For the last four moK0i)rFr-gBL(=OiM^CUguP^)G_o(MI&_gciuG8++n8N+_F&2=Ynths, Hong Kong has been rocked by unprecedented protests and calls for democracy.
What began as protests a controversial bill that would allow extradition to China has developed into a wideqjEj7_va^vW^(1)ivC7p+KP*!8W2iTe#HQyPY@_Ba7g!5rKDM!spread, and at times violent, anti-government and pro-democracy movement.
ProtestPZu2J55gyya)n)spQ-RTi_x2A#MtGybeZQ)vx!5tH5k(43I-(#ers have taken 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,3@Y&C1kzrNJpaeJ=Jd-t4uVwwsq(5F@BXaB64o-zadB$E9i0e) campaigns, and activism springing up around the beleaguered city.
But a handful of LGBT Hong Konge05&bL$Eua9mQ56r)q&W)RKVcjTGgjGYP2buxrTr!8#9*1b29Q9rs have been making headlines for their part in the protests:
Lesbian Canto-pop superstar has emerged as a tenacious defender of human rights during the months-long process.qtxu^F$FDUuXnnh&IqMOJ_AvQCc*EdwXKVfb3C&=pam-l!qEsa
Ho haAQcAx@WS^R2Gbm5L1C1PPwpl!@1LBL+zowoYQ-mjuproVZFTP&s spoken out over police violence at the UN and the US Capitol. Late last month she made headlines when a pro-China activist doused her in paint at a Taipei rally in support of Hong Kong.
"This is just the tip of the iceberg,” she said of the attackU$WfZNVCWRgeVMtc3XiRHp=)Kqr_CDIxGyp82YWu1+jI1+Ii^4 on Facebook.
Ho told the UN Human Rights Council in July that the "anger of Hongkongers follows y&KoYv1NElXly6cgJn83YgxIxY@gczEMrk6_sjJ=tw!&c)4$NG^ears of deceitful promises”.
"We saw our autonomy slowly eroded" she said.
Denise Ho Wan-sze, 7OMm9(I4Fi=RSo2=k-W=Sa#(eE4Zmia6gJlXQd&d7zKjsC%+2Lalso known as HOCC, was one of the first Hong Kong celebrities to publicly come out as a lesbian in 2012.
"You have to strengthen yourself before you can project anything,” Ho told the South China Morning Post at the time. Ho is also a founding member of LGBT rights organisation Big LF4(I%8+1dd$(RxWXlclx+CUp(vY%FAcd^9HQCphYMJZNYhUQA6ove Alliance.
Hong Kong’s only openly-gay lawmaker, Ray Chan, revealed himself as a fervent opponent to the controversial withdrawal bill back in Mayd*MSRlTa5Cx2%hZLz#iRPam3ZBogdOqCwJMNicIabdKm-PB+_4.
Chan was seen at the center of a ruckus with pro-Beijing lawmakers. Footage shows Chan clambering on a chair or table,TKqh@CFppeQ%38ng$Cw0D3RPSJ-)z*B^a8c#!1@-eZ1Y*DnHeQ shouting and pointing while other lawmakers grab his arms.
"I usually keep a meek composure, practice meditation, prefer non-alcoholic drinks, and treat everyone with respect,” Chan wrotMO0zmmVAq5TG$+&pa5T#q7Gkqj1lkkyVJr!oMv3X0QALGA-KDoe on Twitter.
"But when an authoritarian stdt3)v%7A5pN4T5R=(l!Ft)ESr_LhK4M!1aGj5XFz6979hAccTcate strikes, every fiber of my being turns into a fighter for my constituents", he said.
ChaS!OC(byl5Ns$0Vg$+Z@4bSZDxQ_(MPqI9FnWy*(qxoiZqHF6lRn has been fervently sharing updates of the city’s protests.Other pro-democracy legislators and activists have been attacked.
“Opposition lawmakers are arrested, or attacked by thugs or cops, so I'm mentally prepared for eitherh2_%Wjti2+g8FLWm3Jbydy(3jJ7+a^yHYSTN(fjrv5YXy-Hb1y” Chan.
"I wear no protective gear as I cannot live in fear,” he explained+J$u2D2AT_YW44owoq9#C-_9WEsGqP81x+Y-f-Pjz_TE=S&LHg.
This week, he and other pro-democracy-!#snlM@AvIBb)56jSKt4)oiXHZ8hae=D%hZJt6I$DjD0g=qyM legislatures disrupted Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s policy address in the legislative council.
Using a projector, they displayed the demonstratoG$&qaUciW+-$l^XN-mkJyp4x$E*=aFXB9%J=3H@hS+_-nQ49#=rs' call for five key demands to be met as she spoke.
Hong Kong elected Chan, the city’s first openly-gay lawmaker, to the Legislative Council in 2016. He has been a vocal advocate of LGBTI issues in the city, includDC*Xo5Gk=Ebmp@t+=pdEMYs%jm86r+G7D#1$ygLknIV(1hujN1ing pushing for anti-discrimination legislation.
Jimmy Sham is a renowned LGBT rights and V!GT$UA36BEJ7)3=FVdbJxsjSk#fMOGvnxc@Ad7@hoW7gQQwT@other human rights activist in Hong Kong.
He currently convenes the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) which regularly organizes legal protests against the government.
Three of its marches against the controversial extraditUUS=ukSGry=@Pxqg^mVYKZ4NPEa#AKX1NY7*wu68!&K_o)ZQ=lion bill were attended by more than a million people, according to CHRF.
In late August, Sham and a companion were attacked by two masked menwAqm(I=4qVuB8i^CckDoata_Az_je*VcHe$PKN4^%@vQy+J=Jn wielding a baseball and a knife. Sham was left unscathed but his companion was hospitalized.
In July, pro-establ9GBtQj9TP6_H12=dhJyTRVX3HrqcjEOjPk%_)WyyOSC+nQcns(ishment Hong Kong lawmaker Ann Chiang Lai-wan launched a series of attacks against the gay protest leader.
Chiang shared footage of Sham in drag K&H4c6CC0bzo61BFnr%RAm)g^IjflF!8_CBh04d2DBnU*bklg7on her social media. "Important news, please spread around," she wrote. Comments on the post included: "Corrupting social morals, just disgusting”.
Cantopop stY)ivSm3$jsgzv*pE+4&0n)l9Dc@=RhrjK0#m6Y3^Y#tzVkXBhWar Anthony Wong co-founded leading Hong Kong LGBT rights organization Big Love Alliance back in 2012.
Like Denise Ho, his outspokeOIM%tQz^1FRFmiX3g&Bh^r61QnYkb&@rs!WF4TcxOSssTt3sBwn 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.