We were so happy to attend our third Pink Dot on June 28th. I’m an out bisexual woman, and with the controversy this year we felt it was more important than ever to take the girls. If you want to know more about the controversy, read this.
We got there around 6 in the evening. There is a family picnic earlier in the day, but the girls have activities during the day on Saturdays. We went with a family friend, R, who was attending for the first time.
R and I went and visited the community tent, and when we brought pink ice cream back to the girls they had magically acquired balloon with the power of their cuteness.
One of the cool things about Pink Dot is that it happens during the run-up to the National Day Parade. The NDP is such a big deal that in the two months prior to the actual event, there are practices, including practice fireworks and practice fly-overs. So with that in mind, as the helicopters bearing a giant Singaporean flag flew overhead, the Singapore Men’s Chorus launched into the National Anthem.
Some friends, both in Singapore and back home have asked me what Pink Dot is.
In the States we usually celebrate LGBTQ pride with a parade (my pictures of the San Francisco Pride Parade 2007 can be found here–warning, plenty of NSFW images). However, the laws in Singapore make a parade an impossibility. Even the National Day Parade is, despite the name, an event held at the Floating Stage on Marina Bay, and not an actual rolling parade. The only location in Singapore that allows this sort of assemblage and exercise of free speech is Hong Lim Park, so the event is held there.
From a practical perspective, Pink Dot is a picnic, and a concert that ends with the formation of a pink dot. But what it really is is a celebration of love and acceptance. It is a day where regardless of your identity, you can celebrate and support the community. In a country like Singapore, which is incredibly heteronormative–where movies, tv, music and more are censored to eliminate positive or normalizing portrayals of homosexuality, and where 377a–the law the bans gay male sodomy–while not technically enforced is still on the books, it can be a struggle to not feel isolated and alone, especially if you feel like those around you won’t accept who you are. It is incredibly powerful to stand in Hong Lim Park with 26,000 other people and feel like you belong and affirm that there is nothing wrong with you.
What began as an event with 2000 people in 2009 has become a bigger and bigger event each year in Singapore, and has inspired other Pink Dots. Hong Kong had its first Pink Dot earlier this year!
Drawing a record crowd of 26,000 makes it hard to find your friends. I knew a ton of people there, but only managed to actually run into my friend Becca D’Bus. Becca always manages to put the rest of us to shame with her awesomeness.
I loved getting this shot of the sunset, streaked with pink, just as the illuminations were coming on in the park. The pink balloons were gathering spots to help create the dot.
Then came the formation of the dot. Being on the ground, I couldn’t get a great shot, so I’m going to use Time Magazine’s photo. The heart came as a surprise that only the organizers knew about until the arial shots started to come in.
After the Pink Dot formation, there is a dance party. Rhiannon’s nap earlier in the day served her well as she was ready to boogie. (Video is 12 seconds of cuteness overload).
Want to see more of Pink Dot 2014? Here is the official Pink Dot 2014: Lighting Up Hearts video. Among other shots, you can see video of the moment my picture above captures–the anthem with the flag overhead. (3:45 to see the park go from black to fully illuminated)
For the rest of my Pink Dot pictures, go here.