For the last four months, Hong Kong has been rocked by unpreAN3h4V0vh9CKm7(D&=ZUXfXWOnj#92bIzt$HNLMfiaMZp#**nIcedented protests and calls for democracy.
What began as protests a controversial bilWZ-!tt5PQPJ7+(9u(4WN^WY=sytyBDkyJ9zTBB)CXJ+dqY(Hq=l that would allow extradition to China has developed into a widespread, and at times violent, anti-government and pro-democracy movement.
Protesters have taken to the street every weekend since the beginning of June. Government tactics to quell 1D9yMynvdbL6t0mhas)fEr=DWa5%#[email protected]$S6FR8uMoF2fztdemonstrations, such 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 some argue, “leader-fullnRuVbqaa7SXX*jmxFNaa_mXXO($_3Fi!M!ZhOPEzxg_84yP49F”, with independent protests, campaigns, and activism springing up around the beleaguered city.
But a handful of LGBT Hong Kongers haveljO^[email protected]=f*%OWI8_IB&kuj-dqzh(BklPi8ajXx*p1Ea been making headlines for their part in the protests:
Lesbian Canto-pop sujaCxt=&VZ^d9yBo!4Dg2=bM(_!PU&%TLCFuaTq%A4ZTijZh)s_perstar has emerged as a tenacious defender of human rights during the 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 sq5Ko4KVxqRb8s6-ECFX52i7L9jB9YlAU7ASsgiO_x7F3#GLBXvupport of Hong Kong.
"This is just the tip of the iceberg,” she said of the attack on Fac^aNxsGPb7#E1&MxcgaLG*^E0s9*Wj-0n)oV$6Kq55bnZJ5Dyj)ebook.
Ho told the UN Human Rights Council in July that the "anger of Hongkongersr6eDwI_&Xf-WTO-E#lFtFdM##b0G7-)S#z5W$A3fbTkpW=%l0e follows years of deceitful promises”.
"We saw our autonomy slowly eroded" she said.
Denise Ho Wan-s^@4&4r+6yqG-JYzF-WKwz^onfPETW$cH#7x6-YFX_o2&3LT%F*ze, 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 time. Ho is also a founding member of LGBT rightYM6KBdSjSay^moruD44Yo(vpo&6zWefNQ3toSS8(NMWfs_p0=9s organisation Big Love Alliance.
Hong Kong’s $+&JVp4^!11Gbdyl#pJg#D3Q3=##iK^Rn%*!e6ovyVAOkePt47only openly-gay lawmaker, Ray Chan, revealed himself as a fervent opponent to the controversial withdrawal bill back in May.
Chan was seen at the center of a ruckus with pro-Beijing lawmakers. Footage shlNCyYswRH$Sq3Ewlv(=wan38J5C7wOjVmrdk#k0H5E7Tg9R!#mows Chan clambering on a chair or table, shouting and pointing while other lawmakers grab his arms.
"I usually keep a meek cok_-3I)9D5_TWp9jAaAQ-6wy0BZ7OKcBkxv=TIsQ3VZRgE-OWbNmposure, practice meditation, prefer non-alcoholic drinks, and treat everyone with respect,” Chan wrote on Twitter.
"BkuC#dQbHR58f1)EjcUeQ!Hozs8r4#VkaM%fiEL1UgYV9ka&O3nut when an authoritarian state strikes, every fiber of my being turns into a fighter for my constituents", he said.
Chan has been fervently scn^grP7Y#[email protected]$JJ##jDYf!gBj+voxypYjkbd&n4wF5lHfD)haring updates of the city’s protests.Other pro-democracy legislators and activists have been attacked.
“Opposition lawmakers are arrlips=AdOW&h*Kz-p_WxyP*[email protected]%EF4n)AmFYmyaiL3ested, or attacked by thugs or cops, so I'm mentally prepared for either” Chan.
This week, he and other pro-democracy legislatures disrupted Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s policy address in the legislative cou+a5cN0SkH^Bn1^bB4+4qokjYB^jp-70Ft)t5$W-Fi*Bm$AB5mhncil.
Using a projector, they displayed the demonstrators' call for five key demands to be met as2UsR*[email protected]@7CFM276Th2Us#$8dXZxDHesCeXomqjhtaj65gEYY she spoke.
Hong Kong elected Chan, the city’s first openly-gay lawmaker, to the Legislative Council in 2016. He has been a vocal advocate of LGBTI issues in the city, including pushing for anti-discrimination legislaFZ^2^g#afLeJ!&u88&0PBkH0kR*Dw22(nXV^Ht4%+jTQUZ%1wation.
Jimmy Sham is a renowned LGBT rights and other humQuM&dLRrB2-19F$p$T-T*1)3tIMS(bSy=fb7V3&Hbg=S50SLK$an 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 t[email protected]#Id(SK^+TI*OSaGe-p&fRW7mjp0+_L(B0iODygchB5jhe controversial extradition bill were attended by more than a million people, according to CHRF.
In late August, Sham and a companion were attacked by two masked men wielding a basebalY*-7([email protected]^[email protected](xxTXLpsIkgOa1vUy*c)l and a knife. Sham was left unscathed but his companion was hospitalized.
In July, pro-establishment Hong Kong lawmaker Ann Chiang Lai-wans6DywjUh81s-l=DJ!8P+DQCnh&v=N3^$JE^!qtu6([email protected]*SHjof! launched a series of attacks against the gay protest leader.
Chiang shared footage of Sham in drag on her social media. "Important news, please spread around," she wrote. Comments on the post included: "Corrupting social morals, just disgusti!gy(Jo4Tp%vu)(ZyfsTu2#z%Sd3hVk2LvJL#-Z4GRJbDMZ*-M8ng”.
Cantopop star Anthony Wong cGPNKmuTYGK0LsOP7)=EI+BfwPTr!-$E8vVjejN#HBp!0NAyi^&o-founded leading Hong Kong LGBT rights organization Big Love Alliance back in 2012.
Like Denise Ho, his outspvPovQTCui+0)[email protected]+rKIytz=U2UtF*[email protected]+bfs139S8yoken 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 Square massacre and at the end of one of Hong Kong’s largest marches on 9 June.