The man and I made time to swing by Hong Lim Park for the 45 minutes that were most crucial—showing our citizen identity cards to grab Pink Dot placards to wave them around.
It was muddy after the rain! But we were all prepared for it. It's been years and I keep wearing the same pink dress! Super crowded! It was so awesome that the rain stopped in time for people to have a bit of a picnic and enjoy the cool evening breeze before the raising those placards.
The format changed this year. Instead of lighting up pink torches at sundown, pink placards were used and raised at 6.30pm when it was still bright. Also, we had to firmly remain within the boundaries of Speakers' Corner within the park. Fine by me. Doing this earlier is better. That frees us up for evening commitments. It's not really a numbers game anymore. It's obvious to anyone who possesses common sense and an ounce of fairness. Pink Dot has been plodding on as a happy carnival for a few years now. That was how it began because it would be too controversial otherwise. It has come a long way. Perhaps it's time to move beyond this. Beyond bright smiles. Hopefully we're mature enough.
Only Singaporeans and Permanent Residents could hold up these cheerful placards within the stipulated area of Speakers' Corner. Those who aren't, abided by the rules and respectfully didn't. Held up my giant pink circle proudly. All done within 10 minutes. Yay. Hung out for a bit to chat with friends we didn't see earlier till the crowds thinned out. Then we went for a casual dinner with friends old and new.
I get why there're these strict rules for Pink Dot SG. LGBTIQA causes in Singapore are viewed by the government as political. I don't think I'm speculating when I say that although the government has stated that foreign entities shouldn't fund opposing events like Pink Dot, it isn't comfortable with Pink Dot SG having MNCs as corporate sponsors either. It's a point of law to argue what's a 'foreign entity'. And I think the authorities will effectively be in a bit of a pickle if they come in from that angle because our tax and business laws have defined 'local and foreign entities'. Singapore, already authoritarian to the rest of the world, will succeed in looking like the politically repressive state that we always try to shed the image of (but in reality we are), if the authorities move to re-define these terms. They can, though. And they might.
Therefore there's a need for me to stand up for what I believe in- acceptance of loved ones regardless of their sexual identity. Maybe one day, we can totally drop the label of 'LGBTIQA'. We're all imperfect humans trying our best to negotiate our paths in this crazy world, and it's only fair to have that legal freedom to choose the love and companionship best suited for us.