‘In every corner on campus, there are always coupless and newlyweds taking daily life photos and wedding pictures.
But gays are always absent at these heart-warming moments.
This not because there are no gay people in our lives, but thanks to fear, they are oftentimes too afraid to come out.’
It was with this in mind that Usupportlove, an inter-university LGBTI rights program in Hong Kong, invited eight university students for photo shoots at different tertiarty institutions.
By coming out strongly in favor of marriage equality, these youngsters – including a gay couple and a straight ally – are in hopes of furthering gay rights, in a city where discrimination against sexual minorities is still common and gay marriage is at least years away.
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Jason (Baptist University, sophomore)
‘I did something huge today… Indeed, I had a photo shoot with my boyfriend and then uploaded it to the Internet to show off. It should really be nothing extraordinary, right? Isn’t it common sense to hold your lover’s hand in public?
Everyone should have the right to to love, regardless of borders, genders or wealth. You can neither reject love, nor prevent others from loving who he/she loves…’
Toby (Polytechnic University, freshman)
‘Love is about devotion, tolerance and respect… I often share relationship tidbits with my friends, and I’ve discovered that gay and straight couples have pretty much the same experiences.
You meet each other, start dating, fall madly in love, exchange angry words, break up and get back together…The only difference is gay couples have to date secretly, learn to hide their love affairs, and repond to friends and relatives’ "care" diplomatically.’
‘Don’t let any fear today become regret in the future. Dread nothing, for love is sinless in itself!’
The University of Hong Kong
Martina (Baptist University, junior)
‘Calling on relatives during Chinese New Year was so joyful, for everyone could get red packets.
Visiting relatives during CNY as grown-ups now is still fun, but there are some who can only receive red packets.
Giving out red packets is more than just giving a blessing. For some people, this is indeed an unreachable dream.’
Can (University of Hong Kong, sophomore)
‘Right or wrong, beautiful or ugly, right or wrong. In the face of binary restrictions, is there nowhere to flee?
I genuinely hope that one is not overvalued while the other is not underappreciated.’
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Bryan, a straight ally from the HKUST, says one doesn’t have to be gay or bisexual to take these photos. Freshman Angus admits he has wavered between whether to show his face, but in the end he is convinced that fighting for human rights is nothing to be ashamed of.
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Siu Long, a CUHK junior, describes how it is like hitting on a lake with love, and the ripples will hopefully spread. She believes gay rights need powerful fighters as much as the general public who provide the power.
Freshman Big of PolyU says people in love deserve a chance to build their family and she will take a risk for love and be herself fearlessly.
And as everyone celebrates with thier loved ones on Valentine’s Day, students and volunteers from Usupportlove will set up booths in the bustling streets of Causeway Bay – again to promote the very message of marriage eqaulity.