What are gay pride and LGBT events?

Gay Pride is a term used by activists to encourage the LGBT community to “come out”, and be proud and not be ashamed of who they are. This likely stemmed from a history of persecution in both the Judeo-Christian and Islamic traditions of non-heterosexual practice and orientation, during which there were recorded enclaves established for both physical security and financial livelihood for those excommunicated or exiled from traditional society.

Gay-themed events, festivals and parades have witnessed an increasing vice element, leading to increased police and community complaints related to sexual predators and criminal elements of alcohol and drugs.1 It should be noted that not all Gay Pride event participants are predators or criminals. In fact, criminal elements tend to exploit the emotional vulnerabilities of event attendees.

LGBT events are socio-equality or politically focused. Gay Pride and LGBT events are generally in the news together.

The modern LGBT movement arose in the 1980s during the AIDs epidemic, with lobbying for immediate medical aid, guaranteed hospital admissions and research grants to find a cure for AIDs. These were accompanied by lobbying for employment and benefits protection, police protection from violent neighbours and legal protection against discrimination on sexual orientation and lifestyle choice.

Developments in the Gay Pride and the LGBT acceptance movement has expanded to recognition of a family unit, access to adoption as a single gay person or family unit, spousal benefits in military and civil pensions, equal in standing for taxation grants/credits, tax incentives for family and housing, and most recently, in voting and electoral constituencies.

Singapore’s Gay Pride & LGBT events first took the form of annual Nation Parties2 starting in 2001. This was replaced by IndigNation3, Singapore’s annual, month-long lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer pride season, first held in August 2005 to coincide with the Republic’s 40th National Day. These events were relatively kept out of public knowledge until the launch of the annual Pink Dot event in 2009 (see Qn.24). Indignation’s recent attempt  in 2014 to hold a ‘Pink Run’as an LGBT pride event in Singapore was turned down by the police.