Our Prime Minister (PM) Lee Hsien Loong was reported by TODAY to have made the following statement in response to a question on Section 377A:

“You know our rules in Singapore. Whatever your sexual orientation, you are welcome to come and work in Singapore,” he said. “But this has not inhibited people from living, and has not stopped Pink Dot from having a gathering every year. “It is the way this society is: We are not like San Francisco, neither are we like some countries in the Middle East. (We are) something in between, it is the way the society is.”

We disagree with PM Lee.

Pink Dot’s existence is not proof of Singapore’s inclusiveness to the LGBTQ community. Pink Dot exists precisely because members of the LGBTQ community in Singapore continue to face discrimination and inequality in a multitude of ways, on a daily basis. This discrimination that we face is borne from Section 377A, along with its trickle-down effects to other laws and policies that govern our society at large.

Judging from PM Lee’s response, he might not have a full understanding of the discrimination that takes place in Singapore. This year, Pink Dot 11’s campaign tells stories of discrimination that the LGBTQ community experiences in our country. We invite PM Lee and our leaders to come down to Hong Lim Park this Saturday and truly make an effort to understand what the LGBTQ community faces on a daily basis.

Pink Dot SG is more than just a convenient bulwark against uncomfortable questions about the LGBTQ community in Singapore. We are a rally that has, for the past decade, seen tens of thousands of Singaporeans gathering to send a message to the government and society. A diverse community of LGBTQ citizens and allies trying to find a way to live life fully in this country we call home.

Our leaders might not have the vision or the confidence for a Singapore that can be united despite its diversity. However, we believe it is a Singapore which is possible.

Come to Pink Dot. Listen and learn from the community.

To everyone else living and working in Singapore – we invite those who can enter the park to come and make a stand together with all of us this Saturday.

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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.”