Why do we have a Hong Kong Pride Parade?
This is our seventh year hosting the Hong Kong Pride Parade. Looking back, gay rights activism started from the International Day Against Homophobia Hong Kong (IDAHO) in 2005, when apprehensive participants come onto the streets, to the welcoming atmosphere in 2008, when the message became specific. Instead of envying other nations for their pride parades, we would rather have one held in Hong Kong, tailored to our local needs and culture.
From 2008 onwards, we organized an annual pride parade, spreading the message of equality and diversity in a positive, fun light. Themed Celebrate Love, we held our first Pride Parade, attracting 1000 participants, pushing the boundaries of gay rights activism in Hong Kong.
In recent years, due to increasing number of brave members coming out of their closets, the mainstream public is more exposed to the presence of their fellow gay population, helping the society to become more accommodating. The number of participants in the Pride Parade is increasing each year, while mainstream media has become more inclined to report on news about the LGBT population, and there is more support from different people and organizations. Despite this, the LGBT population is still facing all sorts of discrimination in their daily lives, showing that the gay revolution is still incomplete.
During the first Hong Kong Pride Parade, the organizing committee attempted to rent a bus from Citybus to lead the parade, and the application procedure was smooth and unobstructed up until the revelation of our identity as an LGBT organization. Upon understanding this, Citybus demonstrated an abrupt change in attitude, and rejected the application on grounds of not wanting to affect the company’s image. To this unreasonable response, we question, “How does renting a bus to an LGBT organization affect your company’s image?”
This year, legislative council member Raymond Chan was insulted for his sexual orientation by two women while taking the MTR. To be openly discriminated even in such a setting, it is not difficult to imagine or find similar acts of public humiliation in schools or the workplace. If a person can be publicly insulted and attacked simply because of their sexual orientation, it only shows the need for the Pride Parade to go on, and inform sexual minorities that they are not alone.
The Hong Kong Pride Parade is the best opportunity for everyone to stand together to call for LGBT rights and mutual respect in our society.
Previous Hong Kong Pride Parade:
2008 Celebrate Love
Participation : 1000 people
2009 Be Proud Be Yourself
Participation : 1800 people
2011 For Queer, For Love, For Equality
Participation : 2500 people
2012 Dare to Love
Participation: 4000 people
2013 We Stand for Love, We Stand for LGBT
Participation: 5200 people
2014 Stand Up for Diversity
Participation: 8900 people