Web TV channel for homosexuals

PUBLISHED : Monday, 04 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 04 February, 2008, 12:00am

A local homosexual advocacy group has launched the city's first online gay television channel in an attempt to counter what founders call conservative 'gay-bashing' elements.

GDotTV, launched on February 3, targets gay, lesbian, bisexual and other sexual minority groups with shows produced by members of the community.

Channel founders said shows would bring the real faces of the city's gay and lesbian community to the public.

Joseph Cho Man-kit, a founding member of the lesbian group Nutong Xueshe, is a PhD student of gender studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

He said controversy over obscene articles in recent years, and strengthening opinions against gays and lesbians, proved there was a real need for a television channel for sexual minorities.

He said that despite Hong Kong's claim of being a cosmopolitan city that treasured freedom of speech and diversity, the mainstream media was not doing its job in promoting diversity.

This nurtured narrow-mindedness in society, he said.

A recent exhibition organised by Nutong Xueshe about sexual diversity in Sha Tin had been warned by the Obscene Articles Tribunal that some pictures and poems earmarked for the exhibition were obscene, prompting modifications.

Mr Cho said, however, that those artworks had been published in academic journals overseas.

'They [the tribunal] should not have such a narrow mindset when viewing artistic works,' he said.

Brian Leung Siu-fai, host of a well-known local radio show about sexual diversity, said the news media played a big role in public education and online broadcasts could showcase the true perspectives of gays and lesbians in Hong Kong.

He said the channel was an opportunity to illustrate to society that sexual orientation was 'not a big deal'.

'It can show that these folks are just everyday people,' Mr Leung said.

Mr Cho said that the channel, at www.gdottv.com, would be self-funded and he expected it would get at least 1,000 hits in its first month of operation.

Yau Ching, an associate professor of cultural studies at Lingnan University and programme host on the new internet channel, said the channel would expand the media spectrum to cater for minorities.