Q: What is Pink Dot?
A: Pink Dot is the name of the organising group. It references the term, Red Dot, which is often used to describe Singapore. Pink, instead of red, because it is the colour often associated with LGBT (think: pink dollar and pink feather boas) but more importantly, it is the colour of our national identity cards and it is what you get when you mix the colours of our national flag.

Q: Is this event legit or legal?
A: Yes, of course! We have registered for the event and we shall strive to conduct ourselves appropriately, as set out in National Parks’ terms and conditions.

Q: Are foreigners allowed to attend?
A: According to the park’s terms and conditions, only Singaporeans and Permanent Residents may participate at events held at Hong Lim Park. However, foreigners are most welcome to watch and observe.

Q: Is this a gay event?
A: As gay as any event can get at Hong Lim Park. The gathering is a show of support for those who believe in openness and love between people, regardless of their sexual orientation. Anyone can attend – straight and gay.

Q: Is this event suitable for children?
A: This event is open to all ages. Children understand love, don’t they?

Q: What is expected of me at the event?
A: Just show up, mingle, have fun and smile for our cameras – an aerial photograph has been planned to commemorate this symbolic event. Bring water, food, family and friends. No littering, please.

Q: Is this event a protest?

A: It is NOT a protest. It is a congregation of people who believe that everyone deserves a right to love, regardless of their sexual orientation. Fear and bigotry can get in the way of love – between friends, family and other loved ones – so this is an event for everyone who believes that LGBT individuals are equally deserving of strong relationships with our family and friends.

Q: Do I really have to come dressed in pink?

A: You don’t have to, but if you’re going to come down to show your support, you might as well go all the way!

Q: But I am straight. Why should I go?
A: Many LGBT Singaporeans around you are not easy to identify. They may be amongst your sisters and brothers, sons and daughters, colleagues and bosses, teachers and schoolmates. Though more LGBT individuals are slowly emerging into the mainstream, prejudice and bigotry in present societal attitudes keep many LGBT individuals from coming out of the closet. Many of them fear that in coming out, they might lose their family, friends and even their jobs. Yet, by not coming out, their lives are shrouded in secrecy.

We believe that relationships should be built on love, not fear and secrecy. Unfortunately, most LGBT individuals in Singapore are denied this basic freedom to be who they are in front of their loved ones. Your presence at the PinkDot event can change that. The gathering at Hong Lim Park may be a small gesture, but it goes a long way.

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 civil society. Like it or not, LGBT individuals exist. We are aware that many people harbour much hatred towards the LGBT community. That is why such events are important. It serves to foster understanding, and through that, there is hope for trust and social cohesion.

Q: Does this event go against my pro-family beliefs?
A: This is a pro-family event. LGBT individuals have got families too! However, familial relationships often get compromised due to a lack of understanding. Through this event, we hope to get people thinking about the issues commonly faced by the LGBT community, both inside and outside of their families – issues that many Singaporeans take for granted. We believe that an event like this can play an important part in promoting understanding and unity amongst family and friends.

Q: What can I do to help?
A: You can start by joining our Facebook group. Drop any of the admin users (including me) a message and we promise we will be in touch!

Q: Can I buy Pink Dot merchandise / the cute plushies?
A: Our plushies are lovingly handmade by our volunteers and we have no plans to sell them yet. To get in the spirit of things, why not come dressed in pink? 🙂

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TV host and writer Anita Kapoor, shot to fame as the clear favourite winner of a Discovery travel host search and has not looked back since. Insatiably curious and possessing a natural wit, this former magazine editor has explored the world for Discovery TLC, AXN, Lonely Planet, Channel News Asia and OKTO, and Starwood Asia Pacific channels, forever on a quest to pioneer the non-conformist stories and locations, especially to connect with the provocateurs who move their worlds.

She is an ambassador for the Singapore chapter of Habitat for Humanity, and her advocacies include Willing Hearts which feeds Singapore’s marginalised, Magic Bus which empowers childrens’ lives in India through sports, and A Single Love which supports single parents. She has also spoken at TEDx Singapore Women 2012 on ‘Female to Female Misogyny in the First World’.

As a Pink Dot ambassador this year, Anita hopes to extend her voice on issues of equality as she firmly believes that everyone deserves equal rights, regardless of the hand they have been dealt in life.

“I see the rights of LGBT people as human rights, really. Everyone deserves to be treated equally – in society, in employment and in the eyes of the law. I believe that as fellow human beings, it’s important to stand together – to speak up for one another when we have the ability and opportunity to do so.”

Anita continues: “There’s a lot of work to be done, a lot of people we need to reach out to. Every one of us has the capacity to be a hero to someone else. I hope more Singaporeans will join us at this year’s Pink Dot. Because together, we can make this a more inclusive society for everyone.”