The Pink Dot SG event held in 2019 was called Pink Dot 11 as it was a more catchy title and also to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Pink Dot.
PM Lee Hsien Loong: 377A will be around "for some time"
- See also: Lee Hsien Loong's views on homosexuality
On Wednesday, 26 June 2019, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong fielded questions from the audience after his speech at the Smart Nation Summit held at the Marina Bay Sands. When asked by an unidentified member of the audience how Singapore's regulations could be made more diverse to attract tech talent, including those with other sexual orientations, Lee replied that Section 377A "will be around for some time" but it would not hinder the country's efforts to attract tech talent,.
On the issue of inclusiveness, Lee said that Singapore had been open to the LGBT community. “You know our rules in Singapore. Whatever your sexual orientation, you are welcome to come and work in Singapore,” he said. “But this has not inhibited people from living, and has not stopped Pink Dot from having a gathering every year. It is the way this society is: We are not like San Francisco, neither are we like some countries in the Middle East. (We are) something in between, it is the way the society is.” Such a “framework” would not hinder the technology scene here, added Lee. Pink Dot 2019 was set to take place that very weekend, on Saturday, 29 June 2019.
Light-up message changed from "TOGETHER" to "REPEAL 377A"
Upset that PM Lee Hsien Loong had used Pink Dot as a showcase of how his government was accepting of the LGBT community while at the same time still refusing to repeal Section 377A, the organisers of Pink Dot 2019, who had made discrimination against LGBT people in Singapore their theme for the year, made a last-minute change of their climactic light-up message from the initially planned "TOGETHER" to the more vociferous "REPEAL 377A" instead. The tone of the event was also dramatically changed for the very first time in the group's 11-year history from one of docility to one of protest, with the organisers leading the crowd in chanting, "Tear down this law!".
Official event video
Hong Lim Park was awash in shades of pink on Saturday, 29 June 2019 as the LGBT community gathered for the annual Pink Dot event to highlight discrimination against them. The focus that year was on Section 377A of the Penal Code. Organisers invited those who came to share photos of themselves holding up pieces of paper on which were derogatory names that had been hurled at them. In their speeches, Pink Dot's ambassadors called for more inclusivity and took aim at Section 377A. Actress and theatre director Beatrice Chia-Richmond said much of the discrimination faced by LGBTQ people could be attributed to the anti-gay statute. She encouraged others to "call out" discrimination and bullying in schools and at the workplace.
Social media personality Preeti Nair, also known as Preetipls, shared a story about a gay friend of hers who was subject to a string of slurs while in school. "Some years have passed and the wounds have healed, but the pain is still somewhere in the back of my head, beckoning me to never take anything positive in my life for granted," Preeti quoted her friend as saying. The night ended with attendees holding up pink and white lights that formed into a big display calling for the repeal of Section 377A.
Garry Moss, 38, who worked in marketing, said he had attended every Pink Dot since the first one in 2009. Moss, who was gay, said that although Pink Dot had changed over the years to include celebrities and performances, attendees should remember the purpose for holding the event. "We are here to say that we are not going away and that we deserve a place in society," he added.
Other event videos
- Pink Dot SG
- Sequence of events leading to Pink Dot
- Pink Dot 2010
- Pink Dot 2011
- Pink Dot 2012
- Pink Dot 2013
- Pink Dot 2014
- Pink Dot 2015
- Pink Dot 2016
- Pink Dot 2017
- Pink Dot 2018
- Pink Dot 2019
- Pink Dot 2020
This article was written by Roy Tan.