Pink Dot returned to Hong Lim Park on June 18, 2022, after two years of online events.
The event on Saturday marked the 14th edition of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) rally, seeing two Members of Parliament (MPs) - PAP's Henry Kwek and WP's Jamus Lim - making an appearance for the first time.
Dressed up in pink for Pink Dot
According to the organisers, "thousands" showed up at Hong Lim Park.
Attendees streamed into the venue from as early as 3pm.
Many of the attendees came prepared and well stocked.
They laid out their picnic mats on the grass patch and nibbled on the food and drinks that they have brought with them.
Most of of the attendees were dressed in varying shades of pink, but some took more effort to dress up for the event, clearly ready to party.
Meet Ken and Sybil:
It was Ken's first time attending the Pink Dot rally, while it was Sybil's second time at the event.
Like many in the crowd, the pair was dressed to impress.
Ken: "Everyone took the time to dress up and looks really good in pink."
They were there to support their "sister" who was performing and a part of their community.
Sybil: "We are part of the community, and we are also here to support our sister who has a drag performance today."
If you are wondering why pink, here's the reason written on Pink Dot's website:
"Pink is the colour of our ICs. It is also the colour when you mix red and white – the colours of our national flag."
What do other first timers think about Pink Dot?
Ken was not the only first timer at Pink Dot.
Another attendee of Pink Dot shared:
"As someone who's never given much thought to LGBTQ people's rights, the thought of attending a rally can be intimidating but the warmth and positivity I experienced from the staff and attendees was welcoming."
The media practitioner added that if not for work, he probably wouldn't queue to attend Pink Dot as his group of friends is "not really into this".
That said, he emphasised that he supports the freedom to love.
Another first-time attendee said:
"I didn't really know what to expect since I never attended Pink Dot before. I came for work purposes too, but I was pleasantly surprised by the massive turnout.
What struck me the most was the positive atmosphere and vibes. Nearly everyone I walked past gave me a warm smile and didn't shy away when I took their photos. A few people also talked to me despite us both being strangers. It felt like one big family."
It's ok to attend Pink Dot alone.
While many attendees came with their friends and loved ones, you wouldn't feel lonely even if you were attending the event alone.
Josiah shared with Mothership that they felt overwhelmed (in a good way) to be back at a physical Pink Dot rally.
"This is the first time that we can have a big gathering. I feel really overwhelmed because everyone is back together after two years."
While Josiah attended the event alone, it did not feel lonely. This is because everyone at Pink Dot feels like a "big family".
"Even though I came alone, I am not really alone. Everyone is here, even though there are different tribes, it is like a big family and everyone loves each other."
Josiah stressed about the importance of Pink Dot and said it was the one day where everyone in the community can come together and celebrate.
"Pink Dot is really important because it brings everyone from the community together, even straight allies, and they become a big family. It is more than LGBTQIA+, Pink Dot is about love for everyone."
This group of friends actually met at a previous Pink Dot rally and reunited again.
Lia: "I have been coming here for nine years. It feels bittersweet, and it is also very warm (the weather)."
Tiffany and Jean reconnected after they first met while mermaiding, a hobby and/ or sport where individuals swim with mermaid tails.
Jean: "We are here for a few reasons. We gathered here to meet friends, like those we have met along the way, but we are also part of the community."
Tiffany: "I am here just to show support for Pink Dot in general."
The turnout at Pink Dot surpassed what Jean expected.
Jean: "Love is in the air, it's all around. We were not expecting this turnout, but then the survey just got released and apparently there are fewer people who support 377A now. So maybe these are good signs of things to come."
Lia: "I just want more change."
Jean: "We are also here to make a stand for the future."
The start of Pink Dot was pretty chill even though some had to picnic under the hot sun at around 3-4pm.
Just look at the number of umbrellas:
The crowd started to warm up and got more excited after the concert kickstarted at 5pm.
Local acts by the Dim Sum Dollies, Preeti Nair, Singapore Drag Royalty and Jean Seizure roused the crowd to sing and move along.
Four speakers gave rousing speeches at around 6pm.
Shan Menon, the lead volunteer at The T Project, a social service that supports the transgender community in Singapore, called for a more inclusive society.
“This is the change I want to see: a society that values the lives of minorities like us, that supports us and helps us thrive, not one that fails us by shunning us."
Lawyer Remy Choo, a committee member of the Ready4Repeal movement, said that "discrimination did not begin with 377A" and urged people to continue to fight against discrimination of queer people in the media and in the communities.
Instead of the usual light-up display, attendees held up their pink placards to form a Pink Dot at around 6:55pm after the speeches were delivered.
Standing amongst the sea of pink placards were volunteers holding white umbrellas, forming the word "Majulah" which means onwards in Malay – the message for Pink Dot 2022.
The celebration continued after the official programme.
A particularly big group was seen making merry and having a friendly dance-off. Other attendees were occasionally pulled into the centre to dance along.
Bonus section: Animals of Pink Dot
For animal lovers, here's a bonus for you.
Pink Dot this year was attended by these cuties too:
More on Pink Dot 2022
Top image by Mothership