Let our homes be places of acceptance

You'd think a crisis like Covid-19 will bring out a more open-minded, inclusive side of people. But based on recent happenings around the world causing racial fault lines to amplify, that is far from being the case. Even in Singapore, discrimination continues to rear its ugly head.

Two recent petitions on Change.org started by user WS Lin have called for Pink Dot 2020, held virtually this year on June 27 at 8pm, to be labelled restricted and kept out of our homes and offices.

The highly alarmist petitions state that the event, "if beamed into the heartlands will undoubtedly pique the curiosity of children and expose them to homosexuality as a lifestyle," thus urging for the government to take action.

It's mind-boggling what the petitions really hope to achieve, since this is not the first time Pink Dot is being streamed online and a wealth of content is easily accessible on most digital channels anyway.

The annual wholesome gathering of LGBTQ+ Singapreans and allies had always been held physically at Hong Lim Park while being livestreamed on some years. But due to the ongoing pandemic, Pink Dot SG organisers have decided to bring the event completely online instead.

To continue driving home the message of inclusivity and to ensure that LGBTQ+ individuals are given the continued support they need, the tradition of donning pink attires and lighting up pink-hued lights have been encouraged even while tuning in from home.

This is especially important since the usual support pillars and groups LGBTQ+ people had access to may have been compromised due to the pandemic. The virtual event is thus even more important now, given strict social distancing norms.

In a Straits Times article, the Ministry of Social and Family Development has since commented on the issue, stating: "The traditional family unit remains the bedrock of our society. At the same time, we recognise that LGBT individuals are part of our society, and they are free to lead their private lives and welcome to contribute fully to our society."

"We urge all parties to be respectful and civil to each other, and avoid stridently pushing their priorities and boundaries, especially now when we need, more than ever, to maintain unity and harmony in society."

While understandably trying to appease parties from both sides, what everyone can agree with from the official statement is that Singaporeans need to be standing in solidarity and unity with one another, rather than create further divisions.

And that missive is what we should be exposing our children to, to raise them knowing that a person's sexuality is not what determines their value as people in our society.


Pink Dot 2020 livestreams Jun 27, 8pm on Pink Dot's website. Show you stand in solidarity with Pink Dot here.