, some who came with their family members.
Pink Dot spokesperson Jack Yong said: “We are immensely gratified and touched by the show of solidarity and support that Singaporeans have given us. Pink Dot 2010 has reached out and moved even more Singaporeans, straight and gay.
“It is extremely uplifting to know that Singaporean families are strong enough to look beyond the labels and social prejudices that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Singaporeans face to continue to love and support one another. Pink Dot 2010 is not a demonstration nor a protest, but a celebration of love and kinship.”
In 2009, the inaugural Pink Dot, held at the same venue, saw 2,500 people in attendance. The peaceful event garnered extensive local and international press coverage, including the BBC and New York Times. Today’s gathering is a further indication of Singaporeans’ increasing awareness and support for the LGBT community – and significantly exceeding 2009’s turnout.
Three local celebrities – veteran actors Adrian Pang, Tan Kheng Hua and DJ Johnson Ong, also known as DJ BigKid – have stepped up as ambassadors for this year’s event. Adrian and Kheng Hua are parents themselves, and share a hope for a world where families can overcome the barriers to love.
Adrian Pang, 44, said: “Pink Dot carries a meaningful message about the belief that we all have a right to love and be loved. These values about love and harmony are ones that I would want to impart to my two boys – to teach them that life is so much happier when we live with love, understanding, generosity of spirit and compassion.
“This is why Pink Dot is significant. Things and views won’t change overnight, and the wider society will take some time to understand LGBT issues. But it is a start to building positive attitudes to a more open, inclusive and loving society.
Actress Tan Kheng Hua said: “I am honoured to support the peaceful and loving event, which I believe signals a progress of a more open and inclusive Singaporean society.”
DJ BigKid added: “Seeing many Singaporeans at the event, both straight and gay, some who came with their families, was a moving experience. Pink Dot 2010 touched many lives, and is a landmark event in Singapore history.”
Pink Dot 2010 aims to highlight stories of honesty, openness and the strength of families who have unconditionally stuck by their loves ones, in the hope that all Singaporeans will join in celebrating the freedom to love within families, where sexual orientation represents a trait, not a barrier.
Pink Dot co-spokesperson, Stephanie Ong, said: “Although the presence of more LGBT individuals is slowly emerging into the mainstream, present societal attitudes keep many others from coming out of the closet. They fear that their honesty will cost them their family, friends, and even their jobs. We believe that Pink Dot 2010 carries a symbol of support and solidarity which will go a long way.”