Pink Dot is aware that the Science Centre has scrapped an event relating to sex and gender. The ticketed event – organised for persons aged 18 and over – was cancelled following public “feedback”.

A graphic and update posted by the Science Centre Singapore about the event. Photo: Facebook

Pink Dot is disappointed to learn about the cancellation of the event.

Topics of sex and gender can and should be discussed openly, in a manner grounded in facts and research. This talk by the Science Centre could have offered an opportunity to share and learn about perspectives that don’t get enough airtime. Such conversations have the potential to demystify topics related to gender and sexuality, ensuring that these subjects are no longer discussed in hushed tones. This open dialogue helps to reduce stigma and encourages a more informed and inclusive society.

Since the repeal of Section 377A, there has been a worrying trend of certain quarters successfully mobilising to shut down events, simply because these contradict their personal beliefs. We saw this happen last year in an incident involving the National Arts Council and Nanyang Technological University.

These events are legally organised and often ticketed affairs that are held in private venues. They are also typically intended for older audiences only. Despite this, a vocal minority has decided for themselves that this is a matter of national concern, and event organisers and venue operators have to face constant fear of intimidation from them.

No one is being forced to attend such events but denying others the opportunity contradicts Singapore’s ‘live and let live’ approach and, more concerningly, stifles necessary and open discussions vital for a more inclusive society.

Pink Dot’s campaign this year, No One Left Behind, is an appeal to the public to understand the ways in which the LGBTQ+ community continues to be left on the margins of society. This incident is proof positive that certain segments of our society still hold the belief that that is where they want us to stay.