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Proud to be again: Singapore’s Pink Dot rally makes colourful return

Lim, 21, was born male and now identifies as trans female. This yr’s rally was her first, and he or she attended it by herself.

“Transitioning in the army is as you can imagine,” she mentioned. “I can’t publicly embrace this side of myself and only have friends in the online community.”

“But today I decided to show up for myself and had no idea what to expect. I brought along a skirt and changed into it when I arrived at the park and was so warmly welcomed. I’m enjoying everyone’s presence.”

After two years of digital rallies because of the pandemic, Singapore’s largest queer satisfaction occasion returned on Saturday to Hong Lim Park, the place it first began on May 16, 2009.

Crowds of 1000’s confirmed up on the recent and humid afternoon, carrying pink signboards and waving rainbow flags in assist of town state’s queer rights motion.

Supporters attend the annual "Pink Dot" event in Singapore on June 18, 2022.

Among the group had been the members of parliament Henry Kwek, from the ruling People’s Action Party, and Jamus Lim from the opposition Workers’ Party.

Gay intercourse in Singapore stays unlawful even whether it is consensual, between adults, and takes place in non-public. But societal attitudes, whereas nonetheless largely conservative, are altering, activists say and the federal government is now “considering the best way forward” on whether or not to alter the legislation, which has been in place since Singapore was a British colony greater than 60 years in the past.

“Policies need to evolve to keep abreast of such changes in views. And legislation needs to evolve to support updated policies,” mentioned Singaporean legislation and residential affairs minister Ok Shanmugam in a latest parliament session.

“And if and when we decide to move, we will do so in a way that continues to balance between these different viewpoints, and avoids causing a sudden, destabilising change in social norms and public expectations.”

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Last week, the Disney Pixar movie Lightyear was given an NC16 score in Singapore, prohibiting kids beneath the age of 16 from watching the film in cinemas due to a controversial scene depicting a same-sex relationship.

Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority mentioned that the animated movie was inappropriate for younger viewers on account of “overt homosexual depictions”.

“We don’t have respect and equality, no matter what our pledge and the government says — and that’s why it’s important to stage Pink Dot every year,” mentioned Nizam Razak, a 36-year-old homosexual man at Pink Dot. “Why can’t our children see a lesbian kiss? Already as it as, we are being erased in society here in so many aspects and this isn’t okay.”

“When will things really get better for us in the gay community? It’s hard to say.”

Nizam Razak at this year's Pink Dot pride parade in Singapore.

Organizers mentioned the turnout was bigger than earlier years they usually hoped to maintain the momentum going for subsequent yr.

“The planning was a little rushed but at the end of the day, we made it. We brought thousands together in support of our cause for queer rights and pride in Singapore and that was the goal,” a consultant mentioned.

For first time attendees like Dawn Lim, the Pink Dot expertise “didn’t feel like being in Singapore”. “This park, this sea of pink — it really was a safe space and I’m glad I got to experience what it’s like,” Lim mentioned.
“For one day a year, I get to feel human and free to be myself without fear or judgment from people and when I leave Hong Lim Park tonight, I’ll just go home, and go back to my hidden life.”

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