Saturday, 4 June 2016

Pink Dot 2016 @ Hong Lim Park


Update 6 Jun 2016: Pink Dot Singapore 2016 attendance ‘exceeds’ Hong Lim Park’s capacity
Pink Dot Singapore 2016 at Hong Lim Park (Photo: Yahoo Singapore)

Thousands of people attended the eighth Pink Dot event at Hong Lim Park on Saturday (4 June), exceeding the venue’s capacity, said spokesman Paerin Chua.

He added that organisers were not focused on the number of attendees for this year’s event.

“Hong Lim Park has already exceeded its capacity. So rather than focus on numbers, we decided to focus on personal messages from Singaporeans and Permanent Residents, which was a huge success,” he said.

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Hong Lim Park turns pink

Hong Lim Park was a sea of pink yesterday as thousands of people raised placards in support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. In its 8th year, the annual Pink Dot rally calls for the freedom to love regardless of sexual orientation.

The event's customary pink torchlights were replaced by placards this year. Singapore citizens and permanent residents were invited to pen messages of love and support on the placards and raise them simultaneously in a call for inclusivity.

The crowd was also treated to a concert featuring personalities such as rapper Shigga Shay, comedian Liu Ling Ling & singer-songwriter Charlie Lim.

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Supporters pen heartfelt thoughts at Pink Dot 2016

The rain didn't stop a sea of pink from turning up at Hong Lim Park for the annual Pink Dot event on Saturday afternoon (Jun 4).

Fortunately the skies cleared in time for the party to get started.

Since kicking off in 2009, the annual event which advocates freedom to love for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, has seen an outpouring of support.

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Pink Dot organisers focus on participation, not numbers

Organisers of Pink Dot SG, an annual rally that supports the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, said the focus of this year's event was active participation rather than the number of people attending.

The rally, which was held on Sat (Jun 4), saw crowds start to gather at Hong Lim Park before the official start time of 3pm. A free concert kicked off just after 5pm, with local bands and artistes performing. Placard booths were scattered throughout the park for Singaporeans and Permanent Residents to write messages of support.

The spokesperson for Pink Dot, Paerin Choa, said the event this year was not about the numbers attending. "The park has been filled to capacity since last year, so there is really no need to report the numbers, which is why this year we want to focus on the messages instead."

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Sending a united message of love and understanding at Pink Dot 2016

For its eighth edition, the annual Pink Dot SG underwent an event format change with dramatic results. Organisers invited Singaporeans and Permanent Residents to pen messages of support onto large placards and raise them simultaneously at dusk, sending a spectacular message of inclusivity and helping to foster a society that embraces diversity.

Pink Dot 2016 focused on the theme of everyday heroes; the fact that anyone can be a hero to the people around them through acts of love and understanding, both big and small. In line with this, organisers released three mini-documentaries as campaign videos this year, telling powerful stories from real life of everyday heroes making an impact on the lives of their friends, family members, and members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community. As such, Pink Dot 2016 saw Singaporeans and Permanent Residents – the people with the greatest stake in the future of Singapore – prove themselves heroes by participating in the raising of placards at the culmination of the event and making a stand for the Freedom to Love.

They were led by Pink Dot 2016 Ambassadors: television host and writer Anita Kapoor; comedian, singer and actress Liu Ling Ling; as well as rapper, music producer and film-maker ShiGGa Shay. Each ambassador played a powerful role in reaching out to their respective spheres of influence, including friends and fans, and underlined the importance of supporting Pink Dot and the LGBT community.

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Pink Dot 2016 - Family & Friends
By Pink Dot SG · Updated 42 minutes ago · Taken at Hong Lim Park

We hope you've enjoy your time with friends and family at Pink Dot! Check out other folders too for more photos. Feel free to share it and tag your friends!

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Pink Dot Sg

Pink Dot Sg is a non-profit movement started by a group of individuals who care deeply about the place that LGBT Singaporeans call home. It is a group for everyone, straight and gay, who support the belief that everyone deserves the freedom to love.

With openness and acceptance, we hope to bring LGBT Singaporeans closer to their family and friends.

Pink is the colour of our ICs. It is also the colour when you mix red and white – the colours of our national flag. Pink Dot stands for an open, inclusive society within our Red Dot, where sexual orientation represents a feature, not a barrier.

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Pink Dot FB
Note the change in format for Pink Dot 2016!

"At the event, which will be held at Hong Lim Park on Saturday, June 4, organisers will give out 5,000 round placards to Singaporean and permanent resident attendees.

They will also be given markers for them to pen messages on the placards."

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Celebrating Our Everyday Heroes

Pink Dot SG, Singapore’s annual rally in support of the Freedom to Love regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, looks forward to its return to Hong Lim Park for the eighth year this coming 4 June 2016. Announcing this event, organisers today unveiled a refreshed event format, massive support from a record number of Corporate Sponsors, new Ambassadors, three Campaign Videos, and an exhilarating line-up for this year’s Pink Dot Concert.

This year, Pink Dot SG celebrates the everyday heroes – people from all walks of life and diverse backgrounds – who are changing the lives of people around them through everyday acts of love, compassion and understanding. Pink Dot SG recognises that such gestures contribute immensely toward shaping Singapore into a more loving and inclusive place.

In line with celebrating our everyday heroes, and its goal this year to create a more visible form of expression, Pink Dot SG will once again become a day-time event. After four years lighting up the Speakers’ Corner in a sea of pink lights, Pink Dot SG will this year commemorate Singaporeans and Permanent Residents – the people with the greatest stake in the future of Singapore – through a demonstration of placards. For the first time since Pink Dot’s inception in 2009, Singaporeans and PRs will get to play a more active role in declaring their support for the Freedom to Love, by penning down their own messages of love and support onto pink placards. The rally will then culminate with the raising of these placards in a united statement for inclusivity.

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Placards to replace torchlights at Pink Dot 2016

Participants at this year's Pink Dot will hold up placards instead of the customary pink torchlights.

Now in its eighth year, the annual gathering in support of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community is changing its format. Organisers will give out 5,000 round placards to Singaporeans and permanent residents in attendance, along with marker pens to write messages. Foreigners will be allowed to attend but not to hold placards.

"We want to let people have a say at the event," Pink Dot spokesman Paerin Choa said. "People are ready to take this step forward."

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Pink Dot 2016 to be held on June 4
A record 28,000 people turned up at Hong Lim Park on 13 Jun 2015 for Pink Dot 2015, an annual event that supports the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community

The 8th edition of annual lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) gathering Pink Dot will be held at the Speakers' Corner at Hong Lim Park on Jun 4.

In a statement on Thu (Apr 21), Pink Dot spokesperson Paerin Choa explained that this year's rally represents a renewed push towards fostering an inclusive society in Singapore.

In the past 4 years, the gathering has been held at night, with participants lighting up the park in a sea of pink with torches and light sticks.

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Celebrating everyday heroes of their LGBT friends

Pink Dot SG, Singapore’s annual rally in support of the Freedom to Love regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, looks forward to its return to Hong Lim Park for the eighth year this coming 4 June 2016.

Announcing this event, organisers today unveiled a refreshed event format, massive support from a record number of Corporate Sponsors, new Ambassadors, three Campaign Videos, and an exhilarating line-up for this year’s Pink Dot Concert.

This year, Pink Dot SG celebrates the everyday heroes – people from all walks of life and diverse backgrounds – who are changing the lives of people around them through everyday acts of love, compassion and understanding. Pink Dot SG recognises that such gestures contribute immensely toward shaping Singapore into a more loving and inclusive place.

read more

Corporate sponsors, more than love, might be Pink Dot’s most potent weapon

The three ambassadors for this year’s Pink Dot are TV host Anita Kapoor, rapper Shigga Shay and getai artiste Liu Ling Ling.

The theme of this year’s Pink Dot is everyday heroes, which puts forth the notion that with love, anyone can be a hero.

The point is driven home by the first entry in a trilogy of short documentaries detailing how individuals can make a world of difference in the lives of the Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay and Transgender (LGBT) community.

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Wear White will push-back Pink Dot, Lawrence Khong

The Christian Church unity movement, Love Singapore, is leading the Wear White campaign this year. The Wear White campaign kicked-off in the year 2014 as an effort against the Pink Dot Movement.

Wear White was started by Muslim religious teacher Noor Deros to promote traditional family values and protest against homosexuality. A leader of Love Singapore and senior Pastor of Faith Community Baptist Church, Lawrence Khong, pledged support of the churches he led to the campaign. The unprecedented cooperation of its kind by Christian and Muslim groups saw thousands of adherents turning up in churches and mosques across the island in white in support of the campaign.

Pink Dot is Singapore’s equivalent of a gay pride parade. The annual, non-profit, free-for-all event was started in 2009, in support of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community in Singapore. Over 28,000 people turned up at the Pink Dot event last year. They supported the right to love regardless of sexual orientation.

related: Why Wear White?

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Pastor slams Pink Dot’s video as ‘deceptive’ attempt at normalising same-sex relationships

Pink Dot Sg is a non-profit movement started by a group of individuals who care deeply about the place that LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) have in Singapore. In their annual event held in Hong Lim Park since 2009, Pink Dot brought together people who believe that everyone deserves the freedom to love.

The event which attracted 2,500 participants in 2009 had grown substantially to attract 28,000 supporters to its event in its 6th year. Many corporate sponsors too have thrown their weight behind the organisers of the event.

The movement is not without its detractors. Last year, a grounds-up movement consisting mainly of fundamentalist Christians and Muslim spoke up against Pink Dot. The movement led by prominent religious figures like Reverend Lawrence Khong, senior pastor of Faith Community Baptist Church, started the ‘Wear White’ campaign to counter Pink Dot.

related: Pink Dot 2016: Our Heroes - Joan & Pauline

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Pink Dot VS Wearwhite – Learning to live with democratic chaos

Since its inauguration in 2009, the Singapore LGBTIQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual, Intersex and Queer) community’s flagship event, “Pink Dot”, has attracted immense media coverage and controversy every year it has been held. The event, which has inspired similar movements elsewhere in the region and in the USA and UK, is the equivalent of a gay pride parade in other parts of the world, with individuals, activist organisations and the inevitable commercial companies, coming together to celebrate a day of acceptance for sexual diversity.

The event is not without its opposition however. In 2014, local Islamic teacher Ustaz Noor Deros initiated what is widely seen as a counter-movement to the LGBTIQ-led campaign. He termed his movement “Wearwhite”, and called upon Muslim supporters of “traditional” family values to don white attire when attending their weekly and special Ramadan prayers on Saturday, June 28 2014, the very same day that Pink Dot was to take place that year. Outspoken Christian pastor and “pro-family” advocate Lawrence Khong from the LoveSingapore network of churches later issued a statement that same year calling on Christians from his network of churches to similarly be attired in white when attending their church services that weekend.

Two years on, the pastor is now pushing for a renewed pro-family movement with his network of churches at the helm. His campaign, titled “We.Wear.White”, calls on all Singaporeans, regardless of race or religious affiliation, to wear white on June 4 and 5 in support of “pro-natural family values”. Besides positioning his movement on the same dates as Pink Dot 2016, Pastor Khong seems to have done away with the careful wording of previous years, which emphasised that the Wearwhite movement was not a direct counterreaction to Pink DOt. Instead, he has described the movement in no uncertain terms as a direct “push back” against the LGBTIQ’s public campaign.

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Pink Dot vs Wear White – What’s with the trench warfare?

Facebook user Adrian Tan referring to the social media trench warfare between the Wear White and Pink Dot camps said how you don’t win people over by making a stand, but by laying down your lives. Adrian who is a Christian has a sister who is openly gay. He is married to one woman and has three children.

Just in case you can’t see his Facebook post, we republish it in full:

  • A religious group posted on social media to encourage its members to wear white and unite for its values (after it was started by another leader of another religion). This obviously provoked a reaction from people, who don’t believe in wearing white. Cue social media trench warfare. Each side firing anger, fear and hate in the comments.
  • I didn’t wear white today. White underpants are difficult to maintain. I mess up sometimes. Just like the next person down the street.

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Wear White movement to be held on the same day as Pink Dot yet again

In an amazing stroke of coincidence, the Wear White movement has scheduled their annual colour-donning event on June 4, the same day as Pink Dot, the annual LGBT-friendly event.

This year’s campaign, known as We.Wear.White, was announced on the Facebook page of LoveSingapore, a Christian unity movement founded in 1995 by Faith Community Baptist Church pastor and magician, Lawrence Khong.

What about those who want to go for both events though?

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We.Wear.White | Saturday, June 4 | Sunday, June 5

Why Wear White? Because it is a pro-Family, pro-Government, pro-Singapore message!
  • It is a message to our Government that we fully support its pro-Family policies. We reinforce the important role of Family in nation-building. Guó Jiā. Guó means country. Jiā means family. The Family is the basic building block of society. As the Family goes, so goes society, so goes the nation. We pledge to work with our government to build a Family of Nation-Builders and a Nation of Family-Builders.
  • It is a message to the Church that we must arise and move as one on our convictions regarding personal purity and public morality, Marriage and Family. Howard Hendricks said: “A belief is something you will argue about. A conviction is something you will die for.”
  • It is a message to the Press and Society at large that the Church’s stance on heterosexual Marriage and the Natural Family is in keeping with the core value of Singapore’s conservative majority. We signal to the younger generation our commitment to preserve the Pioneer Generation’s legacy of Family according to “the mainstream views and values of Singapore society, where the social norm consists of the married heterosexual family unit.”
  • It is a message to LGBT activists that there is a conservative majority in Singapore who will push back and will not allow them to promote their homosexual lifestyle and liberal ideologies that openly and outrightly contradict our laws, our government’s stated policies, our national core values, and the conservative majority’s views on public morality, Marriage and Family.
  • Remember, this is not a protest. This is a message. An important message representing the conservative majority of Singapore.
  • We welcome all Singaporeans who support pro-Natural Family values—regardless of race, language or religion.
  • Will you lead by example?
  • “I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me and that all will then go well for them and for their children after them.” (Jeremiah 32:39)
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