TOC: A thousand gather to celebrate diversity and the freedom to love


Sunday, 17 May 2009, 12:22 pm

Videographer: Mervin Lee / Interviewers: Teng Jing Wei and Vicky Yang

Koh Yina / Tng Ying Hui

The overcast sky did not hamper the exuberance of the crowd at Hong Lim Park yesterday. They were gathered for one purpose – in support of is about supporting the freedom of the LGBT in Singapore to love. This historical moment aims to promote an inclusive society for all, regardless of sexual orientation.  Many were dressed in pink, regardless whether they were homosexuals or not and they were there to express themselves freely about the right to love.

The huge turnout of 1000 was inspiring as everyone was there in unity to celebrate a common cause.

Nixem, a gay fashion businessman, said, “Give us the freedom to be who we are.”

Local actors such as Hossan Leong, Lim Yu Beng and Ivan Heng came dressed in pink, expressing their support.

Hossan Leong, 39, said he hopes that it will heighten the awareness of Singaporeans and achieve solidarity.

“We are just loving,” he says.

The array of upbeat and zesty performances hyped up the atmosphere and charmed the crowd. They included Tanjak Taulan, Kohinoor Bhangra, Dance2inspire, Voguelicious and the Wen Yang Lion Dance Troupe. With the myriad of colours and the alluring performances, the crowd cheered and grooved along.

The event culminated at 5.35pm when a human pink dot was formed.

Roy Tan, the organizer of, stood in front of a lively crowd of 1000 and waved the pink flag.  The crowd cheered as the ambassadors spoke fervently of what they believed in.

“Everyone should stand up for what they believed in and doesn’t have to apologise for anyone!  ” says, Timothy Nga, pinkdot ambassador.

The countdown begun and at the count of “1”, pink umbrellas shot open and balloons were released into the sky. The sky dispersed of grey clouds was now filled with pink balloons that floated freely, just like the atmosphere encapsulating Hong Lim Park – free.

Among those who turned up were heterosexuals who were there to support their friends and witness a historical moment. was originally planned to be held last December, but was postponed as the organizing committee wanted to choose a more significant date.

15th of May is International Day of Families and 17th May is International Day against homophobia. Having sandwich between both dates highlights the importance of family to homosexuals.

Despite the difficulties faced by the organizing committee due to different perceptions on what the event means, it was sorted out through various discussions and evolved into one that construed inclusiveness.

“It is very empowering”, says Alfian Sa’at, 31, member of the organizing committee on the whole organizing process.

Neo Swee Lin, ambassador of said she was moved by what has happened, and the turnout was “amazing”. was hailed as a success by many and the message of the freedom to love was embraced by all present. Sexuality is not bounded by race, culture or religion.

And in Alfian Sa’at words, “Sexuality is not religious.”


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