Wednesday, 04 July 2012 15:39

Pink Dot Gathering Highlights LGBTQ Rights Debate In Singapore

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Singapore broke a record this weekend! More than 15.000 people gathered during the Pink Dot in Hong Lim Park whereas homosexuality is always regarded as a crime.

Pink Dot is a kind of annual gathering to celebrate "freedom to love" irrespective of gender that develops more and more thanks to sponsors like Google Inc.

"There has definitely been increased visibility" for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Singapore, said Leow Yangfa, a social worker. "In the early days, coverage was very limited but now [the local press] cannot avoid covering an event with 15,000 people," he added.

Of course, the purpose of this gathering is also to push the government to repeal the section 377A of the penal code that criminalizes relationships between same-sex people.

This law has failed to be repealed in 2007 because the public opinion was opposed to LGBTQ people but it seems Singaporeans are now attending Pink Dot gatherings. The Wall Street Journal reports that Mr. Leow, who is gay, has edited an anthology of "coming-out" stories. He notes that while initial Pink Dot gatherings were generally attended by the "same faces" – local activists who are well-known in the lesbian and gay community – he now sees people from more varied backgrounds, including many straight Singaporeans and their children, at the yearly gathering.

"It is an indication that as a community, we are finally empowered, and that what we are doing is getting noticed," he said.