Last Updated on 2022-06-20 , 4:25 pm
With the relaxation of COVID-19 safe management measures, many events have been gradually reverting back to being in-person after more than two years of the pandemic.
And just yesterday (18 June), Pink Dot held its first annual Pink Dot event in-person at Hong Lim Park since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
With yesterday’s gathering marking the 14th edition of the Pink Dot event, Hong Lim park saw thousands of individuals decked out in pink outfits in support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community.
Before being allowed to enter the area at Speaker’s Corner, individuals were required to prove that they were fully vaccinated.
The rally was held from 3pm to 7pm instead of at night, unlike previous editions of the event where nighttime light-ups would take place.
PAP MP Attended Pink Dot this Year
And apart from the members of the public who flocked to Speaker’s Corner yesterday, there were also other notable participants at this year’s Pink Dot.
In particular, Member of Parliament (MP) Henry Kwek from the People’s Action Party (PAP) was seen at the area as well.
Based on photos uploaded by Pink Dot on their official Instagram account, Mr Kwek wore a pale pink polo tee to the event.
He also interacted with those manning the various stalls that were set up by local LGBT community groups such as Oogachaga, Quasa SG and TransBefrienders.
He apparently reached at 3.20pm and left at around 4pm after talking to indiivudals manning the stalls as well as the organisers of the Pink Dot event.
The Pink Dot organisers also revealed that this is the first time that a PAP MP has attended the event.
Mr Kwek replied to questions regarding why he attended this year’s Pink Dot rally by saying that “the emphasis should be on the participants”.
Apart from Mr Kwek, MP Jamus Lim from the Workers’ Party also attended the Pink Dot event as well.
Highlights of Pink Dot 2022: “MAJULAH” Mass Display
As part of the mass display this year, participants held up pink placards and volunteers held up white umbrellas to form the word “MAJULAH”, which means “onwards” in Malay.
The word is also included in Singapore’s national anthem “Majulah Singaura”, and participants sang the national anthem at 4.30pm during the event.
“MAJULAH is on our national anthem, but it means more than just “onwards”. It beckons the person who’s listening to step up, to change, to progress. It is a nudge from us to the people who have the power and responsibility to take that step forward and make change happen.
“Pink Dot calls on Singaporeans to move forward in embracing their LGBTQ+ friends and family members. We urge the government to act decisively to address the many obstacles that LGBTQ+ people here face,” Pink Dot wrote in an Instagram post.
After that, there were speeches and performances conducted by activists and other prominent members of the LGBTQ community before the crowd gathered to form the “pink dot” at 7pm.
The speeches were conducted by the following individuals:
- Kokila Annamalai, community organiser and one of the co-founder of the Transformative Justice Collective
- Remy Choo, Ready4Repeal committee member and a lawyer involved in the 377A constitutional challenge
- Shan Menon, Lead Volunteer at The T Project
- Zuby Eusofe, Founder of the Healing Circle SG, a safe space founded for queer Muslims.
Writing Messages on Placards and Photographs
Pink-coloured round placards were issued to participants, who were asked to write messages in response to the topic “The Change We Want To See”.
These placards were used during the “MAJULAH” mass display.
Apart from that, participants were encouraged also to write messages in response to the same topic on the back of photographs.
These photographs were placed into different mailboxes that represented the various constituencies across the island.
According to Pink Dot’s organisers, the photographs will be sent to the various constituencies “in the coming days”.
Organisers’ Opinions Regarding Pink Dot
When speaking to CNA, Mr Clement Tan, a spokesperson for Pink Dot, shared that invitations to the Pink Dot rally are extended to MPs by the organisers every year.
Mr Tan explained that it is vital for leaders to interact with the LGBTQ community and understand their issues in real life, which is why seeing MPs appear at this year’s event is a positive indicator of progress.
Apart from that, he touched on how there were “thousands” of people who attended this years’ event and how the high attendance was heartening for the organisers.
He also explained that the organisers intended to emphasise the theme of exploring changes that individuals want to see happen within the community.
Additionally, Mr Tan also addressed how there has been an insufficient amount of progress the despite the change in societal attitudes towards the LGBTQ community.
With regards to that, Mr Tan urged for members of the LGBTQ community to speak up about their own personal experiences, especially for those who have faced discrimination and prejudice due to their sexual or gender identity.
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