Pink Dot movement marks 10 years

An aerial view of the pink dot that was formed during Pink Dot at Hong Lim Park yesterday. Close to 200 volunteers were involved in the organisation of the lights.
An aerial view of the pink dot that was formed during Pink Dot at Hong Lim Park yesterday. Close to 200 volunteers were involved in the organisation of the lights.ST PHOTO: SONG TAO

LGBTQ community and their supporters turn Hong Lim Park into a sea of pink

Hong Lim Park was a sea of pink yesterday as the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community and their supporters gathered to celebrate the 10th iteration of Pink Dot SG.

Among those who turned up was Ms Zi Qin Ging, 24, a barista.

She said: "Pink Dot means a lot to me because it is a platform for people to come together to support the community."

This is the second year Ms Ging has volunteered at the festival, which marked the culmination of a series of events this year to raise awareness about and celebrate the cause. These activities and events, known as Pink Fest, included movie screenings and tours.

There is a photo exhibition featuring LGBTQ individuals in Singapore at the Intermission Bar in Golden Mile Tower. The portraits in the Out in Singapore exhibition were shot by prominent Singaporean photographer Leslie Kee.

Among the notable names featured are director Glen Goei, 55, and Mr Li Huanwu, 31, grandson of founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew. Mr Li, a general manager, is photographed with his partner, veterinarian Yi Rui Heng, 27. Mr Li's father is Mr Lee Hsien Yang.

The exhibition is on till July 29.

Mr Paerin Choa, 42, a spokesman and volunteer who has been with the Pink Dot movement since its inception in 2009, said the traction gained over the years surpassed his expectations. He said: "When we first started out in 2009, we had hoped to fill the park in 10 years, but just three years in, in 2011, the park was already full."

Mr Choa recounted how 2011 marked their turning point, when Google came on board as a corporate sponsor.

Since then, the movement has grown in attendance and sponsorships - this year, it has 113 local sponsors.

The growth came amid challenges, including a change in policy in 2016 that barred multinational corporations such as Google and Facebook from sponsoring the event, as well as resistance from segments of society.

Speaking about Pink Dot's future, the organisers said they will continue to work on Pink Fest and to ensure that the conversation expands beyond the day itself.

They added the ideal future would be one in which holding Pink Dot is no longer necessary.

Similarly, Ms Ging said: "Ideally, we would not even need it if only people could love and accept each other as equals."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 22, 2018, with the headline 'Pink Dot movement marks 10 years'. Print Edition | Subscribe