Jun 14 2012
Get your pink T-shirt ready – Pink Dot is scheduled for June 30, 2012. This is the one time of year when Singapore’s gay and lesbian community, along with their friends, family and supporters, make a stand for equal rights.
While Singapore is historically a multi-racial and multi-religious society, the same tolerance hasn’t evolved for matters of sexual orientation. Not only does Singapore lack any laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, the city-state’s conservative sex laws mean that same-sex relationships are technically a crime. Adding insult to injury, Singaporean TV channels censor positive portrayal of gay characters in popular series like “Glee” and “American Family”. Needless to say, life can be challenging for LGBT people in Singapore.
In hopes of opening minds and changing attitudes, the first Pink Dot event was organised in 2009. Pink Dot is not a gay pride parade or even a protest, but rather simply an opportunity for people to unite in support of the belief that everyone deserves the freedom to love. Participants are asked to wear pink and gather together to form a giant pink dot (a twist on Singapore’s nickname “the little red dot”) that is photographed from the air.
Pink Dot has rapidly gained popularity and in 2011 the event drew more than 10,000 participants. Evidence that Pink Dot is relaxing the local attitude, several Singaporean celebrities have become Pink Dot ambassadors, speaking openly about how gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people in Singapore deserve equal rights.
Pink Dot 2012 is scheduled for 18:00 on June 30, 2012, and expected to be the biggest dot to date. It’s a family-friendly event and there will be a concert and picnic. Due to its ‘controversial’ subject matter, Pink Dot is held at the one place in Singapore where people can freely speak their minds — Speaker’s Corner at Hong Lim Park.
Although everyone is welcome to attend Pink Dot, due to local laws (yes, there’s a lot of them), only Singaporean citizens and permanent residents of Singapore are able to participate in the actual formation of the pink dot. The rest of us will just have to observe this small portion of the event from the sidelines. The full rules about foreign participation can be found here.
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