Paerin Choa in his press release explained the decision of the organisers of Pink Dot not to focus on the number turnout. Having attained the attendance of 28,000 last year, an exponential growth from the 2,500 turnout at the first Pink Dot (2009), numbers have already played their role in the indication of the success of the event. Paerin did, however, reveal that the event “has already exceeded” Hong Lim Park’s “capacity”.
I think that the departure from the growing dot might have intentionally or unintentionally changed the visual profile of the by-now uniquely Singaporean export to countries as far as Hong Kong, Japan (Okinawa), Canada (Montreal and Toronto) and USA (Anchorage, Utah and New York). Info source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pink_Dot_SG Judging from the way the climatic form up at the event for the photo and video taking, it must have been quite evident that the image is no longer of a dot, however, big it has grown. We were all told to gather into the part of the park i.e., the grassy parts where the freedom of speech has been legally allowed. There was no mention of a dot. And from the resultant picture it is no longer one. More appropriately, it should be termed a sea….a sea of pink.
I’m just wondering whether it was a deliberate allusion to the Red Sea of the Judeo-Christian faith where Moses, their leader led the pre-nation of Israel to the Promise Land escaping from their Egyptian overlords. This time it is not red but pink. And what a beautiful sea of bobbing pink placards it was.
And the Pink Sea was making waves.
Wave #1: Celebrating Our Everyday Heroes
The focus on ordinary people who became extraordinary heroes was a wonderful deviation from the introspective focus on the gay individual, putting emphasis on those around them who selflessly supported and cared for them: the caring assistant pastor who reached out to a member of her flock on the brink of suicide, the mother who suffered the double whammy of not only having a gay son but knowing that he is HIV+ and of course who can forget the inclusion of the transgender shelter and the vision of a transgender and her departed sister to house members of their community who have nowhere to go.
Wave #2: Don’t Rain on My Parade
Finally, I’m reminded of the song by one of my favourite divas of all time, Barbra Streisand. Just before the Pink Dot, religious right wingers had gathered to pray not for fire and brimstone; no, no, they were more merciful than that. Instead, they prayed for rain on the event.
Well, their prayers were indeed answered: it did rain, in fact all morning in many parts of the island.
However, nearing the start of the event, the rain had reduced to a small drizzle not even needing an umbrella. A blessing in disguise? I believe so…..it was not so overwhelmingly hot as in past years – the rain having actually cooled the place up considerably.
So would the annual event be renamed Pink Sea. No idea…..but seriously we’ve grown to love the existing name.
Viva la Pink Dot.