Hong Kong saw a great variety of actions during the week around IDAHOT 2014. Organized by an alliance of four human rights organizations (Pink Alliance, Pink Season 粉紅天, Amnesty International Hong Kong, and Transgender Resource Center), the IDAHOT-HK committee was set up to coordinate the 2014 IDAHOT-HK event series.
RainbowLaces social media campaign
The series kicked off with the #RainbowLaces social media campaign. During the first two weeks of May, Hong Kong’s twittersphere was blasted by the pictures of rainbow laces that the Committee produced and distributed to build awareness in the lead up to the Day. Under the theme of “Express yourself, express your rights, express your support!”, ANZ Bank sponsored the rainbow laces campaign.
Transgender Awareness Session
In partnership with Standard Chartered Bank, the series continued by hosting an Active Transgender Awareness Session on May 14th, as a way of putting specific emphasis on the importance of equal rights for transgender communities in Hong Kong.
The commemorations of IDAHOT 2014 continued further when the IDAHOT Candlelight Vigil took place on May 16th. At the vigil event, organisers screened a series of short videos and presented a panel discussion which shed light on stigma and discrimination, as experienced by LGBT individuals in Hong Kong and worldwide. Amongst the panelists were Geena Rocero, an American/Filipino trans supermodel who recently rose to fame by bravely sharing her coming out story via TEDTalk. Rocero spoke out on the need for expanded legal rights for all trans individuals.
Accompanying Rocero on the stage, Michael J. Morrill, Mr Gay Hong Kong 2013, also shared his experiences of the stigma he faced on a daily basis, as an openly HIV-positive gay man.
The event ended with the audience lighting up candles in remembrance of the victims of hate crimes from Hong Kong’s LGBT community, and from around the world.
The whole vigil event can be watched here:
On May 17 itself, a street exhibition showcasing the discrimination that LGBT people are facing internationally and locally was organized by Gay Harmony, Women’s Coalition of HKSAR and , and Rainbow Action. Aiming to raise awareness of the suffering of LGBT people, and to promote anti-discrimination legislation around sexual orientation and gender identity, the exhibition graced the pedestrian lanes of Great George Street at Causeway Bay, with art installations and performances. The organisers also held a ‘Domino down’ event – building a legislative Rainbow Road, where over 400 domino bricks (as a symbol of discrimination) were knocked down to show the six-color rainbow as a symbol of equality.