Pink Dot 2012
Yesterday, over 15,000 Singaporeans turned Hong Lim Park into a sea of shimmering pink lights, for the first-ever night Pink Dot.
So what is the Pink dot?
The Pink dot is an annual event that aims to “raise awareness and foster deeper understanding of the basic human need to love and be loved, regardless of one’s sexual orientation”. This is especially important in Singapore, a country with a largely conservative population.
Furthermore, here we have Section 377A of the Penal Code which criminalizes sex between mutually consenting adult men, and whether the act is performed privately or publicly is irrelevant.
It has been suggested that the penal code is designed to protect people from harm (AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases). Inexplicably, the implication here is that, in the eyes of the law, consensual anal sex between a man and woman is more “right/clean/safe” than the same between two consenting men.
Is that discrimination or what?
Although the Penal code has been up for discuss and debate many times, the government have said that the “majority” voice spoke against a repeal, and that it was Parliament’s duty to respect the views of the more conservative Singaporeans. Oddly enough, no statistics or studies were ever quoted.
Thankfully, LGBT Singaporeans have been fighting back. Since 2009, thousands of Singaporeans have come together to show their support. It was a touching and humbling experience, to be able to be apart of the change, to be able to see the numbers of participants increasing each year as acceptance spread (albeit slowly) throughout the society.
Living in a society where they are barely acknowledged, the Pink dot serves as a platform for LGBT people to garner support and love from those who understands. I heard many stories of how the event has brought families and friends closer together, helping LGBT people feel positive about their sexuality or gender identity, and maybe, not so alone even if it was just for a day.
As more and more people come out in support of the freedom to love, I feel encouraged by the change that I can see occurring. Even though 15,000 people out of the 5 million population is only 0.003 %, there is still hope for the future since it has only been 3 years.
The seed of change has been planted, now we can watch it grow.