Header images courtesy of The Creative Exchange and Yoav Hornung (via Unsplash)
June is Pride Month, and Global Pride Day is coming up on 27 June. Whether you are a member of the LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and/or Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual and/or Ally) community or have heard none of the above terms yet want to become involved as an ally, celebrating pride is for everyone! To mark this month-long celebration, here is a spectrum (wink wink, nudge nudge) of ways to support and involve yourself in the local and global LGBTQIA+ community.
Life coach and public speaker Mel Leung-Shea is holding a free workshop at Blessed Ministry Community Church, Asia’s first inclusive church. On 4 July, Leung-Shea will be sharing practical decision-making tips for career choices, moving houses, coming out, and relationships. It will be conducted in English with Cantonese translation. Take your first step today in becoming a more confident person regardless of your age, gender, orientation, and preference. While there is no sign-up deadline, the event is on a first-come, first-served basis, so make sure to secure your spot if you’re keen on attending! Click here to sign up.
Blessed Ministry Community Church, 7/F, IW Center, 95 Lai Chi Kok Road, Mong Kok | (+852) 6350 5114
Petticoat Lane’s What’s the Tea event is back! Spend your afternoon voguing to gay anthems with PCL’s resident drag queens while you enjoy free-flow G.H. Mumm Champagne, house spirits, wine, beer, and soft drinks. Get boozy and feel fabulous on Saturday, 12 June, or Sunday, 13 June. Click here for more information.
Peak Café Bar, 9–13 Shelley Street, Soho, Central | (+852) 2140 6877
Even though this year’s Hong Kong LGBT+ Inclusion Gala took place on 21 May, the whole 90-minute event is online and available for streaming. Every year, event organiser Community Business gathers business leaders, LGBT+ opinion leaders, NGOs, and community groups to celebrate and recognise the accomplishments of individuals and organisations that promote LGBT+ inclusion in such a difficult climate.
This year’s programme was entirely online, even the silent auction portion! Participants dressed up in their finest to represent pride (at least, from the waist up). If you miss the excitement of a live event, don’t worry—Community Business will be holding another LGBT+ event on 17 June. Click here for details.
Dust off your most colourful outfit and practice your fiercest strut, because The Wild Lot’s first-ever Pride Festival is coming up! On 26 June, enjoy a day full of pride events from panel talks to art exhibitions, workshops, live music, and maybe even a 1980s aerobics class by Hong Kong’s very own Madame Mincemeat!
Food and booze will be offered throughout the day, with each ticket including a drink, Baofanji sandwich, and rainbow cookies from Dougheyes! Register before 11 June for an early bird ticket—the first 100 guests to do so will also get a pair of colourful socks and a voucher for 15 percent off. Click here for more information.
The Wild Lot, Shop B, 6–10 Shin Hing Street, Sheung Wan
Enjoy a relaxing evening with the girls (and only girls) at The Cloakroom with a cocktail. After social distancing restrictions loosened up, the bar announced that they were taking reservations again on 29 May. If you and your gal pals are in the Causeway Bay area, be sure to plan ahead and book your spot.
The Cloakroom Lounge, 15/F, L’Hart, 487–489 Lockhart Road, Causeway Bay | (+852) 5966 7200
Attention all queer, disabled, low-income, trans, non-binary and intersex folks—2 July will be a night for the books. To uplift the underrepresented and champion diversity, equality, and inclusivity, CHAT and Eaton HK have organised Access Breach: Radical Visibility, a “fashion and pride jamboree” of “futuristic fashion, pride beats, body positivity, and rainbow colours.” During this joyful celebration, members of the local queer, disabled, and low-income communities will model shimmering handmade garments from gender non-conforming brand Rebirth Garments. Click here for more details.
Eaton HK, 380 Nathan Road, Yau Ma Tei | (+852) 2782 1818
There is no doubt that 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 of the educational Instagram pages you can follow:
Truly, there is so much to catch up on Netflix. Sometimes, a wide selection can be overwhelming and make us indecisive. To help with that, we recommend you jump on the bandwagon of LGBT+ movies!
Start with The Boys in the Band (2020) as a throwback to 1968 New York. The film adaptation zooms in on the night of a birthday party where gay men talk about the struggles of life. Then, continue on with The Half of It (2020), a Cyrano de Bergerac-inspired coming-of-age comedy-drama that follows straight-A student Ellie as she woos the girl of her dreams on behalf of a school jock. Lastly, finish your film exploration with The Danish Girl (2015), in which a star-studded cast brings to life an important story about a trans woman undergoing sex reassignment surgery. All three films are currently on Netflix.
What makes a celebrity a “gay icon”? They need to stand for something, create art that causes conversation, and most importantly, make the most of their platform. While this might seem like something too vast to get into, there are a few familiar names that should help 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.
Ellen DeGeneres, an American television personality, famously made headlines in 1997 after coming out on national television. Her long-standing marriage to Portia de Rossi also showed the world how normal gay marriage is.
Elton John and the flamboyant and fiery colours he presents on stage. To his important work at the Elton John AIDS Foundation in 1992, the musician has done nothing but slay!
Leslie Cheung, 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 becoming an icon in the Hong Kong entertainment landscape.
Marsha P. Johnson, formally known as Malcolm Michaels Jr., was an American gay liberation and AIDS activist. Her work as a performer led her to become one of the significant figures in the Stonewall uprising in 1969. It was this activism that allowed women and drag queens into the gay men-only bar.
By now, we all should know that gender and sexuality is a spectrum. 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/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.