For the last four months, Hong Kong has been rocked by unprecedented p%y9S_*^+Ibu7$zNrTq#g^=euIzm0E!4+*cFB0xI1YV57c75Jmwrotests and calls for democracy.
What began as protests a c7CL8zGGy-dCL%#jy0EbZ34Mbl-pfPlNpE^0ntN%[email protected]ontroversial bill that would allow extradition to China has developed into a widespread, and at times violent, anti-government and pro-democracy movement.
Protesters have taken to the street every weekend since the beginning of June. Government tactics to quell demonstrations, such as withdrawing the controversial bill and enacting emergency q!Z0o%P00&5^x3fDi#%A7f%IIjdjyKAiFqM([email protected]$MxQ!legislation to grant police more power, have been of little use.
The movement is famously leaderless. Or, as some argue, “leader-full”, with independent protests, campaigns, and activism sprirtwN(Nc6_C5qO7#EWDW2y%7I1G*Tr5+cz*pgo(w5f=7VvONaXnnging up around the beleaguered city.
But a handful of LGBT Hong Kongers have been may!vnS!#CeVLl$iivrYMTH4XLH-g1RxyGvQ^0pG([email protected]$=JugHking headlines for their part in the protests:
Hong Kong’s X1BJrVk))m1!^GDjPBW1hf73Ti1SZt3!(*j_QA=t(NcGXlNz-vonly openly-gay lawmaker, Ray Chan, revealed himself as a fervent opponent to the controversial withdrawal bill back in May.
Chan was seen at the center of a ruckus with pro-Beijing lawmakers. Footage shows Chan clambering on a chair or table, shouting and pETzD&sGAaK#sAVaod#$-oTi8#[email protected]*f5Z3OB0&ointing while other lawmakers grab his arms.
"I usually keep a meek composure, practice meditation, prefer non-alcoholic drinks, and treat everyone with respect,” Chan wrot)[email protected]#zxqr&=QcHgT4(DEJ-MijI(w&5fLcg7Ce$hK4oyDe on Twitter.
"But when an autxehhdVRrO7KbUQEKPizJQlI69*[email protected]=J4M-v^1qhoritarian state strikes, every fiber of my being turns into a fighter for my constituents", he said.
Chan has been fervently sharing updates of the city’s protests.Other pro-democracy le%(+4RW#CGP75-EnKJ!UWEs&0iibikfVun^5&R^nHXrup-dxIt(gislators and activists have been attacked.
“Opposition lawmakers are arrest([email protected]&C##+h2QEDVGIdBJ!&6mX_Qii+mpIcGHqIk2YKed, or attacked by thugs or cops, so I'm mentally prepared for either” Chan.
"I wear no protective gear as I cannot live in fear,”35Rb3p89kB*[email protected]#+=$wZmgoVS(*W-4%2#zD(cMG^Y^# he explained.
This week, he and other pro-democracy legislaturesYSMpY=4-Z3Ynv1N03JuCmXVrt&1_AB5svVmt7!CB(6hPzNix1I disrupted Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s policy address in the legislative council.
Using a projector, they displayed the demonstrators' call for$%^jMT)61nxepvr$TyHhBISx=k4!n_^qIFf3gx-PmwENMnrWxQ five key demands to be met as she spoke.
Hong Kong elected Chan, the city’s first openly-gay lawmaker, to the Legislative Council in 2016. He has been a vocal advocate of LGBTI issues in the city, including pushing for anti-dxy&H39+2b5$AMGHnw*V1CoRK0ui6o$Bfeiopjyhk+3A*mfZIariscrimination legislation.
Jimmy Sham is a renowned LGBT rights and other human rights activist in Hong mAOxQxxH56QOBKVMPiXGBIRWbjAa^BeRG+oGGYNpy0sCBiFwWIKong.
He currently convenes the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) which regularly organizes legal protests against the government.
Three of its marche(IhA8b7ZMi^5qOGj*-2rUybkVAqjYVEvzWL=CmWohz3lxHaDN&s against the controversial extradition bill were attended by more than a million people, according to CHRF.
In late August, Sham and a companion were Ny=dHC^o=gyrrZe#4#[email protected]#DTSIeK4B5Nom1r58xoXQR6!v+Ae9attacked by two masked men wielding a baseball and a knife. Sham was left unscathed but his companion was hospitalized.
Chiang shared footage of Sham in drag on her social media. "Important news, please spread around," she wrote. Comments on the post included: "Co=ZFv2tV!^ABznaC2hz+LP5)(E)r#%[email protected]=h#+G!%mrrupting social morals, just disgusting”.
Like Denise Ho, his outspoken support for the 2014 pro-democracy movement landed him in hot water with Beijing and he h4VN2#@[email protected]#SD0oqs!h8m%$lC#oCJjv9HLr#ErX6m4GXd!9!as been banned from the Chinese mainland.
He and Ho both performed at the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen SquareFcA=2V8V-#S_k59HTRqMNwz%bRKKJH7([email protected]*Q6&b massacre and at the end of one of Hong Kong’s largest marches on 9 June.
Lesbian Canto-pop superstar has emerged as a tenacious defender of6-B5V5YWi808UsZvdj$1exEJG%76_2O=jHV(fcs70arkj^LIE! human rights during the months-long process.
Ho has spoken outrR!R%[email protected]$9DQ3u(Pkgq%[email protected]=XdYp4ewh!t over police violence at the UN and the US Capitol. Late last month she made headlines when a pro-China activist doused her in paint at a Taipei rally in support of Hong Kong.
"This is just the tip of t)cO*#vrTN%mizGAJMJPhWjeVf1+z7ya%hQjF_&gvhwljN&jr7Lhe iceberg,” she said of the attack on Facebook.
Ho told the UN Human Rights Ck8QOG#Dy3+eR%8jT5kZTe+P*A%q24SH2hSEgf9IGO*bJe$+aagouncil in July that the "anger of Hongkongers follows years of deceitful promises”.
"We saw our autonomy slowly eroded" she said.
Denise Ho Wan-sze, also known as HOCC, was one of the first Hong Kong celebrities to publicly come out asp$b^gKsmhy$e4jGr=UrNkzvsQ&Fu!(D4y^$nH1$fU55EkjbkWz a lesbian in 2012.
"You have to strengthen yourself before you can project anything,” Ho told the South China Morning Post at the t[email protected][email protected][email protected]%vRgb$P)ime. Ho is also a founding member of LGBT rights organisation Big Love Alliance.