Pink Dot 2010
Hong Lim Park was awash in pink on Saturday afternoon as thousands came together for Pink Dot, a communal celebration of the freedom to love.
If the inaugural event last year presented a compelling show of solidarity, this year’s Pink Dot brought it farther by conveying a palpable sense of community as 4000 people – almost double the number last year – gathered for what is perhaps the largest show of support for diversity and inclusiveness in Singapore.
Pink Dot 2010 is held in conjunction with the International Day of the Family, in support and recognition of the parents, siblings, relatives and friends of LGBT Singaporeans. The event is a culmination of a series of activities that have taken place over the past few months on the Internet. Through the Focusing on Our Families series on the campaign’s official blog, we have come to hear of the real-life stories of strong, cohesive families who have been a strong source of support for the LGBT community.
Pink Dot 2010: The Event
At 5.00pm, the ambassadors of Pink Dot 2010, Adrian Pang, Tan Kheng Hua and DJ Big Kid kicked started the event with a rousing welcome message which honoured the families who have made growing up gay a much less lonely and painful experience. They also introduced a sign language translator for the benefit of the hearing impaired.
For the next hour, the crowd was treated to a series of performances featuring various ethnic groups. The highlight of the performances belonged to Voguelicious who delivered a sizzling dance with the group’s characteristic flamboyance. Those moving around the park similarly found unexpected thrills in the roving performers who included street magicians, musicians, bubble artists and drag queens.
But the most moving moments of the event indubitably belonged to the families who were featured in the Focusing on Our Families series. Speaking in Mandarin (with her daughter Eileena providing the translation), Mdm Yiap described how she came to accept her daughter’s sexuality and ended her speech with a heartfelt call for parents struggling with their children’s sexuality to love them as they are. Jamie Yee, a post-op transgender female as well as brothers Joel and Joey Kang also delivered a similar message as they voiced their aspirations for a society that is more open, inclusive and accepting of those who are different.
At 6.00pm, the crowd came together to form a heart, as a symbol of the collective belief in the power of love. This was followed by the formation of the human pink dot, captured in an aerial photograph for posterity. Led by the Pink Dot ambassadors, the crowd belted out the Ben E. King hit, “Stand by Me”.
The simple and understated pink dot is certainly more than a fleeting mark upon the grounds of a circumscribed space of freedom. It is an enduring testament to the power of love that seeks to reach out to all corners of society. It speaks of the possibilities of love when it is freed of the institutionalised strictures of dogma and prejudice.
It must be said that Pink Dot is an event of its own kind – a movement that has emerged from the cultural specificities of this city-state we call home. Indeed, it is neither a pride parade nor a protest. Neither is it a peaceful demonstration.
It is a space for collective imagination – an envisioning of a society empowered by love, family and soft diversity.
By: Ho Rui An