You ask, we answer!
We’re just days away from the event!!! There are lots in store this year and we are hopeful that our friends, straight and gay, will join us in our celebration of the Family. Meanwhile, here are some responses to the questions we’ve been getting:
Q: How is Pink Dot 2010 different from Pink Dot 2009?
A: Pink Dot 2009 was the first platform where citizens could show, publicly, their support for LGBT family members and friends. Pink Dot 2010 takes our core message – to celebrate the Freedom to Love – a step further with a special focus on love within families.
Q: Will the event be exactly like last year?
A: Not exactly. Thanks to the love and generosity of our supporters, we are aiming to take the Freedom to Love to more Singaporeans, with different performances and a little surprise as well – watch out for it! We’re very excited ourselves, to kick start the celebrations this Saturday.
Q: Yeah whatever, but what will we see at Pink Dot 2010?
A: Lots of people, dressed in PINK, hanging together with their friends and families. If you’re coming alone, we guarantee you’ll make friends with lots of like-minded others. There will be strolling performers at the park, as well as acts at the centre of the field. We promise an afternoon of entertainment and distractions.
Q: Is this event legit or legal?
A: Yes, 100%! We have registered the event, speakers and performances with the authorities and we seek your cooperation in keeping the event litter-free!
Q: What are the admissions charges like?
A: Like love – the event is absolutely free-of-charge!
Q: Can I bring my parents, siblings, uncles, aunties, grandmas, grandpas, children, friends, colleagues, etc to the event?
A: Yes, of course. We’ve planned a family-friendly event. There will be plenty to see and do for people of all ages – straight and gay.
Q: What is expected of me at the event?
A: Just show up, mingle, watch the performances, and have fun! An aerial photograph will be taken to commemorate the event. Bring water, food, family and friends. No littering, please.
Q: I want to attend the event but I can’t!
A: That’s a bummer. However, please encourage your family and friends to come. If you’re on Facebook, drop us a line of encouragement! Same if you’re on Twitter – let’s see if we can make #PinkDot a trending topic on event day!
Q: Do I have to RSVP?
A: Not at all, but feel free to pledge your attendance on our Facebook event page.
Q: Are foreigners allowed to attend?
A: According to the park’s terms and conditions, only Singaporeans and Permanent Residents may participate at the events held at Hong Lim Park. However, foreigners are most welcome to watch and observe. It is, after all, a public park.
Q: What does “participate” really mean?
A: Well, our interpretation of the term is that foreigners should not join in during the human Pink Dot formation segment of event.
Q: Do I really have to come dressed in pink?
A: You don’t have to, but if you’re coming down to show your support, you might as well come in Pink!
Q: Is this event a protest?
A: Absolutely NOT. It is a peaceful gathering to celebrate the Freedom to Love, as well as to show recognition for the importance of family, regardless of whether you’re straight or gay.
Q: I am straight. Why should I go?
A: There are many LGBT Singaporeans around you. They may not be easy to identify, but they are your sisters and brothers, sons and daughters, colleagues and bosses, teachers and schoolmates, doctors and lawyers, etc. Though more LGBT individuals are slowly emerging into the mainstream, present societal attitudes keep many of them from coming out of the closet. They fear that their honesty will cost them their family, friends, and even their jobs.
We believe that strong relationships are built on love and understanding, not fear and secrecy. Unfortunately, most LGBT individuals in Singapore do not enjoy the basic freedom of being who they are in front of their loved ones. Your presence on 15 May 2010 can help to change that. It may be a small gesture, perhaps with little direct impact on the actual lives of others, but we believe that this symbol of support and solidarity will go a long way.
Q: Why the ‘Family’ theme this year?
A: We believe the theme we’ve chosen this year is highly relevant to Singapore. Family is the most basic unit of our society. Strong families make for a strong, cohesive society. As such, the 2010 campaign hopes to bring LGBT Singaporeans closer to their families. Plus, Pink Dot will take place on the International Day of the Family – which makes this a very apt theme.
Q: How did you come across those real-life stories highlighted on your videos and blog?
A: We asked our friends, who then asked their friends, friends’ friends and friends’ friends’ friends. We realised through this process that while most LGBT Singaporeans desire closer relationships with their families, many fear the price of honesty. We hope that the stories shared in the Pink Dot 2010 campaign will provide optimism. To the eight families who have bravely stepped forward to inspire us, we remain eternally grateful.
Q: I know someone who might be LGBT. What should I do?
A: It helps to be equipped with knowledge. It also helps to speak with people who share similar experiences. We’ve compiled a resource list from which you can draw upon.
Q: Who are the people behind this campaign and event?
A: Volunteers who believe that Singapore can be a better place if we all just exercise a bit more love and understanding.
Q: Singapore is a largely conservative country. How can you organize such an event?
A: We love Singapore. This is our home and we believe that diversity is a cornerstone to our multicultural civil society. Like it or not, LGBT Singaporeans exist. We know that many people may not be in support of their fellow LGBT citizens. That is why campaigns like Pink Dot are important. They serve to foster public understanding, and through that, work towards building greater social cohesion.
Q: What can I do to help?
A: You can start by joining our Facebook page. Ask your family and friends to join too! When we need volunteers, that’s where we’d normally post requests. Alternatively, you can also drop us an email. At the end of the day, every additional person who comes forward to support us is one more voice helping to bring about mutual understanding and respect for Singaporeans, gay and straight.