Support for the Freedom to Love Blazes Forth
A new height of 21,000 people came together to celebrate ‘Home’, carpeting Speaker’s Corner at Hong Lim Park with iridescent pink lights.
Singapore, June 29, 2013 – Marking its milestone fifth edition, Pink Dot tonight saw an unprecedented 21,000 families, friends andmembers of Singapore’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community, taking a stand in support of the Freedom to Love. Carpeting Speaker’s Corner at Hong Lim Park with a profusion of pink lights from torches and mobile phones, this was the strongest-yet turnout, with 6,000 more participants compared to last year’s 15,000.
With the theme of ‘Home’, partly in tribute to the heartfelt national song composed by Dick Lee, this year’s Pink Dot – the second night event of its kind – continues efforts begun in 2009 to celebrate inclusivity and diversity among Singapore’s straight and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) communities.
The annual event, which aims to raise awareness and foster deeper understanding of the basic human need to love and be loved, regardless of one’s sexual orientation or gender identity, has become one of the most visible and well known events for inclusiveness and diversity in Singapore. It has inspired similar events around the world and has helped bring together Singaporeans in a way that promotes love without antagonism.
Pink Dot Sg spokesperson Paerin Choa said: “Every year, we are left humbled by the turn-out of participants, which has always surpassed expectations. This is a strong indication of the increasingly widespread support of Singapore’s LGBT community, and a growing realisation among all Singaporeans, straight or LGBT, that everyone has a place and a part to play in this place called ‘Home’.
Despite being refused a permit to extend the event space to a portion of North Canal Road, Pink Dot organisers were nevertheless able to accommodate the thousands of participants through a re-configuration of the structure and layout of the event to better maximise available space, and the deployment of over 100 volunteers to assist with crowd control. A second, ‘satellite’ focal point was also created beyond the traditional gathering spot to help channel traffic away from high concentration areas
Pink Dot 2013 had also established a significant landmark with the trebling of its corporate contributors, with prior contributors Google and Barclays now joined by global financial firm J.P. Morgan, local hotel PARKROYAL on Pickering, popular contact lens specialist CooperVision and audio branding agency The Gunnery. This is the strongest indication yet of Corporate Singapore’s growing understanding of the importance of being inclusive.
Prior to the formation of Pink Dot, participants were treated to a range of activities and offerings – courtesy of more than 20 community groups and partners – at the Pink Dot Community Tent. Groups such as Pelangi Pride Centre, OogaChaga, Singapore Transgender Alliance and Young Out Here, represented across section of Singapore’s LGBT support network, while F&B contributors such as Nando’s and ShareTea provided refreshments.
Participants were also kept entertained by a line-up of some of Singapore’s favourite celebrities at the Pink Dot 2013 Concert, hosted by this year’s Ambassadors, popular TV host and actress, Michelle Chia; well-known sports commentator Mark Richmond; and acclaimed theatre maven and W!ld RiceArtistic Director Ivan Heng.
“Singapore is such a progressive and forward thinking society in many ways, yet it is still held back by ignorance and prejudice,” said Michelle Chia. “I’m proud to have been given the opportunity to do my part in helping Singapore open its heart and better understand the challenges and difficulties faced by the LGBT community – many of whom are also friends of mine. One day, I hope Singapore will truly become a kinder and more inclusive place, a home that truly embraces its diversity and differences.”
“As a parent, I want my son to grow up learning to accept and appreciate this unique and brilliant diversity we often take for granted here in Singapore,” said Mark Richmond. “Children do not look at this world with prejudice and discrimination. Why do we as parents choose to colour their wor with the discrimination we are exposed to? I believe that love is universal and nobody should be denied that right, which is why I wholeheartedly support Pink Dot and what it stands for.”
“As a gay person, I’d like to firstly thank everyone who turned up at Speaker’s Corner tonight for their love, courage and support,” said Ivan Heng. “The growing numbers at Pink Dot every year sends a strong signal that Singaporeans want a kinder and more inclusive society, a Singapore we can truly call home.”
Pink Dot 2013 was held at Speaker’s Corner, Hong Lim Park on June 29th, and pictures and videos of the Pink Dot formation, celebrations and participants are available at the following links:
Visit Pink Dot’s website: http://www.pinkdot.sg
View Pink Dot’s videos: http://www.youtube.com/pinkdotsg
And join our Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/pinkdot
Pink Dot 2013 Campaign Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1dQCsfEJ5o
Pink Dot 2013 Press Room: http://tinyurl.com/PD2013mediakit
For more information, please contact:
Mobile: (65) 9199 3623
Email: [email protected]
About Pink Dot Sg
Pink Dot Sg is a non-profit movement started by a group of individuals who care deeply about the place that LGBTSingaporeans call home. Why Pink? Because it is a blend of red and white – the colour of Singapore’s flag. It is also the colour of our national identification cards. More importantly, Pink Dot Sg stands for a Singapore in which all Singaporeans, regardless of their sexual orientation, are free tolove and be loved.
2,500 people supported this cause in 2009. In 2010, this nearly doubled to 4,000, and in 2012, over 15,000 Singaporeans and permanent residents turned up, consistently making Pink Dot the largest gathering to take place at Hong Lim Park since the inception of the Speakers’ Corner in 2000.