Article published in:Pink Dot: Discursive Formations, Constructions, and Contestations
Edited by Adi Saleem Bharat, Pavan Mano and Robert Phillips
[Journal of Language and Sexuality 10:2] 2021
► pp. 129–156
Disarming as a tactic of resistance in Pink Dot
Pink Dot is an annual rally in support of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) people in Singapore. In a country where many prefer to avoid overt displays of dissent, Pink Dot has gained significant popular support. In this article, I explore how it has done so. Through a close multimodal analysis focusing on the use of colour, layout, and typography in a Pink Dot 2017 flyer, I demonstrate how these features work together in the Singaporean context to realize meanings of positivity, warmth, and inclusivity whilst simultaneously de-emphasizing notions of claiming rights. I argue Pink Dot discursively attenuates the potentially discordant elements of its message and marshals this apparent neutrality to gather support for its ostensibly depoliticized message – a process that I term disarming. It is an assimilationist strategy deliberately made for Singapore’s particular sociopolitical context and it has proven effective in securing mass popular support amongst Singaporeans.
Keywords: Pink Dot, Singapore, LGBT, resistance, queer activism, assimilation, politics of sexuality, multimodal discourse
Published online: 16 July 2021
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