In countries where there is bigotry and discrimination against minority groups, those countries will suffer economically, socially and spiritually.
This is the case with Hong Kong. Assistant Professor of Gender Studies, Dr. Suen Yiu-tung has conducted studies to prove the point. Dr. Yiu-tung has stated that ‘sexual migration’ – the international relocation motivated, directly or indirectly by sexuality – is going to hurt Hong Kong.
Suen argued Hong Kong was risking losing some of its brightest population if it did not create protections against discrimination.
Paula here. I just happened to be in Hong Kong during the “Umbrella Revolution.” The protests, which involved ‘tent cities’ disrupted traffic in this bustling city. May ‘tent cities’ had young LGBTI protestors. Unlike the mainland, Hong Kong (under British rule) was a vibrant democracy. It is hard to put a muzzle on people who have had freedom of speech and movement. 955 people were arrested, and 1,900 people filed complaints against the police. Protesters fought off violent thugs (who had appeared mysteriously at night, their faces covered), got faces full of pepper spray and lungs full of tear gas.
Over two months, they had adapted their lives to the realities of long-term protest — finishing homework in tents, working during the day and moving in and out of the camp with the rhythm of the metro trains. I was there at Christmas time and rejoiced to find religious leaders and congregations singing some Christian carols – with some words changed to reflect their solidarity with democracy.
University of Hong Kong Study
Prof. Suen conducted research in 2016, which revealied 39% of LGB people in Hong Kong had thought about leaving because of the lack anti-discrimination laws.
48% had considered leaving because same-sex marriage was not and 26% had considered leaving because of the difficulties facing same-sex partners who wanted children.
His survey also discovered that those who had considered emigrating were talented, young and well educated.
‘It means that Hong Kong may be driving a significant proportion of the young and well-educated LGB workforce away because of the government’s failure to provide legal protection and recognition for them,’ Suen wrote
‘The phrase “brain drain” rings a bell.
‘The way Hong Kong tackles issue of rights for same-sex couples will test its claim to be Asia’s World City
‘If these LGB people do indeed emigrate from Hong Kong, there will be negative consequences for the city.
‘Social scientists, city planners and policymakers have extended the argument that diversity and creativity are basic drivers of innovation and regional and national growth.’
Same-sex relationships are not recognized in Hong Kong. Same-sex marriages from overseas are also not recognized.
Suen hoped Hong Kong’s Chief Exceutive John Tsang Chun-wah’s plan to encourage people to stay would also involve creating a more more inclusive place for LGB people.
Some Information about Prof. Suen
Prof. Suen’s academic writings can be found published or forthcoming in such journals as Journal of Homosexuality, Sociological Research Online, Sexual and Relationship Therapy, Higher Education Research and Development, Social Theory and Health, and others.
His co-edited book (with Andrew King, Kathryn Almack and Sue Westwood) Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Ageing: Minding the Knowledge Gaps is under contract with Routledge (London). He serves on the Editorial Board of Journal of Men’s Studies (Sage), and the Associate Editorial Board of Sociological Research Online (Sage).
Prof. Suen serves as the Vice-chairperson and the youngest board member of AIDS Concern Hong Kong, the first non-government organization working on HIV/AIDS issues set up in Hong Kong 25 years ago.
He has been frequently invited to speak in various conferences and events on LGBT issues addressing a wide range of audiences including policy makers, business leaders, lawyers, health care professionals, service providers, secondary school and university students, and social activists.