As the countdown to Pink Dot 2017 begins, the organisers held their media launch last night and a very important change has happened. Due to the new regulations that prohibits foreigners to attend Pink Dot, Hong Lim Park will have to be barricaded for the first time during this year’s Pink Dot.
It disappoints me to see how much Singapore has regressed. Instead of tearing down the walls, we are now erecting them.
Pink Dot has always been a welcoming event for all. Friends and family come together on this one day in the year to celebrate the #FreedomToLove and it doesn’t matter if you are gay, straight, bisexual, single, married, divorced, young, old, male, female, non-binary. No one cares. Everyone is there to enjoy the day and soak in the lovely atmosphere. With the new regulations in place, I have so many questions on the effect it will have on the event.
How can anyone relax when you are fenced in? How can people enjoy when you are almost in a jail of sorts?
How long will the queue be for 28,000 people or more to get into the space via 7 entry points? (Roughly 4000 people per entry point meaning even at processing speed of 20 people per minute, you will need 200 minutes or almost 3.5 hours)
What happens when Hong Lim Park runs out of space? Will the police allow the event to spill onto the roads?
Will parents need to bring their children’s birth certificates? What about families like ours where both parents are Singaporeans/PR but the very young children are not? Will they be given an exemption? Or will the kids have to wait outside?
Can we hold hands with someone who is outside the barricade? Will that be illegal too?
What happens if someone actively commits a terrorist act? How will the people be able to disperse if they are fenced in? How fast can people get out?
What is the objective of building these walls and checking on everyone who voluntarily enters into the Pink Dot? To get a feel of the number of people supportive of the LGBT community? Or is this meant to be a form of intimidation, asking us to stay away?
So many questions and no answers for now.
The theme for this year’s Pink Dot is “Starting A Conversation” (watched this great video) and I think that’s all we are trying to do.
It is not about who is right or wrong, not about converting straight people to gay, not about being religious or anti-religion. It is simply about beginning a dialogue. By coming out, engaging in discussions and sharing our thoughts, our lives, our hopes and dreams, I believe it is these stories that make us human. That make us a part of Singapore, no different from your next door neighbour, your cousin, your co-worker, your friend. These conversations are needed to bridge the gap and build a Singapore that is truly welcoming to all.
“Regardless of race, language or religion, to build a democratic society, based on justice and equality”
As part of the LGBT community, I am not looking for special treatment or handouts. All I want is to be treated fairly and equally. A Singapore where we don’t have to build walls to separate us from the rest of Singapore.
Over the years, I’ve watched Pink Dot grow and have never failed to attend every year. This year will be the first year that we miss out and I’m disappointed because it is turning out to be such a crucial year. In the past, many have stated that the numbers are not accurate or there are many foreigners attending, much more than locals. This year there will be no such inaccuracies.
I remember attending the first Pink Dot in 2009 and how awesome it felt to see the sea of pink.
After Zoey was born, we brought her to her first Pink Dot when she was 3 months old and my mom attended with us as well.
The planning, cost and implementation of this new aspect of the event will fall onto the organising committee. Thank goodness over 100 local companies have come out in support, raising over $200,000,because the funds will be essential this year to ensure the event is run smoothly according to police guidelines. I have faith that the team at Pink Dot will do their best to make the event a success.
If you cannot attend Pink Dot 2017 because you are not Singaporean/PR or won’t be in Singapore, you can still support by doing these 3 things (via Kirsten Han)
- #30DAYSOFPINK 1st June to 1st July 2017, post a picture of anything pink each day
- Check in on Facebook at Hong Lim Park on 1st July 2017 at 5 pm
- Wear Pink on 1st July 2017
Since we are still in Seattle, I will be kicking off #30daysofpink tomorrow and hope to see some of you join in. If you are in Singapore and can attend the event, please do so and help form the biggest Pink Dot ever. Your attendance this year is absolutely crucial, so stand up and be counted!