50 Shades of Pink: Why I’m Celebrating Pink Dot This Year

imagePink has never been my color.  I have a darker complexion and it doesn’t show well up against a pink.  And so every year just before Pink Dot, I fret over how I’m going to get a nice pink outfit.

But enough of vanity speak.  It is wonderful to come to the realisation that just one colour can have so many variations.  From romantic baby pink to sophisticated fuchsia pink; from stunning china pink to elegant Burgundy pink.  And of course, all the shades of pinks in-between.

Pink Dot 2015

There are 3 shades of pink from Pink Dot this year which I would like to celebrate.

The first is the pink of the new attendance record number set: a whopping 28,000.  The stunning color especially when all the lights went off and the pink torches came on has been etched into modern societies’ psyche once again.  Okay, okay….it is only 2,000 more than last year’s 26,000.    A possible reason for the smaller increase may be that we are reaching saturation point.  May I propose yet another reason.  Last year the opposition against Pink Dot was loud and aggressive – that could have fueled the negative reaction to them.  The community and supporters saw a need to band more tightly together against the external enemy and they believed that showing up showed their response to the less than friendly opposition.  Furthermore, we were seen to be the underdogs and we played the role well.  Rather than aggressively defending or counter attacking, we adopted the gentlemanly voice of we-come-in-peace.  This won brownie points even among those who did not feel at all for the community.

This year, the opposition seemed to have realized why things backfired on them last year and decided to assume a lower profile. If we can’t beat them by sheer loudness of voice, let’s invoke the highest power in the land – God.  And so they prayed for rain.  I must confess that when I saw the weather forecast to be thunderstorms, I was really fearful that it might really rain on our parade.  But look at what God gave us in place of the rain.  The pink sky is the second shade of pink that I’m celebrating….let’s call the color sky pink but then…..


Photo source:  From the FB post of Kenneth Shanghaiist Tan

The third reason why I’m celebrating Pink Dot this year happened when I entered Hong Lim Park in my new pink shirt.  My revelation, okay okay….it most probably is nothing new….but to me it was something of an epiphany that there were so many shades of pink there.  As I walked in with my group of friends from the Pickering Street path, I saw a sea of pinks, all shades and tones….rose pink, salmon pink, magenta pink, ruby pink….you name, they were all there.

Of course the revelation was not just the fact that pink shades had such fanciful names, it was the fact that Pink Dot is all embracing of differences, a celebration of love in spite of them.

There were the lesbians, the gays, the bisexuals, the transgenders and those who are still seeking answers.  There were the young and the mature, the community members and their straight allies.  There were families with children, some as young as babies in arms and prams and toddlers running around on the green lawns; there were even pets who were there with their masters and mistresses.  There were flamboyant cross-dressers who boldly strutted their stuff as well as the most ordinary looking of people whom you will never know were gay if you met them in the streets.  There were the married gay men and women who came from a time in Singapore when the social pressure against being gay was so great and the swinging gay young men and women who proudly displayed their sexuality and of course all those in between.

Pink Dot is not only a celebration of their diversity, it is a significant annual opportunity for the community to get together and for those of us who don’t meet in our ordinary day-to-days to do some catch up.  No wonder someone called Pink Dot the reunion dinner of the gay world.

For those few hours on 13 June 2015, we can put aside differences….yes, even within the community, there are differences and even conflicts – when all the shades of pink merge and become one pink oasis, one pink paradise.  Shall we call it paradise pink?

The question then remains….are there really 50 shades of pink?  I really don’t know.  But hey, do I really care?

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