While Chinese culture remains quite conservative when it comes to homosexuality, Hong Kong is a liberal place and there is no problem with being openly gay here, for both locals and foreigners alike (though the former are still more likely to be in the closet with regards to their family). There is certainly no need to be cautious – while open hand-holding or displays of affection might be a little surprising to some outside a nightlife context, nobody is going to vocally object or threaten you. In that respect, as in many others, Hong Kong is as good a place to be who you are as any liberal Western city, and better than many. Homosexuality has been legal here since 1991; however, anti-discrimination laws are limited and legally recognised partnerships or marriage are still some way away.
Bars and restaurants are gay-friendly, particularly in revelry hotspots like Lan Kwai Fong, with some hosting regular gay happy hours or gay nights, and there are also established gay bars, as well as publications and websites. Propaganda is probably the city’s most famous. These events attract a predominantly gay clientele, but are welcoming and open to all. There is a big expat party scene, which is as raring-to-go as the expat party scene in general, and gay saunas can be found without too much effort. Lesbian nightlife has a reputation for being quieter and more local than for gay men. This is Hong Kong – if you want to be wild, it’s not too difficult. There are occasional police raids, but this mostly always involves illegal drug use.
There is an annual Gay Pride event with a parade, and a well-established sub-culture, including websites, magazine, bookshops and the like. Horizons is the most prominent support group. DS is a free gay lifestyle magazine which you will find in bars around town.
1 Hollywood Road, Central
Mei Lang Fang
14 On Wo Lane, Sheung Wan
83-85 Hollywood Road, Central
Long-established warehouse-style club.
30-32 Wyndham Street, Central
33 Jervois Street, Central
Temptation Lesbian Pub
21/F, Lamma Tower, 12-12A Hau Fook Street, Tsim Sha Tsui
Loft Bar De
126-128 Lockhart Road, Wan Chai
2/F, Universal House, 229-230 Gloucester Road, Wan Chai