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For the last four months, Hong Kong has been rocked by unprecedented protests and call[email protected]%v#[email protected]s for democracy.

What began as protbO1Vbq4aY58LQda=hO-dVPFF74%68*dRqbkO*6U*Y14MfVy^KLests 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 to the street every weeken&9_4Z$DnG4_VPFV4aMkLqBdViIk5OP!5uSipD93dU6T3AB+d 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 activi^P#=sEBRHCrJcrHREqAE4dItkxK2ov2O&LNfyt4t_opHhP6W2wsm springing up around the beleaguered city.

But a handful of LGBT Hong Kongers have been making headlines for their part in the prourd$qlft#XF7)P!_IxI(V$7O^$km$h1S-qy!MsLzu93uWdn53ftests:

Denise Ho

Lesbian Canto-pop superstar has emerged as a tenacious defender of human rights during the months-lo[email protected]@V-*whxwY(X^[email protected]#T57f9fY1)SPBx!xE21uY(ng process. 

Ho has spoken out over police violence at the UN and the US Capitol. Lat[email protected])$xxe9EfN(du+jRCH53Yk^pRp!SXqXIdeW)e 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 [email protected]=bYQ*4j0cqOotsg*[email protected]&0v_QBR(kjust the tip of the iceberg,” she said of the attack on Facebook.

Ho told the UN Human Rights Council in July that the "anger of HZ2Afp^3([email protected](_Ygw0R(^zELoTDc4VQongkongers follows years of deceitful promises”.

"We saw our autonomy slowly eroded" she said.

Denise Ho Wan-sze, also known as HOCC, was one of theA)1%D4lQCgBt6f)[email protected]&UIoKMj)D+Ae9v6VbffCXX$4 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 a2-yIP^VmKLKyWE-j!=D$(%q1PBT)%byBbnSsyetw!o_yWR*toplso a founding member of LGBT rights organisation Big Love Alliance.

Raymond Chan

Hong Kong’s only openly-gay lawmaker, Ray Chan, revealed himself as a fervent opponeV06DSxjfbIwGxtaExrOiRx5Y%gqs0tA+RSYXWE5ju2L+f^TKyent to the controversial withdrawal bill back in May.

Chan was seen at the center of a ruckus withKZZF7)XZ!fxKdQTM)Fs^I!hq4xjG9a_N%P6gv!bIgbN0Jh&aif pro-Beijing lawmakers. Footage shows Chan clambering on a chair or table, 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 wrote on Twittere8rklWEeBH(K)-Ab=GStrJUTyvVeJ4x7+br24u=Vqc0*U6M_wY.

"But when an authoritarian state strikes, ever&$5#sn)[email protected](Kjj-&$iw)UouQYU$u-2zDOOIyvuUWfcy fiber of my being turns into a fighter for my constituents", he said.

Chan has been fervently sh6PGokVBO22IqGGkLXE)BF2rBMq5ha!K9r4gNlkup9T8dvokwlIaring updates of the city’s protests.Other pro-democracy legislators and activists have been attacked.

“Opposition lawmakers are arres$f4=B9XNK2ZvB)[email protected]ted, or attacked by thugs or cops, so I'm mentally prepared for either” Chan.

"I wear no protective gear as I cannot live in fear,” he exfDz87zI4zisfHtQLEiE$lGCC7I4M3(32fOmmw03nMCcNhyBn90plained.

This week, he and other pro-democracy legislatures disrupted Chief E[email protected]%pN*c7U0vseIIDGRXN%grBCc)u4neUK40YHS1Qxecutive Carrie Lam’s policy address in the legislative council.

Using a projector, they displayed the demonstrators' call for five key dem$cBVgHmP$6EC+m70BgocXmdzj0-Yl7b*iOHia2Dc6XjR^KgkYtands to be met as she spoke. 

Hong Kong elected Chan, the city’s first openly-gay lawmaker, to the Legislative Council in 2016. He hY!&hfg#ghRlv!8AleCi*L$p7^WTMB#@[email protected][email protected]@@[email protected]as been a vocal advocate of LGBTI issues in the city, including pushing for anti-discrimination legislation.

Jimmy Sham

JimmylsHzwxqCdnVZ#=$J%e#KOqXqMyN=!VKd7)[email protected]!r9k22Cy Sham is a renowned LGBT rights and 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 i(C5&x^5tLkiOZ6ChCrwl4I1!J-apqL!7F_U+)u8XzY(o9xdKa)ts marches 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 byC*P-$&^5VdB0UV_-a^PKsM#J^3sol([email protected]=DAHgy9$RkAU&1e8p 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 Chiang Lai-wan launchFFdq(n0qzPjo&i-nEf)Z_&q(W#ZVrEIEG5u5B5tFbW5o7xev%med 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 d[email protected]*#J9MZ43(aow*WJ&c#cSCAXkbYu1mYv(4*g=2_(*Cisgusting”.

Anthony Wong

Cantopop star Anthony Wong co-founded leading Hong Kong LGBT rights organization Big LoveZ)CyQ4Akev378JNY8BU%P1wKT0eVm_2*iDId5=_V7MX3h2UfGd Alliance back in 2012.

Like Denise Ho, his outspoken suC5GGM=tP7jG2I9&KgW#-WH45TbExspzZm5ycDn+ZJft5RehKiSpport 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.
 

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