On the afternoon of June 4, the sky was cleared of rain just as the crowds started to gather at Hong Lim Park for the annual Pink Dot event. Thousands of attendees filled the space, even ‘exceeding’ the venue’s capacity, according to the organisers.
Decked out in shades of pink, people from all walks of life came together to support the freedom to love and create awareness on issues faced by the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community here. Local performers like Charlie Lim, Vandetta and Gareth Fernandez took the stage to provide entertainment, as people lounged about and soaked up the friendly vibes and cheery spirits.
While Pink Dot has been held at Hong Lim Park for the past eight years, this is the first time the ‘pink dot’ was formed with pink placards instead of pink light-up torches like in previous years. Five thousand placards were handed out to Singaporeans and Permanent Residents, for them to write personal messages and tell their own stories.
With the event revolving around everyday heroes making an impact and supporting the cause for the freedom to love, we asked several Pink Dot attendees what love means to them.
“Love is just love.” said Kody, 19, and Nanz, 17, who are first-timers at Pink Dot.
“Love is trust,” said Jo, 18. “[Love is] everything and everyone. Love is what you express,” said Ched, 18. “Love is wanting others to be happy,” said John, 18. The friends met when they first came to the event last year.
“Love is all around,” said Miso, 25. “Love is commitment, and no judgement based on your sex,” said Kate, 22. Both attend Pink Dot almost every year. “Pink Dot has more people now, and it still feels like a family,” they added.
“Love is free, from your heart. You shouldn’t hide your love,” said Zee, 20, who is a volunteer for the first time.
“Love is unconditional, regardless of who you are,” said Maya [left], 36, who attends Pink Dot every year to bask in the positive vibes.
“Love is unconditional. People caring for each other. Love should have no boundaries,” said Ray, 20. “Love is seeing past all the problems. [To] love someone, despite what that might [look like]. Love is accepting,” said David, 21.
“Love is something everybody deserves, no matter who you are. Also, you have to love yourself,” said Xin, 23. “It’s very hard. I ask myself [what love is] everyday. I think you know you love someone when you’d do anything for them, no matter what the consequences,” said Nicole, 23. Both are new to the event, and they added, “It’s very nice to see everybody let their guard down.”
Text and photos: Watsamon Tri-yasakda