粉紅 報 季刊
September – November 2019
PINK PAPER Quarterly September / October / November 2019 INSIDE THIS ISSUE
4 NEWS BRIEFS The latest in Pink Alliance news.
Two more members of the Operational Committee.
6 PINK SEASON Celebrate the annual event with tons of activities all around the city.
World pride recap and Kenneth Kwok’s Forever Pride.
16 EOC STUDY Report summary by Will Yip.
17 HAPPY HOUR What about Fruits in Suits?
18 DESTINATIONS Travel reports from Thailand and Switzerland.
20 ROCK ROYALTY Movie reviews of the story behind Freddie Mercury and Elton John.
21 FILM FESTIVAL Highlights from the Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.
22 ART AND PRIDE Stories and art go hand in hand.
LGBT+ COMMUNITY IN ACTION
Community events in the city
HONG KONG’S BEST LGBT+ BARS
COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR David Hall EDITOR Stan Guingon ASSISTANT EDITOR Rebecca Cairns CONTRIBUTORS Karthik Aithai David Hall Eric J. Herrera Philip Howell-Williams Kenneth Kwok Joanne Loney Zo Loren Marshall Moore Jim Poon Roger Steel Dusty Walnut Jerome Yau Ray Yeung Will Yip Piotr Zembrowski
ADVISORY TEAM Nigel Collette Reggie Ho Isaac Yick
On the cover: Grace and Emma by pexels.com Thanks to: The crew from Pexels.com (Li Sun, Mac DeStroir, Johnny Edgardo Guzman, Sharon McCutcheon, Andres Chaparro, Michael Alves, Rahul Yadav, Jimmy Chan, Dorothy Castillo)
Making History Hong Kong couple, Angus Leung and Scott Adams made history in June 2019 by winning a landmark court case against the government for spousal rights and equality, taking a step towards LGBT rights in Hong Kong.
In 2015, Angus decided to take the government to court after the city’s secretary for civil service refused to recognize his marriage and grant spousal benefits, such as medical insurance to his husband Scott. Angus also challenged the Inland Revenue Department, which did not allow the couple to submit a joint tax assessment. The judicial review was filed and this was the start of a 4-year legal battle. It took another year before they went to the Court of First Instance where they won the spousal benefits but lost in joint tax assessment. In 2017 they tried again by going to the Court of Appeals but were unsuccessful and lost both of their claims.
To further their fight for equality, they decided that they needed to go all the way to the Court of Final Appeal to state their case. After much deliberation, Hong Kong’s top court unanimously ruled in their favour in June 2019. This was a huge step towards equal rights for the city’s LGBT+ community and for the couple who slowly became Hong Kong’s newest LGBT+ activists during the ordeal. The couple is excited to see the changing social perception in the Hong Kong society in the past few years, the increase of the number of LGBT+ people being proud of who they are, coming out and the rise of acceptance of the entire society on the issue. However, there is still a lot of work to be done before social stigma is fully removed. In a recent interview, Angus indicated, “Be proud of yourself. Love wins. Love will win again and again.” Our path for basic equality in Hong Kong has started but we still have a long journey ahead.
Angus was quoted, “Our appeal is nothing out of the ordinary. We only strive for equal treatment. We are fighting for a very basic right to form a family.” Scott noted, “I think it is important to make change.”
Alliance to share her thoughts on how to achieve marriage equality in Hong Kong.
Pride at the Philippine Consulate General Pink Alliance's director of policy, Jerome Yau, gave a talk at the Philippine Consulate General. To celebrate Pride Month, the mission organized "Mga Kulay at Ngiti ng LGBT 3: A Gender Sensitivity Orientation on LGBT Rights" on July 21, and it was attend by consulate staff and roughly 40 overseas Filipinos who are domestic helpers working in Hong Kong. .
A Night with Gigi Chao The legalization of samesex marriage in Taiwan was a very significant milestone in the broader LGBT movement in Asia, as it shows that marriage equality can happen in the most populous continent on Earth. To make Hong Kong the next place in Asia that recognizes same-sex nuptials, a group of activists and allies have formed HKME - Hong Kong Marriage Equality, a new NGO and nonpartisan social campaign that aims to achieve marriage equality by supporting strategic litigation and winning hearts and minds of the people. Renowned business woman Gigi Chao is one of the co-founders of HKME, and right on the heels of its official, she was invited by Pink
To win hearts and minds, Gigi said that the HKME campaign would focus on engaging the movable middle – people who might not supportive but willing to listen and understand the issue. She
explained that the experiences from Taiwan and the United States suggest that it is crucial to connect with this segment of people with the right narratives, strategy, and messaging. For example, marriage is about love, family, stability and devotion. To this end, HKME has commissioned a study which will look into the values the people of Hong Kong hold dear. The results will then help HKME to engage the wider community more effectively. Pink Alliance believes in marriage equality and its campaign aligns with the goal of HKME. Your support is crucial in helping us to realize marriage equality sooner rather than later. Please consider making a donation or by becoming a volunteer. Leave us a message, or visit Pink Alliance’s website or HKME’s Facebook page for details.
The movers and shakers of Pink Alliance The organization works diligently addressing the issues facing the LGBT+ community in Hong Kong 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. In this issue we are spotlighting members of the Operational Committee. More spotlights in future issues!
Jo is the Treasurer for Pink Alliance. She first become involved with Pink Alliance in 2016 when she was asked to help out with the Pink Season accounts. It was soon after that when her role quickly grew to include all of the Pink Alliance accounts. A licensed financial planner by profession, Jo is fascinated by behavioural economics and people’s emotional relationship with their money. She's very much looking forward to being a panel member at the Pink Season Finance Forum this year.
Joanne Loney Treasurer
When not working or watching TED talks, Jo likes to explore the Hong Kong countryside, read and binge watch bad TV, as well as relaxing with some cool thirst-quenching beverages.
Roger is the Director of Outreach for the PA, and in his spare time he works full time with a major international consulting and insurance broking firm where he leads our Hong Kong and Macau business and also chair our Asia Inclusion and Diversity Council. He is also involved in Interbank, the LGBT+ organisation for Hong Kong’s financial services industry. Roger is a relative newbie to the Pink Alliance, having only joined in January 2019. His role in the group is to work with a small team to build our network of allies, which are other LGBT organisations in the community that support our Pink Alliance goals. Like many of PA volunteers, he sometimes struggles to find enough time to make things happen, but over the years the PA has built a solid network of allies. He tries to build bridges across organisations that comprise the amazingly diverse and energetic LGBT community – he articulated “my dream is that we can all work together in unity to achieve equal rights and marriage equality in Hong Kong.” He has an amazing husband Leo whom he married in Australia last October. Roger has many interests and one of them is trying to keep up with Leo at sports - tennis, skiing and spinning. Both also like travelling, watching movies and TV miniseries. Roger indicted that Leo is a qualified chef, so he is “wonderfully well fed at home.” Leo cooks delicious food of all types – Roger’s favourite is anything Korean.
Roger Steel Director of Outreach
ey everybody, its PINK SEASON time! It’s the time of year that Hong Kong celebrates the annual festival of all things LGBT+. Pink Season is Asia’s premier LGBT+ festival celebrating acceptance, inclusion and awareness through an exciting program of arts, education, entertainment, sports and adventure. You’ve never heard of it? The concept began in 2010 when a group of activists conceived an idea to try to bring the local community closer together by organizing various events to celebrate Hong Kong’s LGBT+ community. The group approached the Hong Kong Tourism Board regarding this and was granted the support to move ahead with plans for the inaugural Pink Season in 2011. In September 2011, 22 events in a span of seven weeks became part of the first Pink Season, along with the Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, Floatilla and Mr. Gay Hong Kong. There were dance and beach parties, dramas, talks and shows. The Pink Season also aimed to promote Hong Kong as a gay-friendly city in order to draw more people to visit, which was why the Hong Kong Tourism Board was eager to promote Pink Season. It provided a platform for local LGBT+ artists and allies to showcase their works to the world, which continues to be displayed today. This year, Pink Season launches on 28 September and will be observing its ninth wonderful year with a five-week long celebration, filled with events promoting the city’s LGBT+ community in all its glitzy glory. The celebration is headed by the Pink Alliance’s new Pink Season Director, Jim Poon with assistance of former Pink Season Director Philip Howell-Williams. This year’s themes include something for everyone; art, education, entertainment, family and sports & adventure. We are proud to partner with our LGBT+ community neighbours, like Aids Concern & Planet Ally, to bring you new event experiences.
THE LAUNCH PARTY
Saturday, 28 September, 10 pm to late. Petticoat Lane (Basement, 57-59 Wyndham Street, Central) We’re going to kick off the 2019 Pink Season with a bang at this fabulous party featuring giveaways, drinks promotions, live performances, and much more! Dress code: Something PINK!
There are plenty of activities for everyone. Come join us and bring your friends and family as we celebrate this season of Pink!
Facebook: @pinkseason.HK/For info: http://www.pinkseason.hk
PRIDE RIDE Sunday, 29 September, 10 am to 4 pm Tai Po to Tai Mei Tuk
Enjoy the great outdoors with a leisurely bike ride from Tai Po to Tai Mei Tuk (a distance of approximately 50k). This is an easy route, suitable for anyone who can ride a bike. You will be riding exclusively on segregated cycle paths. The ride includes a stop for lunch after we cycle across the Plover Cove Dam. Meet at Exit A Tai Wai MTR no later than 9:45 am. $60 (bike rental) plus lunch; registration required Please note: refunds will be given only in the case of cancellation due to Typhoon Signal No 8 (or higher) or Black Rainstorm Warning.
RAINBOW CHINA FORUM 彩虹中國論壇 Sunday, 29 September, 6 pm to 8 pm Blessed Ministry Community Church (20/F, Cheong Sun Tower, 118 Wing Lok St, Sheung Wan; entrance on Tung Loi Lane)
Learn about the latest developments in the LGBT+ movement in China FREE but registration is required
COMEDY NIGHT Thursday, 3 October, 8 pm to 10 pm
Mudita (G/F, Shun Ho Tower, 24-30 Ice House Street, Central) Come see Hong Kong’s first-ever LGBT+ comedy night! Sam See (MTV; Comedy Central Asia; Edinburgh Fringe) headlines an incredible line-up of comedians who cover every letter of the rainbow, including Kári Gunnarsson, Rose Rage, Ailee Slater, James Downes, Seth J Waters, Amy Brookes, Fran Ayala and La Chiquitta. This outrageous evening of laughs is hosted by Garron Chiu (Comedy Central Asia; Winner, 2018 Hong Kong International Comedy Festival).
Facebook: @pinkseason.HK/For info: http://www.pinkseason.hk
$250 in advance (includes 1 drink); $300 at the door (includes 1 drink)
HEALTH FORUM Saturday, 5 October, 2 to 6 pm Eaton Hotel Kino Lounge (380 Nathan Road, Jordan)
Learn about the health and medical issues impacting the lesbian, gay and trans communities. Representatives from AIDS Concern, Gender Empowerment, Lesâ€™Play, the Red Ribbon Centre, and the Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society of Hong Kong, plus doctors in private practice will speak on the topics of: LGBT+ mental health , PrEP, transgender and transitioning, gynaecological health for lesbians, sexual health for transgender, dating someone HIV+ , lesbian sexual pleasure, and more Free to attend; registration required Facebook: @pinkseason.HK For info: http://www.pinkseason.hk
PINK SEASON DRAG WORKSHOPS Friday, 4 October (7:30-9:30pm); Saturday, 5 October; Saturday, 19 October; 6 to 8 pm each evening WeWork 4 October / 19 October (WeWork LKF Tower,33 Wyndham Street) 5 October (WeWork Tower 535 535 Jaffe Road, Causeway Bay)
Discover and develop your individual drag persona in three workshops while also learning more about drag culture, its history and artform, and relevance to the LGBT+ community. In the first workshop, get inspiration and assistance to let that colourful character thatâ€™s hiding inside you break free. Perfect your moves and learn how to walk and vogue in the second session. Finally, in the third workshop, learn about the art of drag makeup and costume-making. You will be assisted throughout these workshops by professional drag artists and costume and make-up artists. You will then have the opportunity to show off your new identity to the world, and participate to win fabulous prizes, at the Drag Finale Contest during the last day of Pink Season. Free to attend; registration required Facebook: @pinkseason.HK/For info: http://www.pinkseason.hk
TRIVIA GAME NIGHT Tuesday, 8 October, 7:30 to 10:30 pm MOM Livehouse (B39, Seven Seas Shopping Centre, 117-121 Kings Road, North Point)
Hosted by Cleo Moans, this fun evening will test your knowledge of LGBT trivia. A good time is guaranteed to be had by all. Who knows? You might even learn something new! Take part for a chance to win some fabulous prizes. $150 in advance (includes 1 drink); $250 at door (includes 1 drink)
HOW TO BE AN INTERSECTIONAL ALLY Wednesday, 9 October, 7 to 10 pm Allen & Overy (9/F, Three Exchange Square, Central, Hong Kong)
Allyship is thought to be only for the straight community, but more than ever we need to learn how to be better intersectional allies within our own LGBT+ community. Join us and Planet Ally in this safe space to break down some of our own prejudices and privilege as we find out what being an ally really means Free to attend; registration required
YOGA FOR ALL Thursday, 10 October and Tuesday, 29 October; 7:30 to 9:30 pm Location TBC Check for updates Facebook: @pinkseason.HK or http://www.pinkseason.hk
Practice yoga in a safe and welcoming environment Admission by donation (any amount welcome)
VARIETY SHOW Tuesday, 15 October, 8 to 11 pm Social Room (3/F, Won Hing Building, 74-78 Stanley St, Central)
Back again by popular demand, this Pink Season favourite is sure to entertain! Come out and see incredible live performances by amazing local talent. A â€œmust seeâ€? event. Hosted by the fabulous Cleo Moans. Admission by donation (any amount welcome) Facebook: @pinkseason.HK For info: http://www.pinkseason.hk
PINK ALLIANCE WINE PAIRING DINNER Wednesday, 16 October, 7:30 to 10 pm
BRUT !(Shop C, G/F, 1 Second Street, Sai Ying Pun) Bring your friends or make some new ones over a wine pairing dinner at Brut!, Sai Ying Pun’s intimate neighbourhood eatery. Five natural wines will be served to pair with a fabulously tasty five-course meal of creative tapas-style dishes crafted with love, care and the freshest ingredients. A fundraising event for Pink Alliance's Marriage Equality Campaign. $1,288 (includes 5-course meal and 5 wine pairings)
BOOK LAUNCH Thursday, 17 October, 7:30 to 10 pm Culture Club Gallery (15 Elgin Street lower, Soho, Central)
“Intimate Strangers: True Stories from Queer Asia” and “Sanctuary: Short Fiction from Queer Asia” Intimate Strangers showcases the nonfiction work of fifteen writers from Eastern Asia living life on their own authentic terms. Sanctuary is a celebration of the creativity and diversity of the continent’s LGBT+ writing, drawn from both established and emerging authors in ten countries and territories.
Contributors to these two Asian LGBT+ anthologies share their honest and intimate accounts of life as they navigate the multiplicity of cultures and values in the region and beyond. Writers presenting their work include Jenna Collett, Edward Gunawan, Beatrice Wong and Simon Wu, among others. Free
Facebook: @pinkseason.HK/For info: http://www.pinkseason.hk
THE URBAN RACE Saturday, 19 October, 10 am to 6 pm Vicinity of Kowloon East
Organised by Out in HK for Pink Season, this is a game where diversity makes a stronger team! Form a team of five with your friends and colleagues, or team up with a group of new friends. Each team will be given clues through WhatsApp to locate landmarks and â€œhiddenâ€? places in Hong Kong, where you will have to perform tasks and take pictures of accomplished missions. Speed is not all that which determines the winning team, but also a display of teamwork. You will be required to think outside the box and step it up in a fun and creative way. Space is limited to 15 teams only so book early to reserve your spot. Reservation closes midnight October 6.
$280 per person
CHILL OUT WITH SOUNDS OF LOCAL BANDS Tuesday, 22 October, 8 to 10 pm Peel Fresco Music Lounge (49 G/F Peel St, Central)
Chill out with a free evening of tunes from favourite Hong Kong musical acts, including catchy melodies from the eclectic Indigo Town, Shingaling with original indie songs, fun tunes from the Borscht Brothers, and alternative shoegaze trio The Glass Choir. Free
MONEY FORUM Wednesday, 23 October, 7 to 10 pm Location TBC Check for updates Facebook: @pinkseason.HK or http://www.pinkseason.hk
With discrimination affecting so much of everyday life in Hong Kong, knowing how to plan your finances is vital. Join us as we provide a panel of experts to help you with everything from insurance, investments, property and writing wills. Free but registration is required.
THE HAPPINESS PROGRAM
Thursday, 24 October and Friday, 25 October (7 to 10 pm); Saturday, 26 October (9 am to 12 pm) The Art of Living Yoga and Meditation Center (19/F, Arion Commercial Center, 2-12 Queen's Road West, Sheung Wan)
Learn how to quickly and effectively reduce stress, make meditation easier, build resilience, and relax deeper in this 3-day workshop designed specifically for LGBT+ participants $1,000; registration required
CAREER DAY Saturday, 26 October, 1 to 5 pm Location TBC Check for updates Facebook: @pinkseason.HK or http://www.pinkseason.hk
Are you looking to advance your career? With no anti-discrimination law in place regarding the workplace, it can be a daunting task. This fascinating day will explore all aspects of work life and your chance to pick the brains of the experts. Free to attend; registration required
LGBT & CHRISTIANITY Sunday, 27 October, 6 to 8 pm Blessed Ministry Community Church (20/F, Cheong Sun Tower, 118 Wing Lok St, Sheung Wan; entrance on Tung Loi Lane)
Being LGBT+ and Christian Can you be Christian and LGBT+? Is the Bible against homosexuality? Why do some churches accept LGBT+ and may even hold marriage ceremonies for LGBT+ couples? Why do other churches see being LGBT+ as a crime and consider that LGBT+ has to change their sexuality? Free but registration required Facebook: @pinkseason.HK For info: http://www.pinkseason.hk
MARRIAGE EQUALITY Wednesday, 30 October, 7 to 9 pm Location TBC
Check for updates Facebook: @pinkseason.HK or http://www.pinkseason.hk Join us as we debate the quest for legal recognition of same sex relationships in Hong Kong. Free but registration is required.
THE PINK SEASON FINALE Saturday, 2 November 2019 Location and time TBC
Please check for up-to-date information: Facebook: @pinkseason.HK or http://www.pinkseason.hk
his past June, New York City and the world celebrated the largest international Pride event in history: Stonewall 50-World Pride NYC. The month long celebration produced by Heritage of Pride, commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, with five million spectators attending during Pride weekend alone. The longest Pride March/ Parade that the world has ever seen took over Manhattan streets for 13 hours and ended with concerts in Times Square and the famous pier dance at “Pride Island” where last minute surprise, Madonna, performed her iconic songs and selections from her new Madame X album. The Stonewall uprising occurred in the Greenwich Village neighbourhood of New York City and is widely considered to mark the start of the modern Gay Rights Movement (now more commonly referred to as the fight for LGBT+ rights). The concept for World Pride was established in 1997 when NYC’s Heritage of Pride hosted the 16th annual conference of InterPride, an international organization representing and composed of producers of pride events for the LGBT+ community that celebrate culture and pride. It is an event that promotes LGBT+ pride issues on an international level through parades, festivals and other cultural activities. The inaugural World Pride was held in Rome in 2000, and has occurred every two years in selected cities. The next World Pride will take place in 2021 in Copenhagen. Here’s hoping that Hong Kong will be selected to host World Pride one day in the near future.
Never one to be turned off by challenges, my team has adopted a lean and mean development structure reinforced by constant feedback loops and flexible deployment of capital to claim strongholds of various degrees in each country. Thailand – PReP education. Philippines - HIV Testing. South Korea – Mental Health. Vietnam – Employment Counselling. Malaysia – Religious Protection. The list goes on.
Written by Kenneth Kwok, Founder, Better Together Foundation count myself as a very lucky gay man. Born in Hong Kong, raised in Taiwan, Japan and Canada, educated in United States and worked in multiple world cities, I have had the distinct privilege to witness and more importantly benefit from the progress made in LGBT+ rights across the world. Being a gay global citizen has certainly opened my eyes and fueled my passion to give back. This was one of the primary factors for my founding the Better Together Foundation when I turned 35, a private non-profit organization dedicated to three core pillars: HIV advocacy, LGBT+ youth empowerment and pride and community initiatives. In 2018, our work has directly impacted more than 100 individuals across six counties in Asia Pacific. This year 2019, I was humbled by and accepted the invitation by the office of his Excellency Mr. Justin Trudeau to march with him during Toronto Pride, which is Canada’s largest celebration of the year. As a proud Canadian, an immigrant and a #gaypreneur, it served to remind me that if you learn to fall in love with the cause, you will always adapt the solution to the changing times and ensuring positive outcomes. Currently, I reside in Asia and conduct most of my businesses out of Hong Kong. Compared to Canada and the United States, Asia is a beautiful combination of 10+ distinct countries and culture. Within this pluralistic rich fabric, there is no one easy way to fight for and secure equality for LGBT+ individuals. 15
Many people have asked me where I find the drive to keep going despite all the fundamental challenges presented in the region we work in. My answer is the same for those asking me why Global Citizen Capital and its fund focusing on regenerative medicine keeps me excited about life: it is no longer about making a billion dollars, but positively impacting a billion lives.
By the end of 2019, the goal with our strategic partners is to set up Asia’s first LGBT+ empowerment society so that we can combine the resources availed to all and work synergistically towards supporting common goals. As we like to say, it is impossible to break fifty chopsticks bundled together with our bare hands. Only with the LGBT+ community being empowered economically can our political and social causes truly be controlled by us. As we continue to be proud every year, month or day, let us continue to support each other towards realizing our dreams. We are indeed the most resilient community and we need to channel this into building a truly sustainable greater good foundation by staking and enlarging our slice of the economic pie.
ith the recent news about gay couple Angus Leung and Scott Adams winning a landmark court case for spousal rights and equality, many of us are probably wondering what is next in the advancement of LGBT+ rights in Hong Kong. It is uncertain what the next hurdle will be but perhaps it may have something to do with a recent study by Will Yip, an in-house lawyer for a major financial Hong Kong institution. The Hong Kong Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) gave the green light for a comparison study on how couples (including LGBT+) are treated under Hong Kong legislation, calling the study Project Windsor. We managed to sit down with Will regarding his findings. The results of the study can very well be used to ride the wave of further advancement of LGBT+ rights in Hong Kong.
What project have you been working on and why? For the past year, I’ve been working on Project Windsor for the Hong Kong Equal Opportunities Commission. The project compares how couples – whether opposite or same sex and whether married, in a civil partnership, or simply cohabiting – are treated under Hong Kong legislation. The project finished in late June 2019 when the results were published by the Equal Opportunities Commission in a report entitled “The Recognition and Treatment of Relationships under Hong Kong law”.
Can you tell us a little but about yourself . I’m Will Yip. I’ve been in Hong Kong for 14 years. I pay my bills by being an in-house lawyer for one of the largest financial institutions in Hong Kong.
Please highlight the subject matters of your findings? There’s really two points.
First, the rights and benefits denied to couples that are not, or cannot become, opposite-sex spouses are numerous and wide-ranging. For example, opposite-sex spouses can jointly adopt children, access reproductive technology, live together in public housing, refuse to disclose their private discussions in criminal proceedings, and automatically inherit from each other where there isn’t a will. Couples in other types of relationships can’t. These couples are also seriously disadvantaged when it comes to tax, where they may pay more in salaries tax and stamp duty when they buy property. Second, and I think more interestingly, the limits or obligations that the law places on married couples don’t apply to other couples. This can negatively affect the Government, markets, creditors, and the general public. For example, it is more challenging for the Government to pursue allegations of false trading in securities where the trading is between two women or two men married to each other instead of between opposite-sex spouses. As another example, directors of listed companies don’t have to include the interests of their civil or cohabiting partners when disclosing their interests in the companies they manage, which leaves the public less informed about who is really in control.
Does it somehow benefit the Marriage Equality issue/cause/debate in Hong Kong? I believe that awareness is one of the most important drivers of change in any society. I hope that the report will increase awareness of the real issues faced by gay and lesbian couples and help society understand that marriage equality is important for everyone.
What kind of effort would it take for this to reach the offices of the lawmakers? I’m pleased that a number of LGBT+ groups are aware of the report and have been helping to spread further awareness of the report. At the moment, I assume lawmakers are focused on the unprecedented protests we’ve seen in Hong Kong over the summer. Once things have calmed down, I hope the report can be given due attention by the Legislative Council, particularly by those members with a proven track record of attempting to advance LGBT+ rights in Hong Kong.
Where can the general public see the results of your study? The report, an executive summary, and a video explaining the findings of the report are available at http://www.allenovery.com/EOC or on the Equal Opportunities Commission’s website, http://www.eoc.org.hk. The report and video are also available in Chinese.
Written by Philip Howell-Williams ruits in Suits (FinS) is the original LGBT+ networking group in Hong Kong. It has been running for fifteen years now. When it was started there were very few LGBT+ groups or social activities around. Long before the likes of Pink Dot, Pink Season and Out in HK were in Hong Kong, it was one of the highlights of the month. Although it was created as a business networking event, it has morphed into a more social networking evening over the years. Held on the third Tuesday of each month it changes location on a quarterly basis. We try to find venues that are in a convenient location, are supportive of the LGBT+ community and also new and exciting places to discover. Over the year’s other LGBT+ networking groups have been created and many have been very popular. Some of these are still in operation. Behind the scenes, FinS has always been there and there is a reason that it has stood the test of time. There is a loyal following of people who attend on a regular basis. For people that are new to Hong Kong, it is a great way to meet new people in a friendly environment. It is quite a unique evening as it a mix of people from all walks of life who want to socialise away from the regular venues that one would think of for the LGBT+ community. Along with being an event that is safe and welcoming to everyone, FinS is also used as a platform for other people to use. In the past, we have had panel discussions, fundraising events, presentations, wine tasting, promotions and much more. Each month there is a free prize draw for the chance to win some great prizes and no entry charge for the evening.
It was one of the first events when I arrived in Hong Kong. There have been several wonderful directors before my time. FinS was purchased by the charity Pink Alliance four years ago. That was the time that I took over as director. It has been a delight to watch it continue to grow in attendance with new people and original members. It has also been a delight to build so many relationships with different bars and restaurants that are always delighted with what the wonderful crowd that we attract each month. Most importantly though, FinS is there for our community. Over the years many people have told me that it is one of the only evenings that they can socialise in a venue that they would not normally attend, be completely at ease with everyone there, and make new friends. FinS has earnt its place in Hong Kong as it has done in many other countries. It will be around for many years to come.
For Information on monthly events, visit Facebook: @FinS.HK
FinS: A Retrospective Series n the next issue of Pink Paper, we will debut a FinS Retrospective Series by former FinS ‘Chief Dreamer’ Eric J. Herrera, where he will reflect on the history of the group from beginning to today. His writings will be published across a few issues so stay tuned! Below is a small excerpt from the series.
From one of my favourite writers, Gary J. Stern – ‘Gayness takes us many places one might not otherwise go. Because conventional forms don’t provide for us, we must create and recreate a vision on our own.’ Being from an events background, I understood from the beginning the FinS’s mantra the founders passed on and I thus further tried to implement these positive affirmations. Fruits in Suits, Hong Kong was founded July 2004 by Gavin Denton, Eric Toh, Alvin Cheng with help from Edowan Bersma amongst others, they started the event at ONE BAR at One Exchange Square, Central. That was also the year I moved to Hong Kong. I joined this initiative during its second month of operation as I saw it as a great way to meet a new community. To be continued in the next issue..
Oh, and it was closed.
In my eagerness to be the first there, I had arrived an hour before it opened. A canteen across the road was the only place open, so I went had a bowl of Koh Soi, a Northern Thai dish of rich curry- like soup with both crunchy fried and soft boiled noodles. It rained torrentially while I sat inside the canteen, slowing to a drizzle as the White Temple began to open its gates.
Written by Rebecca Cairns hiang Rai is quiet; that’s the first thing you notice about the small Northern Thai city. It’s less well known than its sistertown Chiang Mai, which is already a sleepy hipster city comprised of coffee shops and massage parlours frequented by bare-foot backpackers; they lend it a raucous edge in the small hours of the morning. Chiang Rai doesn’t have that. It gets relegated to tourist day-trips, a stop-over en-route to the infamous Golden Triangle. It was a race that took me there: a halfmarathon through the Thai countryside, my first road race of that distance. I booked cheap flights, a cheap hostel, and flew out for a long weekend with little expectation of doing anything other than preparing for the race and unwinding afterwards.
Already there was a cluster of people gathered outside and any ideas of being alone here quickly disappeared. Tourists queued to take photos at the legendary bridge of rebirth, surrounded by grasping white hands outstretched from the concrete moat beneath it. If you’re beginning to wonder what kind of temple this is... It’s technically not a ‘temple’ temple, but a privately-owned exhibition exploring ideas in contemporary and unorthodox Buddhist spirituality, the Theravada Buddhist dhamma. (Note that it still gets treated like a temple though, so dress appropriately.) There’s just one man behind the project—Thai artist Chalermchai Kositpipat, who has entirely funded
the US$1,220,000 project himself. This place has been compared to Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia, as the work has been ongoing since 1997 and is expected to continue to 2070. I knew it was an artistic rendition of a temple, but I didn’t quite know how much that was going to bleed into the whole design. The philosophy is suffering before salvation, beginning with the white-washed concrete hands of the damned and culminating in a cartoon-style mural, showing the evils of the modern world—the mobile phone and Hello Kitty included. It’s a wacky interpretation of the Buddhist faith, and not like anything you’ll have seen before, which makes it worth the visit. The irony is, the White Temple gets used as the backdrop of Instagrammers the world over: it’s beautiful and unusual, arresting in its monochromatic all-white colour scheme and still just off-the-beatentrack enough that it’s an ‘alternative’ attraction. The exact ‘evil’ that Kositpipat has built this temple to warn against has made it an international superstar, and it seems unlikely that will change any time soon.
My only ‘to-do’ item was the one thing everyone knows Chiang Rai for: the White Temple (Wat Rong Kun). On my first morning in the city, I dragged myself from bed at 6.30am to make the first bus. A little out of town, it’s a 20-minute journey away. The bus driver let me off on the side of the road at a chaotic junction. A few roadside restaurants and stores lined the pavement-less street. As I rounded the corner, I saw the White Temple. It was perched on the roadside, separated only by a narrow, low wall. It was a little underwhelming. It was small, and the beauty of the building got lost among the residential area. All the images I’d seen of it had been only of the building itself. I had imagined its surroundings as rural rolling fields, or a long, grand driveway. But it was just a small, templelike structure in a gated compound. Oh, and it was closed.
Wat Rong Kun, San Sai, Muang Chiang Rai, 57100 | 08:00-17:00 | +66 053 673 579 | watrongkhun.org
Written by Zo Loren raveling is my form of relaxation and what better way to relax than to visit the home of the competitive football club FC Bern and see live bears in the capital city of Switzerland, Bern. Its historic Alstadt or Old Town, is nestled in between a freezing and long snake-like river, and worthy of being the iconic location of any medieval film or festival. The city has retained much of its historic architecture and works hard to maintain its iconic spires, cobblestone streets, traditional roads lined with cafés and businesses under arches, and buildings. If you’re brave enough you can soak your feet in the river, swim or float down the river to other Swiss towns or visit the famous bear pit. To finish the day you must enjoy a sunset dinner or beer at Altes Tramdepot, the tourist friendly restaurant, overlooking the city and river. It’s the perfect spot for a date, rain, or shine. I personally got soaked in the rain, but the generously sized traditional Swiss dinner and the sunset glowing through the raindrops made my experience worth it. Now, don’t visit too late as places in Bern can close early.
Written by Marshall Moore or some reason, I watched both of Bohemian Rhapsody and Rocketman in the same week. Call it a happy accident. The former film succeeded in spite of itself: Rami Malek is a terrific actor and I’m not sure what Freddie Mercury was like in person, but I kept looking at the mouth. My metric for excellent performances is the actor’s ability to make me stop noticing. I kept noticing the prosthesis, and I kept noticing a talented straight man serving up gay bitchery in a way that was good but not all the way there. The timing was off. A minor detail, and not an offensive one. I’m not upset that an out gay man wasn’t cast for that role, for example. That being said, the film’s high points were the ones in which the music was being created. Queen wrote songs that will echo down the decades and this movie managed not to screw that part up. It said important things about what creative genius might look like, how sometimes it’s about one gifted person holding fast and quietly shouting everyone else down.
Rocketman, on the other hand, is what Bohemian Rhapsody wanted to be but wasn’t. Taron Edgerton devoured the role, and his performance should earn him major awards. Think of Charlize Theron in Monster or Nicole Kidman in The Hours. He was that good. In contrast to Malek’s performance in Bohemian Rhapsody, I never noticed myself noticing. Edgerton was stellar, awkward, arrogant, messy, vulnerable, vaguely ridiculous, and godlike all at the same time. He did a better job of inhabiting the role of a deeply conflicted young gay man, as well. Malek was good; Edgerton slayed. And he could sing Elton John’s songs well enough, enough that Sir Elton actually approved, and sang with him on the soundtrack. This one is toweringly good and not to be missed. Both films are now streaming online. 20
30TH 7-21 September 2019 https://www.hklgff.hk
he 30th anniversary of the Hong
he HKLGFF will end with the Closing
Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival kicked off on 7 September with the annual presentation of the Prism Award which is given to individuals or organizations who have made an impact in the advancement of equal rights and LGBT awareness in Hong Kong. This year, it was no surprise that the recipients of the award went to Angus Leung and Scott Adams who won the landmark court case for spousal rights and equality.
film on 21 September. MY BIG GAY ITALIAN WEDDING is a classic meetthe-parents tale, set in the beautiful picturesque foothills of central Italy, where shock and horror ensues after Antonio introduces his family to Paolo, his male spouse-to-be. The movie is adaptation of the hit OffBroadway play written by Anthony J. Wilkinson.
What sets HKLGFF apart from other LGBT film festivals is two Opening films; HOW I FELT WHEN I SAW THAT GIRL,” a ground breaking Lesbian Bollywood romcom, and THE SHINY SHRIMPS, an uproarious story of a Gay water polo team and its homophobic coach. After the screenings, attendees with an opening film ticket stub joined the Big Opening party bash at the W Hotel where guests partied to the sounds of DJ Melody Lane and resident DJ Janette Slack spinning dance music all night, as well as performances by Sexiest drag queen XXXotica and Super drag group Drag Jam, and Vogueing group KiKi house of Marciano.
After the screening, guests with a closing ticket stub can attend the Closing party at the glamorous venue, Ophelia. Performances by Sira, Thailand’s “MANdonna” and larger than life Miss Gimhuay from Drag Race Thailand. In addition, Ophelia’s performers will also put up a show. Only limited party tickets will be on sale at the door for $200. To avoid disappointment, buy your closing film tickets to enjoy complimentary entry including 1 drink with closing film ticket stub. Tickets to the closing: https://www.hklgff.hk/programme/cl osing-film/my-big-gay-italianwedding
Written by Ray Yeung Executive Director, HKLGFF
n 1991 the Legislative Council agreed to decriminalize private, adult, and consensual homosexual relations in Hong Kong. The local movie industry suddenly had a hot new topic for their storylines and a number of films with homosexual plots were made. Unfortunately, most of these LGBTI movies depicted stereotypes, and only a handful of exceptions portrayed the LGBTI community with sincerity and sensitivity. The 30th HKLGFF paid tribute to films, which explored the complexity of local LGBTI issues and significantly contributed to the gay culture of Hong Kong. The Retrospective program was screened at Hong Kong Arts Centre, the birthplace of the HKLGFF. It included the feature, A WOMAN is a WOMAN paired with short film MY WAY, and a documentary, YANG and YIN GENDER in CHINESE CINEMA. Special guest, Director Stanley Kwan was on-hand for Q&A after the screening.
iologist turned artist Karthik Aithal is an illustrator currently living in India. Having grown up in India and living for extended periods in Europe, he realized that various degrees of homophobia exists almost everywhere. This is where he gets his inspiration from and the work he has created all coincide with the sign of the times and are very relevant in todayâ€™s world. Various perspectives of his subjects are explored through his art by talking to them, collecting their stories and illustrating them. He hopes that the public becomes aware of the issues and be more accepting towards each other. His artworks on LGBT stories are generally circulated in June for Pride. Samples of his illustrations and stories are on this page and next. (Instragram = @aithalkarthik) Illustration and story by Karthik Aithai
hen a few of my close friends knew that I date both men and women, they were quite cool about it. They thought I was bisexual, though I do not prefer to go with the labels. But in reality, I was always attracted to people irrespective of their gender or biological sex, meaning not only I get attracted to the cis men and women, I also have had crush on trans men and women from time to time. So, there was this time when I was dating this trans woman, it raised several eyebrows.. Even my friends who were okay with me dating cis individuals, found this to be awkward. Some of the people I came across found me a pervert, some of them thought I was insane and some of them thought I looked for only sex without romantic inclination (Unfortunately this happens in Canada in 2018). I remember a close friend of mine asking me, if I were going to have sex with any adult human being which walks on its two.. I did not know what to answer at first but slowly made him understand how I felt. In essence, I told, a straight man would not get attracted to every woman on earth and similarly a gay man wouldn't get attracted to every man out there. There are a lot of things beyond the looks, stature and state of a person which one would find appealing. Similarly, I get attracted to people across the gender and sexes but it doesn't mean I get attracted to everyone on earth. Honestly, questions like these, with rigid pre conceived notions and ignorance gets hard to tackle than embracing one's own sexuality unfortunately. According to me, Love whoever you want, however you want as far as that is a consenting adult because love is a beautiful force, which everyone needs to experience...It comes for free in various forms and why not make the best use of it? (Illustration based on the story of Mr. DF)
Illustration and story by Karthik Aithai
few weeks ago I married my wife after being together for four and half years. We actually met on tinder. I had been using tinder for that previous autumn but deleted the app. One night in January 2015, I was waiting for a friend to come over for dinner. She was running late because of a fight with her boyfriend, and as I was waiting, bored, I downloaded the app again. I got a few matches but didn't think too much about it until she wrote to me
I was not looking for any relationship at that moment because of a bad breakup the year before but I could not keep away. I tried to act breezy (to appear cool, I guess) and when I finally told her that I really liked her, she told me ”I like you too, when you’re not braggy.” I decided then to just be my silly self and we’ve been together ever since. I asked her to marry me on the Midsummer’s Day last year. We were both a bit hungover from the day before and had decided to go for a walk along the beach in Tantolunden. I sat down in one of the hammocks and she laid down with her head in my lap and closed her eyes. I asked her and she said yes. Our families were happy for us, although a bit sad that they wouldn’t be able to attend the wedding. We had decided to keep the ceremony small with just the two of us. It was a lovely day, even though it was pouring and my heels were slaying my feet. I wasn’t nervous,
”Hi Ewa, nice potted plant” (a reference to my profile picture). We chatted all evening, my friend never came over. We met up just a few days after starting to talk to each other, since I was going to a party in Stockholm. At the time, I was taking a lot of medication due to depression which made my hands shake. As I was walking over to her with our coffees, my hands were shaking and making the cup clatter on its saucer. She later told me that she had thought that I was nervous and that it was endearing but later felt sad, when I told her it was because of the sideeffects from meds. We ended up having our second date that very same night when she came to the party I was attending. That is where we had our first kiss on the dance floor. I was that time studying to become a teacher in Uppsala and the next few weeks we talked to each other daily and tried to meet up as often as possible.
neither was she, it just felt natural and right. We are lucky to live in a country where we can legally marry and be out both privately and at our jobs, without too many consequences. Sure, sometimes we encounter bigotry and hate but with my teaching job I hope to be able to have an influence on future generations, perhaps making my tiny part of the world a more accepting place to live. (Illustration based on the story of EB)
GEEKS AND NERDS Gay Geeks Written by Dusty Walnut
I was always a nerd. Loved science-fiction ever since I learned how to read. Grew up watching Star Trek and playing Dungeons & Dragons. Later in life, as a student, I preferred to curl up in bed with my copy of Lord of the Rings or to play The Legend of Zelda late into the night, rather than go down to a local bar. Only later I realized that I’m not alone and that there are other LGBT geeks out there.
Flying the rainbow flags and having fun on boats out on the water... The 14th Annual FLOATILLA Hong Kong
Geeks are people who are passionate about their hobbies or interests – ones often considered “nerdy” – and not ashamed of it. They tend to love sci-fi and fantasy, comic books, video games and board games (but you can be an opera geek all the same).
6 October, 2019; 10am-6pm. Get ready for summer sunshine sailing away on board with gay guys/ gals from all over Asia and beyond for this annual LGBTQ Sunday party. Floatilla will be one of the must join during the Pink Season in Hong Kong.
As people who do not fit neatly in the mainstream, the geek community tends to be very accepting and welcoming of LGBT folks in their midst and at their events, such as the annual Comic-Con. And LGBT geeks have formed their own communities.
About 15 Junk Boats and 750 people take to the water. Organise your own junk, or find someone who has. There is no organiser, just a date and location. Jump aboard, grab your friends, load the beer and food, and see you there. For location and up-to-date information, logon to Facebook. www.facebook.com/Floatilla-Hong-Kong155606987860255
Since it’s impossible to discuss the plot twists of Stranger Things in a noisy bar, we prefer to meet in quieter places. Hong Kong’s Gay Geeks community has its meetups monthly, on a Saturday evening, in a pub in Jordan. It’s one of a few LGBT gatherings that attract women and men in equal numbers. You don’t have to know how to play Dungeons & Dragons to join, but if you’re up for a game of Settlers of Catan over a beer, or just want to hang out with other geeks, we’re your crowd. For more information check out the Hong Kong Gay Geeks meet-up group. https://www.meetup.com/Gay-Geeks-HK/
Get ready for Hong Kong's First Pride Run! Yes that’s right! Pride Run Hong 2019 will be Hong Kong’s first formally organized LGBTI+ running event and will include a 10 km run and a 5 km family friendly hike with finisher medals, t-shirts and a post run picnic in the park. It is destined to be a celebration of fitness, friendship, family and diversity.
Turn the Tide... Walk with Pride.. Discrimination Says Goodbye The Hong Kong Pride March
All runners and walkers of all paces and abilities are welcome to join. Hong Kong's first annual Pride Run is organised by Out in Hong Kong and Front Runners Hong Kong with logistical support provided by RaceBase. Sunday, 1st December Aberdeen Country Park PHAB Barbeque site. Registration is required. For more information go to their website: https://www.racebase.asia/pride-run *Proceeds from the first HK pride run will be donated to local LGBTQ+ charities.
16 November 2019, annual Pride parade, 2pm from Victoria Park (Causeway Bay MTR exit) to Edinburgh Place, the Finish Point Assembly area with entertainment performances, exhibition and vending booths. Check their Facebook page for details and updates: www.facebook.com/hkpride email@example.com
One of Hong Kong’s best-known gay
Styled as a cocktail bar, it would be hard
bars, is renowned for its great happy
to escape the fact that this is one of
hour (2-4-1, 7-9pm) and awesome
Hong Kong’s liveliest gay bars. They’re
theme nights, including weekly screenings of Ru Paul’s drag race when
BOGOF drinks deal runs 6.30-9pm all week long, but the fun continues all
the new season airs and Eurovision
night here for party animals with fruity
nights. By day when the bar is shut,
cocktails and DJ sets until the early
Cafe FLM opens in the back as a chilled
Best for: Party animals | 33 Jervois St., Sheung Wan
Best for: theme nights | 62 Jervois St, Sheung Wan
T:ME Petticoat Lane If you’re looking for an LGBT+ friendly
Not every night needs to be a wild one, and this is where T:ME Bar comes in:
space in Hong Kong’s rowdy Central
This fun Sheung Wan bar is one for the
hidden away behind Hollywood Road,
nightlife scene, it would be easy to miss
music lovers. Live bands and karaoke
on Man Hing Lane, this LGBT-friendly
the rainbow flags on the Petticoat’s
bar opens onto Pak Tsz Lane Park and
terrace, sandwiched between LKF and
programming here before the DJ comes
offers chilled-out vibes with great drink
Wyndham Street. This gem has a large
on later in the evening.
Best for: live music | 79 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan
Best for: quiet drinks | Back entrance, 65 Hollywood Road
Basement, 57-59 Wyndham Street,
It would be impossible to talk about LGBT+ bars in Hong Kong and not
Lesbian bars in Hong Kong are few and
mention Virus, on of the city’s oldest
is one of Hong Kong’s best places for
As LGBT+ bars go, this one is a little more on the covert side of things. This
‘girls bars’. Recently moving to a new
LGBT+ women to drink, meet and
location in Causeway Bay, Virus has
mingle. They have beer pong and darts,
new bar, opened in 2018 from the same
been around for over 20 years, creating
and often kick into party mode with
a chilled nightlife atmosphere for LGBT+
themed nights and collaborations.
monthly nightbclub concept ‘Behind’ is
women with karaoke and (by Hong Kong’s standards) reasonably priced
dance floor and stellar music selection to match.
Best for: dancing the night away |
renovated prison barrack block, and has a relaxed and sultry speakeasy atmosphere that lends itself to a lowkey 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
Wednesdays, so pop along for their drink deals.
Best for: meeting new people over drinks and games | 5th Floor, Cameron Centre, 57-59 Chatham Road South,
Best for: a catch up with friends | 21F, Chung Way Commercial Building, 447449 Lockhart Road, Causeway Bay
Tsim Sha Tsui Lex Chill Hey The lesbian dance party for girls who
Bing Bing HK
love girls. It’s not a ‘bar’ per se, but a
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.
roaming nightclub concept which takes
popular with both couples on date nights and singles looking to meet new people.
far between, so Les Paradis in Kowloon
Best for: good cheer with friends old and new, great dance music, reasonably priced drinks | 22F Oliv Building, 15 Sharp St E, Causeway Bay
Best for: a low-key party | 35 Pottinger Street, Central
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
Want to give back to Hong Kongâ€™s LGBT+ community? Pink Alliance is seeking volunteers! Join us on our campaign for marriage equality, help out with events, write for the Pink Paper or lend your skill set to the group. Please contact Director of HR, Nigel Collett for more information about the available roles below: firstname.lastname@example.org
CAMPAIGN VOLUNTEERS: to help plan and execute the marriage equality campaign. CHINESE PRESS OFFICER: to handle the Chinese media for the campaign, speak and make statements in Cantonese. EVENT VOLUNTEERS FOR PINK SEASON: to assist the Director of Pink Season, to plan, arrange and manage events within the annual Pink Season, PHOTOGRAPHERS: to work with the Director of Communications, to record PA events and provide pictures for the website and social media. VIDEO CAMERA OPERATORS: to work with the Director of Communications, to record PA events and provide video for the website and social media. WRITERS: to work with the Editor of the Pink Paper in writing pieces in either Chinese or English, or both. TRANSLATORS: to translate from English to Chinese and/or from Chinese to English for any PA publication and website. DESIGNERS: to help several departments design and prepare online and hard copy pages, social media entries, brochures, posters and leaflets.
Chairperson Alfred Ip
Director Outreach Roger Steel
Vice Chairperson & Chief Executive Officer Reggie Ho
Director Website & Pink Season Jim Poon
Company Secretary & Director HR Nigel Collett
Director FINS (Fruits In Suits) Philip Howell-Wiliams
Director Communications & Campaign David Hall
Editor Chinese Social Media Norman Kwan
Director Education Benita Chick
Editor English Social Media Deva Lee
Director Policy Jerome Yau
Editor Pink Paper Stan Guingon
Director Health Gordon Wong
Legal Advisor Adam Hugill
Director IT Isaac Yick
Secretary Tristan Lee
Director Fundraising Philip Howell-Wiliams
Treasurer Jonanne Loney
Director Mainland China Outreach Kenneth Cheung
Pink Paper is a publication for the Pink Alliance organization in Hong Kong