Why wait for Pink Dot when you can support the freedom to love starting this week at PinkFest?

We’re just weeks away from Singapore’s annual LGBTQI rally/wholesome picnic Pink Dot. As part of their 10th year running, they’re running PinkFest, a festival of privately-run fringe events organized by various businesses, groups, individuals, LGBTQI and straight allies leading up to the eponymous event at Hong Lim Park on Jul 21. It’s the first time that such a massive effort is going into extending its reach and awareness, tying into this year’s ethos of getting every Singaporean who’s hoping for a more open-minded and inclusive Singapore to stand together and say “We Are Ready.” 

There are about a dozen or so activities to check out, but some have already sold out, like Pam Oei’s Fag Hag; IndigNation’s talk on where the LGBTQI community is at now, where they want to be and how to get there; and Oogachaga’s guided walking tour on Singapore’s queer history and heritage in Chinatown. Fret not if there’s too much happening, we’ve gone through the list and picked out a couple that’ll definitely pique your interest. 

Out in Singapore Exhibition by Leslie Kee (Jul 5-29)

Prolific Singaporean photographer Leslie Kee is known for his fashion spreads and celebrity shoots, and he’s currently in Singapore to showcase portraits of 150 out and proud people from the LGBTQI community here which he shot over last weekend (Jun 30-Jul 1); a continuation of his Out in Japan photo series.

How Peculiar is Our Writing (Jul 6)

Authors Cyril Wong and Tania De Rozario, together with spoken word poet Gabbi Wenyi Ayane and Sean Foo of “Dear Straight People” will be discussing the importance of LGBTQI literature in Singapore, and what it means to have voices and stories from the community heard within and beyond.

Pink Screen at The Projector (Jul 7-22)

The Projector is getting in on the Pink Dot action with a selection of four LGBTQI films curated in support of the freedom to love. There’s the heartwarming French film about the AIDS epidemic of the ’80s and early ’90s, BPM; the intense, award-winning God’s Own Country; the celebrated documentary that’s touted as “Paris Is Burning for the millennial set”, Kiki; and Tomboy, which centers around 10-year-old Laure, who gets mistaken as a boy and eventually passes herself off as Michael in her new neighborhood.

Proud Spaces by Chope (Jul 7)

It can be a little daunting to find a job that truly embraces diversity and is inclusive. Chope is pulling together a little career fair featuring a couple of local and international companies who value inclusivity and diversity, like Airbnb, ShopBack and The Lo & Behold Group, in their workplaces, regardless of gender or sexual identities.

Book Launch: I Will Survive by BooksActually (Jul 13)

What’s it like to grow up liking the same sex in Singapore, or perhaps losing a partner to suicide? Do transgender men or women have it tough here? Pick up Leow Yangfa’s anthology of heartfelt stories like these and more when I Will Survive launches at BooksActually.

Queer Art from Different Perspectives (Jul 14)

Spend the weekend at Art Porters, a contemporary art gallery near Tanjong Pagar, to learn a bit more about queer art from three points of views—a curator/historian’s, an artist’s and a collector’s–through a curation of LGBTQI art by international artists across a range of media.

PinkFest Sunday Social Market (Jul 14)

The next edition of Sunday Social goes pink as part of PinkFest, and celebrates the freedom to love. It’ll be another memorable day of house music, roasts from Camp Kilo Charcoal Club and the island’s chicest brands in baking, crafts, interior design and fashion. Vendors to look out for include Artisan & Fox, Neo Nomad, Africology Skincare Singapore, and Lilla Lane—plus tarot and astrology by local alternative holistic service A Third Eye Seer.

Vogue Workshop: Voguing Experience by Koppi Mizrahi (Jul 18)

Duckwalk, runway, hands performance, floorwork, spins and dips. If any of this sounds remotely familiar to you, then you’ll know we’re talking about the five elements of voguing. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced dancer, sign up for Signapore’s first-ever intensive Vogue Dance workshop, held by the legendary Mother of the House of Mizrahi all the way from Japan, Koppi Mizrahi.

The Insiders presented by W!LDRICE (Jul 20) 

This performance is essentially an amalgamation of stories of coming out, love and chosen families from more than 20 queer women whom playwright Alfian Sa’at has spoken to. It explores what has changed 40 years after a series of articles called “The Outsiders”, which featured interviews with a number of queer women who spoke under the condition of anonimity, was published in New Nation.

Full lineup here.