In my previous post about this year’s Gay Pride Parade in Hong Kong, I wrote that Anthony Wong was HK’s first star to officially come out. I got that from some news sources on the event, but it did not seem right to me, since I thought it was well known that the ultra beloved Leslie Cheung was gay.
Though I admit I know little when it comes to Cantopop, I do know Leslie, who is considered the founding father. His story is both incredible and tragic, as it came to an end when he jumped from the 24th floor of the Mandarin. He was known to be very depressed, mainly due to his struggles with his sexuality. Leslie’s 20-years partner, Daffy Tong, was even accepted by the public and Cheung’s family called Tong Leslie’s surviving spouse in his obituary.
So why is Anthony Wong the “first” openly gay entertainer? Perhaps it is because he is the first one currently alive? Or is it because Leslie proclaimed he was better described as being bisexual (rather gay?). Either way, Leslie’s non-heterosexuality came first, and was a big deal considering his level of stardom. This is not to say that Wong’s big coming out is not to be commended – he is the first to do so in the 9 years since Leslie’s suicide.
In recent US election news, we learn that four states – Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington – passed gay marriage by voter referendum. Yet, as I mentioned in previous posts about W vs. HKSAR, Hong Kong still makes gay marriage illegal. Also, last Wednesday lawmakers rejected a motion on that called for a public consultation on new laws to protect the rights of sexual minorities.
But there’s certainly hope for change in Hong Kong too. The people of Hong Kong are growing more vocal about the rights of LGBTs, where yesterday’s Gay Pride Parade attracted more than 4,000 – nearly double of the year before (and 4x as many as those who attended the first Pride Parade in HK in 2008)! The theme of this year’s parade was “Dare to Love” and there were calls to end work-place discrimination and for the legalization of gay marriage.
The parade, unsurprisingly, was led by Hong Kong’s first openly gay elected legislator, Raymond Chan. He was supported by Legislative Councillor Gary Fan and ex-legislator Tanya Chan. The first Hong Kong entertainer to come out, Anthony Wong, was also there. And another HK celebrity, Denise Ho, came out that day to become the second HK entertainer to officially do so!
While these are positive signs for HK’s LGBT community, I am still worrisome about how the Bokhary-less CFA will rule on W v. HKSAR.