Pelangi Pride Centre (PPC) is both an organisation as well as a physical space where LGBTQ people can come together to read, borrow books, for social support or to attend talks. Regular events are usually run on the 2nd Saturday of the month. It operates Singapore's first and only LGBTQ resource centre and library which opens every Saturday from 2pm to 6pm. Its collection includes local and international gay literature as well as non-fiction books whose catalogue can be searched online on its website. It also has an archive of artifacts pertaining to Singapore gay history and culture. It is currently located within the Free Community Church itself at One Commonwealth, 1 Commonwealth Lane, #02-02, Singapore 149544 (tel. 8525 2643).
Pelangi Pride Centre was an offshoot of Action for AIDS' (AfA) first headquarters located at 22 Rowell Road and the unit above it, 22A Rowell Road in the Serangoon or Little India area. Both units were being rented at $1000 per month from the early 2000s onwards.
In 2003, Benedict Thambiah, the executive director of AfA and Roger Winder, a veteran AfA volunteer decided to set up Pelangi Pride Centre, Singapore's first LGBT community centre, to inculcate pride in being gay and in staying HIV-negative. The unit upstairs, 22A, was given to the fledgling organisation to use as its premises while rent continued to be paid by AfA. Other LGBT activists who helped set up PPC were Eileena Lee, Dinesh Naidu, Charmaine Tan and Leow Yangfa. The first books donated to and stocked in its library were the local gay novels Peculiar Chris and Glass Cathedral.
Pelangi Pride Centre held its opening ceremony on Saturday, 6 December 2003 from 6pm to 9pm in its premises at Rowell Road. The event featured live tribal drumming & flame throwing, food and drink, music, a film screening as well as safer-sex demonstrations.
Opening hours of the resource centre during the early years were on Wednesdays from 7pm to 9pm and on Saturdays from 3pm to 7pm. It underwent many location changes since it opened its doors at Rowell Road.
These were, in chronological order:
- Bianco (formerly called The Attic), one floor above Mox Bar & Cafe.
- In a member of the gay community's 2-storey semi-detached house also along Rowell Road near The Post Museum.
While at DYMK's Kreta Ayer Road location, its management worked out a special beverage/cake deal for PPC users so that everything was a little cheaper during Saturdays from 4pm to 8pm: $2 for soft drinks (normally $5), $3 for juice (normally $6), $5 a cup of coffee (normally $8) and $5 a pot of tea (normally $8). There was also a tea time special where any cake with coffee/tea could be had for $8.
- Within the Free Community Church at 56 Lorong 23, Geylang, Level 3, Century Technology Building, Singapore 388381 from March 2011.
- Currently, at the Free Community Church's newest premises at One Commonwealth, 1 Commonwealth Lane, #02-02, Singapore 149544.
Much of the help in carrying the heavy articles when relocating each time was provided by members of The Bear Project.
- Review of Pelangi Pride Centre's opening at 22A Rowell Road, 6 December 2003
- Review of Pelangi Pride Centre's launch party at Mox Bar, 6 May 2006
- Eileena Lee
- The Pelangi Pride Centre website:.
- Pelangi Pride Centre on Twitter:.
- Pelangi Pride Centre on Facebook:.
- Review of Pelangi Pride Centre's launch at its first location at 22A Rowell Road on Saturday, 6 December 2003 by Roy Tan on SiGNeL:.
- Review of Pelangi Pride Centre's opening at Mox Bar on Saturday, 6 May 2006 by Roy Tan on SiGNeL:, see video:.