Pink Dot Singapore has launched a social media campaign, shining the spotlight on stories of discrimination experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) Singaporeans. The campaign also aims to call the wider community to stand together for a “fairer and more inclusive” Singapore.
For its 11th edition, Pink Dot SG aims to raise awareness on pertinent issues that impact the daily lives of LGBTQ people. To kick-off its call-to-action, this year’s campaign video features three Singaporeans from different walks of life who have faced discrimination for being who they are.
A Pink Dot SG spokesperson Paerin Choa said LGBTQ individuals in Singapore deal with unequal treatment on a daily basis and the society “remain ignorant” to the hurt caused to these individuals. “It is this ignorance that we seek to address, and we hope our political leaders will not continue to ignore the discrimination that their LGBTQ citizens face every day,” he added.
According to Pink Dot SG, it has over 60 businesses which have pledged to support the movement. These range from ad agencies TSLA, GOVT as well as eateries Bollywood Veggies, Straits Clan and automotive company Alfa Romeo. The movement is led by Kathy Teo, founder and managing director of Xpointo Media, John Chen, co-founder of Aloha Poké, Goh Shu Fen, co-founder and principal of R3 who is sponsoring via nowyourmind, and Tracy Phillips, director of PPurpose.
Speaking to Marketing, R3’s Goh said her business has prospered from inclusivity, with staff, clients and partners who are part of the LGBTQ community. “So I’m well aware of the discrimination that exists. It means a lot to them that business leaders like myself make a public pledge that we’re supportive,” she added.
Goh has always stood up against discrimination. Back when an ad along the escalator in Cathay sparked online furore for undermining the concept of family, or disrespecting the individual, Goh was quick to say:
If Singapore is not able to navigate the complexities of communicating different points of view, we will have no chance of achieving our ambition of being a regional hub for the creative sector.
The ad by Pink Dot SG was plastered on Cathay’s ground level escalator and Marketing understands that Pink Dot organisers were allowed to engage in promotional activities as long as they held a license. However, the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (ASAS) had asked Cathay to remove the statement “Supporting the freedom to love”.
ASAS cited the SCAP’s General Principles, specifically under its “Family values” section 10.1, where advertisements should not “downplay the importance of the family as a unit and foundation of society”. Cathay and Pink Dot SG responded to ASAS, with the former saying it stands by its previous statement to support an all-inclusive society. Meanwhile, Pink Dot SG argued that it is open to speaking to ASAS and invites them to a frank discussion on this. The non-profit organisation also explained that is message is in line with the shared values of all Singaporeans that place the family as the basic unit of society.
In a statement to Marketing, a Pink Dot SG spokesperson confirmed that the funds from sponsorships will be used for organising the event, marketing collaterals and security services. The accumulated sponsorship amount is yet to be revealed.
Meanwhile, Pink Dot SG has also brought on board ambassadors such as local actress and theatre director Beatrice Chia-Richmond, sibling duo Preeti Nair (better known as Preetipls) a social influencer and musician Subhas Nair, who also churns out rap videos addressing social stigmas. Joining the three is Ah Boys to Men actor and local rapper Tosh Rock (Tosh Zhang).
Speaking at the media launch, actress Chia-Richmond said there is a buzz around inclusivity, yet there is an “invisible blanket” that mysteriously rises when it comes to including LGBT individuals in the Singapore story. As a storyteller herself, Chia-Richmond works with individuals who are often belonging to the LGBTQ community. Meanwhile, influencer Preetipls said she will continue using her platforms to speak up for those who are not able to be themselves in certain social spaces.
Just last year, Pink Dot unveiled its new tagline “We Are Ready” in line with its 10th year. The new tagline was set as a “clarion call for inclusion, diversity and equality”, a media release said. For its 2018 event, Pink Dot saw 113 local sponsors following the “Red Dot for Pink Dot” initiative. Some of the local sponsors include ad agencies, Formul8, Goodstuph, JS PR and eateries The Daily Cut, OverEasy and The Black Swan, along with many others.