In March 2014, ELEMENT Magazine will be marking its 1st anniversary with the inaugural Asia Pink Awards 2014 held in Singapore. Asia Pink Awards will honour and give recognition to businesses and individuals that have been actively campaigning for diversity and social acceptance of the LGBTQI community in the Asia region. The Awards is supported by ILGA Asia. Through submissions by both the public and the panelists, a list of nominees has been drawn up.
The Awards are divided into two categories, individuals and businesses, and recipients will be decided by a distinguished panel of judges chaired by Hiro Mizuhara, Associate Publisher of ELEMENT Magazine. The panel includes Geng Le, founder/CEO of China’s largest LGBT news portal Danlan.org; Leow Yangfa, Editor of I Will Survive, a collection of personal gay, lesbian, bisexual & transgender stories in Singapore; Tris Reid-Smith, Editor and co-founder of Gay Star News.
ASIA PINK AWARDS 2014 NOMINEES DETAILS
A singer based in Taiwan who is extremely expressive about her support for gay rights. She participated in Taiwan Pride as the Rainbow Ambassador in 2007 and 2010. Openly greeted and dedicated her concert to the LGBT community in numerous occasions. She recently held a free concert in support of same-sex marriage and is a signatory to the petition for legalising same-sex marriage in Taiwan.
M. Ravi, a human rights lawyer in Singapore, trail-blazed legal recourse as a new avenue for which to advance the LGBT rights movement in Singapore. Mounted a constitutional challenge to have Section 377A of the Penal Code repealed. Separately, mounted a legal challenge to have the courts declared Article 12(1) of the constitution is inclusive of LGBT people. His actions spurred on a national debate on current status quo. Both cases are taken on a pro bono basis.
Bouapha is a long-time youth leader on for the Purple Sky Network and Y-PEER (UNFPA). He worked extensively on HIV and STI prevention and sexual education in Laos. Can often be seen speaking in public lectures and conventions. He was also responsible for organising the first ever Pride event in Laos and is setting up a pride committee so that Laos pride would be a recurrent event on the national level.
Choong heads Oogachaga, the only counselling and personal development organisation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and questioning (LGBTQ) individuals based in Singapore. And he is Instrumental in local initiatives such as the LGBTQ Network Singapore, a network for which advocacy group and LGBTQ-affiliated groups can coordinate efforts and pool resources.
He is one of the first two openly gay male politicians to win an election in Japanese history. Successfully lobbied the Japanese government to amend the certificate allowing Japanese citizens to marry foreign nationals of the same sex in countries where same-sex marriage is legal. He is currently campaigning for the creation of a municipal domestic partnership registry for Toshima which would grant ward-managed housing and hospital visitation rights.
He engaged in several theatre plays and movies, including “Men and Women” and “The Old Testament” (LGBT films). He co-produced “Living Positive” (docudrama on HIV/AIDS), “I Want to Grow Old in China” (LGBT documentary). He founded an LGBT webcast “Queer Comrades”, for which he hosted and directed more than 50 half-hour episodes. He's also an organising member of the Beijing Queer Film Festival and a board member of the Beijing LGBT Centre.
小寒 (Xiao Han)
At only 19, Han already worked as a legal representative of an LGBT volunteer organization. He organised and led a pride parade of more than 100 participants in Changsha city on IDAHO day. In the aftermath of the event, he was then detained by local police for 12 days. Even when he was in detention center, he attempted to promote LGBT knowledge to his captors.
尚雯婕 (Laure Shang)
She's Chinese singing contest Super Girl's 3rd season champion. For years she was called "Queen of Electronica" by Chinese media and widely known one of the most talented indie songwriters and singers. Her newly released hit single "Love Changes Love" featured gay affectionate scenes in a portrayal of alternative relationships. She is a strong LGBT advocate, promoting LGBT values via personal blogs and websites. Her face was on the screen of Chinese most popular gay dating app last month.
黄耀明 (Anthony Wong)
A famous Hong Kong singer, composer, who publicly came out as gay during his concert series at Hong Kong Coliseum in April 2012. He is the first Hong Kong artist to attend the meeting held by the panel on Constitutional Affairs of the Hong Kong Legislative Council and prompt LGBT equality, representing his LGBT organisation Big Love Alliance. He served as leader in this year's Hong Kong and Taiwan pride parades.
王力宏 (Leehom Wang)
A Chinese-American singer-songwriter and actor, whose sexual identity has long been a much debated topic. He was rumored to have a secret love relationship with Li Yundi, a Chinese classical pianist. The duo drew huge attention on the 2013 CCTV Luna Year’s Gala by a magician named Liu Qian. He incorporated their so-called relationship into a magic trick and incited a national debate on a celebrity bromance, or possibly secret gay love. The debate raised “gay awareness” among Chinese people.
Denise Ho Wan-Si
She is the first mainstream Hong Kong singer who came out publicly in November 2012, and continues to be a positive role model for her many fans in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore. Ho is also one of the founders of Big Love Alliance, a non-profit advocacy organisation to promote the equality of LGBTs. Speaking to the media on her coming-out, she said: "As a celebrity, I think I have an obligation, a duty to stand forward for the sake of love and equality."
Daughter of a former Malaysian Prime Minster and former President of the Malaysian AIDS Council, she is a vocal advocate for the end of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Her stand on LGBT rights often earned her rebuke from her father, former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. She writes in her bi-weekly column called Musings in The Star newspaper since 1989 and often uses it as a platform to voice her opinions on LGBT rights although it often got canned by the paper.
Blogging under the banner “Yawning Bread”, he was one of the 3 founding members of People Like Us, Singapore's main gay equality lobby group and also the founder and list owner of the Singapore Gay News List (SiGNeL), the first discussion forum for Singapore's gay community. In 2002, he was presented with the Utopia award for outstanding contributions towards the advancement of gay equality in Asia.
Rev Dr Yap Kim Hao
As the first Asian Bishop of The Methodist Church in Malaysian and Singapore, in his current retirement serves as Pastoral Advisor to the LGBT-affirmative Free Community Church in Singapore. A strong straight ally and vocal advocate of LGBT equality, in 2007 he was awarded the Dignity Award by People Like Us in recognition of his unyielding support for the LGBT community in Singapore.
Leung brought the judicial review in 2006 which removed discrimination in the age of consent in Hong Kong and lowered the age of consent for men with men to 16. He is a tireless activist and spokesperson for our community, and has appeared often on film and on TV advocating LGBT rights. He is the Local Outreach Officer and contributor to all the Political work of Pink Alliance. His mother and grandmother were often seen with him at meetings, on TV and film and at the Pride Parade.
Rev O Young
A gay Malaysian pastor who held the first publicized gay wedding reception in the country. Quoted as saying 'I am not promoting gay rights, I am promoting human rights.’ He was an award-winning journalist in Malaysia and the first public figure to come out publicly in 2006. With 24 books in sociology, theology and sexuality under his name, the best-selling author is also a columnist for the SInchew Daily, the leading Chinese newspaper in Malaysia.
When India's Supreme Court made 17% of the world's gays into criminals overnight, Congress party president Sonia Gandhi led the government fight-back, turning her into one of the most important LGBTI allies on the planet. Gandhi was widely quoted in the media, "I am disappointed that the Supreme Court reversed the previous Delhi High Court ruling on the issue of gay rights. I hope the parliament will address this issue and uphold constitutional guarantee of life and liberty to all citizens including those directly affected by this judgment”.
The bisexual comedian frequently supported LGBT rights and has won awards for her humanitarian efforts. Her fight for equality was best summed up in a piece she wrote for Gay Star News. She said: ‘What AIDS gave me is something to fight against, and I learned, because of AIDS. We, my people, my tribe, the LGBT community learned how to organize, how to raise money, how to band together, how to be political, how to demand for our rights, how to write about our pain, how to march, how to approach, realize and finally attain equality.’
Best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu in Star Trek and with 5.3 million fans on Facebook, George Takei has been a key ambassador for LGBTI rights, constantly sharing out the news which is personal to him and creating a buzz for the cause. In 2006, he went on an "Equality Trek" tour, where he spoke on life as a gay Japanese-American. He was on a float at the 2007 San Francisco Pride Parade, and became a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign's Coming Out Project.
Her story of how her dad tried to 'sell her off' into a marriage spread around the world, incidentally bringing much-needed attention to an LGBTI problem very common in Asia—how family pressure sometimes stops us being ourselves and living our lives. Going against all odds, she is currently in a civil partnership with another woman.
The corporate nominees are: IKEA, Barclays, Google, Zhonglu Capital, Nomura, Standard Chartered Bank, IBM, Goldman Sachs, J.P.Morgan.