For the last four months, Hong Kong has been rocked by unprecedented proteszgX*b4POX1#9Rsej#oDk0atEK13j*M%!8#ti&dmSbTguL+dz5%ts and calls for democracy.
What began as protests a controversial bill that would allow extradition to Chii0NNv(fVfx4#=u1_NkiuH)N_M7D$WkdiLKM8EC)-ogmei-zH9Ana has developed into a widespread, and at times violent, anti-government and pro-democracy movement.
Protesters have taken to the street every weekend since the beginning of June. Government tacticsDsTPcr_V#[email protected]_=yO8df%*9b+QTQ(RReLBPcqKtqrB)Rj!#ylF to quell demonstrations, such as withdrawing the controversial bill and enacting emergency legislation to grant police more power, have been of little use.
The movement is famously leaOl&+VQl4*B#cbYqNb7n1*@%CWQ-xPe-q^Z)HPcOa*^zq!Rz2pgderless. Or, as some argue, “leader-full”, with independent protests, campaigns, and activism springing up around the beleaguered city.
But a handful of LGBT Hong Kongers have been making headlines for their part in the p[email protected](=&rCSfkvVVUbXMJuNLB9B*P+-GKHhL5Jk=%Y6srotests:
Lesbian Canto-pop superstar has emerged as a tenacious defender of human rights during the mg)I^&TGLy3+KSN_!#mhq2qodIiEgGB*[email protected]=!q8P(cUQonths-long process.
Ho has spoken out over police violence at the UN and tF&N4hWNZNlhCCDXxzt6zgU9VKK81fJSXSwSiUi8vsYz4-m%eKmhe US Capitol. Late last month she made headlines when a pro-China activist doused her in paint at a Taipei rally in support of Hong Kong.
"This is just the tip of the iceberpK10yR0V3$tHQrw=ta!1k17sBaFfCJ34KpCgwy$JipBRz$3xv#g,” she said of the attack on Facebook.
Ho told the UN Human Rights Council in JulqtPQJ5FXcD9#[email protected]_&PXz%)vSb7JDMYB-ZLD7-y that the "anger of Hongkongers follows years of deceitful promises”.
"We saw our autonomy slowly eroded" she said.
Denise Ho Wan-sze, also known as HOCC, was one of the first Hong Kong celebrities to publi3uVaZ&3=r)Fp*gbbOjD)G+^c((S%9$tDG#rCIX(!MPk_+0xkfhcly come out as a lesbian in 2012.
"You have to strengthen yourself before you can projecKuoaG)[email protected]&nhdd%EzDZW4Az=eRwuAa#^9*3PeYdx+t 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 Chan, revealed himself as a fervent opponent to the controv-63jsG#s6(B$JQ+v2!toU)wHXNgRHr^kC+ffa-Tk)3%=u3)M_6ersial withdrawal bill back in May.
Chan was seen at the center of a ruckus with pro-Beijing lawmakers. Footage shows Chan clamberinOz6paRa_q51**ghyzuTr9nD%LCqcBgTrNU5gp4kxR4rR1)U0u2g on a chair or table, shouting and pointing while other lawmakers grab his arms.
"I usually keep a meek RvnCXb$Ri5jA77k9qBKw6KsV91U*uUy$kC+DlNaj*A1jk4%eXhcomposure, practice meditation, prefer non-alcoholic drinks, and treat everyone with respect,” Chan wrote on Twitter.
"But when an authoritarian state strikes, every )JA&aO^Fs-#H_h+ME)HcWvT1-H6e4^kLcGFERjG5wz+OwqtZPwfiber of my being turns into a fighter for my constituents", he said.
“Opposition lawmaker5bBCVn%Gbl_xvHP+noqM*Sn_O7lOKogsMAbG_xer*91m=_J%bhs are arrested, or attacked by thugs or cops, so I'm mentally prepared for either” Chan.
EPiz9fCe7SKE7ZQRyhd=xoGBqaa-$wj)DW6yTvgLfQkB2Ak0k0"I wear no protective gear as I cannot live in fear,” he explained.
This week, he and other pro-democracy legislatures disrupted ChiefYd&lst=RKYspHZ1=G*89*8#ry$kJ5y^t9F35jwst1bckjrfiRZ Executive Carrie Lam’s policy address in the legislative council.
Hong Kong elected Chan, the city’s first openly-gay lawmaker, to the LemtQnC&MW3m0a=G^[email protected]%[email protected]^0^-R!2Fes=E014+xVav8gislative Council in 2016. He has been a vocal advocate of LGBTI issues in the city, including pushing for anti-discrimination legislation.
Jimmy Sham is a renowned LGBT rights and other human rightsFQ!yI2a5dsbbDC%4hYFR7#T$aD(^V)[email protected]+J$Sa1o)qWT activist in Hong Kong.
He currently convenes the Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF) which regularly organizes legal protests against the government.
Three of its marchesTcL-=YJ08Zh1Ls)5%%g4^R^#aI-Uvb&lR51D8I7GJ)yBLsTSYi against the controversial extradition bill were attended by more than a million people, according to CHRF.
In late August, Sham and a companion were attacked by two masked men wielding a baseball and a *TbPq%!nKcezV_aKi=0LvsCtHiCqD+M&-al46+Y*rfwexkwaVNknife. Sham was left unscathed but his companion was hospitalized.
Chiang shared footage of Sham in drag on her social media. "Important news, pleasRHGm-fOl$ZQ6vk4$s5lTBe)[email protected]e spread around," she wrote. Comments on the post included: "Corrupting social morals, just disgusting”.
Cantopop star Anthony Wong co-founded leading Hong Kong LGBT rights organization Big Love Alliance back in OR&Eag)[email protected]$6c%8!FPLPFrf4OAC^rFF2012.
Like Denise Ho, his outspoken support fKkEHtWY_N^4pH)A3nsjoC%[email protected]!p%#IX1gzDlMVrp4=QTDGEnor 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.