Celebrating the Right to Love

2013 Pink Dot Rally

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by Lim Yen Siu

When the Pink Dot Rally was first held in 2009, a mere 2 500 people attended. This came as no surprise, considering the typical Singaporean conservatism. This year, however, the numbers jumped to a new high of 21 000 people, proving that support for our LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual) community is quickly accelerating as people recognize “the freedom to love”.

The event, which begun at 5 pm in Hong Lim Park, had a festive atmosphere complete with pink and white balloons, booths that dispensed pink merchandise such as badges and torchlights, and an outdoor stage for the concert. As per the dress code, throngs of people were decked out in pink. Quirky accessories such as a tiny ballerina dress worn as a necklace and frou-frou hats were also donned by some of the attendees.pinkdot1

As the crowd kicked back on picnic mats, performances by local talents such as a cappella group Vocaluptous, cheerleading squad the InVincibles and dance group Voguelicious entertained them. Singers such as Joanna Dong, Wayne Shandosham and Mathilda de Silva also got the crowd roaring with hits such as “Girl on Fire” and “We are Young”.

Some were there to send messages to the community- banners stating that all love is equal went alongside more lighthearted posters such as “cats are equality”. Others wanted to take the opportunity to spread the love with “free hugs” signs.

When it was time to form the pink dot, local DJ Mark Richmond said in his address that “we should never deny anyone the freedom to love, the freedom to be who they are and the freedom to choose who to love”. As the chorus of voices, old and young, straight and LGBT, finished the countdown from ten, pink lights blinked out from the darkness and a sense of unity swelled amongst the crowd as they cheered. As Dick Lee rightly sang at the closing of the event, this is “Home”.

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