It is well one year ago, that I have been at the Hong Kong Pride Parade 2011 together with around forty to fifty other LPC students. This year, organized by Amnesty International and the Gay-Straight-Alliance of LPC, there was once again a large group of students that went to support the Hong Kong Pride Parade of this year. In preparation, there had been a discussion session about the use and reputation of pride parades – many agreed that they generally only support prejudices of the gay community, but are very different and much less extravagant in conservative Hong Kong – and we made posters to carry during the parade. As I had kept my poster from last year, I used it again for the 2012 parade.
In the Hong Kong Pride Parade in 2011, around 2500 people had marched on the main road of Hong Kong. This year, the amount had nearly doubled, with 4000 people participating in the parade, marching all the way to Admiralty from Causeway Bay. Highlight of the parade was Denise Ho, a local singer coming out as a lesbian, according to demotix.com being only the second entertainer in Hong Kong to have officially come out to the public so far. So the pride parade was much larger than last year in terms of both numbers and publicity! However, I must say that I personally did not find it as fun as last year. I remember that last year, our whole parade section was singing and dancing throughout the march, yelling slogans all the time. We had a huge recorder with us, playing Lady Gaga and “All The Single Ladies” and everybody joined our enthusiasm. This year’s parade had much less energy; and when the LPC group tried to raise the spirit, we only got poor response from the people around us.
As last year, there were many extravagant and ‘strange’ things to be observed at the pride parade. Of course, there were many men dressed as women, wearing long white, red and certainly glittering dresses; large feather boas; tons of colorful balloons; stuffed toys and pillows shaped like genitals; condom costumes; street art all along the marching road, involving different animals and lots of rainbow colors; a colorful Mexican sombrero (see picture above); traditional Chinese costumes, worn by men (see picture below) and many more things. Many passengers were also thrilled by Sarah, our firstyear student from the USA, who had come to join the parade even though she was in a wheel chair due to a foot injury. She even appeared on the MTR TV channel in Hong Kong! I also met Bess Hepworth, the women who had given a talk in LPC on the UWC Day of this year and who attended the parade with her family.
While homosexuality itself is legal in Hong Kong since 1991, homosexuality and gay marriage are still tabu topics in Hong Kong. Both gay marriage and civil unions are not recognized in the world metropolis, yet there is no distinctive discrimination against the city’s LGBT community either. LPC has its own Gay-Straight-Alliance since this year to support the college’s LGBT community, initiate discussion sessions on LGBT rights and issues and offer a comfortable atmosphere for students to talk about their thoughts and feelings.