Orlando United in Hong Kong
There were candles. There were rainbow signs and flags. Dignitaries, pop singers and people were there to show their solidarity. The media was there to cover the event. The mood was mixed. It was good to see old friends but sad at what brought us together: a mass shooting in a gay club in Orlando.
It has been hard to read and learn what happened, why it happened and the motives behind the attack. It has been difficult to have this competing need to offer solace and at the same time have this anger of what has happened. A man went to a gay club to shot and kill us. There is anger and there is fear but there is also a resolve to show support.
On Monday night over 100 people showed up at LINQ, an LGBTI supportive bar, showed the unity in Hong Kong. Guests included US Consul Clifford Hart, Canadian Consul Ian Burchett, New Zealand Consul Gabrielle Rush, singer-songwriter, and activists Anthony Wong and Denise Ho, Demosistō’s Nathan Law, activist Billy Leung and legislators Raymond Chan and Cyd Ho.
“It is an individual out there that did this terrible crime and it is being investigated,” Clifford A Heart Jr, US Consul General told the crowd. “This event was designed to tear us apart. It is time for everybody to stand in solidarity and say no to hate.”
Hong Kong is not perfect for the LGBTI community. There are no laws protecting us from discrimination. If we get married, in other lands, it is not recognized here. The community is small but it’s bounded together. There is no fear in going to a gay club. Gays rarely hold hands in public not out of fear of violence but more out of a respect for the conservative nature of the city. When asked by RTHK if I was afraid and my response was a strong NO. I live in Hong Kong, these things don’t happen here.