Many Singaporeans know Daren Tan as a multi-talented actor and singer who won the second season of Project Superstar. What they may not know is that Daren is no stranger to Singapore’s LGBT community, having worked as a bartender for two years at one of the most popular gay clubs in Singapore.

“It was a very interesting time – it happened 12 years ago when I was 20. I had interviewed for a job as a bartender without realising that it was a gay club,” Daren said with a laugh.

Admitting that he had had no prior knowledge of the LGBT community at the time, Daren did not know what to expect. “Of course, I was rather skeptical at the start. But as time went by, I got to know the clientele – who are a bunch of very nice people – and came to enjoy my two years there. I made a lot of friends. I was very thankful that I met them.”

Daren, whose body of work includes a worthy mention as one of Cleo’s 50 Eligible Bachelors in 2008, is also part of a six-man group of social media influencers called The Gentleman’s Pride, aimed at promoting the idea of a modern gentleman. And like a gentleman, Daren decided to become Pink Dot Ambassador in order to take a stand for his LGBT friends.

“While I’ve heard about Pink Dot in the past, this is the rst time that I’ve really got to know about the movement, and I am very honoured to have been invited to be an Ambassador.”

Daren continues, “There is a saying, that you fear what you don’t know. Just like how I started out not knowing much about LGBT people, my exposure to the community has helped to erase any misperceptions I may have had. Since then, I’ve made friends with many LGBT people, who have become a very important part of my life. I feel that coming on as a Pink Dot Ambassador is the right thing for me to do: to make a stand, and also encourage Singaporeans to get to know the LGBT community better.

“To me, regardless whether one is straight or LGBT, we are all human, we all deserve to have the freedom to love.”