PINK PAPER 粉紅 報 季刊
June – August 2019
Pink Alliance exists to advance dignity, acceptance and equal rights for LGBT+ people in Hong Kong through community engagement and public education.
Chairperson ……………………………………………………………………..Alfred Ip Vice Chairperson & Chief Executive Officer ………………………Reggie Ho Company Secretary & Director HR ……………………………..…...Nigel Collett Director Communications & Campaign …………………….………David Hall Director Policy ………………………………………….………………..……Jerome Yau Director Health ………………………………………………………………..Gordon Wong Director IDAHOT ………………………………………….……………..…..Benita Chick Director IT ……………………………………………………………….……...Issac Yick Director Mainland China Outreach …………….……………………Kenneth Cheung Director Outreach …………………………………….……………………..Roger Steel Director Website & Pink Season …………….……………….……….Jim Poon Director FINS (Fruits In Suits) …………………………………...……..Philip Howell-Wiliams Editor Chinese Social Media …………………….………………………Norman Kwan Editor English Social Media ……………………….……………………. Deva Lee Editor Pink Paper ……………………………………….………….…………Stan Guingon Legal Advisor ………………………………………………..….………………Adam Hugill Operations Manager ………………………………………….….…………Darrick Sampson Secretary ……………………………………………………………….…………Tristan Lee Treasurer ………………………………………………………………………….Joanne Loney
JUNE - JULY - AUGUST 2019 On the cover: Topless Man Holding his Neck. Photo courtesy of Min An, Prexels.com
CONTENT MOVERS & SHAKERS 5 Introducing some of Officers from the Pink Alliance. LGBT RIGHTS 7 Stonewall celebrates 50 years of LGBT rights. 9 Tongzhi movement in Hong Kong 11 Planning for the Pink Alliance Marriage Equality campaign.
12 Will same-sex marriage work in
PINK PAPER STAFF
Hong Kong? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; A commentary 13 Everything IDAHOT
COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR David Hall
15 Where are all the Bi-boys at?
16 Breathe in, breathe out: The art
of yoga in your daily life 17 Tips on keeping it safe at gay circuit parties
CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Benita Chick David Hall David Ho Kenneth Kwok Timothy Lin Robert J. Morris Sean P. Smith GVGK Tang
NIGHTLIFE 18 Best LGBT+ bars in Hong Kong CLASSIFIEDS 20 Volunteer for Pink Alliance!
ADVISORY TEAM Travis SK Kong Issac Yick
THE MOVERS AND SHAKERS
The organization works diligently addressing the issues facing the LGBT Community in Hong King but who are the people behind the Pink Alliance? You may have seen their faces but have no idea what they did in the group. That’s why beginning with this issue, we will be spotlighting members of the Operational Committee. Stay tuned for additional spotlights in future issues! Reggie was one of the founding members of Pink Alliance, in 2005 under the name of Tongzhi Community Joint Meeting (TCJM). He was the first chairman until 2013. Afterwards, he continued to be an active member with his involvement in the Advisory Group and the position of Public Relations Officer. In 2017, he assumed a bigger role of CEO as PA was restructuring to ready itself for the charity status granted by the government. Reggie’s mission is to inspire, motivate and support all volunteers in the work they do for PA, and push for equality among people of different sexual orientations and gender identities by tapping the talent in the organisation. He believes that two main qualities that make Pink Alliance a strong organisation are transparency and trustworthiness, and as CEO, he strives to safeguard these values. In his free time, Reggie loves HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and outdoor activities. He is involved with the LGBT sports group Out in HK, and has organised activites such as canyoning and ziplining. In the near future, he plans on putting together a day of coasteering on Ap Lei Chau. He likes to travel and some of his favourite destinations are Vietnam, Ethiopia and Sri Lanka. Reggie is also a foodie who loves different cuisines such Sichuan meals, dan dan noodles, and especially Japanese food, He also enjoys Mediterranean cuisine, particularly Southern Italian and Andalusian dishes. Reggie is a fan of Real Time with Bill Maher, and also loves American comedian Kathy Griffin.
Reggie Ho Vice Chairman and CEO
Benita Chick Director of IDAHOT Benita has been with Pink Alliance since 2017 as the Director of IDAHOT, which stands for International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. She is also an avid Scuba diver, loves the saxophone, and playing underwater hockey. Spanish and Peruvian foods, Mulled Wine, and Omakase are some of her favourite food and drink. In addition, she likes to experiment with cooking different dishes #BenCanCookSoCanYou but they don’t always turn out as nice as they want to be. 5
Nigel has been with Pink Alliance since 2008. He administers the statutory aspects of our limited Company, of which he is a Board member, and manages the recruiting and HR functions of the PA. He is a historian and writer, with my most recent publication A Death in Hong Kong: The MacLennan Affair of 1980 and the Suppression of a Scandal, published by City University Press in 2018 and winner of the Royal Asiatic Society Hong Kong History Book Prize in 2017. Some of his favourite places to dine are Cafe Tray; the Globe; Luk Yu Tea House; and the Foreign Correspondents Club Please check out his website for more information about Nigel’s work: http://www.nigelcollett.me/books
Jerome Yau Director of Policy
Nigel Collett Company Secretary and Director of HR
Jerome has been involved in Pink Alliance for eight years, and currently he held the position of Director of Policy. The main responsibilities include advising the board and operational committee on policy matters, the formulation of policy statements and position papers, and engaging key stakeholders on the broader LGBT+ issues. In his free time, he likes to explore the outdoors, hike in the mountains, and capture the city's vibrant moments and breath-taking landscapes with his camera. In addition, he likes to enjoy a cup of joe at one of the many boutique coffee houses.
David joined Pink Alliance as Director of Communications in the autumn of 2018. He took over the role of Campaign Director in March of 2019. As Campaign Director he works closely with colleagues to develop, build and launch the Pink Alliance campaign for marriage equality in Hong Kong. Additionally, he is the principal link between PA and our campaign collaborators Hong Kong Marriage Equality. The communications channels of social media, website and Pink Paper will be critical contributors to the success of the campaign. David formerly worked as head of corporate communications in Asia for HSBC. His leisure activities include horse racing, opera, reading and history, as well as occasional visits to the gym. Home life with his husband revolves around – and is frequently ruled by – a rescue dog, a Shih Tzu, called Happy. 9
David Hall Director of Communications and Campaign
This year marks the 50 Anniversary of the Stonewall
Uprising or Stonewall Rebellion in New York City. On the 29th of June 1969, a group of people went to the Stonewall Inn to be themselves, drink, and dance in safety. None of the partygoers could have known that as they headed out for fun one fateful night, the fight for LGBTQ rights would come out of the shadows and into the streets, The Stonewall Inn was a refuge for the most marginalised people within the gay community. Kids who had run away from homophobic home towns, drag queens and street hustlers congregated there. Ramshackle and rough around the edges – it didn’t even have running water behind the bar. The club was more than a dance bar, more than just a gay gathering place. It catered largely to a group of people who were not welcomed in, or could not afford, other places of homosexual social gathering. The incident started not long after midnight when police officers conducted a raid on the Stonewall Inn. Gay venues in the city were routinely harassed by the authorities – partly because of the culturally-ingrained homophobia, Angered by the intrusion of the police in what was considered a particularly inclusive space, even compared to other gay venues, the patrons refused to submit to invasive body searches. 8
. LGBT Rights
As word spread, more and more people began to gather outside, united in outrage. Somehow, things escalated from a tense stand-off to an all-out street riot, and the police had become outnumbered. The key figure was widely agreed to have been a woman, who was handcuffed and roughly shoved into a police wagon in front of the angry crowd. The woman reportedly yelled at the crowd to “do something”, and do something they certainly did. Rocks and bricks were thrown, windows were smashed, a parking meter was torn from the street and used as a battering ram. Things took a surreal turn when some of the rioters formed a Broadway-style kick line, singing merrily “We are the Stonewall girls” and mocking the cops. The whole skirmish lasted for four hours, and would be repeated on the following nights with hundreds of gay people, tourists and residents gathering around the Stonewall Inn. Gay activism did exist in the United States before the rebellion, but it was more restrained and diplomatic, with well-dressed, well-behaved activists trying to convince straight society to bestow tolerance. However, after Stonewall, diplomacy made way for radical rebellion, with organisations like the Gay Liberation Front rising up across the States, and the first Pride marches happening soon after that. It is widely considered to be the single most important event leading to the gay liberation movement around the globe. The unashamed, full-on fight for equality, continues today in many parts of the world, including Hong Kong, thanks to Stonewall.
to the gay is “ … L L A W E N STO e fall of th t a h w t n e m move shing the a le n u to is e Bastill on.” French Revoluti
Written by GVGK Tang
n December 1996, six months before the end of British rule, hundreds of Chinese tongzhi gathered in Hong Kong. They renounced the individualistic and counter-cultural politics of the Western LGBT movement, affirming instead an indigenous “queer” identity of their own that upheld traditional Chinese values such as family and social harmony. Tongzhi (同 志) is the contemporary Chinese word for a member of what Westerners might call the LGBT community. Originally a Chinese translation of “comrade,” tongzhi literally means “same will.” The word’s political import grew in the early twentieth century when Sun Yat-Sen, the founding father of the Republic of China, used it to call upon citizens to continue the revolution. By mid-century, the Communist Party adopted tongzhi as a genderless, classless term of address, genderless, classless term of address, evoking a shared vision of the collective good.
Largely abandoned in favor of Western honorifics (like Mr./Ms.), the term tongzhi reemerged in 1989 when activists appropriated it as a marker of collective identity for the first Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. Historically, Hong Kong has always struggled between indigenous identity and Western values, “same will” and individual expression. In the context of both waning colonial rule and an emerging form of autonomy, tongzhi identity in Hong Kong has evolved in tandem with the region’s own dynamic and evolving cultural and political context. Between the 1991 decriminalization of homosexuality and the 1997 Handover, how have sexual politics intersected with colonialism, mainland sovereignty, globalization, and g/localization? How might scholars of sexuality reframe queer theories given local histories of same-sex sexuality? Prior to the emergence of a contested tongzhi identity in Hong Kong, men found themselves negotiating their experiences of unnamed homoerotic desire by performing a heterosexual lifestyle in public while keeping same-sex relationships hidden in private. It was by fishing (or cruising) that a tenuous form of community building began. Without a space to call their own, these men forged their own by frequenting, occupying, and laying claim to specific places – saunas, cafes, and public toilets. Such behavior resulted not just in a network of strangers, acquaintances, friends, and lovers, but the creation of a “counter-public”– selfconscious of its own subcultural status. The hidden experiences of homosexuals in Hong Kong suddenly came into the spotlight in 1980 when a Scottish police inspector named John MacLennan was charged with gross indecency and subsequently committed suicide. Press coverage of the incident abounded, as did new political participation. Scholars and activists alike have compared the MacLennan Incident to the Stonewall Uprising when attempting to convey its significance to Westerners. Following the 1980 MacLennan Incident, “homosexuality” was no longer just a subject of government regulation, but a public, communal identity. How ironic was it that what prompted this major political shift was the fate that befell a white man who worked for the colonial government? Following the 1980 MacLennan Incident, “homosexuality” was no longer just a subject of government regulation, but a public, communal identity.
In the fallout of the Incident, rumors arose that MacLennan was actually killed as part of a police cover-up. The colonial government’s appointment of a Commission of Inquiry to clear up these rumors ultimately led to decriminalization. Within the decade-long period between this scandal and the passing of legislation that decriminalized “homosexual” activity in 1991, tongzhi was born. The 1996 Chinese Tongzhi Conference signified the word’s cultural significance, appropriated from mainland China and adopted more widely as Hong Kong approached the 1997 Handover. In the critical, transitional time before and after 1997, gay male Hong Kongers credited their social mobility with their ability to better contend with a nascent postcolonial identity that challenged racial hierarchy. As one of them stated, “Since everyone is getting rich and becomes better educated, our financial situation improves and we know more about the West. Now we don’t admire Westerners blindly, but know how to differentiate between the good and the bad things about them.” Yet, such resistance still depended on the emulation of one’s colonizer – as these men cultivated a racial consciousness within the Western education system. This paradox became even more evident when describing the sexual activities of interracial partners: “If I am always the one being fucked [by a white man], even if I really like to be passive, I’ll still feel uncomfortable. Maybe it is some kind of naive liberation that I am looking forward to.” Tongzhi culture was often commercialized in the context of neocolonialism and globalization/ glocalization. Decriminalization led to the proliferation of bars, bathhouses, boutiques, and bookshops. Hong Kongese consumption of “pink capitalism” was based on preexisting colonial influences as the West continued to co-opt traditional Chinese values to serve its economic and political gains after the Handover. In Wong Kar-wai’s 1997 flick Happy Together – starring “queer” icon Leslie Cheung – two male lovers leave pre-Handover Hong Kong in an act of escapism and renewal, only to be plagued by past and present patterns of abuse. Paralleling tongzhi attempts to resist Hong Kong’s colonial past and begin anew, we still find Hong Kong forever shaped by that past, a hybrid culture equally alienated by both its mother country and British colonizers.
When famed and beloved Hong Kongese actor and singer Leslie Cheung committed suicide in 2003, the tongzhi community hastily placed him in a political narrative of mainstream acculturation and tongzhi stardom, eulogizing him as an “icon [or sacred figure, shengxiang] of transgression.” Amid declarations of “pride” and “bravery,” the public conveniently forgot how Cheung had ambiguously crafted his public, sexual persona. He had never openly identified as tongzhi and only gradually “came out” as bisexual, publicly acknowledging his partner Daffy Tong Hok-Tak. Tongzhi was originated to denote not just a modern Chinese “alternative” to queerness, but to allude to a history of seeming tolerance (or even celebration) of homoeroticism – as its original meaning, “same will,” suggests. Women, however, have been sidelined by these malecentred narratives of queer experience. In turn, they have forged their own spaces as nu tongzhi, calling for gay male accountability and intersectional activism that addresses multiple forms of oppression such as sexism, racism, classism, and ageism. The historical tradition of same-sex sensibility, defined in terms of social harmony and family values, has also conjured identity politics that often marginalize non“lesbigays” – trans people and sadomasochists, for instance – despite the term often being defined in broader terms, intended to encompass all sexual minorities. Tongzhi identity tends to maintain a uniquely sinocentric position while adopting assimilatory practices that are ironically similar to those in Westernized, homonormative culture. Queers/ tongzhi have begun to question and challenge the universal claims of Anglo sexual identities. Is “queer theory” merely an Anglo translation of preexisting Chinese scholarship and histories? Chinese queer theorists posit that queer theory needs to be “expanded, supplemented, and revised by what is ‘Chinese.’” Tongzhi serves to problematize the dominance of the English language in “queer” non-Western historiography. By examining the emergence of tongzhi identity, its connotations and context, we may challenge and expand our use of terminology in g/localized sexual histories.
Written by David Hall n his 1999 policy address, the then Chief Executive of the HKSAR, Tung Chee-hwa, coined the phrase ‘Hong Kong, Asia’s World City’. An international firm of public relations consultants was retained to design a World City logo, now seldom seen, and to conduct a campaign to promote Tung’s claim. While the logo has not endured, continuing recognition of Hong Kong as a world city is based on its role as entrepot and financial centre. The city’s success is underpinned by its core values of the rule of law, equality, freedom and openness. And yet, in certain areas the HKSAR lags other world cities. In comparison with, say Sydney, New York or London, employment law offers scant protection against discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and, of immediate concern, Hong Kong does not officially recognise marriage equality. The Government refuses to support same-sex marriage. It is true our courts recently have ruled that same-sex marriages contracted overseas are recognized for immigration purposes but this benefits a tiny minority of the LGBT+ community. It also underscores the fact the Government is both out of step with its international peers and increasingly with public opinion. Locally, public support for marriage equality has grown, particularly among the young, who are the future of Hong Kong. In recent years, Hong Kong’s same-sex couples have travelled overseas to marry in countries that support such unions. It is an option only to those with the necessary financial resources. It also confers no legal benefits at home. There are currently 27 countries that have extended the
right of marriage to same-sex couples. For them, marriage is a legally binding contract between two people involving mutual rights and obligations. It is neither defined nor confined as a union between a woman and a man. In the absence of action by the Government, many companies and professional partnerships have recognized same-sex relationships for the purpose of employment benefits. They have done this not only in a spirit of social justice but also because inclusive policies give them access to a wider pool of talent in the market and improved retention of staff. But still our Government remains opposed. The Chief Executive recently commented that the issue of marriage equality was ‘too controversial’, an odd statement in the light of public opinion and various controversial policies the Government from time to time pursues. In these circumstances, Pink Alliance has taken the decision to launch a campaign for official recognition of same-sex marriage in the HKSAR. The campaign will be launched officially in the autumn, once the long summer break has passed. The campaign will engage many audiences: critical government figures both present and past; religious and community groups; prominent public figures, businesses and business representative bodies; and young people. We will be collaborating with Hong Kong Marriage Equality (HKME), who are organizing an international conference on marriage equality at Hong University in June. To support our campaign we need volunteers. If you wish to help or want to learn more, please email us: email@example.com
By Robert J. Morris
Robert J. Morris is a retired American professor from the University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law with an MA in Comparative Literature (Chinese and English), a Juris Doctor in American Law and a PhD in Chinese Comparative Law. He was practicing law in Hawaii when talks began on the subject of same-sex marriage. The following is a commentary regarding this topic: I began practicing law in Hawai‘i in 1981. On May 5, 1993, the Hawai‘i Supreme Court handed down its landmark decision of Baehr v. Lewin, 74 Haw. 645, 852 P.2d 44, holding that the state could not prohibit same-sex marriages under both the “equal protection” and the “equal rights” clauses of the Hawai‘i State Constitution. That result took everyone by surprise. In 1996, after much public debate, the state Legislature took up the political question of whether it should amend the law, including the state Constitution, to reprohibit same-sex marriages and thus overrule the court’s decision. I was then legal counsel to the Hawai‘i State House of Representatives, and because of my background in Hawaiian language and culture, I was assigned to research the subject in order to advise the House leadership (the Speaker and his staff). The Hawai‘i Legislature finally legalized same-sex marriage in 2013. During those years, I published many articles and book chapters on the subjects surrounding marriage and other LGBT issues. These included studies of Hawai‘i, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China. When we began working on the Hawaii Marriage Project, we determined that we had three major goals to achieve: Education, Activism, and Research. Education Activism Research the public about LGBT Teaching This means being visible at all All education and activism people must proceed on many times and in all places. It must be built upon a solid fronts, in the schools, in the includes public activities such foundation of good research media, in the churches, in the as marching, demonstrating, and published scholarship. halls of government, in the press. lobbying, and most Everyone involved must Many ordinary people are afraid importantly, forming coalitions read and study and keep up of LGBT issues because they with other minorities to with the new scholarship in don’t understand the issues and achieve larger numbers of these subjects. they think they don’t know any votes, donations, and political LGBT people. What we don’t advantages. a mystery, and what we know is see as a mystery, we fear. The purpose of education is to remove that fear. These three principles can be applied to Hong Kong, but they cannot be simply copied or borrowed from other places. They must be inflected and adapted and tailored to the needs and uniqueness of the Hong Kong culture.
Provided by Benita Chick
background on the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. It was founded in 2004 by the Paris-based IDAHO Committee presided by French academic LouisGeorge Tin. Its purpose was to draw the attention to the violence and discrimination experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexuals, transgender, intersex people and all other people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics. The date of May 17th was specifically chosen to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder. The day represents a major global annual landmark to draw the attention of decision makers, the media, the public, corporations, opinion leaders, local authorities, etc. to the alarming situation faced by people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics. This date is now celebrated in more than 130 countries, including 37 where same-sex acts are illegal. The International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia has received official recognition from several States, international institutions such as the European Parliament, and by countless local authorities. Most United Nations agencies also mark the Day with specific events. However, even if every year a “global focus issue” was promoted, the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia is not one centralized campaign; rather it is a moment that everyone can take action, on whatever issue and in whatever format that they wish.
Many different entities participate in the global mobilization on or around May 17th and as a result, different definitions of IDAHO have evolved. For example, some organizations have added Lesbophobia or Intersexphobia as distinct focuses. Acronyms also vary, from the initial IDAHO to IDAHOTB or IDAHOBIT to IDAHOT. Initially managed by the IDAHO Committee, the initiative is now collectively managed in collaboration between regional and thematic networks working to advance the rights of people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics. This collaboration brings together organizations and initiatives at global, regional, national and local levels. In Hong Kong, the Pink Alliance is a large part of organizing the event with many workshops, meetings, and socials in the week leading up to the main event on May 17th. However, planning for the 2019 campaign was a 6-month effort, spearheaded by our own Benita Chick with the assistance of Darrick Sampson, along with many volunteers from groups such as AIDS Concern, Love Unbounded and Transgender Resource Center. The campaign’s success depended on corporate sponsors and community partners, who funded and supported our outreach activities, including publicity and promotion.
This year, the focus of the campaign was BISEXUALITY: BEYOND THE BINARY. Community outreach efforts included meetings with EY/Fidelity, Blackrock, and AIG; talks with 4 schools; and community talk in a hospital. Outreach efforts disseminated messages against biphobia and raised awareness. Further outreach and fundraising activities occurred at LifeMart,
Queer Literary Festival, Thai Songkran Festival, which helped us reach a wider audience. The US Consulate sponsored the visit of nuclear scientist, anti-gay conversion therapy activist and gender fluid Sam Brinton, who shared his experience about his professional career and activism. He talked about the detrimental effects of homophobia and biphobia and how he turned his life into an encouraging example to victims of homophobia. We collaborated with Hong Kong’s first bisexual group, Love Unbounded, a major community partner, for public screening of the award-winning movie, Frida. The movie focused on the life of the openly bisexual artist Frida Kahlo. A short discussion after the screening was led by bisexual, gender-fluid disabled activist, Chris Yau. Media coverage of the IDAHOT campaign was abundant where 5 news outlets discussed the campaign and an interview with RTHK 3 radio. IDAHOT also produced a bilingual pamphlet on bisexuality which were distributed to corporations and schools. The pamphlet provided a comprehensive introduction to bisexuality with definitions, history, common misconceptions and what it’s like to be bisexual in the world today. The week was capped of on the evening of May 17th, at the “An Evening of Solidarity” event at Charter Garden in Central. The event was produced by Pink Alliance and Love Unbounded, and 7 employers. The evening had a variety of speakers and entertainers, which was closed by a performance from The Harmonics Choir.
Written by Sean P. Smith
Many bisexuals don’t come out to themselves until much later—meaning, later than many other people in the LG-TQI community. See, when you’re attracted to the opposite gender as well, and society shoehorns you into heteronormativity, the easiest thing is to disregard any wayward feelings. It’s a privilege, in a way, because you don’t always have to fight for your sexual identity. You just respond to the half of it that doesn’t draw out the bigots. One of those bigots, of course, being yourself. And I do wonder about the male experience in particular here. No matter who you’re surrounded by, your politics or religious beliefs, there is something about even the most broad-minded masculinity that announces very definite boundaries: Be gay or be straight, either is fine, but goddammit be a man and choose! These things (we all know) are anything but a choice. But it’s notable that, even amongst my many queer friends in Hong Kong and around the world, I have not met a single avowedly bisexual man. I’ve met quite a few women, however, who either identify as bisexual or are open about having been with other women. By some further contingency of the male gaze, female same-sex relations can be eroticized into a kind of social permissibility—or dismissed under the banner of ‘experimentation’—while same-sex relations among men who don’t identify outright as gay threaten to upend the whole system. Fragile masculinities indeed. Maybe the men just aren’t talking about it. And I get that: I’m uncertain about embracing the ‘bi’ label publicly. For one, it does not seem necessary. I appear in society as a heteronormative man married to a woman; projecting queerness from my relative safety might steal the wind out of another person’s sails, someone who has endured far more struggle to unfurl them. As one gay man told me recently, ‘you can’t have your cake and fuck it too’. Maybe. But it may also be important to show that masculinity isn’t singularly defined—that some of us can proudly be attracted to both women and men, and act upon those attractions. Research shows that most people are somewhere on a sexual spectrum, that there aren’t so many allgay or all-straight individuals. So what’s holding us back? It may be that, in decades or centuries to come, we won’t have to fool around with labels; there are happy indications that the generation coming of age now has much less baggage than, well, mine does. But right now we need bisexual visibility, if for no other reason than to trouble this most noxious of social constructs, masculinity. Boys, kiss the boys. It’s just fine, and feels great.
â&#x20AC;&#x153;Breathing isn't just an involuntary act, it's the foundation of a yoga practice and a useful tool for everyday life.â&#x20AC;?
Written by David Ho he styles of yoga classes certainly differ greatly from each other, depending on the teacher and branch of practice. But you'll find the one constant in every class is an emphasis on breathing. Whether you are moving through a series of poses, settling into a challenging stretch/balancing act, or simply lying still, yoga teachers will often ask students to pay attention to their breathing and how it affects the body. When I first started practicing yoga almost 5 years ago, this seemed like a lot of 'hippie nonsense' to me frankly. I just wanted to power my way through a workout! But over time, I've realized that there really is something to it. Focusing my attention on breathing normally had the physiological effect of relaxing my muscles to go deeper into a stretch. Paying attention to the pace of my breathing helped me flow more rhythmically to a vinyasa (sequence of poses). Making sure I took deep breaths to the bottom of my lungs made me more mindful of expanding my lung capacity. And ensuring that I wasn't holding my breath in certain poses made me more mindful of how I felt in them. Those who don't practice yoga might feel like this may not apply to them beyond the mat. Yet, the simple practice soon spread its benefits to other areas of my life. When I'm in pain or feel stressed out, being mindful of your breathing (shorter intakes and faster exhales when in such a state) and purposely maintaining a normal pace of breathing (deep, slow and equal pace of inhaling/exhaling) makes a world of difference in how you feel and tackle the situation. And when I need to work my way through a tough run or challenging workout, paying heed to how my breath flows is how I take my mind off external factors and sharpen my mental focus on the task at hand. The beauty of this is that one doesn't need to be a 'yoga master' of any sort to benefit from it. Just breathe...
CIRCUIT CORNER Written by Kenneth Kwok he global circuit season for 2019 officially kicked off in 2019 with GCircuit in Bangkok over the festive
Songkran season. Following a series of five parties collectively promoted as #WetterTheBetter, every attendee from more than 35 countries got their fair share of wetness and more. Many people outside the circuit scene have long viewed this lifestyle as something of a mystery, spurred on by the rumour mill that naturally sounds this particular party environment. Of course, as they say, there is no smoke without fire: the circuit scene does have its up and downs. As someone who has been to more than a few around the world, I can personally attest what makes this scene so attractive, in particular in Asia. Coming from cultures which generally are not gay affirmative, the community is in even a stronger need to search for a safe haven, celebrate life and love with the closest friends and in particular find an environment which allows one to let loose. While there are many ways to let loose, the circuit community in general chooses to engage with recreational usage of drugs during the parties, something which is a notorious part of its culture. Clearly it is illogical and non-factual to assume that only this community dabbles in such behaviour, it is clear from my experience that both education and pre-caution are both required, as a necessity, for those new to the circuit scene, and even for the veterans. I would like to highlight three rules which I advise all parties to stick to: y and d d u b a ty, gnate ut the par i s e d in ays ugho ies; e certa w k l o a r A t h in t ) o 1 m art a ose t ith hi fter p there is to cho e , r B a H u stay w lly at the a G o 2) If y ch as es into a u k i s a c t s e g p u h r ic es party d formula wh mass to stay ic f dy scienti our bo the veterans, y n io t ra conside e limits: ask ohol h lc t potentially in , zero a within ly t n a 3) If you see anyone t r o p m official staffers most i trouble, please alert the e host at the at the main parties, or th w anyone to be after parties. Never allo ust be tilted 45 lying down flat: head m t in opening of degrees upwards to assis reathing. the air passageways for b
If you party safe and responsibly, you will have a fantastic time with your friends, as after all circuit parties offer the best of performances, music and atmosphere for the gay community. See everyone at the next party weekend!
Where to drink, dance, and de-stress Hong Kong loves a party, and the LGBT+ nightlife scene is home to some of the best parties in the city. From relaxed bars to raucous, rainbow-shade nightclubs, check out the best places to enjoy a drink in an LGBT-friendly atmosphere. FLM One of Hong Kong’s best-known gay bars, is renowned for its great happy hour (2-4-1, 7-9pm) and awesome theme nights, including weekly screenings of Ru Paul’s drag race when the new season airs and Eurovision nights. By day when the bar is shut, Cafe FLM opens in the back as a chilled LGBT-friendly hangout and working space. Best for: theme nights | 62 Jervois St, Sheung Wan Petticoat Lane If you’re looking for an LGBT+ friendly space in Hong Kong’s rowdy Central nightlife scene, it would be easy to miss the rainbow flags on the Petticoat’s terrace, sandwiched between LKF and Wyndham Street. This gem has a large dance floor and stellar music selection to match. Best for: dancing the night away | Basement, 57-59 Wyndham Street, Central Behind Bars As LGBT+ bars go, this one is a little more on the covert side of things. This new bar, opened in 2018 from the same people who run the LGBT-friendly monthly nightbclub concept ‘Behind’ is in the basement of Tai Kwun’s renovated prison barrack block, and has a relaxed and sultry speakeasy atmosphere that lends itself to a low-key date night. Best for: date night | Shop 15, G/F, Barrack Block, Tai Kwun, 10 Hollywood Road, Central Linq Bar Reopened after renovations in 2017, Linq is back in business. The cosy club on Pottinger Street often has patrons spilling out onto the cobbles, as its popular with both couples on date nights and singles looking to meet new people. They also do ‘Guys Night’ on Wednesdays, so pop along for their drink deals. Best for: a low-key party | 35 Pottinger Street, Central
Zoo Styled as a cocktail bar, it would be hard to escape the fact that this is one of Hong Kong’s liveliest gay bars. They’re BOGOF drinks deal runs 6.30-9pm all week long, but the fun continues all night here for party animals with fruity cocktails and DJ sets until the early hours. Best for: Party animals | 33 Jervois St., Sheung Wan T:ME Not every night needs to be a wild one, and this is where T:ME Bar comes in: hidden away behind Hollywood Road, on Man Hing Lane, this LGBT-friendly bar opens onto Pak Tsz Lane Park and offers chilled-out vibes with great drink offers. Best for: quiet drinks | Back entrance, 65 Hollywood Road Les Paradis Lesbian bars in Hong Kong are few and far between, so Les Paradis in Kowloon is one of Hong Kong’s best places for LGBT+ women to drink, meet and mingle. They have beer pong and darts, and often kick into party mode with themed nights and collaborations. Best for: meeting new people over drinks and games | 5th Floor, Cameron Centre, 57-59 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui Lex Chill Hey The lesbian dance party for girls who love girls. It’s not a ‘bar’ per se, but a roaming nightclub concept which takes over some of Hong Kong’s hottest nightclubs, like Zentral and Ophelia. Plus, they’re a big fundraiser and supporter of IDAHO+ which makes them awesome in our eyes. Best for: a dusk-til-dawn party | www.lexchillheyhk.club
Wink This fun Sheung Wan bar is one for the music lovers. Live bands and karaoke nights frequent the entertainment programming here before the DJ comes on later in the evening. Best for: live music | 79 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan Virus It would be impossible to talk about LGBT+ bars in Hong Kong and not mention Virus, on of the city’s oldest ‘girls bars’. Recently moving to a new location in Causeway Bay, Virus has been around for over 20 years, creating a chilled nightlife atmosphere for LGBT+ women with karaoke and (by Hong Kong’s standards) reasonably priced cocktails. Best for: a catch up with friends | 21F, Chung Way Commercial Building, 447-449 Lockhart Road, Causeway Bay Bing Bing HK This is the gay hot spot of the moment. On Friday/Saturday nights, the place can get packed with 200+ people. It is fairly busy even on weeknights as well. Unlike the gay bars in Central, the Bing Bing crowd skews much younger, mostly in 20s or early 30s, and vast majority of locals instead of expats. Best for: good cheer with friends old and new, great dance music, reasonably priced drinks | 22F Oliv Building, 15 Sharp St E, Causeway Bay
PINK PAPER VOLUNTEERS If you are interested in writing for the Pink Paper or have news, events, photos or stories to share, we’d love to have you! Please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
he Pink Alliance is looking for a few good people to fill some of the open positions in the organization. Although all roles are unpaid, there are no requirements for hours worked or contributions made. We only ask that you have an energetic vibe and passion for the role you signed up for. Please contact Director of HR, Nigel Collett for more information about the available roles: email@example.com Assist the Director of HR in recruiting Volunteers and in running the quarterly recruiting event. Assist the Director of Campaign to manage the Pink Alliance’s campaign for the recognition of marriage equality and same-sex relationships. Work with the Director of Campaign and be able to speak Cantonese when communicating with the Chinese media. Assist with the planning and execution of the marriage equality campaign. We are seeking a large number of people to write and design; to get our message out over social media; to research and speak in public; to keep records and administer the team’s work; or even just to make the tea and inspire the people they know and love. This campaign will run for the long term and will be the PA’s major point of effort. We aim to follow Taiwan and change our world.
Assist the Director of Pink Season in planning, arranging and managing events within the annual Pink Season, our festival of culture, art, drama, drag, music and family, which runs from September to November 2019.
Work with the Director of Communications to record Pink Alliance events and personalities and provide pictures for Social Media and the Website. Work with the Director of Communications to record Pink Alliance events and personalities and provide pictures for Social Media and the Website. Work with the Editor of the Pink Paper writing pieces on any Pink Alliance and LGBT+ related topic in either or both Chinese and English. Translate from English to Chinese and/or from Chinese to English for any Pink Alliance publication and site. This role will be under the overall direction of the Director of Communications. Help several departments design and prepare online and hard copy pages, social media entries, brochures, posters and leaflets.