Below are photos from HK’s 5th and biggest ever gay pride gathering on Saturday. All are courtesy of AFP correspondent Jerome Taylor… He said: “Much less openly camp but no less radical, Hong Kong’s pride march is part celebration of all things LGBT, part two fingers up at the pro-Beijing establishment and social orthodoxy.” Follow Jerome’s photography on Flickr.
Organisers estimated that 5,200 people took part (police estimated 4,500). This is double the number of participants compared to two years ago. Click here to see the blog’s coverage of last year’s march.
There were a number of other, less happier, stories related to HK’s LGBT community making the headlines over the weekend…
- News of a TVB actress’s love affair with a same-sex actor emerged – she was suspended by the broadcaster for 2 months (Apple Daily Chinese).
- The Liberal (sic) Party collected signatures from the public to oppose marriage equality for LGBT people (Apple Daily Chinese).
- A domestic helper employer attempted to “convert” their maid to be straight (Apple Daily Chinese).
- Earlier in the week, a transgender woman accused immigration officials of behaving ‘like animals’ during a search at HK airport (SCMP).
Equal Opportunities Commission chairperson Dr York Chow Yat-ngok was joined by politicians, celebrities and key figures such as Tanya Chan, Michael Vidler, Charles Mok and Long Hair…
Corporate entities, such as JP Morgan, Citibank, Barclays, Goldman Sachs and Nomura sponsored and attended the event. Despite this, many of the financial institutions that were present remain oddly silent when it comes to LGBT rights in their other areas of operation, such as in sub-Saharan Africa.
HK remains years behind other ‘world cities’ with regards to LGBT rights. Homosexuality was only legalised in 1991 and the age of consent was only equalised for gay couples in 2006 (despite opposition from Donald Tsang). In 2008, a judge upheld a ruling against RTHK for broadcasting a programme about homosexuality which failed to give air-time to homophobic counter viewpoints. And until as recently as 2009 , co-habiting gay couples were not recognised in the Domestic Violence Ordinance.
Meanwhile, anti-discrimination laws remain flimsy. Same-sex marriage and civil unions are illegal and sex changes are not recognised by the state. However, there was progress this year for marriage equality for trans-gendered people.
There are still no specific laws targeting hate crimes directed against the LGBT community in HK.
In 2012, legislators voted against a motion urging the government to consult the public on new laws to protect the rights of sexual minorities whilst 27% of citizens surveyed believed gays should “keep their views to themselves”.
Much of the local opposition to gay rights has been fanned by religious folk and the right-wing Society for Truth and Light (who have been quite rightly described as the SAR’s “moral Taliban”.) Earlier this year, thousands of bigots gathered at LEGCO, united in intolerance, demonstrating against homosexuality.
The ongoing debates still raging in Hong Kong plant our city firmly in the 1970s, whilst the rest of the world moves on at break neck speed.
At this year’s rally, ex-legistlator Tanya Chan told GayStar News that “You don’t have to be gay to support equal rights… I believe everyone who believes in justice should strive for equality.”
Upcoming LGBT events are listed on the Pink Alliance FB page.
Hong Kong’s LGBT community…
- Full Lowdown: Thousands of Bigoted Christian Homophobes Gather for Demo.
- HSBC Lit in LGBT Rainbow Colours Tonight.
- Judges Approve Transsexual Marriage as LGBT Event Planned for Weekend.
- LGBT Anti-Discrimination Rally, 2012.
- Shots from HK’s Gay Pride Parade, 2012.