Now that Pink Dot is over and could report a stunning 26,000 participants, or almost 1 out of every 6 in Singapore who identify as LGBT in Singapore, then we can not only be proud of the most recent turnout, but also take pride in that more and more dare to step out and cherish and show their sexuality to the world and relatives.
For many in Singapore, just as in rest of the world, that is a big step to do. But in Singapore we have to fight with conservatism and a country that need to show that everyone are independent individuals and accepted as long as they stand in the same line and look and think the same.
This year have not only been different because of the large number of participants. The year have also been the first where the Pink Dot organizers had to arrange security for the event, and directly had to deal with a growing resentment from the religious part of Singapore.
But why are Pink Dot even a challenge to the religious Singapore? Pink Dot is not an religious organiation. because if it were, then Pink Dot would be the largest church in Singapore (and I would be a nun in the church of Pink Dot).
Pink Dot stand first of all for one thing.
Yes, it is also an event to celebrate homosexuality, but more important it also shows; that Singapore(ans) aren’t as conservative as many would like itself to believe, that Singapore is growing out of it’s own self inflicted campong identity and that is ready to stand more on its own as a country, that can respect and accept basic human rights – and still survive as an independent country.
So yes, what Pink Dot really stands for is change.
I know that the word change have been overused in the most recent years, but change is what is driving the Pink Dot movement. Just imagine what Pink Dot would have been if the Singaporean government have shrugged its shoulders and said “Oh you want rights? Okay, you got them, you can ROM, now you have my blessing to go fourth and multiply (and remember to vote for PAP in gratitude)”. Pink Dot would have been a shadow of it self if that have happened a few years back.
But change is scary for many.
Many know what they had yesterday and what they had last month and is expecting that what they had yesterday, is also what they will have tomorrow, because this is how they decide to see life in.
For Lawrence Khong, the Senior Pastor of Faith Community Baptist Church in Singapore, change meant that his church membership is going down and his flock is looking for security and salvation in other places. For him change mean loss of power – and loss of CD sales and membership fees.
Change mean that people are asking questions. If what he is saying is true and might even begin to Google what he is saying. Just for fact checking.
Lawrence Khong’s church have never had so few members as they have today and still even more are leaving his group every month, so he needed an enemy and or a focus that he could point his fingers at. This mostly to remove the focus from falling memberships, but just as well lawsuits against him and the church for misuse of church funds. So to him Pink Dot is the perfect villain.
Pink Dot is oh so public, it got a lot of followers, it get’s free media attention. But it does not have a strong or even a charismatic leadership, and it does not have it’s own government’s protection or support. Most important, the majority of the people who follow his teachings is uneasy about what Pink Dot and homosexuals would mean to them, since they believe that they do not have any direct contact with anyone who seriously could identify as a Pink Dot supporter, or even what a homosexual person really is.
So Pink Dot is in many ways the perfect punching bag for Lawrence Khong and other religious communities, because a bully is always looking for someone who does not fight back and is not a direct threat to their own cause. With falling memberships his only choice is to throw free punches at Pink Dot to stay public or the church would loose it’s members and it’s own identity even faster than they already do today.