Thousands attend Pink Dot 11 at Hong Lim Park, form giant 'Repeal 377A' message during light-up

·Editorial team
Participants at Pink Dot 2019 forming a giant "Repeal 377A" message on the field of Hong Lim Park on Saturday (29 June). (PHOTO: Pink Dot SG)
Participants at Pink Dot 2019 forming a giant "Repeal 377A" message on the field of Hong Lim Park on Saturday (29 June). (PHOTO: Pink Dot SG)

SINGAPORE — Despite a wet start, thousands of Singaporeans and permanent residents turned up at Hong Lim Park on Saturday (29 June) afternoon to celebrate Pink Dot 2019.

Now in its 11th edition, this year’s event was themed around a call to end discrimination against the nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community.

“It has been a decade and yet our leaders seem to be selective in their listening when it comes to the discrimination that LGBTQ people face every single day,” said Pink Dot SG spokesman Paerin Choa in a news release.

“We continue to be made invisible and marginalised in Singapore where we are denied respect and dignity by the laws and the policies of this country.”

Featuring musical performers and celebrity ambassadors – including actress and director Beatrice Chia-Richmond and YouTube star Preeti Nair – the event culminated in a light-up, which saw participants form a giant “Repeal 377A” message. This was a reference to Section 377A of Singapore’s Penal Code, which criminalises sex between men.

Among the attendees this year were Lee Hsien Yang, the former chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore and brother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong; his wife, lawyer Lee Suet Fern; their newly married son Li Huanwu and his husband Heng Yirui.

Commenting on the progress of gay rights in other parts of the world, Pink Dot SG spokesman Clement Tan said, “We’ve seen Taiwan, India, Bhutan, Botswana, Ecuador – countries where the governments have taken steps towards freedom and equality for all their citizens – all in one year.”

“As young Singaporeans who are contributing to our nation, we ask ourselves if Singapore is the place where we want to really lay down our roots, build careers, and start our families. It's ridiculous that Singapore is left behind time and time again,” he added.

In its release, the Pink Dot organisers also thanked its 118 Singaporean sponsors for supporting the event.

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Lee Hsien Yang and wife attend Pink Dot with their son Huanwu and his husband