Helping to turn Hong Kong pink!
Written by Philip Howell-Williams on September 10, 2015.
As summer ends the LGBT season is about to explode onto the scene in Hong Kong in what could be our community’s biggest year ever!
What does that mean?
Well basically get ready for a torrent of events which will provide something for everyone. It’s a celebration that we want you to get involved in, have a lot of fun and meet some new friends.
On September 20th we kick off in epic style with Pink Dot. Last year this event attracted huge media attention, and an incredible twelve thousand people! This year is going to be bigger and better!
Following swiftly on from that is Pink Season. Asia’s largest LGBT festival is celebrated in Hong Kong over a period of 5 weeks with activities aimed to break down boundaries and get everyone involved in ways that will ultimately promote equality.
During November there is Pride March. Although a stand alone event, it is a political march that is a demonstration that highlights the need for large LGBT community in Hong Kong to enjoy the rights that so many of the countries in the world now luckily consider to be the norm.
But what does all of this actually mean and who is getting involved?
All the organisers of this year’s LGBT event would like to encourage people from any and all backgrounds to get involved. These are not just events for the LGBT community. These are events that are designed for allies, for colleagues, for friends and family to attend, celebrate and show solidarity with our community.
This year I have had the privileged position as the head of fundraising for both Pink Dot and Pink Season. It has been inspirational to see the positive reaction from multinational companies. Alongside many levels of monetary, in kind, pro-bono work and volunteer contributions, there are ten institutions that have given platinum level sponsorship to Pink Dot. They have given both their cash and their name to support Pink Dot.
Why would they do this? They could be fearful of potential political backlash, but yet they are still willing to do so? The fact is that the Pink Dot is a non-political event that offers so much more than an institution could do on its own.
It sends out the very public message that they are on side of equality and that they are institutions that welcome clients from all backgrounds, both now and in the future. However even more important than that by embracing equality they send out a message of encouragement to their staff and allow them to join an event where the message is that Love is Love whoever you are.
By participating, companies can help truly change opinions from the bottom and truly make a difference in the country as a whole by demonstrating that they understand the importance for inclusion and diversity!
Increasingly companies worldwide are accepting that LGBT discrimination is detrimental to business development and financial generation as a whole. Every year more and more major institutions are extending their internal LGBT group networks to Hong Kong. When institutions like Community Business launch the LGBT workplace index in Hong Kong and the Economist Magazine is about to launch a global campaign in 2016 which will feature Hong Kong as one of the main stages, it is a real demonstration to the world that inclusion and diversity is the way forward.
All this activity that at face value can look like a series of party events, it is actually so much more than that. It is a clear message to Hong Kong and the world that discrimination in any form is detrimental to society as a whole.
I am personally very proud to be involved in helping to organize these events. I would like to thank everyone that I have been working with over the past eighteen months for your support and inspiration. Long may it continue!