Local walking tour takes deep dive into the world of Hong Kong’s LGBT community

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9/4/21

Beneath a rainbow-coloured umbrella, tour guide Michael Tsang Chi-fai addresses a rapt audience about a four-hour walk ahead. “We’re going to visit different places you may have never been to, but they’re each significant to the LGBT community,” he said. On a humid Saturday morning, more than 20 people gathered for a walking tour centred on the lives of LGBT people in Hong Kong, featuring seven different stops across Central. First up was the Court of Final Appeal, where Tsang noted that this year marked the 30th anniversary of a landmark decision in Hong Kong to decriminalise same-sex sexual acts conducted in private. First up was the Court of Final Appeal, where Tsang noted that this year marked the 30th anniversary of a landmark decision in Hong Kong to decriminalise same-sex sexual acts conducted in private. Tsang worked in the finance industry in the United States and the Netherlands before quitting his job to set up his company, Hong Kong Free Tours, in 2016. Although the coronavirus pandemic put a dampener on business over the past year, the relaxation of restrictions in May on local tours prompted Tsang to develop new programmes. “That’s why we’re introducing some of these new tours. There are things that interest tourists, but other things that interest locals,” he said. “We will take a deep dive into these topics, say historically what happened with LGBT rights, to provide proof that LGBT is not just a topic, not just regulations, but people with their own stories.” Local comedian Vivek Mahbubani, who performs as “Ah V”, joined the tour after learning about it from a friend. “I’m always interested in minority communities, so basically something non-traditional, not your typical, ‘this is what Hong Kong is all about’,” said Mahbubani, who identifies as an ally of the LGBT community.

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