Much has been made of the cancellation of this year's Hong Kong Pride Parade, which would have been held next month, for a third time, had it not been for a loss of funding. There's no doubt that the calling off of the annual march for equal rights is a blow to the city's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender population. But all is not lost. A trio of major events next month should ensure that this November holds its own against last year's, dubbed 'the gayest November ever' by Noel Furrer, a co-organiser of last year's Mr Gay Hong Kong pageant. They are dance party Anthems Asia Live, the 21st Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, and the Mr Gay pageant, which will be Hong Hong's second. Evan Steer, who runs gay nightclub Volume, will host Anthems Asia at the AsiaWorld-Arena on November 20. He hopes to attract up to 4,000 revellers from across the region, with big-name dance music acts from Hong Kong and beyond. The 'part concert, part dance circuit party' celebrates the official launch of Volume Up, Steer's record label for artists and the first of its kind in Asia, as well as the club's fourth anniversary. The extravaganza boasts stage and lighting design from Paul Marin, the production company behind the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. Steer is calling it the biggest gay event in Hong Kong's history, with costs upwards of HK$500,000. That weekend also sees the start of the Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, a two-week celebration of queer cinema beginning on November 19. French adult film star Francois Sagat, who features in the opening film Man at Bath, has said he will attend the launch, though details of his visit to Hong Kong have yet to be confirmed. The festival is a vital platform for raising issues that affect the city's gay community and is a way, says programme director Joe Lam, to promote 'education of the public through art'. One issue that will be addressed through the festival this year is the bullying of gay students after a recent spate of teen suicides in the United States. The team behind Mr Gay Hong Kong is taking up the same cause. James Gannaban, executive producer of the beauty pageant, is working with schools to give victims of homophobic bullying a voice. Teenagers will be encouraged to write accounts of their experiences, and the winning two entries will be read out during the Mr Gay Hong Kong finale on November 26. He sees the difficulty some have in recognising the pageant as socially significant. But he adds: 'We are about something more than [pretty boys in Speedos]. This is advocacy served on a glittery rainbow plate.' Parade or no parade, there's more than enough entertainment to keep you pink and proud this autumn.