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Record numbers attend Hong Kong’s Pink Dot LGBTI pride festival

Record numbers attend Hong Kong’s Pink Dot LGBTI pride festival

An estimated 15,500 happy revelers gathered in Hong Kong today to create a sea of pink at Pink Dot Hong Kong, which in 2015 is now among the largest displays of LGBTI pride in the Asian region.

That was an increase in the numbers attending last year’s event where around 12,000 took part.

Pink Dot festivals are a uniquely Asian take on pride and have also taken place in Okinawa in Japan, Penang in Malaysia and Kaohsiung in Taiwan after being inspired by the original Pink Dot Singapore which is still going strong in its seventh year.

In 2009 around one thousand Singaporeans donned pink to form a giant ‘pink dot’ in Hong Lim Park to show their support for LGBTI equality, beginning this modern Asian tradition.

This year’s Pink Dot Hong Kong was organized by the BigLove Alliance and Pink Alliance with the support of progressive religious coalition Covenant of the Rainbow.

Organizers planned the event as a free and fun outdoor concert and carnival for allies, families, friends, and colleagues of LGBTI people and those advocating for diversity and love equality.

Pink Dot Hong Kong co-director Betty Grisoni declared this year’s even a success yesterday, saying ‘Pink Dot Hong Kong is a celebration of diversity and love equality, and we were thrilled to see such a diverse mix of people, corporate sponsors, and LGBTI individuals and allies coming together to enjoy a fantastic day out with a positive message: Love is love.’

This year’s event was supported by a host of celebrity Pink Dot ambassadors, as well as actual diplomats representing the US, Ireland, France, Sweden and Macau.

Pink Dot Hong Kong events for 2015 included activities organized by the British Council, yoga workshops, bouncing castles, henna tattoos, craft workshops, balloon twisting, clowns, and much more.

Celebrations kicked off at 2pm with a concert featuring entertainment from Sensi Lion, the Majestic G, Rick Lau, Tang Yi, Lee Subyub, Denis Ng, Eva Chan and performance by Filipino group Filguys Association HK and Indonesian group the Jackson dancers Hong Kong and Talent Avenue.

An official ceremony was later officiated by US Consul General to Hong Kong and Macau Clifford A. Hart, French Consul General Eric Berti, Irish Deputy Consul General Fiona Nic Dhonnacha, Head of the Political, Press and Information Section at the EU Office to Hong Kong and Macau Dr Jolita Pons, Equal Opportunities Commission chairman Dr York Chow, Pink Dot 2015 ambassador and renowned actor Gregory Wong, and the co-founders of BigLove Alliance – Anthony Wong and Denise Ho.

US Consul General Hart said, ‘Pink Dot Hong Kong is the type of platform where the inspiration, respect and support of all the people who attend has the potential to move conversations forward and change mindsets.’

‘The US Consulate extends its full support to LGBTI and their allies in Hong Kong.’

Hong Kong Equal Opportunities Commission chair Dr Chow said Hong Kong was a ‘unique international city that values diversity and inclusion, and we hope these values will be maintained and further developed for the aspiration of future generations.’

‘As advocates for diversity and equality, we hope to see further communication on the issue of same-sex marriage as we understand it is prominent issue today.’

This year’s sponsors included Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Bloomberg, Deutsche Bank, Ernst & Young, Goldman Sachs, Herbert Smith Freehills, HSBC, JP Morgan, Linklaters, Absolut Vodka, ANZ, Beef & Liberty, BNY Mellon, Bubble Air, Gibson Foundation, Google, Pizza Express, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, HK GALA, Lan Kwai Fong Entertainments, On the go, Standard Chartered, Why Not and Venture Photography.

Workplace diversity group Community Business also took part as an official Participating Organization.