SINGAPORE - Hong Lim Park was awash in shades of pink on Saturday (June 29) as the local lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community gathered for the annual Pink Dot SG event to highlight discrimination against them.
The focus this year was on the law that criminalises sex between men.
Organisers invited those who came to share photos of themselves holding up pieces of paper on which were derogatory names that had been hurled at them.
In their speeches, Pink Dot's ambassadors called for more inclusivity and took aim at Section 377A of the Penal Code which criminalises sex between men.
Actress and theatre director Beatrice Chia-Richmond said much of the discrimination faced by LGBTQ people can be attributed to Section 377A.
She encouraged others to "call out" discrimination and bullying in schools and at the workplace.
Social media personality Preeti Nair, also known as Preetipls, shared a story about a gay friend of hers who was subject to a string of slurs while in school.
"Some years have passed and the wounds have healed, but the pain is still somewhere in the back of my head, beckoning me to never take anything positive in my life for granted," Ms Preeti Nair quoted her friend as saying.
The night ended with attendees holding up pink and white lights that formed into a big display calling for the repeal of Section 377A.
The event's organisers said this was in response to a comment made by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Thursday at a dialogue that Section 377A would remain "for some time", but that it has not prevented LGBTQ people from living here, or prevented Pink Dot from taking place.
Mr Garry Moss, 38, who works in marketing, said he had attended every Pink Dot since the first one in 2007.
Mr Moss, who is gay, said that although Pink Dot has changed over the years to include celebrities and performances, attendees should remember the purpose for holding the event.
"We are here to say that we are not going away and that we deserve a place in society," he said.