More than 28,000 people gathered in Singapore’s Hong Lim Park to celebrate Pink Dot, an annual assembly in the city to promote inclusivity, diversity and LGBT rights. This is the biggest Pink Dot event ever since it started in 2009. Last year, Pink Dot drew a crowd of 26,000.
This year’s theme, ‘Where Love Lives,’ hopes to inspire “the community to reflect on the progress that has been made towards dispelling the discrimination and prejudice that face the LGBT people”. The video below shows the culmination of the Pink Dot celebration in the evening:
Despite the growing number of Singaporeans who are supporting the aims of Pink Dot, the LGBT community continues to confront several challenges. Last year, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Section 377A of the Penal Code, whichcriminalizes gay sex. Last month, a Taiwanese music video which celebrates the life of a lesbian couple was banned by authorities for containing ‘mature content’. And on June 12, 2015, or a day before the Pink Dot event, the government has rejected the petition of organizers to broadcast the event’s video advertisement in cinemas.
To counter Pink Dot, a Christian pastor asked his followers to support the ‘Wear White’ campaign in order “to affirm the important role that the family plays in nation building.” Alluding to the LGBT community, Senior Pastor Lawrence Khong told his followers that many problems of society today are caused by the “hurts and pains within a dysfunctional home.”
Organizers of Pink Dot hailed the success of the event while acknowledging the challenges that remain in advancing LGBT rights in Singapore:
While some congregate on the pretext of protecting the conventional family, we are here to embrace all families, and all individuals. We believe everyone deserves the Freedom to Love, and the Freedom to be themselves. We recognize that the journey towards inclusivity and diversity in Singapore is still some way off, but we are confident that we will be able to achieve this together, one day in the near future.
The Twitter hashtags #WhereLoveLivesSg, #FreedomToLove, and #PinkDotSg were used during the Pink Dot celebration. Below are some of the photos of the gathering last Saturday which saw Singaporeans from all walks of life converging at the Hong Lim Park:
— PinkDotSG (@PinkDotSG) June 13, 2015
This article by Mong Palatino first appeared on Global Voices.