Anti-Discrimination Efforts Fizzle In Hong Kong, But A Pop Star Comes Out

Hong Kong’s LGBT community is outraged that the city-state’s Legislative Council decided last week to reject a motion to discuss the passage of anti-discrimination laws on the basis of sexual orientation.

Gay filmmaker Kit Hung (Soundless Wind Chime), told Asian LGBT site Fridae that he doesn’t believe the council’s decision reflects the views of everyday people in Hong Kong:

“The decision does not represent what the Hong Kong people want. I feel the public is open to discussion and want more information. Only by being more transparent and open, ignorance and fear will be reduced.”

Society for Truth and Light general secretary Choi Chi-sum claims he doesn’t see “an urgent need to legislate to protect the homosexuals in their workplaces,” but Joseph Cho Man-kit, director of the LGBT support group Nutong Xueshe says the problem is apparent—and getting worse.

Man-kit cites a statistic claiming number of homosexuals facing discrimination in the workplace jumped from 39% in 2005 to 53% in 2010.

Activist Billy Leung, who helped reform Hong Kong’s age of consent, says not discussing discrimination is  “illogical”:  “You cannot teach your kids to love your neighbors on one hand and turn around and say ‘but not [gay people].’ It is illogical. It is discrimination. And discrimination is never a family value,” he said.

Leung, Hung and thousands of others attended the Hong Kong Pride festival on November 10, when openly gay legislator Raymond Chan Chi-chuen led participants through Causeway Bay. After the march, pop singers Anthony Wong and Denise Ho (left) performed for the crowds.

Wong is openly gay, but Ho took the opportunity to come out at the festival. The 35-year-old Canto-pop star was in tears when she declared she was tongzhi (“a comrade”), Chinese slang for homosexual. “I believe that your sexual orientation is just a small part of you,” she told the audience. “Before you decide to like the same sex or the opposite sex, you can be a good friend, employee, son or daughter.”

We’re going to assume her comment about “deciding to like the same sex” is just a mistranslation.

Photos: Fridae, Verity