Asia’s LGBTI heroes have been honored at the first Asian Pink Awards in Singapore.
Campaigners and company representatives flew in from all over the region and as far away as Europe for the event last night (16 March), organized by Asian gay men’s magazine Element.
Among those honored was A-Mei, the hit Taiwanese singer who held a free concert in 2013 to support same-sex marriage.
Another singer, Laure Shang, a past winner of the Chinese Supergirls contest and an LGBTI advocate was also given an award.
There were big cheers for M Ravi, a human rights lawyer from Singapore who is pushing for decriminalization of gay sex and protection from discrimination through the courts.
He pulled up onto the stage some of the clients he is supporting to mount the legal challenges.
He commented: ‘This is the first time, after 10 years, I am actually getting a human rights award.’
That was common for many of those honored.
Another local hero is Reverend Dr Yap Kim Hao, a bishop and now pastoral adviser to a gay-friendly Singaporean church. He pledged ‘to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with LGBT people until the day they are no longer discriminated against.’
Gay Malaysian pastor Rev O Young, who held the first publicized gay wedding in his country was another man of faith honored.
Anan Bouapha, was praised for his work in combatting HIV in Laos and in organizing the country’s first LGBTI pride. He said the work ahead included getting fair access to health and employment for LGBTI people.
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