Sixth annual celebration of the Freedom to Love caps off with a dot formation with a difference, with largest-ever turn-out with 26,000 people standing up for a more loving Singapore

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Singapore, 28 June 2014 – The movement supporting the Freedom to Love made a dramatic statement of solidarity tonight, with an astounding 26,000 Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PRs) – more than ten times the number of the inaugural 2009 event – turning the green space of Speakers’ Corner into a shimmering expanse of bright pink lights – crowned by a touching outline of a giant heart beating within the formation.

2014 marks a coming of age for the movement that has championed inclusivity and diversity amid an increasingly volatile social landscape.

Said Paerin Choa, Spokesperson for Pink Dot Sg, “It is very heartening to see the dot growing year on year. We believe that this sends a strong message of love and acceptance, affirming that Singapore is a home for one and all, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity. We are, at the end of the day, one big national Family, and it is especially humbling this year, to see the sheer support we have received from Singaporeans from all walks of life.”

Led by this year’s ambassadors, theatre thespians Brendon Fernandez, Sebastian Tan and Janice Koh – also a sitting Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) – Pink Dot 2014 went back to its roots by shining the light on the community and their perspectives on what the Freedom to Love means to them.

The event kicked off with the inaugural Community Voices segment, where invited speakers from the LGBT community, and straight allies, shared stories on their personal challenges and touched on their hopes and dreams for a better and more compassionate Singapore.

Speakers included blogger and social commentator, Mr Miyagi; urban artist, Samantha Lo, known to many as SKLO; Leow Yangfa, Deputy Director of LGBT support group Oogachaga; lawyer and notable human rights advocate, M Ravi; outspoken university student and social volunteer, Melissa Tsang; Fanny Ler, a transgender woman, and her husband, Zack Ling.

This was followed by the Pink Dot concert, which saw home-grown talents such as stage veterans Sebastian Tan as Broadway Beng, and Selena Tan; music producer and performer Don Richmond joined solo artiste Roze Kasmani, award-winning industrial progressive-rock band The Voodoo Sound, capping of with Ugly in the Morning featuring Pam Oei. Internationally renowned DJ Aldrin set the tone with his signatures beats, with the Singapore Men’s Chorus taking stage as guest performers to sing the National Anthem, marking the commencement of the concert.

The community factor was further strengthened with the Community Tent, established as a focal point for Singapore’s diverse array of LGBT and LGBT-friendly organisations such as Oogachaga, Young Out Here, Pelangi Pride Centre, Purple Alliance, Maruah, Humanist Society and the Bear Project, among others.

Pink Dot 2014’s corporate contributors also made a strong showing at the event, with contingents from giants Google, Barclays, J P Morgan, Goldman Sachs and BP adding colour to the pink-tinged landscape. Contact lens brand CooperVision made a shining statement with its sponsorship of all pink torches, while The Gunnery’s sound system ensured everyone was kept entertained throughout. Finally, PARKROYAL on Pickering provided the perfect backdrop for the event for photos opportunities and interviews. This is the strongest indication yet of Corporate Singapore’s growing support of an all-inclusive society.

The event culminated at sunset when participants all came together to form a shimmering, giant Pink Dot with torches, mobile phones and light sticks. In a touching departure from tradition, the giant dot formation this year included an outline of a heart, situated quite literally in the ‘heart’ of the dot – creating a symbol of love and inclusivity.

And the finishing touch: 26,000 voices belting out the song, ‘We Are Family’ by Sister Sledge, in unison and joy.

Added Paerin Choa, “Pink Dot remains committed to championing for an all-inclusive Singapore. Since its inception in 2009, Pink Dot has striven to be an event that celebrates diversity and the Freedom to Love in a peaceful, positive manner, staying within the law and respecting the sensitivities of all Singaporeans.

“Even as we remain mindful of opposition from certain quarters, we are confident that this Little Red Dot we call home is large enough for us all to co-exist peacefully, respectfully and with dignity.”

– End –

Support the Freedom to Love with Pink Dot Sg:

Watch our 2014 Campaign Video and more on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/pinkdotsg

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pinkdotsg

Instagram & Twitter: @PinkDotSg

Hashtags: #PinkDotSg #PinkDot2014 #FreedomToLove

Website: https://www.pinkdot.sg

Photos can be obtained from Pink Dot Sg’s Dropbox: http://tinyurl.com/pd2014pressroom

For more information, please contact:

Andrew Wong

Mobile: (65) 9199 3623

Desmond Wong

Mob: (65) 9066 2888

Email: media@pinkdot.sg

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 LGBT Singaporeans 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 to love and be loved. 2,500 people supported this cause in 2009. In 2010, this nearly doubled to 4,000. In 2011, over 10,000 participants turned up, growing to 15,000 in 2012. The year 2013 saw the largest number of Singaporeans and permanent residents turning up to date, at 21,000. This ranks Pink Dot as the largest gathering at the Speakers’ Corner since its inception in 2000.

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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.”