Thursday, 11 April 2013

Taking on the Rainbow Cause

Gigi Chao makes a bold statement on the cover
One of Hong Kong's leading society magazines has a striking photo of a young woman wearing a tuxedo jacket that goes down to there with nothing underneath and promotional posters that say "Chao Bella!"

It's Gigi Chao, the daughter of tycoon Cecil Chao Tze-tsung. And ever since her father announced last September he would pay a suitor HK$500 million to marry his lesbian daughter, she's been making statements of her own.

While she was forced out of the closet, we are proud to see 33-year-old Gigi is speaking out and has become one of the biggest names promoting LGBT rights in Hong Kong.

"I had to get over the shock of suddenly being thrown out of the closet, but I realized it was an opportunity to set a good example," she said. "Hong Kong is horrible at accepting and welcoming diversity. There's a lot of discrimination against people who are different, because they make people feel scared and uncomfortable."

Cecil Chao made the gob-smacking pledge that made Gigi famous overnight around the world, after she and her long-time partner Sean Eav tied the knot in a civil ceremony in France. Gigi has tried to tell her father to withdraw the offer, but he has ignored her request and so she still receives tons of marriage proposals everyday, much to her disappointment.

She has tried to deftly handle the fiasco, explaining to the media that it's her father's way of expressing his love for her, but surely inside she must be very frustrated.

Nevertheless, she is embracing her sexual identity openly these days, as a core member of the gay rights group Big Love Alliance along with lawmaker Cyd Ho Sau-lan and openly gay singers Anthony Wong Yiu-ming and Denise Ho Wan-sze. They are lobbying the government to pass anti-discrimination legislation for sexual minorities.

What concerns Gigi the most is that society will not progress unless people are willing to confront issues such as this. "If the government can provide a safer environment for LGBT people with anti-discrimination legislation, fewer people would have to live a double life," she said. "It would be the beginning of an open society."

Then she also taken a jab at the social circles she's in. "Hong Kong 'high society' is generous when it comes to donating to charity, but it is meaningless to give blindly without getting involved," she said.

While Gigi says she still gets on with her parents and is the executive director of her father's company, she hopes they will finally accept her and her partner having children. "Right now they can't imagine having grandchildren from two gay daughters -- but having children is what I want."

Who says the rich don't have a purpose in life?

1 comment:

  1. I will marry Gigi without a single penny and start a family with her and Sean. If Gigi only likes women then there is very little to change her mind.