Homegrown non-profit movement Pink Dot will be ushering into its 11th year by taking a strong stance against the discrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) Singaporeans.
This year’s Pink Dot campaign video centres the stories of three individuals who have faced discrimination as a result of their gender and/or their sexual orientation, and depicts them sharing their stories with their friends who have become strong allies.
The campaign video, which was released on Wed (15 May), is directed by documentary filmmaker Christopher Khor, and features teacher-turned-cartoonist Otto Fong, who is a gay cisgender man; human rights activist Sherry Sherqueshaa, who is a transgender woman; and psychology graduate Alexander Teh, who is a gay transgender man.
WATCH: Pink Dot 11’s campaign video
While LGBTQ individuals are not persecuted or subject to overt violence and murder in Singapore, unlike in several other countries where homosexuality in particular likewise remains illegal, mere tolerance from the cisgender and heterosexual majority towards LGBTQ persons does not necessarily indicate the absence of discrimination, as suggested by Paerin Choa, a spokesperson for Pink Dot SG.
“Discrimination comes in many forms. Being denied rights, receiving unequal treatment, and being left behind yet again with the latest legal reforms – these are what LGBTQ people in Singapore are dealing with,” said Mr Choa, who is a lawyer by profession.
“Discrimination happens everyday, in our homes, in our schools and at our workplaces. Many in our society remain ignorant to the hurt they are causing their LGBTQ friends and family members.
“It is this ignorance that we seek to address, and we hope our political leaders will not continue to ignore the discrimination that their LGBTQ citizens face every day,” he added.
Pink Dot 11’s Ambassadors were also revealed at Pink Dot 11’s media launch at TheatreWorks on Wed, namely actress and theatre director Beatrice Chia-Richmond, actor-singer Tosh Zhang of Ah Boys to Men fame, and the sibling duo of prominent local YouTubers Preeti Nair, or more popularly known by her moniker Preetipls, and her brother Subhas Nair, who is a rapper.
Touching on the reason behind taking up the opportunity to become one of Pink Dot’s Ambassadors this year, Mr Zhang said that he was driven by the need for “equality and love for all”.
“The majority of my fans are youths, and I want to share this message of acceptance, tolerance and love over hate,” he added.
Ms Nair said that while she is unable to understand firsthand the discrimination experienced by LGBTQ persons as a straight cisgender ally, she is aware that “it hurts”, as she has experienced “discrimination in the form of body shaming and racism”.
“I strongly believe in the freedom to love and I believe in speaking up for members of the LGBTQ community who experience discrimination every single day,” she added.
Similar to its previous editions, this year’s Pink Dot will feature a concert and booths set up by multiple LGBTQ organisations in Singapore.
The event will take place on 29 June at Hong Lim Park, and gates are set to open at 3pm with an estimated attendance of 20,000 people.