Following yesterday’s International Day Against Homophobia, we bring to you two inspiring stories about Chinese and Hong Kong musicians and their campaigns in support of gay rights in China.
In a stadium concert at Hong Kong Coliseum in late April, pop star Anthony Wong (黄耀明) saved the night’s biggest revelation for last: he came out as gay in front of thousands of fans, saying “…I’m gay. I’m a homosexual. G-A-Y.” Though the region is known for many flamboyant pop culture figures of both sexes, Wong is only the second major Hong Kong performer to come out publicly and first to do so in such dramatic fashion. However, no word on whether Wong’s newly out status was addressed by him or others at the MMAX Music Festival in Beijing a week later (anyone who was there want to chime in?)
A week later in Shanghai, local band and pot-stirrers Top Floor Circus unveiled their own support for gay rights in an equally large-scale fashion at the conclusion of their headlining set on the first night of the Strawberry Festival in Shanghai. For their encore, the group performed a song by the late Hong Kong pop star Leslie Cheung, the first performer of his status to come out publicly, and who committed suicide nine years ago. Afterwards, the band gestured to the members of Nvai, a Shanghai lesbian group, who passed them a giant rainbow banner emblazoned with the phrase “同志爱音乐节” or “gays love music festivals.” Onstage, lead singer Lu Chen announced to the cheering audience “There is diversity in love. I hope you all love your real selves.”
Here at the Radar, we are always heartened to see and report of such displays of inclusion and togetherness in the industry we love so much. Not everything has to be tales of intellectual property malfeasance or brand campaigns gone horribly, horribly wrong. To everyone out there in China music land, no matter who (or what) you love, we support you!