The club opened its doors in 1991—the year that homosexuality was finally decriminalised in the city.
The venue has been run by Lawrence Ho and Steven Hui for half of their lives. They told Time Out Hong Kong about the closure.
“For so many years we formed such close bonds with our customers and that’s what we’ll miss the most,” said Ho. “It’s an emotional time, but everything takes its course. I don’t think we ever thought we would have fulfilled such a historic role.”
The pair have been friends since primary school and Ho convinced Hui (who is straight) to try something new and open a gay bar. “I just wanted to give it a try, but who knew that once begun it would last so long. We made many mistakes, paid a lot in over time and money to learn, before we became stable after a couple of years. We weren’t afraid to fail,” said Ho.
The club started off on Wyndham Street before moving to its current location. In its heyday it saw local and international celebrities like the legendary Leslie Cheung, Danny Chan and even Boy George.
Propaganda was the go-to venue for all things LGBT. “I was so very happy to be part of the Pride Parade after-party at Propaganda,” says Hui. “I saw many people – LGBTI, straight, drag, old and young – they were all there together. It made me happy to see that scene and mix.”
However, in recent years the club has become more empty. “Technology, apps, purchasing beers at Circle K and drinking out on the street, straight bars hosting gay nights, house parties and crowds going on short vacations to Shenzhen, Taiwan or Bangkok for circuit parties are all contributing to the reason why we’re closing,” reveals Hui.