Hong Kong, Asia

Hong Kong, part of China since 1997, is renowned for its expansive skyline and natural setting. It is one of the world's leading financial capitals and a major business and cultural hub. Its identity as a cosmopolitan center where east meets west is reflected in its cuisine, cinema, music and traditions, and although the population is predominantly Chinese, residents and expatriates of other ethnicities form a significant segment of society. Indeed, many people still think of Hong Kong as a separate entity from China. There are several gay-rights organizations (and numerous social venues) in Hong Kong, such as Rainbow Action and Tongzhi Culture Society. The age of consent is now 16 for all. Although Hong Kong has held several small demonstrations against homophobia, a Gay Pride parade in November 2008 was the first event solely dedicated to celebrating queer identity. It represented progress for China’s gay community, marking the first large-scale event of its kind in any major Chinese city.


News & Reports:


Hong Kong court strikes down ‘unacceptable’ gender law that forces surgery on trans people

Hong Kong’s highest court handed down a landmark ruling that will allow trans people to change their gender on identity cards without undergoing surgery. Trans activist Henry Edward Tse and another trans man, only identified as “Q”, filed a legal challenge in 2019 against the government’s current policy that trans people can only update their… Read more »

No Escape From Hong Kong

New legislation lets the government block people from leaving. Mark another step in Hong Kong’s descent: On Wednesday the Legislative Council made it easier for the government to block Hong Kongers from leaving. The new legislation gives authorities the power to prevent Hong Kong residents and foreigners from boarding any plane or vessel docked in… Read more »

Transgender pastor defies HK court to conduct same-sex marriages

Kualal Lumpur: A transgender pastor has vowed to officiate same-sex marriages in Hong Kong despite a legal challenge failing to provide assurances that he will not face arrest. Marrz Balaoro was arrested in 2017 for holding ceremonies in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Straight (LGBTS) Christian Church which he founded in the global financial… Read more »

Hong Kong Court Upholds Ban On Gay Marriage

A Hong Kong court has rejected a challenge against the city’s ban on same-sex marriage. According to CNN, Hong Kong’s Court of the First Instance handed down its ruling on Friday. The plaintiff in the case is a woman known as MK who argued that the city’s ban violated her constitutional rights. The court said… Read more »

Hong Kong Court Issues Landmark Ruling in a Victory for LGBT Rights

(Hong Kong) — Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal said Thursday the government cannot deny spousal employment benefits to same-sex couples, in a ruling hailed as a major step forward for same-sex equality in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory. The court overturned an earlier judgment, saying unanimously that denying same-sex couples access to spousal benefits is… Read more »

Hong Kong judge rules religion should not define what marriage is

Justice Anderson Chow Ka-ming said marriage is an issue of the law, not a ‘social’ one A Hong Kong judge tasked with ruling on whether to allow civil union partnerships for LGBTI couples ruled earlier thisweek (23 April) that religion will not define marriage. Lawyers for the Catholic Diocese of Hong Kong, China – the city’s largest… Read more »

Hong Kong’s politicians vote against law for same-sex civil unions

Hong Kong needs same-sex civil unions to help protect the rights of LGBTI couples Hong Kong’s lawmakers have voted against a motion which would have set into motion a debate on legalizing same-sex unions. The city’s only openly gay legislator, Ray Chan, introduced the motion into the Legislative Council on Thursday afternoon (22 November). But… Read more »

LGBTI migrant workers step out for their rights in Hong Kong

Migrant workers face a lot of discrimination in Hong Kong and it can be worse if they’re LGBTI A coalition of LGBT migrant workers made themselves heard in central Hong Kong. Migrants’ Pride was held where the headquarters of many global firms and international banks are located. More than a protest, than a pride parade,… Read more »

Runners inspire LGBT Community to be visible in Hong Kong after fourth place finish at The Great Relay

Hong Kong has seen a number of positive developments in relation to sporting activities even if political developments and LGBT rights have lagged behind. With OutRunners offering members of the LGBT community an active outlet if they want more than just clubs and bars, in combination with the establishment of “Out in Hong Kong”, which… Read more »

Hong Kong Pride will push for LGBTI equality at the largest march to date

Organizers are calling for a law addressing discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity, and intersex status Organizers expect record attendance at this year’s Hong Kong Pride parade. The annual march in the autonomous territory in southeastern China takes place on Saturday 17 November. The theme is Call for the Law, Equality for… Read more »

Hong Kong recognizes same-sex partnerships in spousal visa applications

The administrative change comes after top court ruled denying dependent visas to same-sex couples was unconstitutional Same-sex spouses will be able to apply for dependent visas to stay with their partners in Hong Kong from Wednesday (19 September). The government will change its visa policy in line with a historic legal ruling in July this… Read more »

Dependent Visa Case Gives Hong Kong’s Gay Community Reason To Hope

The future’s looking bright in the fight against discrimination – a victory in the city’s top court by a lesbian couple who took on the Immigration Department will have far-reaching implications The Pride March in London this year was a particularly colourful and vibrant celebration of diversity. There were 30,000 participants, including 150 police officers.… Read more »

Gay Rights Failures Are Holding Back Asia Banking

If Singapore and Hong Kong want to be centers of financial innovation, attitudes need to change. What makes a city a financial center? Investopedia says it requires “international connectedness, diversity and expertise in a variety of financial products and services.” In Asia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo risk falling short on measures two and three… Read more »

Hong Kong has the 2022 Gay Games. Life for China’s LGBTI people may improve at last

I’m glad that Hong Kong won the bid to host the Games. But governmental attitudes towards LGBTI equality both here and in China remain archaic This month Hong Kong won the bid to host the 2022 Gay Games – the first time the Games will be held in Asia. The campaign to win the Games,… Read more »

Chinese attitudes towards gay rights

Despite a historically relaxed view of homosexuality, China seems reluctant to embrace gay rights When Taiwan’s highest court ruled on May 24th that marriage should not be limited to a man and a woman and ordered parliament either to change the law or award marriage rights to gay couples within two years, the official media… Read more »

Ban on blood donations from gay men could be relaxed in Hong Kong

A ban on gay men donating blood in Hong Kong may soon be lifted. The Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service in Hong Kong announced that it would review the current permanent ban that prevents gay men from donating blood. The decision to review the policy came after a Christian student group protested the current ban.… Read more »

LGBT activists rally as Hong Kong government delays discrimination legislation

Nine LGBT groups have released a strong joint statement criticising the government for a decision to delay legislation to protect sexual minorities from discrimination at a press conference last week A long awaited report by Hong Kong’s government into eliminating discrimination against sexual minorities has concluded that “more studies and public consultation are needed” on… Read more »

Hong Kong Pride Parade: Nearly 10K Call For Marriage Equality

An estimated 9,500 people participated in Hong Kong’s seventh annual Pride Parade. Among those calling for the government to recognize the unions of gay and lesbian couples with marriage and extend anti-discrimination laws to include sexual orientation were ten top diplomats from the United States, Britain and France, among others, the South China Morning Post… Read more »

Hong Kong: Rainbow pro-democracy umbrella leads sixth annual pride event

This month’s Hong Kong sixth annual pride event took place with rainbow umbrellas making an appearance in “mutual support” of pro-democracy protests. Organisers said the rainbow symbol was “a beautiful coincidence” as they had ordered 500 rainbow umbrellas just a month before the Umbrella Movement began. Pride spokeswoman Wei Siu-lik said: “We support civil society,… Read more »

Hong Kong urged to learn from Japan, Taiwan’s stand on equality

Hong Kong: International rights activists are urging Hong Kong’s lawmakers to heed the examples of Japan and Taiwan and take a stand against anti-gay prejudice and discrimination. “Taiwan serves as a model because it has already enacted legislation that protects sexual minorities against discrimination in employment and education,” said Professor Holning Lau of the University… Read more »

More than 12,000 attend Hong Kong’s first Pink Dot festival

Hong Kong: More than 12,000 members of the LGBT community, their family and friends attended have attended Hong Kong’s first Pink Dot festival to celebrate diversity and equality. The event took place at Hong Kong’s waterfront Tamar Park on June 15, according to fridae.asia. It took on a Mardi Gras type atmosphere with people wearing… Read more »

Hong Kong: British consulate banned from performing same-sex marriages

The British consulate in Hong Kong has been banned from performing same-sex marriages by the local government. Under secondary same-sex marriage legislation which came into effect last week, couples can marry in 23 British consulates across the world under British law where local law prohibits same-sex marriage, including Russia and China. The countries are Australia,… Read more »

Pink Dot is coming to Hong Kong in June

The first ever Pink Dot Hong Kong, a non-political LGBT celebration, will be coming to Hong Kong on Sunday 15 June 2014 at Tamar Park. Owing to the success of Pink Dot Singapore, which has been held yearly since 2009, Hong Kong’s LGBT community have felt inspired to hold their own event. Pink Dot Hong… Read more »

Hong Kong students pair up in photos for marriage equality

Eight gay and straight uni students go to universities for photo shoots to support same-sex love ‘In every corner on campus, there are always coupless and newlyweds taking daily life photos and wedding pictures. But gays are always absent at these heart-warming moments. This not because there are no gay people in our lives, but… Read more »

Fifth Hong Kong Pride bigger than ever

LGBT community in Hong Kong more visible than ever at fifth Hong Kong Pride Today’s Hong Kong Pride showed the LGBT community there are more visible than ever before The head of Hong Kong’s Equal Opportunity Commission Dr York Chow addressed the crowd, as did member of the legislative council Cyd Ho. This year, the… Read more »

HK youth magazine declares it’s all for gays

100 Most challenges gay haters in the not-so-socially-liberal international city A popular youth magazine in Hong Kong has thrown its full weight behind gays and lesbians. In an almost combative tone, the cover of its lastest issue reads in red fonts: ‘100 Most is backing gay lo fully, so what can you do!’ ‘Gay lo’… Read more »

I AM ME video project to address anti-LGBT bullying in Hong Kong schools

Pink Alliance, a coalition of Hong Kong’s LGBT groups, has launched the I am ME video advocacy project to generate public awareness about anti-LGBT bullying of school students because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. Pink Alliance, a coalition of Hong Kong’s LGBT groups, have launched the I am ME video advocacy project to… Read more »

New Hong Kong equal opportunities commissioner says he will protect LGBT people

Incoming head of the Equal Opportunities Commission attempts to ally fears his Christianity will prevent his protection of sexual orientation and gender identity minorities The incoming head of the Equal Opportunities Commission in Hong Kong has said that his Christian faith will not prevent him from protecting the rights of LGBT people. Former health secretary… Read more »

HIV At 30-Year High With More Gay Men Infected

HIV infection is on the rise in Hong Kong, with a 30-year high of 513 new cases recorded last year, health authorities say. The cases marked a 17 per cent rise from 2011, Dr Wong Ka-hing, consultant to the Department of Health’s special preventive programme, said yesterday. In almost half the new cases, the virus… Read more »

Anti-gay protestors rally against Hong Kong LGBTs

Tens of thousands turned up to support an anti-gay rally in Hong Kong, to show they do not support a government consultation on an gay discrimination law Campaigners opposed to gay rights rallied today (13 January) in Tamar Park, near government buildings in Hong Kong, against government consultation on a law to protect gays from… Read more »

Hong Kong: Out of the closet

Following the closing of the second Pink Season and the 23rd Hong Kong Lesbian & Gay Film Festival which started in 1989 when gay sex was still a criminal offence, Fridae’s Hong Kong Correspondent Nigel Collett looks back at the territory’s LGBT history and how far LGBTs have become mainstream including the election of its… Read more »

Hong Kong lawmakers reject public consultation on equal rights for sexual minorities

Gay rights group describes opposing legislators as ‘in the Stone Ages and oblivious to world trends’ Hong Kong lawmakers rejected a motion calling for a public consultation on equal rights for people of all sexual orientations yesterday. The motion was proposed by pro-human-rights legislator Cyd Ho. Only 33 of the 70 members of the legislative… Read more »

Hong Kong’s first openly gay lawmaker: Raymond Chan Chi-chuen

Newly elected lawmaker Raymond Chan Chi-chuen publicly acknowledges his sexual orientation a day after winning Sunday’s election. Hong Kong now has an openly gay lawmaker. Newly elected People Power (????) representative Raymond Chan Chi-chuen (???) received more than 38,042 votes to win a seat in New Territories East in Sunday’s election, beating incumbent and Democratic… Read more »

Hong Kong AIDS group blames Grindr for rise in infections

Last quarter saw the highest ever numbers of new HIV infections in Hong Kong, AIDS Concern say the popularity of Grindr is contributing to the rise AIDS Concern, the oldest HIV awareness group in Hong Kong, has blamed gay hook-up app Grindr for the highest number of new HIV infections in the former British colony.… Read more »

Conditional Spaces: Hong Kong lesbian desires and everyday life

Dense living conditions in Hong Kong do not provide much privacy for lesbians living with their families. As a result, lesbians often locate alternative spaces to develop support networks with other women. Denise Tang’s new book maps the effect Hong Kong’s spaces have on the lesbians who inhabit them, and the psychological and institutional spaces… Read more »

A new name in Hong Kong activism: Pink Alliance

Hong Kong’s Tongzhi Community Joint Meeting (TCJM for short) has decided to adopt a working name called Pink Alliance for its activities whilst keeping the TCJM name for its legally established and registered non-profit NGO. Fridae’s Hong Kong Correspondent Nigel Collett has more on the group’s history and new developments. The Tongzhi Community Joint Meeting… Read more »

Gaga in Asia

Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Ball premiered in Singapore last night. This marks the last stop of her multi-city Asian tour, due to the official cancellation of her Jakarta performance. Ng Yi-Sheng looks back at a month of pride and protests. For one month now, Lady Gaga has been hurtling like a fireball through Asia,… Read more »

First Hong Kong study into LGBT people at work published

Groundbreaking study makes business case for LGBT inclusive workplaces in Hong Kong he first study into LGBT inclusion at work in Hong Kong has found closeting stifles productivity. The majority, 60%, of the LGBT people who filled in the anonymous online survey are not out at work and 44% are not out to their parents.… Read more »

What is it like to be a lesbian in Hong Kong?

Life is never easy when you are alone in a foreign country, let alone if you are a lesbian in Hong Kong, where the lesbian scene is preciously rare. In a city like Hong Kong, where people come and go so quickly and going out for drinks is almost the only option if you want… Read more »

Homosexuality is not a psychiatric disorder: Hong Kong College of Psychiatrists

In November this year, the Hong Kong College of Psychiatrists at last made an announcement on sexual orientation and the efficacy of faith-based ‘therapies’ – making it the first psychiatric or psychological professional body in Asia known to have done so. Fridae’s Hong Kong correspondent, Nigel Collett, examines the issue. Unnoticed in the media and… Read more »