Regina Ip, another legislator, from the pro-establishment camp, cannot be there but has shown support to IDAHOT by video:
A Call to Arms – IDAHOT Commemoration, Chater Gardens, 3pm Sat 12 May 2012
Over two years ago, the people who still ‘run’ the Pride Parade flunked the test and abandoned the parade for 2010, trying to justify themselves by blaming HK’s LGBT community for not providing funds. This was a lie, as in reality, they had not asked us for any. At the same time, within two months of the event, they dumped the annual commemoration of IDAHO, this time without even bothering to give a reason.
The TCJM, now the Pink Alliance, stepped in and, with many others in HK’s LGBT community, has run the annual commemoration of IDAHO ever since.
Last November, Hong Kong’s new Labour Party adopted a platform for implementing LGBT rights. Three months later, this February, Regina Ip’s New People’s Party did the same. These were historic developments. No parties in Hong Kong had ever done this before, even the Democrats and Civic Party, hitherto regarded as the LGBT community’s natural allies. It was particularly exciting that Regina Ip, hitherto widely seen as a conservative politician, had been persuaded of the rightness of supporting LGBT rights, even though it must have been clear to her that this is in fact the opposite of a vote winner in Hong Kong. She stuck her neck out for us, bravely.
When this year’s IDAHOT (with an added T for transphobia) Organising Committee began to plan this year’s event, it invited politicians of all complexions to attend. Regina Ip was one of these, naturally, after her courageous adoption of our cause. She was unable to attend, but instead recorded a video of support. The Organising Committee placed this on the IDAHOT Facebook page.
The Organising Committee also secured the agreement of pop star Anthony Wong to attend. He has only recently come out in public. This was a coup, and one perhaps not at all to the taste of those who had earlier walked out on organising IDAHO.
Now, the groups who originally walked out of the IDAHO event over two years ago, and who continue to mismanage the Pride Parade (you may very well ask yourself when it is this year; they won’t get their act together to tell you till two months before it) have decided to raise a hue and cry about Regina Ip’s participation. She is not a fit person, they say, because of her conservative political record, to be associated with IDAHOT. They claim that Regina Ip has been appointed some sort of spokesman for IDAHOT. This is a plain lie. They make the ludicrous claim that she is seeking votes.
What is worse, they are calling for a boycott of the event. They are seeking to make a political point, no matter that it damage Hong Kong’s demonstration of its solidarity with the oppressed LGBT people of the world.
I can think of no way better than this to ensure that no middle ground or conservative politician associates themselves with the struggle for LGBT rights in Hong Kong in the near future.
So, please come out to be there on Saturday afternoon and in silence help us commemorate the wrongs done to our tribe worldwide.
Nigel Collett (English Secretary, Pink Alliance)
Michael Vidler (Legal Adviser)
Reggie Ho, Chairman of the Pink Alliance, had this to say:
“With tongzhi groups expressing different views, it reflects an open and diverse society. But before launching a criticism, one should first get the full picture. Regina Ip is not a spokesperson of this year’s IDAHOT rally, she’s one of the legislators supportive of the event. As she cannot attend on the day, she decided to show her support through a video. At the event, there will be pro-democratic legislators in attendance, which shows that our supporters come from different political backgrounds, and they all seek common ground while reserving differences. Unfortunately, the individuals who are organising the May 17 street forum did not seek clarification from IDAHOT organising committee, nor did they show any interest in a dialogue, before they acted in a way that said ‘you’re either with us or against us’. Moreover, the theme of the street forum seems to suggest that there is only one ideology that can define the tongzhi (LGBT) movement, and if anyone tries to seek the advancement of LGBT rights in different ways, they will be branded as “stealing” the tongzhi (LGBT) movement. It seems a little arrogant. I hope that in the future, all different groups can seek to resolve differences through communication and not unilateral accusations and divisive action.”
E-mail: email@example.com (dated 2006)
I am the secretarial coordinator and chairman of HORIZONS, a 16-year-old charity specialized in counseling service on sexual orientation issues. This letter serves as a written complaint against an organization New Creation Association (www.newcreationhk.org), which offers what is generally known as conversion therapy aiming to “assist” homosexuals to “change” and become heterosexual.
This kind of therapy began in the US and it has been questioned by authorities such as American Psychological Association and American Psychiatric Association. Many professionals in the field of clinical psychology and psychiatry are worried that such therapy not only shows few proofs in its effectiveness, it may also induce psychological damages to
“patients” by increasing their guilt and self-blame for their sexual orientation, something that they don’t feel they have control over.
Although New Creation claims that their clients turn to them voluntarily, one must look at the circumstances in the context of society’s adverse attitude towards sexual minorities. Under pressure from the mainstream, sexual minorities would naturally be more prone to turning to “therapy” that promises a way out. But there is little evidence that this kind of
therapy works. In fact, there are more proofs that they do not work, but leave clients who have failed to change with tarnished self-esteem.
Many cases in which clients of conversion therapy have been failed by this practice and their testimonies on the harms they have been inflicted are widely quoted on the Internet, including http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conversion_therapy#Scandals. I have personally
cross-checked these cases and they have all checked out.
I have also attached herein a document containing information that we have collected about conversion therapy, as well as an article by the South China Morning Post on May 18 reporting actual cases in Hong Kong of how clients of New Creation came out of the “therapy” worse off than before.
As one of New Creation’s leading practitioners, Dr Hong Kwai Wah, is a registered psychiatrist in Hong Kong and the service being rendered is touted as “therapy”, I believe the Medical Council has the responsibility to investigate what the organization is practicing.
I’d like to request that the Medical Council follow up on this matter, and ensure that no more individuals are falling victims of this unscientific therapy.
Secretarial Coordinator and Chairman
Tel.: (852) 2815 9268
Mobile: (852) 9867 8283
South China Morning Post
Q: Should youth be entitled to unbiased advice on sexuality?
Sean Yu of Shamshuipo has misunderstood my points and he seems to have been misled by Melvin Wong.
The paragraph that Dr Wong quoted from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition as evidence to link gender identity disorder (GID) with homosexuality actually says:
“By late adolescence or adulthood, about three-quarters of boys who had a childhood history of gender identity disorder report a homosexual or bisexual orientation, but without concurrent gender identity disorder.”
This means that the condition of GID no longer exists in these individuals after they have identified their sexual orientation.
But Dr Wong left out the last six words in his presentation, making the meaning of the paragraph sound markedly different. The manual continues to say that males with GID include substantial proportions with four specifiers: sexually attracted to males, sexually attracted to females, sexually attracted to both, and sexually attracted to neither. This means that these cases do not show any noticeable link to any particular sexual orientation.
If Dr Wong is persistent enough, he may come back with another paragraph from the manual, which says: “Virtually all females with gender identity disorder will receive the same specifier – sexually attracted to females – although there are exceptional cases involving females who are sexually attracted to males,” and claim that most lesbians have GID.
But clinically, individuals in these cases are not lesbians but people who do not identify with their assigned gender. Furthermore, the manual explicitly states: “Gender identity disorder can be distinguished from simple nonconformity to stereotypical sex-role behaviour”, and not wearing high heels, not putting on makeup and not wearing dresses are most certainly unrelated to female GID.
Dr Wong is supposedly a professional in the field, so I do not think I need to emphasise further. But at the end of the day, many lesbians and gays are content with their genders. If Mr Yu is as respectful towards the right of people to determine their own future as he claims to be, then he should not support generalisations that subject people to prejudices – prejudices that deny them equal opportunities and, most importantly, the right to a happy life.
Maybe if we all judge each other a little less, start accepting each other’s differences – and as the title of this round of Talkback letters says, provide “unbiased advice on sexuality” – these people will make very different decisions for themselves.
Reggie Ho, Secretarial Co-ordinator, Horizons