Pink Dot to hold festival prior to rally where everyone (foreigners included) can attend

Photo: Watsamon Tri-yasakda / Coconuts Media
Photo: Watsamon Tri-yasakda / Coconuts Media

Annual gay pride rally Pink Dot turns 10 this year, and come July, everyone is invited to celebrate Singapore’s biggest LGBTQ-affirming event. Yes, non-Singaporeans too.

Amendments to laws regarding public assembly meant that last year’s rally was limited in attendance: only Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents are allowed to participate in Speakers’ Corner events. It was, and still is, illegal for any non-Singaporean to step into the Pink Dot grounds. Barriers and checkpoints had to be set up last year so security personnel could check and verify the identity of attendees before letting them enter the grounds.

This year, Pink Dot organizers found a way to let everyone participate, no matter the citizenship. Spanning across two weekends prior to Pink Dot on July 21, PinkFest will see close to a dozen businesses, groups and individuals — from the LGBTQ community and straight allies — running various activities and events geared towards greater engagement with Singaporeans.

Highlights include the likes of Thailand’s premier drag queen (and Coconuts TV host!) Pangina Heals running a Drag Race-ish show at Hard Rock Café, a selection of LGBT-focused films at The Projector, and a special walking tour of Chinatown to learn about Singapore’s queer history and heritage. Check out the rest of the impressive line-up on the Pink Dot website.


Bigger and better

Due to the Singapore government putting an end to foreign funding at events held at Speakers’ Corner, non-local companies are banned from funding Pink Dot. Ironically, this sparked off even greater support for the gay pride rally by homegrown brands and companies.

This year, corporate Singapore continues to strengthen its support for inclusion and diversity with a current tally of over 60 local sponsors via fundraising drive Red Dot for Pink Dot.

“Last year’s amazing response to Red Dot for Pink Dot sent a strong message that Singaporean businesses were ready to take a stand in support of the Freedom to Love,” said founder Darius Cheung, who’s leading the initiative.

“This year, we hope to continue making waves – and we call on all of corporate Singapore, from the family-run SMEs to the massive Singapore-owned multinationals, to join us in this endeavor.”

Similar to last year’s outing, barricades and checkpoints will still be set up around Hong Lim Park, and attendees will still be required to show their identification cards or passports before being admitted into the venue. Stay updated on the ongoings on the Pink Dot Facebook page.

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