15 Sep 2016

Openly gay HK lawmaker says re-election proves public support of LGBT

Hong Kong lawmaker Ray Chan Chi-chuen has said that his re-election in last weeks polls shows sexual orientation is not ‘box-office poison’

Ray Chan Chi-chuen, a member of Hong Kong’s legislative council celebrated his re-election at a press conference for Hong Kong’s LGBT festival Pink Dot which takes place later this month.

“I was the first openly gay legislative council member before, but this year I was an openly gay candidate being elected as a legislative council member,” he said. Chan was re-elected with more votes than he received when he became a member in 2012.

Chan said that his re-election proves that being openly gay or supporting LGBT issues is not “box office poison,” and that lawmakers would not necessarily lose votes for being gay or supporting LGBT issues.

“There was a lot of pressure this time, actually,” Chan told HKFP on Friday. “There were a lot of people saying stuff like I lied to them because I didn’t tell them I was gay.”

Chan also told of the abuse he faced while canvassing for votes.

“We’d have people walk by saying awful things everyday, like faggot. There was even one man hitting us with an umbrella and yelling at my team that they were tarnishing their reputations by helping me,” he said.

When questioned on anti-discrimination in Hong Kong, Chan said he believed that if a draft is proposed it will be passed by LegCo. “I think at the earliest it will have to wait until after the Chief Executive elections in March… I do hope that I can complete this while I’m in term these four years,” he said.