Gay Taiwan News & Reports 2009-10

1 Have they really come out: gay men and their parents in Taiwan 4/09

2 Thousands march in Taipei for gay marriage 10/09

3 Taiwan pride parade sets new Asian record 11/09

4 More than 100 people protest against government memo in Taipei 3/10

5 School textbooks to introduce gay topics from 2011 3/10

6 Taipei: A rising star for gay travelers 7/10

7 Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade 2010 10/10

8 Gay pride parade draws record numbers 11/10

9 Taiwan’s first gay bookstore flies its own way 11/10

10 Taipei gay pride parade draws record number 11/10

11 HKU’s queer-straight group holds recruitment conference 11/10

12 Over 30 men caught after police raid 2 gay spas in Malaysia 11/10

13 Out in the open in Hong Kong 11/10

14 Singapore: Man fined S$3,000 for oral sex in public toilet 11/10

14a In Taiwan’s Military Homosexuality is Not a Secret 12/10

15 "Rainbow Mature Bus" book project records older homosexuals lives 12/10

April 2009 –

Have they really come out: gay men and their parents in Taiwan

In Chinese culture, filial piety for a son is closely linked to his capacity to produce an heir to ensure continuity of the paternal line. For Taiwanese gay men, coming out as gay may be interpreted as a refusal to produce a male heir and thus constitutes a major conflict within their family. This study explores how gay men in Taiwan come out to their parents within this cultural context. Thirty-two men in total were interviewed.

Findings demonstrate that the decision to come out was often motivated by the son’s perception of his parents’ attitude towards homosexuality. Respondents worked hard to prepare for coming out and to minimize the risk and the impacts of the process, their report shows that some parents go through their own process of coming out and/or hiding in the closet after their gay son’s coming out. Although many parents still see homosexuality as illness, some adopt alternative discourses to reinterpret the meaning of being gay as a spiritual path to eternal enlightenment or friendship.

These findings imply sites of resistance to the privileged discourse of filial piety in constituting the experiences of coming out for Taiwanese gay men and their parents.

October 31, 2009 –

Thousands march in Taipei for gay marriage

Taipei (Agence France-Presse) – Thousands of people from Taiwan’s gay and lesbian community marched through the streets of Taipei on Saturday to demand recognition of same-sex marriage and equal rights, organizers said. The island’s seventh annual Gay Pride Parade, with an estimated turnout of 25,000, also attracted supporters from neighboring Hong Kong, Japan and South East Asian countries, they said.

"We urge the government to better protect gay human rights including same-sex unions so we can have the same legal rights as heterosexual couples," said chief organizer Tung Chu-chu. Rainbow flags, balloons and placards were in abundance as participants gathered in a square outside the presidential office, with dress varying from period costumes to swimming trunks.

"I hope the government will not only legalize same-sex unions but also allow us to adopt children," said Nancy Chen, who pushed a stroller to highlight her call. But Chen admitted that "it would take a few more years" for the general public to accept the idea before the legislation process can begin. "Even though Taiwan is becoming more open-minded towards gays, many still think that gay people can have romantic relationships but not something as serious as starting families," she said.

Taiwan’s cabinet in 2003 drafted a controversial bill to legalize same-sex marriages and recognize the rights of homosexual couples to adopt children, the first in Asia to do so. However, the law has yet to be passed and some gay groups have criticized the bill as a ploy to woo voters. Some marchers, meanwhile, said they were here to enjoy the carnival mood and festivities.

"I think Taiwan is more liberal. The parade here is much more interesting and colorful," said John Lee from Hong Kong as he posed for pictures in a ball gown.

1 November 2009 – Fridae

Taiwan pride parade sets new Asian record

by Choo Lip Sin
A record 25,000 participants turned out for the 7th Taiwan Pride Parade which concluded at gates of the Presidential Office Building on Ketagalan Boulevard for the first time to protest at the government’s meagre progress made in gay rights promised to the community during past elections. On Saturday, October 31, 2009, over a hundred contingents led by six vans set in rainbow colours trod down the streets of the historic western quarters of Taipei city in a dynamic expression of diversity in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) cultures. The turnout of 25,000 broke the record of being the largest gay pride parade in Asia set by the Taiwan Pride Parade the year before.

It is unclear if Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou was in his office on that Saturday afternoon to witness the event and hear the call for a non-discriminatory society, but the gay community had certainly made its presence felt across the island as the parade was broadly reported by major mainstream media outlets. Taipei has been noted by various international media as one of Asia’s most gay-friendly cities. Contigents of marchers were organised around more than a hundred local NGOs and civil society groups from within and outside of the LGBT community, with a strong presence from student bodies (representing both gay and straight students) from numerous universities and institutions. A handful of high school students in school uniforms were also among the marchers.

Green Party Taiwan, whose political concerns centre around marginalised communities, continues to support the gay cause by sending a contingent. Also spotted among the marchers were participants arriving from the US, Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, mainland China, Japan, Singapore, Korea and other parts of the world.

This year’s parade also included disabled participants who completed the course on wheels, while wheelchair-bound LGBT activist Vincent addressed the crowd at the end point. Lesbian mothers with their children and prams in tow made their calls for legal provisions to have babies within a same-sex partnership, while heterosexual supporters and family members brought along their children to heed the call in this year’s parade theme – “Love Out Loud”. In a show of solidarity and discontent with the government dragging its feet over delivering gay-affirmative policies promised to the community during previous election campaigns, participants in the parade gathered on the grounds of Ketagalan Boulevard which runs before the Presidential Office Building to form a huge black cross (X) using printed sheets of “black hearts” handed out by volunteers.

In a series of rousing speeches made by representatives of various civil activist groups including the Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline Association, the Gender and Sexuality Rights Association of Taiwan and activist Josephine Ho, the community voiced its displeasure at the failure of lawmakers and political office holders from both the ruling Kuomingtang (KMT) party and the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to make substantive progress in gay rights and to bring justice to human rights abuses suffered by LGBT citizens.

Along this year’s route were numerous landmarks of significance to the gay history of Taiwan. On Changde Street and along the garden walls of the 228 Memorial Park banners were hung to mark events of historic significance which occurred at these venues, including the controversial abuse of civil rights by the police during armed arrests of gay cruisers in that area in 1997. The 228 Park, formerly known as the New Park, has been a gay cruising ground for over half a century and whose role as the centre of Taipei’s gay scene has been cast in the novel Crystal Boys poignantly written by famed gay novelist Kenneth Pai Hsien-yung.

Also along the route is the Ximending shopping precinct, home to some of the Taipei’s oldest gay saunas, and the Red Mansion conservation building which used to house a cinema popular with gay men as a meeting place for socialising since the 1950s. Today, the plaza adjacent to the restored building has become a gathering space for the gay community with a host of cafes, pubs, retailers, hair salons, and other gay-friendly businesses springing up over the past few years to form Taipei’s unique gay street.

In the outdoor concert which followed the parade, Malaysia-born pop artiste Fish Leong took the stage as the Rainbow Ambassador. Leong’s popular hit “Courage”, released a decade ago, has remained the de facto “anthem” for same-sex love in the Mandarin pop music scene. A young parade volunteer went on stage to describe how Leong’s iconic song struck her heart and fed her soul during her growing up years as she was coming to terms with being a lesbian teenager. Leong, who is said to be preparing for her wedding currently, affirmed her support for the LGBT community, treating all to three of her love songs favoured by gay listeners. She also donated a pair of sunglasses for auction to raise funds for future pride parades. Also appearing in the concert were gay-friendly artistes Da Bing and Ding Dang from mainland China.

3 March 2010 – Fridae

More than 100 people protest against government memo in Taipei

by China Post
The following is an extract of a report "Gays protest against government memo" in Taiwan’s China Post:

More than 100 people protested outside the Taipei City Government building yesterday [Tuesday, Mar 2] against the memo issued to high schools about banning homosexual student activities in schools by the Ministry of Education (MOE) basing on a suggestion of the Taipei City Council Civil Affairs Committee (CAC). They accused the government of discrimination against homosexuals and demanded for explanation and apology.

There was a suggestion by the CAC that the Taipei City government should gather relevant departments to discuss how to “avoid high school student groups from leading students into homosexual activities,” so that students can develop “naturally.” The suggestion did not pass in the committee, however, basing on the suggestion, MOE sent memos to high schools advising to ban homosexual activities in schools.

Homosexual communities blasted the action and said it is against the spirit and regulation of the Gender Equity Education Act. More than 110 organizations and 1,500 people signed the petition, saying that the government is encouraging the discrimination and misunderstandings of homosexuality in schools.

Gay & Lesbian Awakening Days (GLAD) committee said homosexuality is not to be “led” into and the government’s ban of homosexual groups in schools is restricting the students’ “natural” development.

Tsang Tsan-chin, secretary general of the MOE, apologized for the inappropriate memo and said the ministry will continue to respect the equality of different sexual orientation.

8 March 2010 – Fridae

School textbooks to introduce gay topics from 2011: Taiwan’s Ministry of Education

by News Editor
Following last week’s protest outside the Taipei city government building by activists protesting a city council’s memo to ban gay rights groups from primary and high schools, Taiwan’s Ministry of Education said on Sunday that gay topics will find a place in elementary and secondary school textbooks from next year.

eTaiwan News reported: “Textbooks mentioning gay issues would be introduced in seven study areas from the 2011 school year, according to Taiwan’s Ministry of Education.

“The campaign would seek the support of local governments, schools on all levels and the public at large to guarantee the rights of different gender groups to receive education and to root out discrimination, ministry officials said.

“Students should be able to grow up happily in an environment of tolerance and respect, according to the MOE."

"It will give teachers the authorisation to openly discuss homosexuality with students," Wang Ping, secretary-general of the Taiwan Gender/Sexuality Rights Association, was quoted as saying in "Some teachers are afraid of doing so due to opposition from fellow teachers or school authorities," she added.

"We hope the Education Ministry is not just making a publicity stunt, but will make sure that the policy is implemented in all schools," she said.

The Taiwan Tongzhi Hotline also welcomed the Education Ministry’s announcement that it is to integrate gay questions into the school curriculum.

"The Education Ministry’s decision is a positive move," and necessary to fight prejudice against homosexuality in schools, the hotline’s spokeswoman Lu Hsin-chieh said. Some teachers and associations promote the idea to students that homosexuality can be cured, she added.

The report added that the Taiwan parliament passed the Gender Equality Education Bill in 2004, banning discrimination against homosexuals and trans-gender students and teachers in school.

19 July 2010 – Fridae

Taipei: A rising star for gay travelers

by Taipei Times
With a recent wave of gay Asian tourists flocking to Taipei for holiday, the city is being dubbed the San Francisco of Asia, and the government might do well to take notice.

Excerpted from the Taipei Times Jul 11, 2010:
When Justin Li, a bank worker in Taipei, attended Club Jump’s annual Christmas Eve bash a couple of years back, he was stunned by what he heard through the cacophony of music and gay male partygoers. Click to view PDF. “Whether I was at the bar for a drink or lining up to use the washroom, all I could hear was people speaking English.” Gazing at the sprawling dance floor and its undulating sweaty bodies, he realized Taipei’s gay scene was in the midst of significant change.

Since the second half of the last decade, Taipei’s gay community has witnessed an influx of gay tourists from Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia descending upon it for holiday, elevating the city’s status from the gay capital of Taiwan to a top gay destination for all of Asia. While no official numbers exist, a recent survey by Fridae, an online gay media and services company, reveals a growing interest in Taipei among regional gay travelers.

According to unpublished data from its 2010 Asia Internet MSM (men who have sex with men) Sex Survey of almost 15,000 gay men, 9 percent had traveled to Taiwan in the past six months alone. “Taiwan is increasingly a destination of choice for the discerning gay traveler because of its profile as a progressive society which embraces diversity,” says Fridae CEO Stuart Koe. “News about Taiwan’s gay-friendly government and policies has been reported widely by Fridae and other international media, and the Internet has contributed to an increased awareness of the vibrancy of Taiwan’s gay community amongst affluent gay travelers in the region.”

Looking to bank on Taipei’s heightening popularity, the Australian company Formosa Travel and Holiday has released a 20-page Taipei Gay and Lesbian Travel Guide on the Internet, extolling the nightlife scene, gay-friendly accommodations and top citywide tourist sites. “Taipei is a rising star for gay and lesbian travel,” says general manager Michael Lee. “A lot of gay people in Australia don’t know about Taipei. They would rather go to London or Europe. We are the only travel company in the country which has put out a gay and lesbian travel guide to Taipei and since its release in February, we have received well over 100 inquiries.”

October 2010 – Taiwan Pride

Taiwan LGBT Pride Parade 2010

We are proud to announce that the 8th Taiwan Pride Parade will take place on October 30, 2010. This year’s theme is “Out & Vote.” We are angry because the politicians in Taiwan have overlooked the needs of the LGBT community during numerous law-making and public policy decision-making processes. Major elections are around the corner (in November 2010 for the mayors of 5 major cities and for the city council representatives), and not too surprisingly the candidates are suddenly starting to get votes from the LGBT citizens by claiming that they have paid close attention to the LGBT rights. Those with power pose themselves at this moment as if they have suddenly recognized the visibility and political significance of the LGBT community. Yet time and again they leave empty promises with us and other social minorities such as the working class, the disabled, and the aboriginal citizens.

We are angry because we are fed up with all these fallacious and false-hearted moves. Thus, we urge every LGBT member in Taiwan to exercise his or her political power by visiting the voting booth on Election Day. We demand the LGBT policies which are substantial and friendly to us, rather than flaky and indifferent. We only vote for those who can make a difference. We need you to vote.

Read Article

November 01, 2010 – Taiwan Today

Gay pride parade draws record numbers

Taiwan Today – More than 30,000 gays and lesbians and their supporters braved windy and drizzly conditions to take part in Taiwan’s eighth annual gay pride parade in Taipei City Oct. 31. Under the theme of “Out and Vote,” the participants, many donning colorful costumes, marched for over a kilometer to the plaza in front of the Presidential Office waving rainbow placards and banners in support of their cause.

Adding to the festive atmosphere was an end-of-parade concert performed by pop star A-mei, acting as the event’s “rainbow ambassador” for the second time since 2007. The gay rights advocacy group Taiwan LGBT Pride Community said the parade has grown in size from 500 participants in 2002 to become the largest event of its kind in Asia.

Nevertheless, the group said, there has been no corresponding progress in gay and lesbian rights legislation during this period, regardless of which party has been in power. It said the theme of this year’s parade was selected in the hopes of raising gay rights awareness ahead of the upcoming special municipality elections, and to urge the government to implement concrete measures to protect the rights and interests of this minority group. (SB)

November 1, 2010 –

Taiwan’s first gay bookstore flies its own way

by Xinhua Writer Guo Likun
Taipei(Xinhua) – In a quiet small lane near a noisy metro station in southwest Taipei City, you can find Gin Gin’s, Taiwan’s first gay and lesbian bookstore which opened more than 11 years ago.
Going up a short stairway and through a big glass door, you can see people shopping in the 132-square-meter store for gay and lesbian literature, magazines, comics, audio and visual products, as well as T-shirts, accessories, tank tops, and even condoms and sex toys.

"Apart from local residents, we also have many customers from Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Europe and America," said the bookstore’s owner Lai Jeng-jer, who himself is gay. "More customers from the Chinese mainland have been coming to the store in the past years," the 44-year-old said. He said that even nuns visited his store. "Occasionally five or six nuns come here together looking for tank tops. I think they need them to hide their curves."

"I was surprised the first time I saw them in my store," he laughed. "You know, here’s a conflict. Both the most reclusive group of people and our gay and lesbian friends come to my store for things they most need. From the very beginning, I knew I couldn’t keep my store running by only selling books with the competition from large franchised bookstores here and the books’ marginal profits. So I also sell things other than books."

Now, tank tops are one of the best earners for Gin Gin’s, Lai said. With the aim of providing a cosy, discrimination-free space for homosexuals, Lai opened the island’s first gay and lesbian bookstore in 1999. "When I was in high school, I usually went to 228 Memorial Park where homosexuals often got together at night," said Lai who has been active in the gay rights movement for years.

Two incidents prompted him to open his bookstore. The first was the 1997 police crackdown on gays hanging out on Changte Street near 228 Memorial Park and the other was a restaurant on Yungkang Street putting up signs saying "No Gays" in 1998 after its customers made complaints. "At first, it was quite difficult. I called 30 friends, only two of them said they could chip in some money for the bookstore. But my mother gave me enormous help," he said. At that time, Lai even brought in some discarded tables from off the street. "I majored in architecture, so the decoration is sound with such a mean budget."

Gin Gin’s has done quite well for the past 11 years. "In the first year, I and my store got quite a bit of media exposure." Soon a huge number of people got to know about the bookstore. Gin Gin’s has expanded over the years and moved to the current site, which is just opposite the original one, in 2005. And to prevent rising rents from eating his profits away, Lai bought the space with a loan.

About one fourth of Gin Gin’s floor area is reserved for activities — such as lectures — to improve communication about and between homosexuals. Lai constantly invites experts and celebrities to his store. "The celebrities including singers, news anchors, writers and film directors have given me kudos. They’ve attracted media attention. I think the reason they show their support for me is because I’m brave enough to step out into the spotlight as a gay." However, from the very beginning, the bookstore has experienced criticism and attacks from conservative groups and homophobes.

In January 2001, an unknown person threw bricks at Gin Gin’s during the night. In 2005, a local court ruled that Lai was guilty of providing "indecent materials" as he sold gay magazines imported from Hong Kong, despite the fact the magazines were properly sealed and had a clear warning that they were only for adults. "Three years ago, a foreign teacher of a church school in the neighborhood brought his students to my store and painted graffiti on the outside walls, saying things such as ‘transform yourself, believe in God, this is the truth,’" he said.

"I was sad at that time, not because of the graffiti, but because the teacher educates students in this way. What he should tell the children is there are various kinds of people in the world, and people should respect each other," he said. Lai chose to paint his store pink and created a restroom with transparent walls. "People are too conservative when it comes to the human body." Gin Gin’s opened its online shop in 2000 and on the homepage "We fly our own way" stands out as the shop’s slogan.

4 November 2010 – Fridae

Taipei gay pride parade draws record number

by News Editor
Organisers hailed the Taiwan LGBT Pride last to be the biggest ever gay pride parade in Asia with 30,000 people observing or marching through Taipei streets on Saturday. Local participants and supporters from China, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand braved the chilly winds and light rain to march from Ketagalan Boulevard to the Presidential Office. The theme of the 2010 event – the eighth of its kind in Taipei – was ‘Out & Vote’. The march called for a comprehensive government policy to protect gay rights.

Organiser of the parade Taiwan LGBT Pride Community, a coalition of LGBT and other civil society organisations, say although the size has grown tremendously from about 500 participants when it started in 2002, there has been no corresponding progress in gay and lesbian rights legislation during this period, reported Taiwan Today. The theme was chosen to in a bid to move gay and lesbian issues higher up Taiwan’s political agenda and urge members of the LGBT community and its supporters to “exercise his or her political power” at the upcoming special municipality elections scheduled to take place in five cities on November 27.

“We are angry because the politicians in Taiwan have overlooked the needs of the LGBT community during numerous law-making and public policy decision-making processes… Those with power pose themselves at this moment as if they have suddenly recognized the visibility and political significance of the LGBT community. Yet time and again they leave empty promises with us and other social minorities such as the working class, the disabled, and the aboriginal citizens.” Read the official parade website.

“While we hoped the rally would raise awareness of gays and lesbians, the rally also aimed to vie for substantial support from the election candidates,” parade spokesperson Rex Shau was quoted as saying by AFP. “Some politicians just paid lip service, never taking real steps to adopt non-discrimination measures.”

In 2003, the Executive Yuan drafted a bill to legalise same-sex marriages and recognise the rights of same-sex couples to adopt children but proposed bill has yet to be passed, leading some gay groups to criticise its drafting as simply a ploy to woo voters.

8 November 2010 – Fridae

Hong Kong University’s queer-straight group holds recruitment conference

by Nigel Collett’s Hong Kong correspondent, Nigel Collett, visits the Queer Straight Alliance’s Inclusion Recruitment Conference which saw participation of human resources and diversity managers from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Hong Kong Disneyland, Nomura and UBS.

Readers will perhaps recall that I have written two articles over the last four months describing how some of the major players of Hong Kong’s commercial world have been slowly but surely coming out of the closet to embrace LGBT diversity. One more step forward along this road was taken by a group of business titans on Tuesday 2 November at the University of Hong Kong (HKU), where the student group Queer Straight Alliance (QSA) held the first ever Inclusion Recruitment Conference to take place in a Hong Kong university.

The brain child of QSA’s leading member, Michael Lam, who is a graduate student at HKU, the conference aimed to bring students from all universities in Hong Kong (though in effect almost all the 110 who registered were from HKU) face to face with human resources and diversity managers from the business world. The big names present, which not only sent their staff to meet prospective student candidates but also paid jointly for the event, were Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Hong Kong Disneyland, Nomura and UBS. All these companies set up booths outside the conference hall in the Graduate House and manned them with senior staff to meet the students between sessions. This was something of a first in itself, though it has to be said that individual banks have earlier, and privately, held recruiting sessions aimed at LGBT students here. The fact that they were all happy that their efforts be publicised was also in itself an advance. The days when commerce here was shy of its own diversity achievements are gradually being left behind.

The day-long event was organised around three panel sessions, each with panellists well known in Hong Kong and in regional business. Hong Kong gay activist Roddy Shaw chaired the first session on inclusion in recruitment. He moderated a discussion between Rosalind Coffey, Managing Director, Human Resources, Nomura; Shalini Mahtani MBE, founder of the NGO Community Business and the force behind her organisation’s link up with Goldman Sachs and IBM in the business diversity project they jointly launched here this June; and Goki Muthusamy, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Asia Pacific, for Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Business, they all concluded, wanted diversity for the creativity it brought. Thinking along single lines and inside boxes was the road to eventual commercial ruin and diversity was good for competition. The hard-nosed business case is running in the LGBT direction.

Why are employers bothered with inclusion in their workplaces?
The centrepiece of the programme was a discussion on inclusion in the workplace. Led by Michael Lam, the panel consisted of Greg Morley, Director, Staffing, Compensation, Benefits and HRIS at Hong Kong Disney Resort; Anshuman Das, Co-chair, LGBT Pride Group, Asia Pacific, Bank of America Merrill Lynch; and Paul Choi, Executive Director – Human Capital Management at Goldman Sachs. Why are employers bothered with inclusion in their workplaces? The panel was sure that they must be. Greg Morley gave the most succinct answer: His company seeks “people who bring not only their talent but their heart to work.” And fostering diversity in the workplace gives employees that heart. How many of them does it affect? Paul Choi gave Goldman’s own answer, culled from the results of their own most recent voluntary internal survey, which found that 5% of their employees self-identified as LGBT. Kinsey’s estimations were not so different all those years ago.

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9 November 2010 – Fridae

Over 30 men caught after police raid 2 gay spas in Malaysia

by New Straits Times
Police raided two illegal gay spas in Malacca, Malaysia last Friday following a tip-off by parents of a foreign student.

The Malaysia New Straits Times reported on Nov 7, 2010:
From outside, nobody would suspect that two shophouses without signboards in Jalan Kampung Pantai and Lorong Hang Jebat near Jonker Street here were allegedly spas for gays. More than 30 men, aged between 20 and 50, were caught partially or totally naked in a raid on the illegal spas last Friday. The raid was conducted by officers of the Foreign Student and Workforce Division (FSWD) of the Chief Minister’s Department, Immigration Department, Melaka Tengah district police headquarters, state Islamic Department (Jaim) and Malacca Historical City Council.

FSWD chief Shadan Othman said the spas came to light after a tip-off by parents of a higher learning institution student. "We received a tip-off from the parents of an Indonesian student who learnt about their son’s activities here," he said. "We conducted surveillance on both centres for about a week. During the raid at 9pm, we found most of the men in both spas clad in towels. Some of them were also found naked in one of the spas’ open shower area," he said, after the operation at Jalan Kilang, Melaka Tengah here.

9 November 2010 – Fridae

Out in the open in Hong Kong

by Nigel Collett
In lieu of a pride parade which could not be held due to outstanding debts and other issues, the LGBT community finally took to the beach on Sunday after the event had hit some licensing snags and was postponed due to Typhoon Megi.

Readers of Fridae will recall that the Hong Kong Pride Parade organising committee announced earlier this year that it would not mount a Pride Parade in the city in 2010. For various reasons, the committee decided to take a break and concentrate on running a really bumper Pride Parade in Hong Kong in late 2011. Though this all became apparent too late in the day for anyone else to pick up the baton and mount a parade, or to do very much else in its place, rather than let the annual celebration of gay life in Hong Kong pass it by completely this year, the community got together and decided to do something different. It was to be billed as “Out in the Open, a festival of fun and diversity”, and instead of in the polluted streets of Hong Kong island, this party was going to be on the beach. To be precise, the gay beach at Middle Bay where the best and the most bronzed of Hong Kong’s bodies soak up the sun with as little between the its rays and their skin as can they can get away with.

As soon as the idea emerged, though it was to almost universal acclaim here, it hit snags. In Hong Kong, beaches are ruled over by the stern bureaucrats in the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and its lifeguards and inspectors, and when the Tongzhi Community Joint Meeting (the TCJM, which took on leadership for the event) approached them for permission it soon became apparent that they weren’t about to allow any party, gay or straight, to take place on a public beach until the swimming season was over on 1 November (that’s when everyone in Hong Kong thinks it starts to get cold, eg below 25 degrees C!). The party could carry on in the Bauhinia Club next to the beach, but that had a public licence and so had to stay open to all. There wasn’t, by then, any time left, so, despite this, the organisers decided to go ahead, but felt it wasn’t possible to start a PR blitz to attract people from far afield for fear of bringing a posse of beach inspectors down on the scene. So news had to leak out by word of mouth and in the community’s intra PR mechanisms.

Then came super Typhoon Megi, which blasted the northern Philippines and headed out over the South China Sea, seemingly straight at Hong Kong, scheduled to land, so said the Observatory, on the 24 October, the day fixed for “Out in the Open”. The organising committee took the sensible course and postponed the event, only to see Typhoon Megi capriciously meander off towards Fujian and the cancelled day turn into one of bright sunshine and balmy breezes. Such is Hong Kong’s climate. Chagrined, the committee plumped for the next available day before it was deemed to be about to get so cold that no one would come. By 14 November, it was thought, the temperature would be dropping to a frightening 18 degrees C and furs would be appearing on HK’s streets. So the 7th it had to be.

This time the weather did not disappoint, and on the day blazing sunshine was scorching Middle Bay as the party took off. It went on for over ten hours, from 2 pm to nearly 11 at night, and over the day something like 300 to 400 revellers were bussed in from nearby Repulse Bay by minibus shuttle to party in the Bauhinia Club and on the beach below. The day was gorgeous; bright sunshine and a clear blue sea with the backdrop of Hong Kong Island across the bay. Exactly how many girls and boys and the undetermined made it there that day no one had the inclination to count, especially as the day’s festivities began to take their toll of even the most stalwart of the organisers. Music was one of the hallmarks of the event, spun by three of Hong Kong’s top and award-winning DJs: DJ Angus Wong, DJ BLing (Brian Leung, of and RTHK’s We Are Family) and DJ9 (Hong Kong’s top female DJ).

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10 November 2010 – Fridae

Singapore: Man fined S$3,000 for oral sex in public toilet

by News Editor
A 40-year-old man in Singapore has been fined S$3,000 after being found guilty of performing an obscene act in a public place. Chin Chee Shyong was convicted under Section 294 of the Penal Code on Wednesday for having oral sex with another man in a shopping mall toilet cubicle on March 9. The Straits Times said the police received a call from a waiter working at a nearby cafe who had complained of two men having oral sex in the toilet. The waiter and a colleague went to the toilet where the latter recorded the pair having sex on video. The pair however had left the toilet before the police arrived.

Shortly after, the complainant called the police again when he saw another two men entering the toilet. Police then confronted Chin and his partner Tan Eng Hong, 47, and asked the two to come out of the cubicle.

The Times reported on Wednesday: “Sensing a delay, Sergeant Mohd Faizal Bin Rosli climbed on top of the toilet bowl in the third cubicle and saw Tan, wearing only his shirt, throwing an unrolled condom into the toilet bowl. Sgt Faizal told Tan not to flush and to open the door. “When Tan opened the door, Sgt Faizal climbed on top of the toilet bowl in the second cubicle and saw Chin putting on his socks. When grilled by police, Tan admitted to performing fellatio on Chin. The two were arrested.”

Chin’s charge was amended from Section 377A, which prohibits sexual relations between men and imposes a jail term of up to two years, to Section 294A which imposes a jail term of up to three months, or with fine, or with both. In September, gay advocacy group People Like Us in a statement with regards to Tan’s case urged the state to use “gender-neutral laws, so that whether the specifics are same-sex or opposite-sex, there is parity in treatment."

Tan has not been sentenced and is presented by M Ravi who filed an application in the High Court to challenge the legality of Section 377A. According to Today newspaper on Sept 24, 2010, Ravi said in his eight-page application: "The continuance of Section 377A on the statute book operates to brutalise a vulnerable minority segment of the citizenry for no fault on its point. A section of society has been thus criminalised and stigmatised to a point where individuals are forced to deny the core of their identity and vital dimensions of their personality."

December 20, 2010 –
Chinese to English translation

In Taiwan’s Military Homosexuality is Not a Secret

by United Daily News reporter Wang Guangci
U.S. military changed its policy to allow gay unconditional service; Taiwan, there is no clear fact of homosexual service regulations than the United States is relatively relaxed. Department of Defense, said military spokesman Yu Sizu Taiwan Military System for the recruitment of parallel, according to the Military Service Law, as long as the conditions meet the camp, everyone treated equally, no special emphasis or highlight the problem of sexual orientation.

Taiwan’s armed forces gay, has long been an open secret. The number of professional soldiers or around that same class of seniors in school brother, who’s sexual orientation "and we do not like the"; The bulk of compulsory military service only to soldiers, seniors will be warned before enlistment, the bath, "Do not bent over picking soap." New training center open a bath house is the most dangerous place, we undressed each other, but also water, and a bubble, and will inevitably lead to "Kind" reverie. Soap If you must pick the best pick squatted, or bending the consequences could be disastrous. Until the next unit, assigned to a bathroom door, soldier have become "must lock the door," the habit, Yongbaoankang.

As more and more open social atmosphere, and some are not afraid of homosexuals in the army out of the closet, generous performance of their sexual orientation. Range of military police serving in the students said, with the ladder there is a gay and behaved "very gentle", though not very exaggerated, but we all know; the brothers are also very generous recognition, and also to share vacation Going to a sauna " looking for comfort, "the experience.

And obligations of labor compared, relatively low-key gay professional military euphemisms and promotion opportunities because demand exceeds supply, do not want to affect the career of sexual orientation. Most married gay officer level, and some even have kids, but still off a sleeve of addiction in private, with the "gay friends" contacts, the spouse may not know. Has had a gay Web site, certain active-duty male officers were criticized "discarding" boyfriend, and a woman married to career. Service units also received complaints, but the officer his performance normal family life, not heard of any dissatisfaction with his wife, therefore not addressed by the last.

2010 December 24 –
(Chinese to English translation)

Taiwan’s "Rainbow Mature Bus" book project records older homosexuals lives

Gay organizations in Taiwan’s growing healthy and strong, big gay parade year after year, it is difficult to imagine forty or fifty years ago, Taiwan’s gay community, most of them can only be caught in the struggle. To record the life stories of older gay, gay hotline Taiwan Association spent four years, finishing complete the "Rainbow cooked on the bus," a book, interviews with old comrades, becoming Taiwan’s first oral history of old comrades.

Their own experiences of the old comrades of the book from five years old to eighty years old, some people do not care about others and generous vision, some people are frequently worried about "will not published in a newspaper?" They grew up in, not out of the closet about it. Most of them are burdened with the pressure of procreation into marriage, parenthood, many people still feel ashamed of gay identity. Some people occasionally derailed from the marriage, the pursuit of gay sexuality in a dark corner; some long celibacy, there is no long-term partnership.

The book retains many of the explicit sexual descriptions, editor of Hotline Association executive director Gurkha comrades fly that gay sex is an important part of the previous generation, "you want, when they were forced into the marriage, may have only one chance a month breathe out, then it still talk about the field of romantic love? "

Come and go, one of the respondents are uncertain of the "Magnolia Fairy", fifties, he had been selling flowers and other temporary Magnolia, he was not married, aged from Nianwu "debut" has never had any long-term partner relationships, and gay circles of people deliberately keep their distance. Due to long years of depression, feelings of his life in this one completely blank. When asked: "When this life feel about homosexuality?" He replied: "It is sad! Love than people are very sad."

The oldest book, "Wang Gonggong" three years ago to embark on the age of eighty-one fundraising party gay hot stage, facing the audience, thousands of people out of the closet publicly, detonated thunderous applause, but also to surprise some people: "how can this old gay be!" "Wanggong Gong," Japan experienced war, civil war, was removed from Xiamen to Kinmen. In Taiwan he is well-known as "Red Dean." He talked about married for five decades, his wife passed away, the attitude is "destined to get along we should cherish." His most memorable lovers in this life is sixty years too late to say goodbye because of the war, met the boy in Xiamen. Open sides to visit relatives, he went back for seven or eight times, but did not find one.

In the West Gate "Han Shi sauna," the counter, nearly sixty years, "Grandma" is always dressed sexy, like the elders as concerned about the lives of every guest. He said the previous years, even if the exchanges are full of fear, comrades, for fear the other party to this matter to be threatened, "so the feelings of the lighter to see." "Grandma" have had years of marriage, divorce, before the creation of three warm welcome the arrival of gay life, true to himself, he laughed and said: "This is the real relaxed."

Depression and suicide attempts was the "chocolate", is still in the marriage, although the gay identity so that he suppressed most of their lives, but he cherished and the three children with his feelings, "I am gay, there are children, which is the number gay dream about! "(2010-12-24, China Times, Lin Xin Yi / Taipei interview) The liberation of the "old same" intergenerational exchange

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