Rainbow Centre, the first ever social services centre for gay men in Hong Kong was launched on Jul 29 by gay activist and founder of Rainbow of Hong Kong, Kenneth Cheung Kam-hung who is also known as Ken chai (仔).
Set-up with a one-year grant of HK$430,000 (US$55,000) from the AIDS Trust Fund, the centre will organise counselling, training workshops for volunteers and special interest classes, as well as set up a hotline to provide peer support for gay men.
Cheung, a veteran gay activist and Fridae columnist who writes for the Chinese web site, said that existing social services groups were unable to reach the minority group and more needs to be done in addition to distributing condoms and carrying out blood tests.
The funding will pay the rent for the premises in Jordan and support one full time staff member for one year.
According to a survey conducted by the group and released at the launch ceremony, of the 314 people interviewed on choosing one or more options for having HIV tests, 180 selected gay organisations, 147 selected Aids service groups and 132 picked the Department of Health. The top three concerns influencing their choices were confidentiality of personal information, friendliness to homosexuals and reputation of the service groups.
About 37 per cent of the interviewees said they were worried about exposing their sexual orientation. As many as 70 per cent of the respondents said they were bothered by their sexual orientation.
The centre is located at 242 Nathan Road, 7th Floor Unit D, National House, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Tel: 2769 1069. Its opening times are as follows:
Mon, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sun - 4pm to 10pm
Sat - 2pm to midnight
Tue and Public Holidays - Closed
Hotline: 8108 1069
Every Mon and Wed
10pm to midnight. Free counselling by trained personnels. No caller ID to monitor phone numbers. Confidentiality assured.