Queer Liberation in Post-Colonial Hong Kong

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Talk outline:

This talk is about historical development and the current debates of LGBT movement in
Hong Kong, a city under the intersecting influences of British Colonial history and traditional Chinese culture in Asia. Same-sex sexual behaviour between men was criminalised in 1865 and decriminalised in 1990, under the British governance. However, there is no anti- discrimination ordinance to protect sexual minorities from discrimination. Same-sex marriage or civil unions have not been recognised in Hong Kong. Although there is a shift toward acceptance of sexual minorities from the general public, especially among
youngsters, there is still a strong and vocal opposition with the discourses of religious
freedom and traditional Chinese family values.

This talk examines the dramatic changes in public attitudes toward sexual minorities in Hong Kong in the last 20 years, under the intersection effects of culture, legal, political attitudes and global changes. Also, the latest report in 2016 about LGBTI people’s discriminatory experience and anti-discrimination ordinance debates in the society will be introduced. Finally, the talk will lead to the discussion of current debates of LGBT movement in Hong Kong and its influences on other Asian countries.

Speaker Bio:

Eliz Miu-yin Wong is an MPhil candidate of Multi-Disciplinary Gender Studies at the University of Cambridge after she got her MPhil in Sociology at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her main research interests include gender, sexualities, social policy and activism in Hong Kong. She was the Principal Research Assistant of ‘The Study on Legislation against Discrimination on the Grounds of Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Intersex Status’ commissioned by the Equal Opportunities Commission, an independent statutory body of the Hong Kong government. This study provided an important reference for the controversial policy debate on LGBTI anti-discrimination ordinance that has been on-going in Hong Kong for nearly 20 years. The bilingual report is launched and submitted to the Hong Kong government, Legislative Councils and other stakeholders and hence, triggered public debates in Hong Kong society.

She is also a founding affiliate fellow of Sexualities Research Programme, the first research programme in Hong Kong dedicated to conducting research on sexual orientation, gender identity, law and social policy. She has a forthcoming book chapter, titled ’Male Homosexuality in Hong Kong: A 20-Year Review of Public Attitudes Towards Homosexuality and Experiences of Discrimination Self-Reported by Gay Men’ (Co-authored with Dr Suen Yiu-tung) in the book ‘East Asian Men: Masculinity, Sexuality and Desire’. She has presented in different conferences, including Association of Asian Studies- Asia Conference, European Sociological Association Conference, Inter-Asian Cultural Studies Association Conference, Thinking Gender Conference organised by Centre for the Study of Women, UCLA, and Engendering Change conference organised by Centre for the Study of Gender and Sexuality in the University of Chicago.