Pink Dot 2010
On 15 May 2010, more than 4000 people turn up at Hong Lim Park in Singapore Chinatown to form a Pink Dot. Celebrating freedom to love regardless of one’s sexual orientation, Pink Dot fans turn up in pink shirts, pink dresses, pink umbrellas, anything and everything pink.
This is the 2nd Pink Dot event and this year’s theme is family. Leading towards the event was a series of 4 videos showing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender GLBT and their families who supported them and love them for who they are. These family members were willing to step forward as an example to other parents with GLBT children.
For those who are unfamiliar with the situation in Singapore or who ask why celebrate the obvious, a little background will help.
In Singapore, sex between consenting adult men is illegal. In 2007, the Singapore Parliament debated the repeal of section 377A of the Penal Code that criminalizes sex between men. A Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) Thio Li-ann who is a law professor in the National University of Singapore (NUS) made a notorious speech in support of section 377A.
In her long speech, she argued that:
“There are no ex-Blacks but there are ex-gays.”
and her infamous:
“Anal sex is..............like shoving a straw up your nose to drink.”
In the end, Section 377A was not repealed. While the government has said they will not actively prosecute, neither are there any assurances that this policy will not be reversed.
In 2009, Dr Thio Li-ann’s mother Dr Thio Su Mein, former Dean of Law Faculty in NUS, led a group of women from her church in an attempt to take over AWARE, a Singapore women’s organization, for being too gay friendly.
Dr Thio Li Ann’s cousin-in-law, Ms Josie Lau, then the Vice President of DBS (Singapore’s largest bank) became the President of AWARE before she and her team were thrown out during an EGM (Extra-ordinary meeting).
Back to Singapore Chinatown
With these events reflecting so much organized ignorance not to mentioned hatred, it is easy to understand why the Pink Dot is important to so many people in multi racial and multi religious Singapore.
Coming back to Singapore Chinatown, in fact, the number of participants in year’s Pink Dot was almost double that of Pink Dot 2009. There were cultural performances and dances, one could see people of all ethnic groups with their families, young and old, friends and even pets; truly a microcosm of multi racial Singapore.
May the Pink Dot help to counteract the ignorance, hatred and prejudice that are all too prevalent.