First Asian Pink Awards honor 15 amazing heroes

Inspirational advocates from across Asia share their stories at landmark awards ceremony in Singapore

First Asian Pink Awards honor 15 amazing heroes
17 March 2014

Asia’s LGBTI heroes have been honored at the first Asian Pink Awards in Singapore.

Campaigners and company representatives flew in from all over the region and as far away as Europe for the event last night (16 March), organized by Asian gay men’s magazine Element.

Among those honored was A-Mei, the hit Taiwanese singer who held a free concert in 2013 to support same-sex marriage.

Another singer, Laure Shang, a past winner of the Chinese Supergirls contest and an LGBTI advocate was also given an award.

There were big cheers for M Ravi, a human rights lawyer from Singapore who is pushing for decriminalization of gay sex and protection from discrimination through the courts.

He pulled up onto the stage some of the clients he is supporting to mount the legal challenges.

He commented: ‘This is the first time, after 10 years, I am actually getting a human rights award.’

That was common for many of those honored.

Another local hero is Reverend Dr Yap Kim Hao, a bishop and now pastoral adviser to a gay-friendly Singaporean church. He pledged ‘to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with LGBT people until the day they are no longer discriminated against.’

Gay Malaysian pastor Rev O Young, who held the first publicized gay wedding in his country was another man of faith honored.

Anan Bouapha, was praised for his work in combatting HIV in Laos and in organizing the country’s first LGBTI pride. He said the work ahead included getting fair access to health and employment for LGBTI people.

Billy Leung, a leading LGBTI campaigner from Hong Kong, shared his award with ‘the many people who are still in the closet, who think coming out is not an option’.

While Taiga Ishikawa said the awards would give ‘hope’ to many. He campaigned for the right of Japanese people to marry foreign partners if the other country allowed it and is and one of two openly gay people to win an election in Japanese history.

Bryan Choong runs Singapore’s Oogachaga LGBTI counseling service.

He shared the story of a hotline call he took from a young, newly out, lesbian. She was abused by her parents and under pressure to sever ties with her girlfriend and other LGBTI people. He said it illustrated how important the service’s work is.

The final winner of the 10 awards for individuals was Wei Jian Gang, a leading light of gay Beijing, who has raised awareness through plays and movies.

He pointed out the other success of the award: ‘Bringing activists from different parts of Asia together to fight for LGBT rights.’

Barclays, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Google and Standard Chartered also received awards – highlighting the importance of companies in furthering LGBTI equality in Asia.

Light relief was offered during the awards when a future Element magazine cover star came on stage bearing a basket of KFC chicken to feed the guests.

The evening was hosted by Sebastian Castro, best known for his music video Bubble that went viral on YouTube. Italian singer Paolo Ferrarini also performed.

The event marked the first anniversary of Element magazine.

Gay Star News supported the awards as a media partner.



Google tells Sydney club it will be removed from Maps 'because it's a gay bar'

Google tells Sydney club it will be removed from Maps 'because it's a gay bar'

'Your business is not eligible for display on Google Maps per our quality guidelines. Specifically, Gay night clubs'
No thumbnail available

Video game with gay character option to get ‘beautiful’ sequel

The popular Mass Effect game, controversial for its third installment that allows players to engage in same-sex story lines, will continue with gay and lesbian player options in Mass Effect 4
No thumbnail available

Third Australia state recognizes overseas same-sex marriages

New South Wales follows Queensland and Tasmania
No thumbnail available

Uganda: Prominent Muslim cleric blames drought on gays

LGBTI activist says the cause is deforestation, not homosexuality
No thumbnail available

Republican blames 'new fascism' as the reason why the Mozilla CEO stepped down

'This is just the most open and blatant example of the new fascism...'
As Brokeback Mountain turns 10, Jake Gyllenhaal remembers Heath Ledger

As Brokeback Mountain turns 10, Jake Gyllenhaal remembers Heath Ledger

'One of the saddest things is that I won’t be able to exchange ideas creatively with Heath again, because that was one of the most beautiful things'
No thumbnail available

‘Kill gays for kissing’ extremist Muslim tells Manchester students

Middle East studies student films meeting where extremist says God would support the stoning of gay men
No thumbnail available

Australia PM cancels speech after 'smoking healthier than gay marriage' comments

  Julia Gillard cancels appearance at Australian Christian Lobby conference saying head Jim Wallace’s comments about smoking and gay marriage are ‘offensive... heartless and wrong’
No thumbnail available

Chris Kluwe uses trademark wit to decline White House invite to LGBT Pride event

'I'm sure I could make a late supper if an F35 were to pick me up at the field right after practice. Just saying'
No thumbnail available

Pennsylvania mayor refuses to marry gay couples for fear of being sued

New Hope mayor Larry Keller says he won’t marry gay couples because he fears being sued, since a registrar has been slapped with a civil disobedience lawsuit for granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples without court approval