Hotline is where it ends

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 27 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 27 May, 2012, 12:00am


In 2003, a Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Unit (GISOU) was set up under the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau 'to enhance the equal opportunities for people of different sexual orientations and transgendered persons'.

It acts primarily as a funding mechanism for LGBT rights projects, which have been allocated HK$630,000 this year, with a maximum of HK$100,000 for each scheme. The unit has a hotline for information and complaints about sexual identity and orientation issues. Even so, activists doubt its effectiveness. 'It's just window dressing,' says Reggie Ho, chairman of The Pink Alliance. 'GISOU can't give you much because they don't have a mandate.'

Although the hotline is an important outlet for endangered youth, lack of legislative support persists: 'If you are a victim and call them, they will put it in the record, but they can't do much,' says Ho.