Gigi Chao: I hope my parents accept my other half
Cecil Chao's daughter tells youth forum she hopes family will recognise her 'other half' and calls on minorities to 'make people like them'
Gigi Chao, the lesbian daughter of property tycoon Cecil Chao Sze-tsung, said she would never stop trying to get her parents to accept her partner.
"I think it will be a great pity if I cannot make them accept my other half before I die," Chao told a Chinese University forum organised by the university's chapter of global youth network AIESEC last night.
She said that the generation gap had always existed and she would just keep on communicating with her parents, although they had shown no sign of accepting her partner, Sean Eav, so far.
Chao, a 33-year-old executive director of her father's Cheuk Nang property development company, came out of the closet last September in the middle of a global media frenzy, after her father promised HK$500 million to the man who would marry his daughter.
She encouraged the city's sexual minorities to make themselves more attractive to improve society's view of difference.
"We should think of ways to improve our mental wellbeing," Chao said. "It's difficult to be minorities in Hong Kong, as Hong Kong is very materialistic and superficial. We cannot change this, but we can make ourselves more attractive to make more people like us."
She also acknowledged that discrimination existed even within LGBT groups, where, for example, transsexuals were the minority within the minorities.
Lawmaker Cyd Ho Sau-lan and Equal Opportunities Commission chairperson Dr York Chow Yat-ngok, were also among the speakers at the forum.
Ho told participants that gay couples who could not get married suffered financial losses as well as discrimination.
"Gay couples cannot apply for public housing or get a married person's allowance, and this could add up to HK$3 million after 30 years. That would mean a lot when they retire," Ho said.
She added that a gay person could not apply for their non-local partner to live in Hong Kong.
Meanwhile, Chow encouraged more people to reveal their sexual orientation to encourage more public discussion.
"Discussion about sexual minorities should not be only discussed with sexual minorities," he said. "Polarised discussion will not solve [social] problems."
Speaking after the forum, 19-year-old accounting student Marco Cheung Po-lung said that eliminating discrimination against sexual minorities was all about social fairness. "Why can we enjoy certain rights, such as the right to get married, while gay couples do not have the same rights?" he said.