Hong Kong has also made history by becoming the first Asian city to host the Gay Games.
The ninth annual Pride parade was one of Hong Kong’s most successful so far, with over 10,000 people taking to the streets to march for LGBT rights, under the theme: ‘Turn the tide, walk with Pride – discrimination says goodbye’.
A giant rainbow flag was lifted by Pride-goers from Victoria Park in Causeway Bay to Edinburgh Place in Central.
Homosexuality is legal in Hong Kong, but same-sex marriage and civil unions are not recognised, and the country falls behind with anti-discrimination laws in non-government jobs, adoption and surrogacy.
Despite this, Hong Kong made history this year, by becoming the first Asian city to host the Gay Games, over competing bids from Washington DC and Guadalajara, in Mexico.
Dennis Philipse, chair of the Hong Kong bid team, said: “This is testament to Hong Kong’s spirit and passion for increased inclusion and diversity.
“Bringing the Gay Games to Asia and Hong Kong as host proves the growth in openness in the city and across the region. We fought tirelessly and are elated to bring the games to Asia for the first time. Thank you all for your love and support.”
The Federation of Gay Games added: “The impact that the Gay Games has in host cities is incredible in terms of culture, sport, economic impact, history and most importantly, elevating all matters of LGBT+ equality.”
However, this decision did not come without criticism, with Hong Kong’s immigration department announcing that they will appeal the case.
Several participants of the Pride parade admitted that they thought Hong Kong was still not ready to accept LGBT rights.
A 14-year-old student, who identified herself as Morgan, said: “There are many people with traditional mindsets here, so for the LGBT community many people should … start speaking out for themselves or else there will be no freedom and we won’t have our own rights.
“I think many people now, especially the youngsters, are starting to support this and because they’re the future of our society I think we should be optimistic.”
See pictures from Hong Kong’s ninth Pride parade below.
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