(Picture: reporters’ own)
The Hong Kong Pride Parade, organised for the first time in 2008, has developed into an annual occasion for people to promote love and equality for LGBT (lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender). Organized by the Women Coalition of HKSAR, Rainbow of Hong Kong, Nutong Xueshe and Gay Harmony, the Hong Kong Pride Parade changes its theme and dress code every year to stress different concerns and requests of the LGBT community.
“We stand for love, we stand for LGBT” is the theme of the HK Pride Parade this year. The executive board of the Parade encouraged straights, queers, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender to come wearing red to the 2013 parade. A Rainbow Unicorn was also designed for the parade this year. “Scepticism towards the Rainbow Unicorn symbolizes the hetero majority’s doubtfulness and rejection towards the queer and transgendered community”, says the executive board. This year, they gathered at Victoria Park at 2:00pm on November 9thand then proceeded to Tamar Park, located near the HKSAR government.
(Hong Kong University Students’ Union countenances LGBT, Kathy Li)
After months of promotion throughout Hong Kong, the number of participants this year has broken the record. It is reported that over 5,200 participants joined the parade to spread love and equity for all LGBT.
The opening ceremony was led by the executive committee, who was joined by over 20 LGBT groups from Mainland China, Macao, Taiwan, Australia and Hong Kong itself. The Equal Opportunities Commission chairperson Dr. York Chow also presided over the launching ceremony in hot red. “Three to ten percent of people may have different sexual orientations, but their life should be equal to everyone else’s. I hope the government can put forth a bigger effort and protect their rights,” he said. The representatives from the executive board and the participants felt greatly encouraged by his presence at the ceremony, and felt this would contribute to pushing LGBT rights-related legislation next year. Anthony Wong and Tanya Chan, famous singer and actor, also gave a speech as the “Rainbow Ambassadors” for the Hong Kong Pride Parade 2013.
All around the park we saw people dressed in bright red wearing rainbow flags and “Dare to Love” tags on their clothes. “Love has no gender, and we want to fight for a better world of love for the next generation”, Mr. Chan, who brought his daughter to the parade, said to China Current.
Souvenirs and after-party tickets were sold at Victoria Park, and all the ticket proceeds were donated to the Hong Kong Pride Parade. After the crowd left Victoria Park and proceeded to Tamar Park around 3:00pm, they met scores of people along the way who showed great support to the event.
One of the participants from Sun Yat-Sen University told us that, although they are still under great pressure in mainland China, Chinese people are showing increasing awareness of LGBT rights. And representatives from Taiwan Rainbow Group said that LGBT are generally accepted by the younger generation in Taiwan, according to surveys, and they are pleased to see Hong Kong people stepping forward to support LGBT rights. There were also individual supporters in the parade, and some were dressed as gay warriors to raise people’s awareness of gay sexual health and HIV testing.
The show and the party continued after the parade arrived at Tamar Park.
Li Kan, Hong Kong, Research Assistant
Eva Yang, Hong Kong, News Assistant