Pink Dot 10: Declaring a demand for equality

Pink Dot SG marked a momentous 10 years with a confident and strong statement on 21st July. Singapore’s largest LGBTQ-affirming movement echoed three simple yet powerful words to a sea of pink lights created by thousands of attendees at their event last weekend – We Are Ready.

It was a clarion call for inclusion, diversity and equality which was specifically laid out in the 10 declarations made on that day of the changes that the LGBTQ community and its allies in Singapore are ready for.

These declarations include a demand for a positive representation in the media of the LGBTQ community who is often portrayed negatively, inclusion in health and social services, for LGBTQ organisations to be able to register themselves under the Societies Act, and for equality under the eyes of the law.

As noted by activist, Jolovan Wham on his Facebook post following the Pink Dot event, the fight for LGBTQ equality is also a fight for “civil liberties and a world free of xenophobia, sexism, racism, ableism, and class discrimination”.

In a statement released by Pink Dot on their website, Pink Dot SG spokesperson Paerin Choa said, “As we celebrate this milestone, witnessing Speaker’s Corner awash in pink, let us remember that, just as we’ve been force to erect barriers that separate us from friends and family members here, the LGBTQ community are likewise still restricted by discriminating laws and social prejudice.”

All Singaporeans were encouraged take an active role in making these 10 demands a reality by writing to their MPs, echoing loudly that as a nation, ‘We Are Ready’ – and a Google Doc was even set up to help facilitate this.

Pink Dot 10 was both a celebration and a sneak peek into the movement’s future. The inaugural PinkFest that took place over three weeks prior to Pink Dot last Saturday, saw over 20 LGBTQ-themed events created and curated by businesses, companies and individuals.

Hundreds of people – LGBTQ and straight – attended these events in a strong show of support for the community. Adding to this, and for the second year running, the Red Dot For Pink Dot initiative saw strong support among local businesses with 113 sponsors coming onboard this year.

The 10th edition of the Pink Dot SG event was also much better organised than the years before with organisers learning from experience. There were greater security measures in place and better restrictions at entry points of the event, while crowd control overall was also well planned.

Additionally, this year’s Pink Dot also saw more volunteers and participants than the last. However, due to ongoing renovations of the community centre stage and barricade requirements, the organisers had to limit the numbers of volunteers and participants involved.

Still, that did not diminish the enormous support for the celebration in any way with thousands of supporters coming in clad in the signature pink, carrying Pride flags, pink accessories and a heart full of love and determination.

“To the members of the LGBTQ community and straight allies who turned up to be counted – from the bottom of our hearts, a big thank you,” said Paerin Choa.

“To Singapore, as we march onward to the future, and as we celebrate National Day in a few weeks, we ask that you join hands with us, in love and compassion, to build a Singapore we can all truly call home. We Are Ready for this.”