Over 10,000 people took to the streets to march in Hong Kong Pride’s ninth annual parade.
Since 2008, pride-goers have demanded rights for LGBTI people, with same-sex sexual activity only legal since 1991.
Same-sex marriage remains a far-off dream for LGBTI people. Hong Kong also falls behind in rights for same-sex couples – including adoption, surrogacy and anti-discrimination laws in non-Government jobs.
Thousands marched under this year’s theme: ‘Turn the tide, walk with Pride – discrimination says goodbye.’
Pride-goers lifted a giant rainbow flag along the parade route from Victoria Park in Causeway Bay to Edinburgh Place in Central.
Organizers also chose blue as the main color because it represents the sky and the ocean – symbols of freedom and equality.
Special events included an ‘End discrimination of AIDS’ streamer, gay tours by legislative councilor Yang Yueqiao and Chen Shuzhuang and a large poster for Pride-goers to sign to demand anti-discrimination laws.
— Hong Kong Free Press (@HongKongFP) 25 November 2017
A new government administration took office earlier this year and many hope they will enact new laws and protections for LGBTI people in Hong Kong.
Jimmy Sham Tsz-kit, a spokesperson for the parade said: ‘We hope the new government will stop procrastinating and push for an anti-discrimination ordinance for sexual minorities.
‘We are upset to see [Chief Executive 0f Hong Kong] Carrie Lam’s lukewarm response to pleas to protect the rights of sexual minorities,’ he said.
Hong Kong hosts first ever Asian Gay Games
Hong Kong made history last month to become the first Asian city to host the Gay Games in 2022.
Bid Chair Dennis Philipse said: ‘This is testament to Hong Kong’s spirit and passion for increased inclusion and diversity.
‘Bringing the Gay Games to Asia and Hong Kong as host proves the growth in openness in the city and across the region,’ he said.
But many across Hong Kong were not impressed.
The reception to the announcement was lukewarm at best from local authorities. In fact, the city’s immigration department announced it will appeal the case.
A 14-year-old who identified herself as Morgan to the Hong Kong Free Press said at the Pride parade: ‘There are many people with traditional mindsets here.
‘So for the LGBTI community, many people should… start speaking out for themselves. Or else there will be no freedom and we won’t have our own rights,’ she said.