The 8th Pink Dot continued to see strong support for the LGBT community as conservatives sought to have their concerns heard.

At 6:30pm, a sea of people in pink attires raised their pink placards in unison, forming a big, big “Pink Dot” which stretched across most of Hong Lim Park. Their message was loud and clear: Everyone is free to love, and deserves to be loved.

In its 8th year running, Pink Dot continued to celebrate the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community with music, skits and a series of awareness programs. The iconic Pink Dot light-up in previous years (https://youtu.be/7fhhdM-FZBQ) was dropped this time. Supporters were instead invited to share words of encouragement on the pink placards provided.

Pink Dot attendees holding up their placards with messages of love

Pink Dot attendees holding up their placards with messages of love.      Photo courtesy of: Kong Chek Yong

Many participants noted that more Singaporeans are accepting of the LGBT community now, thanks in part to the coverage of Pink Dot in mainstream media and the growing support from big name sponsors for the event. More LGBT people are also more open about their sexuality although public display of affection among gay couples remains a rare sight, a participant said.

The growing acceptance, however, is accompanied by growing voices of concerns from the conservatives. A rival “Wear White” rally which championed traditional family values was held again this year in a bid to rein in Pink Dot’s growing influence. Pink Dot’s impressive list of corporate sponsors including first-timers Apple and Facebook also courted some controversies over the legality of foreign sponsorship for such events.

But to LGBT supporters, the march towards greater equality continues. “We’re taking baby steps,” said a Pink Dot ranger, “But you know … we’ve got the rest of our lives to do it, so it’s perfectly fine.”

Catch the highlights of Pink Dot 2016 in this clip.