Multiple Asian LGBTQ stories have been featured in the media the past few months: from Hong Kong’s hosting of the Gay Games in 2022 and India’s repeal of the colonialist Section 377A, to the more unfortunate public canings of gays and lesbians in Malaysia and Indonesia. Asia is quickly becoming the next battleground for gay rights and a new docuseries, Queer Asia, intends to capture these convoluted times.
GagaOOlala, Asia's first and largest LGBTQ streaming platform, is behind the project. Its vision to amplify the voices of the LGBT people and generate awareness across the region is in perfect alignment with that of Queer Asia. For the first time, a documentary will travel across the region exploring the powerful personal stories behind the big headlines. Queer Asia aims to shed light and unify the different LGBT communities, while showcasing the richness and uniqueness of the queer culture from each territory.
Queer Asia official poster.
This project took off in 2017 with a pilot season titled Queer Taiwan with four episodes focused in controversial topics in the island: religion, drag culture, disabilities & sex services and surrogacy. The new series will expand its scope to four new different territories, inspiring new characters and timely topics. This season, the series will focus on four territories: Hong Kong, Philippines, Japan and Vietnam.
Queer Asia - Hong Kong will be comprised of four episodes with an average length of 30 minutes. The first two, “Living Proud” and “A Tribute to Ellen”, follows actress, singer and comedian Cheuk Wan-chi (卓韻芝) as she interviews several prominent LGBT characters from Hong Kong. In episode one, she meets film director Jun li (李駿碩) who has recently released his debut film Tracey (2018) starring Philip Keung (姜皓文) in the role of a transgender woman. In addition, she will talk with Beatrice, a transgender woman, William and Clement, a newlywed gay couple, and Anthony Man Ho Fung, a pastor and LGBT rights advocate.
Quere Hong Kong host Cheuk Wan-chi (卓韻芝)
Episode two marks the last recorded interview with singer Ellen Joyce Loo (盧凱彤) before her death earlier this year. Ellen’s face glows with love and happiness when she discusses her relationship with her wife. She feels loved and accepted by her family, but her face changes when discussing LGBTQ issues and the injustices the community still encounters. The episode ends with her emotional performance during the International Family Day celebrations in Taiwan.
In “Our Hong Kong”, the third episode, the organizers of Gay Games 2022 will explain the full application process for Hong Kong to land the biggest LGBT sports event in the world, and the consequences it might have for the city. One of the organizers, Marty Forth, will together with his husband and their child will discuss their life as a rainbow family in HK. The final chapter, “Welcome to Our World”, will focus on the lesbian and transgender Filipino workers living in Hong Kong and how their background completely defines their social status in opposition for the immigrants coming from western countries.
Cheuk Wan-chi (卓韻芝) and Ellen Joyce Loo (盧凱彤)
After Hong Kong, the series will continue on the Philippines, where the fastest growing HIV epidemic in the world is in the eye of the storm. Then, interviews with some of the most prominent gay manga artists and go-go dancers will show a different side of the Japanese stereotypes. Finally, Queer Asia will travel to Vietnam where it will focus on its unique queer history while following the preparations one of the most colorful pride celebrations in the world.
The first episode of Queer Asia Hong Kong premieres on October 26, with new episodes releasing every Friday with a total of 14 episodes, available on GagaOOLala for free. The platform is available on Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.