Lighting-up for gay love in Singapore

This Saturday is Singapore’s Pink Dot, the only openly LGBT outdoor event all year in the city-state

Lighting-up for gay love in Singapore
27 June 2012

‘Singapore remains one of the few – if not only – developed country in the world where homosexuality (specifically consensual sex between two men) remains illegal, and there remains tight control in local media over positive representation of homosexuality,’ says Paerin Choa, spokesperson for Singapore’s Pink Dot.

It is that unique position, and the fact that public protest is illegal in Singapore apart from at Speaker’s Corner in Hong Lim Park, that makes Pink Dot an unusual LGBT pride event.

There’s no parade, but those who gather in Hong Lim Park show their support for ‘the freedom of every Singaporean to love whoever they want, regardless of sexual orientation’ by forming a large pink dot.

In previous years, this has been with clothing, but this year the pink dot will be made by thousands of pink lights after dark.

‘We understand that a peaceful gathering to form a human pink dot is more "Singaporean" than organizing a parade or march,’ says Choa.

Before the dot is formed on Saturday there will be a free concert in the park with music (acoustic, classical, hip hop), comedy and drag acts. The concert will be presented by Pink Dot 2012’s three ambassadors, Singaporean celebrities Kumar, Sharon Au and Lim Yu-Beng.

Kumar told Gay Star News he didn’t hesitated making such a public statement in support of Pink Dot as a gay man, despite Singapore being such a closeted society.

‘It was an easy decision,’ said Kumar, a stand-up comic who performs regularly in drag in Singapore. ‘It’s going to be my first Pink Dot and I am very happy and excited about doing this.’

Kumar added that Singapore is much less conservative that it used to be, an idea that is evidenced by the growth of Pink Dot since the first one in 2009.

At the first Pink Dot 2,500 pink-clad supporters showed-up, there were 4,000 in 2010 and 10,000 in 2011.

‘The increasing attendance for each Pink Dot shows an increasing acceptance and support of the gay community among the more open-minded Singaporeans,’ says Chao.

‘However, we recognise that many conservative Singaporeans still have difficulty coming to terms with the gay community. We still have laws and censorship regulations that continue to discriminate against the gay community.’

This reality is reflected by Pink Dot 2012’s campaign video directed by award-winning filmmaker Boo Junfeng, which focuses on the difficulties LGBT in Singapore face.

‘There are many people who are out and proud in Singapore,’ says Choa. ‘But we know that for every gay Singaporean who is out, there are a few gay Singaporeans who are still struggling with their sexual orientation, who choose to hide in closet because of fear that they will be rejected at home, in school or in their workplace.’

Pink Dot is this Saturday, 30 June at Hong Lim Park, Singapore.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Australia launches 'You’re having a lesbian!' baby campaign

A new campaign urges straight people to support marriage equality by telling them it is a family issue
No thumbnail available

Whitney Houston’s online funeral

As Whitney Houston is laid to rest, millions of her fans can watch via a single camera, online
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Marcus Collins through on X Factor final

Gay soloist makes it through public vote and down to the final two of British singing contest.
No thumbnail available

PM Medvedev says Russia does not need a national gay gag law

Russia's former president tells journalists the country has no plans to pass an anti-gay propaganda bill on a federal level
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Why London’s gay and trans organizations need your help

New research shows the UK capital’s LGBTQ sector is earning far less than it needs from individual donors
No thumbnail available

The Walking Dead’s Norman Reedus says his character is ‘prison gay’

AMC’s The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus has told GQ that he believes his character Daryl is gay but in denial and probably a virgin in the latest sign that the show will explore a romantic relationship between two men in an upcoming season
No thumbnail available

Tennessee pastor stole $60,000 from church, spent it on gay dating sites

He was once caught having sex with a man in a church van
No thumbnail available