EVERYONE can participate in Pink Fest and Pink Dot 2021! Tune in to livestream both events from anywhere in the world this June
Since 2009, Pink Dot SG has served as a safe space for the Singapore LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) community with its annual bash in Hong Lim Park. It’s always a joyous day filled with performances, fun activities, and lots of pink that puts a Singapore spin on Pride celebrations around the world. While Pink Dot is traditionally limited to only Singaporeans and permanent residents due to government regulations around the use of Hong Lim Park, this year’s event is going digital for the second time due to Covid-19, allowing everyone in Singapore (and beyond) to participate in Pink Dot 2021.
Pink Dot 13 Theme: Let Light Lead The Way
To get in the spirit of Pink Dot 2021, we’re all invited to Step Up, Sign Up and Light Up! From fun pink fairy lights to a livestream concert, there are still plenty of tangible ways to celebrate Pink Dot in Singapore. The theme for the 13th edition of Pink Dot, Let Light Lead The Way, highlights the challenges faced by LGBTQ Singaporeans who have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Local LBTQ organisation Sayoni reports that about 21% of those they surveyed expressed concerns about their identity being disclosed to families or said they were living in hostile family environments.
In support of this year’s theme, everyone in Singapore is invited to sign up and leave a virtual message of support. Be sure to mark your location on the map, then tune in on 12 June 2021 to see how the map lights up with all of our messages!
Pink Dot 2021 Light Up
Decorate your home with pink lights during the month of June to show support to those who might not be able to do so. Check out how this family DIY-ed their own (it’ll be a fun one to do with the kids!), or purchase pink fairy lights from the Pink Dot e-store for $20, with proceeds supporting Pink Dot 13 activities like producing the campaign video, organising the online concert, and social media outreach. How much fun would it be to walk around Singapore spotting pink lights? Do note that while everyone is free to light up their own private spaces – including rooms and windows – you cannot light up common areas like corridors, the outside of HDB units, etc.
Show Up for the Pink Dot 2021 Livestream
Look forward to an exciting live stream on the Pink Dot website from 8pm! An online concert will include performances by homegrown artistes and various local drag queens.
Pink Fest 2021
This month, there’s also Pink Fest – an inclusive festival celebrating Pride month in Singapore with activities and lifestyle events. One of the main events this year is the Inclusive Careers Lab presented by PayPal and Salesforce, designed to provide help to anyone struggling with job losses, reduced hours and other career obstacles during these trying times.
You can also check out the Pasar Pink Pop-Up, a virtual marketplace taking place on 5, 19 and 26 June offering flash deals from over 25 inclusive merchants selling homewares, plants, pets, pride merch and more!
As part of the Pasar Pink Pop-Up experience, Pink Fest will be presenting Queers’ Got Talent and Proud Pet Parade, two must-watch Facebook live streamed events you won’t want to miss! Both shows will feature celebrity judges who will view the entries, share their comments and eventually pick the winners for Best in Show.
For mamas and dads (due to the adult nature of these films, many of them have a rating of M18 and above) consider heading to Pink Screen at The Projector to watch stories of LGBTQ from across Asia and around the world on the big screen. You can also find the movies accessible on The Projector+ streaming service from 2 June.
How to Get Kids Involved in Pride Month
Pride Month is about “being able to be fully who you are, no matter who you are,” as Eliza Byard of the non-profit advocacy network GLSEN told Mashable. “When you let your child experience you talking about that, it may give them permission to be who they are.”
Family participation is so crucial, as Pink Dot’s organisers point out, because [for so many LGBTQ individuals in Singapore] “familial relationships often get compromised due to a lack of understanding.” A big part of Pink Dot is getting people to think about the issues commonly faced by the LGBTQ community, both inside and outside of their families, with a goal of promoting understanding and unity amongst family and friends.
Even if no one in your family identifies as LGBTQ, explaining Pink Dot and its significance can help to reduce and eliminate anti-LGBT prejudice, and demonstrates to your kids the importance of being an ally (crucial here, as in the fight against racism). Just as it is important to talk to children about race from a very early age, so you can talk to your kids about LGBTQ+ identity. It needn’t be framed as a conversation about sexuality, but rather on being able to love whomever we choose, and to feel happy and confident in our own identity. For a wealth of resources presented in a local context (and four languages), be sure to check out Congregaytion.
Leow Yangfa, Executive Director of Singapore’s LGBTQ+ community organisation Oogachaga who is also a trained social worker and counsellor, recommends parents think about what concepts their kids are familiar with – such as love, family members, friends, fairness – and also consider what you would like your child to value. Identity? Respect? Diversity? Standing up against discrimination, racism, homophobia, and transphobia?
“Depending on the age of the child, parents can never go wrong when they stay with what’s factual and familiar for the child,” he says. “As we all know, most children like to feel safe and secure, and prefer to take cues from their parents or trusted adults.”
Age-appropriate books to discuss identity, gender, being gay and more
If you’re interested in finding age-appropriate books to help explain these topics to your kids, consider reaching out to Pelangi Pride Centre, which is run by local “lesbrarians” (lesbian +librarians) Eileena Lee and Charmaine Tan. You can find their entire catalogue online, including a dedicated children’s collection, and books are available for lending on Saturdays.
Additionally, here are a few highly recommended books geared towards children aged 3 and up:
- Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
- Daddy, Papa and Me by Leslea Newman
- The Family Book by Todd Parr
- Auntie Uncle: Drag Queen Hero by Ellie Royce
- Julián is a Mermaid by Jessica Love
- And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell
- The Different Dragon by Jennifer Bryan
- The Rainbow Flag: Bright, Bold, and Beautiful by Michelle Millar Fisher
We’ll see you at Pink Dot 13 on 12 June!