SINGAPORE: Hong Lim Park was covered in large swathes of pink on Saturday (Jul 21) as supporters turned up for the 10th edition of the annual lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) rally Pink Dot.
While mostly attended by young Singaporeans, older folks like 70-year-old Frankie Kwok and his family were seen among the sea of pink attendees.
"I am a pioneer so I am supporting a lot of my young friends for equal rights ... It's only good that everybody can live in harmony regardless of whatever gender they are or whatever they choose to be," said Mr Kwok, who has attended every Pink Dot event since 2009.
"It's a free world now. No more of traditional or conservative kind of world where I lived in. That's the direction the future should go," he added.
Another senior Sally Lim, 63, said she has attended at least five Pink Dot events with her husband and children.
"I'm not too sure whether the acceptance of LGBT in Singapore has grown because I hardly talk about it with strangers but in my family, we fully support the LGBT community," said Mdm Lim.
The message for this year's light up was We Are Ready.
Aside from the concert, which featured local comic Hirzi and Singapore Idol alumnus Tabitha Nauser and Sezairi, former Pink Dot ambassadors pledged their support in making 10 declarations towards equality.
They include declarations such as being ready to stand by LGBTQ friends and family members to having schools, healthcare services, and businesses that are LGBTQ-friendly.
This year's Pink Dot saw 113 local sponsors through the Red Dot for Pink Dot initiative after foreigner-majority sponsors were barred from supporting the event in 2016.
Particular attention was paid to active community participation this year, with the first ever Pink Fest that spanned two weekends in the run-up to Pink Dot. The festival is made up of 20 community events ranging from film screenings to walking tours organised by businesses, groups and individuals.
“We mark our 10th edition with hope and optimism for the future, but are also mindful that plenty more still remains to be done for Singapore to fully embrace the tenets of inclusion, diversity and equality,” said Mr Paerin Choa, a Pink Dot spokesperson.
“As we celebrate this milestone, witnessing Speaker’s Corner awash in pink, let us remember that, just as we’ve been forced to erect barriers that separate us from friends and family members here, the LGBTQ community are likewise still restricted by discriminating laws and social prejudice.
While only Singaporeans and permanent residents are allowed into the Speakers' Corner after showing their identity documents, groups of foreigners were seen at the park outside the barricades with picnic mats.