It is time to hit the gym and start eating healthy so as to look good for the different LGBT events that is happening in June 2014. This month’s calendar has suddenly become jam-packed with Shanghai Pride moving back to June and President Obama declaring June as LGBT Pride Month in the US. In anticipation for these events, let us review the top five moments for two major LGBT events that took place last year: Pink Dot and Taiwan Pride.
Pink Dot started around 5 p.m. and during this time you could find many laying down picnic mats, snacking on food and chatting with friends while basking in the evening sun. Just off the car park, there were booths of the different LGBT NGOs and event sponsors. If you took a walk around the park, you would be sure to stumble upon old friends. There were performances from various groups to entertain us and once the sky turned dark, everyone gathered towards the center of the park with their pink cellophane filters on their phones light for Pink Dot’s classic lit-up with an aerial photo shoot. There were about 21,000 attendees last year which was a record high for the Singapore LGBT event. Every year, the event gets bigger and this year will be no exception.
Taiwan Pride on the other hand began about 2 p.m. but the cool autumn breeze made the 4 km walk a joy. The parade route started and ended in front of Taipei City Hall. Passing by Sun Yat-sen Memorial and then going up Dunhua South before looping back to City Hall via Zhongxiao East. We saw many people dressed in sexy costumes, parade floats catering to different fetishes and people from varied walks of life striding side by side. When you have 60,000 people walking with you, the atmosphere is nothing short of electric.
Now for my personal top five moments of these two events.
Number five: There were a lot of hot and cute guys. I was surprised I did not get diabetes from all the eye candy. One advice for anyone attending these events for the first time is not to be shy. Please go up to anyone you like and say hello, take a picture, or get a number.
Number four: The Singapore flag flying pass during Pink Dot. Coincidentally on the very same day, the flight path of the Chinook carrying a giant Singapore flag for the National Day Parade rehearsal was over Hong Lim Park. The flag was accompanied by two Apaches which made it a truly marvelous sight to see.
Number three: Singing “Home” by Dick Lee after the Pink Dot light-up. Usually after the Pink Dot light-up, the event organizer will play the theme song for that year’s event. The song “Home” was last year’s song and it is a very emotional national song for many Singaporeans.
Number two: Taiwan Pride was just plain awesome. I could easily ramble on a list; walking with 60,000 people in the parade, the wonderful weather, having Taipei 101 in the backdrop, the people and the culture. You just have to be there in person to experience how magical Taiwan Pride can be.
Number one: Seeing the different minorities of the Taiwan LGBT community. Taiwan is much bigger in population then Singapore, which makes their LGBT minorities hard to remain unnoticed. During the parade, I had a chance to walk along many disabled LGBTs; some in wheelchairs and others born with birth defects. It really had me thinking about how difficult their life could be. It is not always fun and games in the LGBT community as there is a lot of discrimination within this unified rainbow. I empathized with them and realized how blessed my gay life has been.
Images courtesy of Pink Dot SG rally organizers © 2013 and Sahib Torun