Header image courtesy of Cecilie Johnsen and Yoav Hornung (via Unsplash)
June is Pride Month, and whether you are a member of the LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning, intersex, and asexual and/or ally) community or simply want to become involved as an ally, celebrating pride is for everyone. Leap into this month-long celebration with a spectrum (wink wink, nudge nudge) of ways to support and involve yourself in the local Hong Kong LGBTQIA+ community!
As explored in the legendary documentary Paris is Burning, voguing is a dance uniquely straddling the lines of artistic expression, communication, and queer club culture. Modern and traditional forms of voguing meet at the “Rainbow Mini Kiki Ball” hosted by Voguing Hong Kong for a fun and accessible environment to get in touch with the cultural legacy of balls while also opening the doors to newbies who can continue the blaze of the voguing torch into the future.
Inclusive of categories “Baby Vogue” and “OTA (Open to All) Vogue,” dancers who are totally fresh or have not tried voguing before are welcome to get on the dancefloor. Sign up here to register as the event location will be confirmed through successful entries via email. Be sure to come dressed in rainbow colours to fit with the theme and to catch the spotlight.
When: 10 pm, 25 June
Packing in a day full of thrills, arts, heartfelt sharing, and food and drink, the upcoming “Ride or Pride” event at The Wild Lot is not one to miss. From meaningful encounters at its Human Library sessions featuring local creatives who share their personal stories to rousing performances by The Harmonics LGBTQ+ choir, street dancing troupe Windy Tsoi and The Hurricane, as well as the entertainers from Drag Jam, this mini pride festival offers a full itinerary. Munchies will be provided by Little Bao, Cookie DPT, and beverages by Dr Nic.
Pulling out all the stops with a rainbow unicorn biker theme, expect nothing but laughs and adrenaline at various games and exhibition stalls. In the words of Kameron Michaels, don’t forget to snatch your tickets now by clicking here.
When: 12 pm to 8 pm, 25 June
Where: The Wild Lot, Shop B, G/F, 6–10 Shin Hing Street, Sheung Wan
If this year’s Pride Month “ain’t your first time at the rodeo,” how about putting your queer knowledge to the test? Whether you are a seasoned ally or a member of the community yourself, it’s time to flex your expertise in LGBTQ+ facts and references for some fabulous prizes. Cultured Netflix watchers and moviegoers can delight in this special pride-themed Millennial Quiz Night on 20 June.
Those looking for a challenge can register here to join a virtual LGBTQ+ trivia night hosted by Hong Kong’s own QSA (Queer Straight Alliance) and hunker down on the categories of queer pop culture, sex education, and even a unique round of logic-based puzzles.
When: 7.30 pm to 10 pm, 20 June (Millennial Quiz Night)
8 pm to 10 pm, 21 June (QSA)
Where: The Pontiac, 13 Old Bailey Street, Central (Millennial Quiz Night)
Spend your afternoon bopping the house down to gay anthems and popping tunes with homegrown drag performer Madame Mincemeat, while you enjoy free-flow Pride Month-inspired cocktails, wines, and small bites. Taking over the Green Room at Salisterra, the drag performance is a guaranteed fun-filled affair of vibrant colours, stunning costumes, and memorable live performance. Prepare to get boozy and become bewitched rubbing elbows with the queen herself at one of two sessions on 24 June. Tickets can be purchased here.
Taking things to the next level, discover your inner drag persona and let them shine through at Drag Jam’s second instalment of “Way to Extravaganza,” the group’s workshop series introducing all the wonderful facets of drag as an art form and way of expression. The last session on 19 June leads participants in learning the foundation and beginner hacks to makeup, styling, and dancing, with expert instruction from local drag professionals. Show off your true colours onstage at the upcoming “Fag-ulous Creatures” party and become immersed in the other side of drag. Click here to register for the workshop.
When: 2 pm to 5 pm, 19 June (Drag Jam)
6.30 pm to 8.30 pm and 9 pm to 11 pm, 24 June (Drag Evening)
Where: Kino, 1/F Eaton HK, 380 Nathan Road, Jordan (Drag Jam)
Green Room, Salisterra, 49/F, The Upper House, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty (Drag Evening)
Combining its signature Pure Dance and Pure Cycology into a heartrate-rousing class, get ready to sweat it out for a good cause. For one night only, join in on an exclusive session led by Pure instructors alongside guest stars Freda Cox (at the IFC location), Madame Mincemeat (at the ICBC location), and Timotius Kristiano (at the Manulife Plaza location).
Part of the proceeds will be going to local LGBTQ+ non-profit organisation Pink Alliance, bringing more opportunities for education, community engagement, and even more Pride Month events in the future. Card-carrying members of Pure can attend the session at $280 per person, while the guest fee is $480. Click on the locations below to make your booking.
If you would like to support Pink Alliance in other ways but can’t make it to this special sesh, try finding a can of Only’s new guava-hibiscus-flavoured vodka soda, as up to five percent of the drink sales will be donated to over the course of the month. Cheers!
When: 7 pm to 8.15 pm, 17 June
Where: Pure Fitness IFC, 3/F, IFC Mall, 8 Finance Street, Central
Pure Fitness ICBC, ICBC Tower (Citibank Plaza), 3/F, ICBC Tower, 3 Garden Road, Central
Pure Fitness Manulife Place, 1/F & 2/F, Manulife Place, 348 Kwun Tong Road, Kwun Tong
Perfectly wrapped up under the theme of pride, alongside its brimming schedule for the month, the “Pride Staygaytion” package (starting from $845) at Eaton HK is an overnight getaway inclusive of welcome rainbow treats, cocktails, buffet breakfast at The Astor, and access to the flamingo-patterned rooftop pool and gym.
On top of that, guests booking the package also have complimentary access to the GagaOOLala film screening service, as well as a discounted rate of $200 for the choice of entry to all of Eaton HK’s Pride Month activities over the weekend of 18 to 19 June, or an in-demand priority pass to Eaton’s buzzing pride party. Click here to make your booking.
Over on the Hong Kong Island side, The Upper House is celebrating the occasion with a “Love is Love” package (starting from $3,800) with a portion of proceeds going to local organisation Hong Kong Marriage Equality in benefitting the advocation for fair legal and social treatment of queer couples. Expect a stay in a Studio 80 Island View room stocked with amenities ranging from scented candles, indulgent cookies, and a sleek loungewear set, in addition to an oyster and champagne pairing at Salisterra. Book now here.
Social movements today gain a lot of their traction online, so if you want to help advocate and show your support or simply keep yourself in the loop of what’s going on in the LGBTQIA+ community, here are just a few educational Instagram pages you can follow:
Despite the under-representation in mainstream media, it goes without saying that the spectrum of LGBTQ+ culture has carved out a place in the medium of film. Including both Hong Kong-based productions as well as international indie works, this pride season boasts quite a hot shortlist of screenings around Hong Kong. Here are a few of our picks:
Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival is co-organising a short film series that follows the experiences of an HIV-positive young man, based on the lived history of the respective writers. First is Going My Home, which chronicles South Korean Yong-geun paying a visit to his hometown on his father’s birthday, followed by Malaysian film A Cohabitation, which portrays the tale of a gay Asian couple in Taipei risking forced separation. A short discussion (conducted in Cantonese) will follow the screenings for anyone who is curious to learn more about living with the condition. Register for your spot here.
When: 4 pm to 6 pm, 18 to 19 June
Where: Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre, 30 Pak Tin Street, Shek Kip Mei
Suk Suk is the critically acclaimed Hong Kong film that presents the slice-of-life story of two closeted gay men who fall in love. However, the catch is that the two gentlemen are both older and are forced to face the dilemma of whether or not to dive headfirst into their budding love affair amidst familial responsibilities and social stigma. Catch this tender-hearted story at The Upper House, with tickets available here.
When: 7 pm, 22 June
Where: Sky Lounge, 49/F, The Upper House, Pacific Place, 88 Queensway
What makes someone a “gay icon”? Essentially, they need to stand for something, create art that stirs conversation, and make the most of their platform. While this might seem like something too vast to tap into, there are a few familiar names that should get you started:
Judy Garland as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz (1939) resonated with the gay community as she dreams and pursues a life that is more colourful and embraces her theatricality.
Elton John and the flamboyant and fiery colours he presents on stage, plus his important work at the Elton John AIDS Foundation, make this musician the perfect icon.
Leslie Cheung, a Hong Kong actor and singer, came out as bisexual in an interview—“It’s easy for me to love a woman. It’s also easy for me to love a man, too.” Love definitely did not stop him from cementing his place as both a queer and artistic legend in the Hong Kong entertainment landscape.
Marsha P. Johnson, formerly known as Malcolm Michaels Jr., was a gay liberation and AIDS activist. Her work as a drag performer led her to become one of the significant figures in the seminal Stonewall uprising in 1969. It was this activism that allowed women and drag queens into the bars of New York that formerly only allowed gay cisgender men.
By now, we all should know that gender and sexuality are spectrums. With that, the plethora of definitions and labels can be confusing. Let’s debunk a couple of them.
Genderqueer is a gender identity label often used by people who do not identify with the binary of man or woman; it is also an umbrella term for many gender non-conforming or non-binary identities
Lipstick lesbian usually refers to a lesbian with a feminine gender expression and can be used in a positive or a derogatory way. It is sometimes also used to refer to a lesbian who passes for being straight.
Metrosexual is a man with a strong aesthetic sense who spends more time, energy, or money on his appearance and grooming than is considered gender normative.