Singapore’s annual pride event is back this year on June 12 amid the latest COVID-19 restrictions slated to end a day later – on the 13th. But it’s nothing new for the event organisers, who underwent a similar situation last year when the pandemic broke out earlier in 2020.
Going digital last year proved to be a powerful way to connect the LGBTQ community and our allies across the island, said organisers earlier in May.
“Now, as we move into a new cycle of Phase 2 COVID-19 precautions, it becomes even more imperative that the community and its allies come together to stand in solidarity against the isolation and loneliness that can come from this.”
Since its first outing in 2009, Pink Dot SG has grown significantly in its reach and popularity. From its first gathering of about 2,500 people, the event held in Hong Lim Park has recently begun to draw tens of thousands of attendees, despite a ban on foreigners introduced by the Singapore Government in 2017.
That year, organisers told the BBC that 20,000 Singaporeans and residents attended the event, compared with 25,000 or more in previous years.
In a press released annoucing the event this year, Pink Dot said there continues to be acts of discrimination against the LGBTQ community and its allies in Singapore.
“From a Pride flag being ripped from the countertop of a local eatery and thrown at staff, to the Reddit post that documented the traumatic experience of a transgender student in our school system – these events serve as a reminder that there is still work to be done to foster love and understanding for everyone in Singapore.”
Said spokesperson Paerin Choa: “Despite the difficulties, we still believe that a diverse and inclusive Singapore is one that is worth fighting for. When we light up our homes and workspaces this June, we lead the way with hope towards a better, kinder and more equal Singapore.”
There are several ways to take part in the event this year, amid the updated restrictions.
You can sign up online to leave messages of love and support, and form a “digital pink dot”; dress up your homes and businesses with exclusive pink lights and decorations; and show up on June 12 for the event’s livestream and join in the celebrations.
“The light up brought comfort and assurance to many in the community last year and we hope that more people will be able to participate and actively help everyone feel that collective love and support this year,” said organisers.