Organisers of LGBTQ-affirming event Pink Dot will be launching several festivities and activites leading up to its flagship event, Pink Dot 10, which is also in its milestone tenth year. This is in a bid to garner more active community participation.
This will see the creation of PinkFest, which features nearly a dozen businesses, groups and individuals organising a myriad of privately-run activities and events geared towards greater engagement with Singaporeans. The event will span two weeks before Pink Dot and aims to be a “festival of reflection, collaboration and jubilation”, and also a platform which allows everyone to join in to support the “Freedom to Love”, which is also its tagline.
The event has also garnered more than 60 local sponsors so far through the Red Dot for Pink Dot initiative, led by Darius Cheung, founder of 99.co. This is along with other business leaders such as Ho Kwon Ping (executive chairman of Banyan Tree Holdings), Adrianna Tan (founder of Wobe), Gwendolyn Regina (founder of SGEntrepreneurs), Royston Tay (founder of Zopim), Goh Yiping (venture partner, Quest Ventures), and Mohan Belani (founder of e27).
Pink Dot 10 will also see the roll-out of three community-led campaign videos by three local filmmakers Christopher Khor, Quen Wong and He Shuming. The videos focus on the continuing challenges faced by LGBT individuals and families. They are also told from the perspectives of a teenager behind the Love, Simon petition, a mother-and-daughter volunteer team, and a queer person from a Malay-Muslim family.
“For the past nine editions, Pink Dot has worked hard to win the hearts and minds of Singaporeans, to help bring the message of inclusion and diversity to everyone on this Little Red Dot. Hence, as we celebrate this important milestone, we want to call on every Singaporean who seeks a more open-minded and inclusive Singapore to stand with us, to say We Are Ready,” said Pink Dot SG spokesperson, Paerin Choa.
“Last year’s amazing response to Red Dot for Pink Dot sent a strong message that Singaporean businesses were ready to take a stand in support of the Freedom to Love. This year, we hope to continue making waves - and we call on all of corporate Singapore, from the family-run SMEs to the massive Singapore-owned multinationals, to join us in this endeavour,” Cheung said.
Last year, 120 local companies came in to throw their monetary support behind Pink Dot when 13 multinational companies were barred from doing so. This followed further reiterations from the Ministry of Home Affairs on its position on foreign brand involvement in Pink Dot 2017 and its rejection of 10 corporate sponsors which wanted to show their support for the event.
These brands include Airbnb, Apple, Facebook, Goldman Sachs Singapore, Google Asia Pacific, Microsoft, NBC Universal, Salesforce, Twitter Asia and Uber Singapore. The year before, only five local companies were sponsors.
The event was also met with controversy following a Pink Dot 2017 ad placement found in Cathay Cineleisure which sparked police reports from netizens. This led to the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore later weighing in on the matter, asking for the statement “Supporting the freedom to love” to be amended. This led to Cathay and Pink Dot SG later giving their response to the matter and later on also led to ASAS issuing a statement explaining how its stance was made.