Organizers expect record attendance at this year’s Hong Kong Pride parade.
The annual march in the autonomous territory in southeastern China takes place on Saturday 17 November. The theme is Call for the Law, Equality for All.
‘The pride parade is not only a local community event, it’s an international activity,’ event organizer Francis Tang Yiu-kwong-yiu said.
‘You don’t have other marches like that in Hong Kong.’
Tang said they expect 12,000 marchers at this year’s parade, up from 10,000 in 2017. About 30% of participants came from overseas last year, alongside 20% from mainland China and 10% from other Asian countries.
The parade will begin with a Christian service
The march starts at Victoria Park in Causeway Bay at 2pm and then ends at Edinburgh Place in Central.
This year, it will begin with a worship service and communion. The service is offered by the Blessed Ministry Community Church and Covenant of the Rainbow, a coalition of local LGBTI-friendly religious organizations.
There is also an ongoing petition asking to expand all-gender facilities in the territory. At the moment, said facilities are only available in universities, hospitals, and shopping malls.
The battle for equal rights
This year’s theme reflects the battle for equality LGBTI people are facing in Hong Kong.
The parade follows a landmark ruling granting spousal visas to same-sex couples, but there is still a lot that can be done in the long run.
Organizers of the Hong Kong Pride parade are calling for a law to ban anti-LGBTI discrimination.
‘Our main concern or key demand is the anti-discrimination ordinance, but we support all kinds of legal protection for LGBTI equal rights,’ parade committee member Yeo Wai-wai said.
In addition to no legal provision for same-sex marriage, Hong Kong has no legislation addressing discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, gender identity, and intersex status.
Despite being focused on politics, organizers also said the parade remains a ‘celebration and a platform that people could easily join’.