Guest post by Dallas Sanders
“Mr. Sanders, he is gay,” said the 10 year old pointing to his classmate. I froze. A million thoughts came rushing through my mind such as does the boy know what it means? Is he joking? Is he repeating something on TV to get a reaction from me? I was trying to think of a response. I turned to him and said “If he is then that is good. If he isn’t that is good too. It really does not matter as long as he is happy.” The kid looked at me confused and I am not sure if it was because of what I said or if he didn’t understand.
Being a teacher is easy since I love it but being a gay teacher in Hong Kong is hard. If I had turned to the student and told him I was gay too then my school may not renew my contract. The kid could have complained to his mom or dad and I could have lost my job because Hong Kong does not have any discrimination laws to protect me.
The government has policies guarding against discrimination but they are voluntary with no punishments for those who violate them. They are not laws. Hong Kong needs discrimination laws not only to protect the LGBT community but also for anyone who may be judged by who they are rather than what they can do.