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30 Apr 2018

Gigi Chao Becomes 'Accidental' LGBT Icon

The businesswoman is seen as one of the most significant campaigners for LGBT rights in Hong Kong.

Six years after her property mogul father Cecil Chao put a "marriage bounty" on lesbian Gigi Chao, she has not only become once of Asia's most successful businesswomen, but also a fierce advocate for gay rights in her native Hong Kong.
In a recent profile by Reuters, 38-year-old Chao says she is glad that she had the opportunity "to put a comic spin on a topic that is often marred by a lot of tragedies," regarding her father's offer to pay US$1 billion to any man who she would agree to marry—after she had already joined in a civil partnership with a woman.
While being gay in Hong Kong has been decriminalised for decades, gay marriage is still a taboo. Chao said that this has stopped her and her partner from having children.
"It is not easy because you can't do it in Hong Kong or anywhere else in Asia," she explained.
Ms. Chao explained how she feels business can "take the lead" in advancing LGBT rights and anti-discrimination legislation.
"What we found to be most effective is to engage top executives and allow them to see how inclusion, diversity and equality is something they should, and they shall, stand for and let it cascade down the organisation," she told Reuters, adding that "engaging the government is more difficult."
The city has made strides in recent years toward greater acceptance of the LGBT community. It is hosting the 2022 Gay Games, in a bid that won out over other contenders including the United States and Mexico.

Six years after her property mogul father Cecil Chao put a "marriage bounty" on lesbian Gigi Chao, she has not only become once of Asia's most successful businesswomen, but also a fierce advocate for gay rights in her native Hong Kong.

In a recent profile by Reuters, 38-year-old Chao says she is glad that she had the opportunity "to put a comic spin on a topic that is often marred by a lot of tragedies," regarding her father's offer to pay US$1 billion to any man who she would agree to marry—after she had already joined in a civil partnership with a woman.

While being gay in Hong Kong has been decriminalised for decades, gay marriage is still a taboo. Chao said that this has stopped her and her partner from having children.

"It is not easy because you can't do it in Hong Kong or anywhere else in Asia," she explained.

Ms. Chao explained how she feels business can "take the lead" in advancing LGBT rights and anti-discrimination legislation.

"What we found to be most effective is to engage top executives and allow them to see how inclusion, diversity and equality is something they should, and they shall, stand for and let it cascade down the organisation," she told Reuters, adding that "engaging the government is more difficult."

The city has made strides in recent years toward greater acceptance of the LGBT community. It is hosting the 2022 Gay Games, in a bid that won out over other contenders including the United States and Mexico.

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