Thousands joined Hong Kong’s annual Pride Parade on Saturday, calling for the legal protection of LGBT+ individuals against discrimination.
According to organisers, over 12,000 people clad in elaborate lilac outfits and rainbow ribbons marched from Causeway Bay to Central, marking a 2,000 person increase from the year before. The police put the figure at around 4,300.
The dress code this year was “proud purple.” Organisers said that purple used to be a rare and difficult-to-obtain colour reserved for the ruling classes, but it is now accessible to all. They added that they hope equality will similarly be available to everyone.
Hong Kong currently does not have anti-discrimination legislation covering sexual orientation. A key demand this year has been to enshrine equality into the law through the introduction of legal protections for LGBT+ people.
A message of shame
NGO Planet Ally urged the government to re-introduce LGBT+ children’s literature into public libraries. In June, 10 children’s books featuring same-sex parenting were moved to the “closed stacks” of the city’s 70 libraries – a move that drew ire from LGBT+ rights groups.
“This is a really destructive move,” founder Bess Hepworth said. “You have to ask permission to get these books. For children that are questioning their sexuality, they’re not going to do that. They need to have access to these books. The message that this sends is that there’s something wrong with them.”
Hepworth added that it could have negative repercussions for LGBT+ youths: “We need different things that give us access to diversity. But if we ourselves are rainbow families, or have children that are LGBTIQ and they cannot see themselves in the libraries they go to, that is such a message of shame.” Read more via HKFP