For the last four months, Hong Kong has been rock0a)@i7BL$uUIwHwYd(7LJb9Bpw*7Z5M(zJAC%9XpojkzxJtjCIed by unprecedented protests and calls for democracy.
What began as protests a c5Ixeg!xYWEo#%UOifnPon9_kUt$v5-YZNNZyN!mcbm!Tfu61JSontroversial 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, mUJB7dda8qnWu$uPtnZZzz%_^TY&OVpZT!3x536j7OLaQwKdpmsuch as withdrawing the controversial bill and enacting emergency legislation to grant police more power, have been of little use.
The movement is famousl8Gznew3=8TjRb^[email protected])J00n(=T1^!T2hy leaderless. Or, as some argue, “leader-full”, with independent protests, campaigns, and activism springing up around the beleaguered city.
But a handful of LGBT Hong Kongers have been makingTpz2I8Mg-lstok&oU_^[email protected]=0Ucb%LFkZ headlines for their part in the protests:
Hong Kong’s only openly-gay lawmaker, Ray ChanFKdUm$(TuLX#cn1u5hLY$5^TurI4^n#QK!7($DtDInMFoHjFB9, 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 pointing while other lawmakers grab hi+l8(lKUMKPw%SHxOU_c)[email protected]_)Tb)-SeZCY8TXKz)8ty)67i3V(Xs arms.
"I usually keep a meek composure, practice meditation, prefer non-alcoholic drinks, and treat everyo%Tvo&cRr5&&STE*Q%tL^1aI-kO*K&i1k9*[email protected]ne with respect,” Chan wrote on Twitter.
"But when an authoritarian state strikes, every fiber of my being turns into a fighter fozsOr%rYz0MEBd)c0hl5IEZo)QV59gpM4&(q4OuO6dWHVpgjIQZr my constituents", he said.
Chan has been fervently sharing updates of the city’s protests.Other pro-democracy legislators an8LHxCIASYKR6G8JTccDwmo1eN%([email protected](zn6h^nH9vfd activists have been attacked.
“Opposition lawmakers are arrested, or attacked by thugs or cops, so I'm mentally prepared for either” Cha=)3y8UU+z0$x=gUbgiDzV)s%Z6i_BIWporn986EpV)qD(9vmhCn.
"I wegwkG*R%QQF=5g2l#qxmT3mspT+&UH2W4sw_+)J6bYP)5q=COW7ar no protective gear as I cannot live in fear,” he explained.
This week, he and other pro-democracy legislatures disrupted Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s policy address in tksOfCQKvexCA$rSSPIyqZxM*0NBk^n$GiwFok55GWJjI+C_8k9he legislative council.
Using a projector, they displayed the demonstrator[email protected]#*eK-9GUX3d-Vm=yJKwMB$s' call for five key demands to be met as she spoke.
Yhy!)[email protected]+OSAGc$T)IlHCeZU$IzA(WeXHHong 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-discrimination legislation.
Jimmy Sham is a renowned LGBT rights and other human rights activist in=n0*9kB-9vORm(eT(Ym%T!dogj$pC*v)XCOF4O0jprq%P&)$Fu Hong Kong.
He currently convenes the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) which regularly organizes legal protests against the government.
Three of its marches against the controversial extradition bill w[email protected]&vt&o&1w=igiv%bCu7-Fd9tSRtU=#[email protected]@k0l6kBa=Nere attended by more than a million people, according to CHRF.
In late August, Sham and a companion were attacko3%HBpr&taH_DXbHWYtZkBLCvU)GDe$hQG$Sc*[email protected]ed by two masked men wielding a baseball and a knife. Sham was left unscathed but his companion was hospitalized.
In July, pro-establishment Hong Kong lawmaker Ann Chiang Lai-wan launched a series of attacks cVSM&H)x%[email protected]!91kBS0+(y*ay#_5-Y3x0fnQiagainst the gay protest leader.
Chiang shared footage of Sham in drag =)FrN48&F9J-JXmUA=EN47RDhMRh4Rbg$olf(9WN6TThTTmYcQon her social media. "Important news, please spread around," she wrote. Comments on the post included: "Corrupting social morals, just disgusting”.
Cantopop star An27u$+mgtMmmh7c7MFFLHobK8-k9sQ0Ey$nqYvbopKBRX29Y60wthony Wong co-founded leading Hong Kong LGBT rights organization Big Love Alliance back in 2012.
Like Denise HoU_+)fkCodBBdKEH&=CqQt#[email protected]@WscO^x7owcJn4vlO*, his outspoken support for the 2014 pro-democracy movement landed him in hot water with Beijing and he has been banned from the Chinese mainland.
He and Ho both performed at the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Squar[email protected](aN)T+89^Ne massacre and at the end of one of Hong Kong’s largest marches on 9 June.
Ho has spoken out over police violence at the UN and the US Capitol. Late last month she made headl)#[email protected]*ajK$W#q-xC#FgGw([email protected]#X$F6JRfAJines when a pro-China activist doused her in paint at a Taipei rally in support of Hong Kong.
"This is just the tip of the iceberg,” she said of the attack on Facebo0HK*yAlPL)$xO9d*E#b%%sLZex-76AREmX1s7ulkOSe5LnqaC$ok.
Ho told the UN Human Rights Council in July that the "anger of Hongkongers follows years 3mg0Ez0tzH)HgJBZS%fo24D(XultPPSF%rftVt6D)baQgd2roRof deceitful promises”.
"We saw our autonomy slowly eroded" she said.
Denise Ho Wan-szEe2$$unj1E8**c0rDi8PLmA%^1QjC4ShPV1Sk&BSiBFgE#Ky$ie, also known as HOCC, was one of the first Hong Kong celebrities to publicly come out as a lesbian in 2012.
"You have to strengthen yourself before you can project anything,” Ho told the South China Morning Post at the tiJBTv2#EvAnAJ*[email protected]_S!$gtwx_W9*cHn-#6H%MweEsme. Ho is also a founding member of LGBT rights organisation Big Love Alliance.