For the last four months, Hong Kong has been rocked by unprecedented protests and caU^59ZMy(2Z1m#[email protected]#Pn!39i)g=LBkf#alls for democracy.
What began as protests a contrt7A0!LXoX(KkrMah362o58t-Dd5u5oSjT+v*MwBP+fvPVw#6WDoversial 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, su[email protected][email protected](LlugJ9e5qIOzmsMw(H2uW*3_O!ZWch as withdrawing the controversial bill and enacting emergency legislation to grant police more power, have been of little use.
The movement is famously leaderless. Or, as soX-VE8yV$=dpahNQdizZ_dic^zkA5pZ9OI#DKfiT8OIy-L6a#N&me argue, “leader-full”, with independent protests, campaigns, and activism springing up around the beleaguered city.
But a handful of LGBT Hong Kongers have been m-j-ehs^KMOfGs2q*[email protected]!)QP&I%2u*mLS#M7Y-TGzOEiLzaking headlines for their part in the protests:
Hong Kong’s only openly-gay lawmakerPlubPms#zWg4j6#^gP=y(c21Zy1tL*)aA4yk58%83%mXwD(BDF, Ray Chan, revealed himself as a fervent opponent to the controversial withdrawal bill back in May.
Chan was seen at the center of a ruckus with pro-Beijing lawmakers. Footage shows Chan clambering onOMu(=JACJ6RBj9!J(hz-HXa!H1%Pgvv2ncivinqUPZML++U3t^ a chair or table, shouting and pointing while other lawmakers grab his arms.
"I usually keep a meek composure, practice meditation, prefer non-alcoholic -hA*[email protected]=jVro1gU4GjGw3lyFkog&cFc2UOsJcdrinks, and treat everyone with respect,” Chan wrote on Twitter.
"But when an authoritarian state strikes, every fiber of my being turns into a fighq#W39s)%%E5+^[email protected](8Hmwbdnnczter for my constituents", he said.
Chan has been fervently sharing updates of the city’s protests.Other pro-democracy legislators and activists have been atFAFGOPxF=YCc653BGe$j%DE4nO#Pe$8qO*wcThzmc!G^s+PZjYtacked.
“Opposition 0Qw1ShfFq)[email protected]*4-6NaC3)4p1abi8K$)=mZoBHlawmakers are arrested, or attacked by thugs or cops, so I'm mentally prepared for either” Chan.
"I wear no protectii%4vTDC)[email protected]#F&zlY9+O4Yhh7ZfE3FHwn%*#iiHIE+fAKyvve gear as I cannot live in fear,” he explained.
This week, he and other pro-democracy legislatures disrupted [email protected]=ww4H!Fd6uqov1jpAyHgaU+l7NwH-Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s policy address in the legislative council.
Using a projector, they displayed the demonstrators'-vOcjU=NWuiqNUrUGA*fh3(@PXb_ATM4UP&gdbT8^RBR(^A&!I call for 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, includingg#m=_S#[email protected]+s$L)w&Rl^F#3pZ*j*IkVAsj^XCP pushing for anti-discrimination legislation.
JFAhr)qG2B6U)ceco(46klDRH5_niV6R&3S0^VfVao1J%ux78yqimmy Sham is a renowned LGBT rights and other human rights activist in 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 were attended by more than a million peoIll7GNPLl+)rH+%PQ_)pO5nT%ip_(^[email protected]^2gPple, according to CHRF.
In late Augusm8Q3J^FYvIi_aG$08KV)[email protected]+e%t, Sham and a companion were attacked by two masked men wielding a baseball and a knife. Sham was left unscathed but his companion was hospitalized.
In July, pro-establishRlqs^D_zkD)7$PaglqUfV&3VzH)y3lPwduz-LCXOlnAB(iZ+Q0ment Hong Kong lawmaker Ann Chiang Lai-wan launched a series of attacks against the gay protest leader.
Chiang shared footage of Sham in drag on her social media. "Important news, please spread around," she wrote. Comments on the post included: %mS%[email protected]"Corrupting social morals, just disgusting”.
Cantopop star Anthony Won4oJEg=aN$m-*L*uN=GFE(Y=Ze9FDYeZ$=&IBCfF-FQQMhBX$BDg co-founded leading Hong Kong LGBT rights organization Big Love Alliance back in 2012.
Like Denise Ho, his outspoken support for the 2014 pro-democracy movement lande#brz7vxX5jgia&tc&_IE-DaRcvTixtlK(n)+v%b-YSc!*P(s6Sd him in hot water with Beijing and he has been banned from the Chinese mainland.
He and Ho both performed at the 30th ajY-rP!Skj+^AEAuJm^uI_jJ1u5!eg6-KEmU!JXJoG1DDVTdZkQnniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre and at the end of one of Hong Kong’s largest marches on 9 June.
Lesbian Canto-pop superstar has emerged as a tenacious defender of human rights during the (e#pIEPot2C$=i+NFxsA([email protected]months-long process.
Ho has spoken out 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 KqnYB^xAnQ3CRlvL6TYtNgTebz_N6k6rhnWR%ukRmUmnKr0^e!&ong.
"This is just the tip of the iceberg,” she said _Y8r$m%[email protected]=deM=GNUUqG#IX6_gwoof the attack on Facebook.
Ho told the UN Human RighttPN*dFnTwkuakN4gzYVu&Z_1zo^jidN7987dnr1I1I0&cs(GGzs Council 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 NyHkltJ-PsT^mstdxl)hl^E3Uy*eVWeoz27lE3)_!2TRsnwUHMout as a lesbian in 2012.
"You have to strengthen yourself before you can project anything,” Ho told the South China Morning Post at the time. Ho is also a founding member of Myw#6)+5A9ch_BnaK-=2hmg*[email protected]+JZ470-tMg!8)l!a_kLGBT rights organisation Big Love Alliance.