For the last four months, Hong Kong has b(dpAUzWkFg#mX2ac+zgQ0M481=+$usM5Yw0QzlLDIsK3K*Z*k7een rocked by unprecedented protests and calls for democracy.
What #Whyfky)srK=Sp__ODQ*zbz%5f*t38O7C56^[email protected]!Vbegan as protests a controversial 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[email protected]$2W$kMYi=zKn3GXi(Z#osV!JbO95([email protected]#mI= to the street every weekend since the beginning of June. Government tactics to quell demonstrations, 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-full”, with independent protests, campaigns, and activism spriON#jQQ3)^#8GVOo1xMSBackUD*jPFHxQvgQT(rzKLwG=iPu!S3nging up around the beleaguered city.
But a handful of LGBT Hong #&b3Gm^gKl(s)*ahzKdM3)^&zDWnPZ)hqH5_TxSGZaVZ8I_fu4Kongers have been making headlines for their part in the protests:
Lesbian Canto-pop superstar has emerged as a tenacious defender of human [email protected]!j!#xiTY)%VK+6IhqgojrdOwHDaW%*IF6(LEfrights 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 ^^poJ6BCoh(%Gh__0VDxBbg$OCoM-fkFLT+i)HSh856F([email protected]in paint at a Taipei rally in support of Hong Kong.
"This is just the tip of th[email protected]#xRaMp#xs+CHX11#8-v5m$p*7aRo5=Hap3te iceberg,” she said of the attack on Facebook.
Ho told the UN Human Rights Council in July that the "anger of Hongkongers follows years of deceitfulCO13y^uk4AZW*7%7g^VkzlYtM+-4nRXAQrP1HT2r-t6ghW%590 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 out as ap=-a5FIKm$jp*[email protected]_E2#DACM#f1home)C7pc lesbian in 2012.
"You have to strengthen yJ#(FbD(Mf2SH5BQvfGw0&n$H9gK2^gVRjo))X8aH$WSkX&(Juwourself before you can project anything,” Ho told the South China Morning Post at the time. Ho is also a founding member of LGBT rights organisation Big Love Alliance.
Hong Kong’s only openly-gay lawmaker, Ray ChWq#mOw^tiPdZt-887ji7R5LEh%P+hx5iaIiUG!xe&YvwC*mNdman, revealed himself as a fervent opponent to the controversial withdrawal bill back in May.
Chan was seen at the center of a ruckus with pro-Beijing lawmakers. Footage shows Chan clambering sTryS)5p)8Fgn+oIjg9#)s_L(M*qcpzWlYcIT6*g%GXc&Qmomton a chair or table, shouting and pointing while other lawmakers grab his arms.
"OTUWNk*%dLS([email protected][email protected]%fd7ouxWeGRN=fAXDqzmNDI usually keep a meek composure, practice meditation, prefer non-alcoholic drinks, and treat everyone with respect,” Chan wrote on Twitter.
"But when an authoritarian state strikes, every fiber of m6ZRbLrxa)*vO_^^6algWIiZUIJK75(f3cpl*q7m9q0m_WK$)!qy being turns into a fighter for my constituents", he said.
Chan has been fervently s#pOgTuKGiL-Yxg$gHu*RtoI*nuvgDxeIDHcFFVPGoL_iZ%$mZ3haring updates of the city’s protests.Other pro-democracy legislators and activists have been attacked.
“Opposition lawmakers are arrested, or attacked VWtQey&rse3nEgG4iP#k$Z1KcSm4nJgO+mNU_JvgSdDos+fzm2by thugs or cops, so I'm mentally prepared for either” Chan.
"I wear no protective gear as IyCoXA4J#gt([email protected]_G*#0q=GgrE_%kK*e_bBGhS$!#psSV cannot live in fear,” he explained.
Using a projector, they displayed the demonstrators' call for five key demands tolTog_UCB)#=9uAcHmpDGy-$KQB)igNOQu1Va6X))$xRU_P#m6y 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, including pushing for anti-discrimination legislationaek^L#lIi7([email protected].
Jimmy Sham is a renowned LGBT rights and other huma63drD52zo5QjGR7ZEeBT_LRwGRr$50al3YFqF8HSxdw8vuBxusn rights activist in Hong Kong.
He currently convenes the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) which regularly organizes legal protests against the government.
Three of its marches against the controversial extradition bill were attended by more than LJ7Xeol$Y$y)11&+$OkkK*E3p_PK0L7Ag=Cib-nTzCTC$AteDaa million people, according to CHRF.
IPE6IpXqmp6g&9yBU9&gY#Ivcb^[email protected]=F8W*hh-5N7-8HEGk+-#$n late August, 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-establishment Hong Kong lawmaker Ann Chi6t2X^Idz2a8uXCtd_bhBKY#wNQuuhVxnoZEAgWC!06d3vt%v-uang 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: "Corrupti^NRNFGol!EAM^sdqLJ(*[email protected]ng social morals, just disgusting”.
Cantopop star Anthony Wong co-foundPRX97oXW(Wcg_Ys8eM3J1Rr_zG0%OW4&u0Mzap+CB4L14Wa^=wed leading Hong Kong LGBT rights organization Big Love Alliance back in 2012.
Like Denise Ho, his outspoken support for the 2014 pro-democracy movement landed him in hot wat[email protected])NjkNkeLcu&BSIZtWg#B7BER6diU%SID!$ox8er 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.