in Social Issue
By Dick Lee
has always been taboo.
people talk about gays, nasty bars, sissy behaviour and casual sex in
public toilets often come to mind.
Society for Truth and Light is one of the groups that publicly condemn gay
general secretary of the group, Mr. Choi Chi Sum, said, “The lifestyle
of gay men is quite unhealthy and unethical.”
said that in some countries, promiscuous sex, taking drugs, and being
infected with Aids are much more prevalent among gays than among
he: “This situation can partly be applied to Hong Kong. The lifestyle of
gay men is always related to negative things.
Hong Kong community should condemn gayness.”
Albert Luk, senior executive of The Satsanga, a local gay care group,
strongly disagreed with Mr. Choi’s viewpoint.
said there is a fallacious understanding of gay men’s lifestyles.
he: “People often associate gay men with unsafe sex and decadent lives.
fact, not every gay man has such a lifestyle. Different people have
different attitudes and needs.
sex, unfaithful husbands, nasty night clubs and one night stands all exist
in non-gay circles. Can you
say that the lifestyles of all heterosexual men are unethical?”
Kong is an assistant lecturer in the Department of Applied Social Science
at Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
Kong conducted research on gay lifestyles and self-identity.
found that instead of having gay movements and parades regularly like
their foreign counterparts, local gay men keep a low profile but have a
highly consumerist lifestyle.
he: “They may present their identities by wearing accessories like
earrings or by wearing clothes designed by gay artists.
talk to one another using jargon.”
of gay jargon include “member” which means “gay man”; “1 or
0”, which means “take care of others or being taken care by a
boyfriend”; and “go fishing”, which means “go hunting for
said political activism is not on the agenda.
Chung To, a local gay rights activist, agrees.
highly consumer-oriented culture of gay men has led to increased
choices in entertainment for them,” said he.
Mr. Chung said that gay men someday will be bored of these superficial
culture inhibits gay men from engaging in meaningful activities like
of entertainment, they should put more effort into external affairs by
increasing communication with the non-gay circle,” said Mr. Kong.
proposed setting up alternative gay organisations like a gay teachers’
union and a gay reading society.
gay groups have flourished, some gay men are frustrated with the
public’s perception of them.
Eric Tang, a 21-year-old gay university student, is one of them.
refuses to join gay-rights groups because he does not want to expose his
he: “I am afraid that my friends will look at me in a strange way after
knowing my sexual orientation.”
Tang exemplifies the pressure and grievances of many local gay men.
some local gay men do find ways to enjoy their lives and have adopted a
Echo Kwong is one of them.
is the partner of Mr. Edward Spodick, the webmaster of the website Gay and
Lesbian Hong Kong.
said gay men should accept their identities first before they encourage
Tang further attributed discrimination against gayness to public
he: “The public does not know much about the lifestyle of gay men.”
regardless of public discrimination, gay organisations continually being
1991, homosexuality was decriminalised. Since then, gay organisations have
flourished because they can register as legal societies.
Local gay organisations like The Satsanga regularly organise actvities to enrich gay life and to promote optimism in the gay community.