Hong Kong pop star Anthony Yiu-Ming Wong (黄耀明) comes out: "I'm G-A-Y"
Hong Kong–based alternative pop star Anthony (Yiu-Ming) Wong (黄耀明), one half of the duo Tat Ming Pair, finally put all the rumours about his sexuality to rest—in a rather audacious manner.
The 49-year-old Wong had previously been hinting about his sexual orientation in videos and interviews, and had been dogged by rumours throughout his career.
At the opening of a four-night concert series at the Hong Kong Coliseum to celebrate Tat Ming's 25th anniversary on April 20, a video of Wong hugging and kissing men was reportedly shown with the question "Is Anthony Wong a tongzhi?"
(Tongzhi is a euphemistic slang term in Cantonese and Mandarin for being gay. The literal translation is "comrade".)
On the final night (April 23), Wong gave the audience a definitive answer. He told his audience in Cantonese that people no longer have to wonder whether or not he is a tongzhi. He literally spelled out what he is: "I'm gay. I'm a homosexual. G-A-Y."
"I'm sorry, members of the media," he added. "For the next 20 years, I'll keep singing songs, but you don't need to ask me this question any longer."
His announcement received cheers and applause from the audience.
Tat Ming Pair, which Wong formed with guitarist and composer Tats Lau, rose to popularity in the '80s. After disbanding in 1990, the duo has periodically reunited.
Wong is only the second Cantopop star to come out. The first was Hong Kong actor and Cantopop star Leslie (Kwok-Wing) Cheung (张国荣).
Sadly, 46-year-old Cheung, who was suffering from depression, leapt to his death from the Mandarin Hotel on April 1, 2003. His death shocked the Asian entertainment industry and fans worldwide. Cheung had starred in gay-themed films, including Farewell My Concubine, Happy Together, and He's a Woman, She's a Man. He had discussed his sexuality in interviews and identified himself as bisexual.
Homosexuality remains somewhat taboo in Hong Kong. It was not until 1991 that criminal laws regarding homosexuality (imposed by British colonial rule) were removed in the city. However, homosexuality is still not explicitly covered by anti-discrimination laws and same-sex unions or marriages are not recognized. Hong Kong's first pride parade was held in 2008.