by Joanna Chiu
When a housewife from Henan learned her son-in-law had not touched her daughter since the wedding, she knew her suspicions had turned out to be true.
“I told her before the wedding: ‘You found a man who cooks and cleans and dresses himself? He must be gay.’ I was right, of course.”
Lan Yueliang, who now runs an online support group for wives of gay men in China (called tongqi), was one of the speakers who shared stories at the first annual Rainbow China Forum in Hong Kong last month. It was a rare gathering of over 200 gay rights advocates from across China.
Lan said that even though she was able to help her daughter get a divorce, many other tongqi - especially those living in rural areas – did not pursue divorce for fear of social stigma.
“The point is to stop shaming gay husbands,” she said. “Parents need to support their children instead of forcing them to marry. No one benefits from such an awful situation.”
In the past decade, gay-rights groups had started to proliferate in bigger mainland cities, whereas Macau’s first such group was only established this year. In relatively gay-friendly Taiwan, on the other hand, legislators are now reviewing a same-sex marriage bill.
The forum attracted nearly a 100 mainland participants, with some from small towns and rural areas, who said that it was important for Chinese parents and family members to get involved in the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) rights movement.
Social pressures to conform are so strong that sexologist Liu Dalin estimates that 90 per cent of gay and lesbian mainlanders will get married.
A speaker from Guangxi , who calls herself Moli Mama, was a representative for Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays China (PFLAG China). “My daughter told me she was a lesbian nine years ago,” she said. “I was so worried. I was afraid that she would be persecuted. I thought, how would I be able to help her? That’s why I started to help organise events around the country for parents of gay children.
“Last year, 10 other parents and I came to Hong Kong to march in the Pride Parade. I think it means a lot for the children to see their parents marching for them.”
This year, the Guangzhou-based group, which was founded in 2008, started to turn to more high-profile strategies to draw attention to gay rights.
In February, the group sent an open letter to the National People’s Congress to ask lawmakers to legalise gay marriage.
“Our children are unable to legally form a family with their beloved partners, because of their sexual orientation, which has caused a great deal of inconvenience for them … It is incredible that gay children can legally marry members of the opposite sex even though they don’t love them,” the letter said.
In April, PFLAG China publicly requested a meeting with Icelandic Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir, the world’s first openly gay head of state, during her visit to Beijing, sparking Chinese internet users to urge Sigurdardottir to speak with President Xi Jinping about human rights.
The Hong Kong-based organisers of the Rainbow China Forum said they would continue to hold yearly forums to encourage co-operation among activists in the region.
Huangzhong Liu, a 20-year-old gay forum participant from Wuhan , said: “In China, it is common for parents to hit children who say they’re gay or show signs of being gay. This shows that this is not just a LGBT rights issue, it’s a human rights issue.”
Fundraising Historical Walk – Kowloon City
Kowloon City Historical Walk Date: 7 Dec 2013 (Sat) Time: 1:45pm – 5:00/5:30pm Charge: HK$400 Pink Alliance is delighted to announce that the popular local historian and writer Jason Wordie is generously donating his time to lead three guided walks in Hong Kong. Jason’s walks are packed with historical information all delivered in a lively and anecdotal way. You can visit Jason’s website for more information – http://www.jasonwordie.com/ All monies raised will used to support our programs to advocate LGBT rights in Hong Kong. About the walk: Kowloon Walled City, originally constructed in the 1820s, had degenerated into a notorious crime-ridden slum by the 1970s. The Walled City was finally cleared and demolished in the mid-1990s, and the new open space was transformed into a magnificent public park. Kowloon Walled City Park incorporates some of the nineteenth century Chinese Yamen (magistracy) buildings, as well as newly-constructed Soochow-style pavilions and ornamental ponds. Sympathetic seasonal plantings, winding pathways and mounds of dramatically mis-shapen rocks complete the Olde Cathay garden effect. For details, please visit : Booking:
- A booking form must be completed for each person attending a walk.
- Bookings are only considered confirmed when written confirmation to the attendee has been issued by us, and confirmation of receipt has been confirmed by the attendee, for the walk on the date specified.
- To make a booking please send an e-mail, once payment has been made the booking will be confirmed.
- Please note that the walks are not suitable for children under 15 years of age.
E-mail & Contact:
- Please include the following in your e-mail for booking: 1)Name, 2)Mobile number, 3)Email, 4)Number of participants:
- Contacted person: Barry Lee
Mobile: 9870-6213 E-mail: [email protected]
- We will send you e-mail as Booking Confirmation. Then, please proceed the payment as follows:
Payment: 1) Please deposit a cheque or make money transfer to the following bank details:
- Name of the Bank: HSBC
- Account Number: 112-194386-001
- Name of the account: Tongzhi Community Joint Meeting
2) Please email the copy of your bank-in slip or transfer record to Barry Lee. Confirmation:
- Once your booking and payment have been received a final confirmation will be issued including where to meet information and contact details. Other general information can also be found on the website.
Cancellation Policy: More than 48 hours prior to the event – 100% refund
- Cancellation within 48 hours of the event – 50% refund
- Cancellation within 24 hours of the event – No Refund
- Cancellations made by the attendee, on behalf of any attendee, must be made in writing. A confirmation of cancellation will issued once it is accepted.
Cancellations Due To Weather:
- Walks will be automatically cancelled in the event of a Typhoon Signal No. 8 or a Black Rainstorm.
- Participants must be aware that walks are, by definition, a weather-dependent outdoor event. Given the vagaries of weather conditions in Hong Kong, localised weather circumstances may change quickly, regardless of forecast weather conditions on the day.
- In the case of unsuitable weather conditions attendees will be contacted three hours before the walk. Notification will be by email, SMS and – where possible – by personal follow-up telephone call.
- The final decision whether or not to go ahead with the scheduled walk remains at our sole discretion.
- In general, a re-schedule date will be arranged, and those registered for the cancelled event will have priority for re-registration.
- The attendee will be refunded in full.
Those who suffer domestic violence in same-sex partnerships have few avenues for assistance and are wary of mainstream NGOs
by Christy Choi
While attitudes towards sexual minorities are slowly changing in Hong Kong, large numbers of the city’s LGBT community are suffering domestic abuse in silence, a new study has revealed.
City University researchers found that the system is failing the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community when it comes to domestic violence.
“[The Social Welfare Department] tends to emphasise a neutral stance. They say [they offer] services irrespective of gender, race or sexual orientation – but that doesn’t help LGBT people. They need a service to be highlighted as LGBT-friendly,” said Leung Lai-ching, associate professor with the university’s applied social sciences department.
Leung spent a year conducting in-depth interviews with nine victims of same-sex partner violence and five organisations dealing with LGBT and domestic violence issues.
The main issues were a lack of awareness of problems faced by LGBT couples, and a lack of support for abused partners.
Many counselling centres in the city are run by religious groups, and while the Social Welfare Department has some counsellors who are “LGBT-friendly”, the wait for an appointment to see them can be long. One interviewee said she waited a month for an appointment.
“I heard from social workers that there’s not much training available for them from the Social Welfare Department,” said Connie Chan, chairperson of the Women’s Coalition, an LGBT organisation interviewed by Leung.
“There were a lot of calls after the legislation [protecting same-sex couples under the Domestic Violence Ordinance] was passed, but after two years there were no more calls,” she said. Chan said more resources needed to be allocated to NGOs dealing with LGBT issues so that they could set up appropriate counselling services.
Around half of the almost 400 people in same-sex relationships polled in 2009 by Chinese University said they had been subjected to physical assault or sexual coercion by their partners. Some said their partners had threatened to reveal their sexual orientation to family members or bosses who may be homophobic.
There is no law in Hong Kong protecting sexual minorities against discrimination.
Some 3.1 per cent said they were willing to seek help from non-governmental organisations, while 0.6 per cent and 0.9 per cent would go to the police or Social Welfare Department, respectively. Few institutions focused on violence between same-sex partners, 89 per cent of respondents said. And 76.8 per cent said they were not confident in the ability of mainstream agencies to deal with LGBT matters.
Hong Kong’s LGBT population has been estimated at anywhere from 1 per cent to 10 per cent of the population.
There is also a lack of knowledge among legal professionals.
“Even lawyers didn’t know there was a law protecting same-sex couples in cases of domestic violence,” said Irene Lam Chi-ching, a senior research assistant who worked on the study.
A police spokeswoman said she did not know if there were any internal guidelines or statistics available, but that it was unlikely the police kept separate breakdowns for LGBT couples.
Trevor is a well-know and highly regraded figure in Australian theatre, making his debut in PRISCILLA Queen of the Desert- The Musical. He recently starred as Edna Turnblad in HAIRSPRAY and last week, was announced as part of the stellar cast in the 25th anniversary production of LES MISERABLES due to open in Melbourne in June 2014.Trevor will star as the master of the house Thernadier .
“Ashley puts on A SHOW. Shimmering sequins,glittering spotlights….he’s brought Hollywood to the West End.”
- London Theatre Tickets
“Ashley is a master of his art….his stagecraft and vocal ability makes his shows a must see.” – Gay Times, London
Trevor Ashley’s STAR*STRUCK
Venue: Shouson Theatre, Hong Kong Arts Centre
Date Day Time
18 Nov 2013 Mon 20:00
19 Nov 2013 Tue 20:00
Ticketing & Information
Tickets priced from HK$295 to HK$595 are available now by calling 2111 5999, or by visiting
URBTIX’s website: www.urbtix.hk. Tickets are available from all URBTIX outlets.
Zeke Li ╳ 黃曉初 ╳ Joyce Ma ╳ 王廷琳
唯美組合 演出無極限 期待無止境
‘Gan Eden’ – Ancient Codices – A Time To Reflect (The performance will be in Cantonese)
Did Eve really “seduce” Adam and lead him committing the Original Sin? Did Sodomites’ homosexuality lead to the destruction of their city by God’s wrath? ‘Gan Eden’ pledges to re-open the case for “Genesis”!
Playwright Zeke Li teams up with renowned choreographer Andy Wong, director Yankov Wong, famous stylist Joyce Ma (as visual director) in this multimedia spectacle that is not to be missed. We are proud to feature model heartthrobs King Chiu, Jessica C. and 3-time winner of Best Actor Pichead Amornsomboon, , to lead a star-studded cast of ‘Gan Eden’. By combining acting, movement, dance, fire performances, animation and videos , ‘Gan Eden’ promises a refreshing visual experience that rewrites the very definition of “performance”.
Sai Wan Ho Civic Centre Theatre
$ 290 $ 250