Aug 02, 2012|
I came out because I think society is becoming increasingly conservative and there is much more suppression of Hong Kong’s gay community. I need to stand up and give the gay community some support.
I didn’t want to come out [at first] because people will pigeon-hole you. They will say that all your songs are about homosexuality. However, times have changed and I decided that someone has to stand up.
I had expected that my coming out would become the focus [of public discussion]. I don’t want people to idolize me, because I am only an ordinary person. I am only a public figure and I can make use of the convenience of a public figure to push something forward.
I was a Christian when I was young. Now, I still respect freedom of religion, but I hope that the Christian church will respect others’ freedom not to believe in their faith. Sometimes, the Christian church only sees the world from its own perspective and places it over other things.
Hongkongers are fearful of losing their identities. I think everyone should reflect on their own identity—including sexual identity.
Is Hong Kong still worth loving? Of course! If not, I would have left the city long ago and I wouldn’t do so many things for it!
Before the handover, there were moments when I thought of emigrating. But I decided not to because my friends are all here and my career is based in Hong Kong. If I lived in somewhere else, what songs could I sing?
As long as we can voice out and continue to fight for our election rights, I don’t feel pessimistic about the future of Hong Kong.
I don’t think I am outspoken. I have only performed my basic duties as a citizen. I think everyone should do the same. I only do the right thing. I don’t think I have done something extra—it’s just that others haven’t done their parts.
Caring for society is something very basic. Humans are social beings. If you don’t care about the community you are living in, you will be exploited. People shouldn’t assume that you or your family won’t be the next victims if you don’t participate [in social movements]. You are part of society. If you allow people to turn the community into a bad one, you will suffer too.
It’s also about the social atmosphere. There wasn’t that much turbulence in the past few years, but a lot of things have taken place this year. You want to speak out when you find something outrageous.
The death of Li Wangyang was very unsettling. [After Li’s death,] his family disappeared. It will remain a mystery and people are horrified the way the authorities handled this incident.
Mainstream artists don’t really address social issues. But non-mainstream artists like My Little Airport have tried to convey some messages in their songs.
People used to describe Tat Ming Pair [Wong’s band with guitarist and songwriter Tats Lau Yee-tat] as an avant-garde band, and they still do. People who make such comments are lazy because they don’t really do their research and find out more about Hong Kong music. A lot of indie musicians in Hong Kong do interesting things, but not a lot of attention is paid to these artists.
Of course, I won’t deny that Tat Ming Pair has strived to deliver quality works over all these years [the band formed in 1985]. I am proud of the things we did—visuals, music, ideologies. We are still very interesting.
Lau Yee-tat and I have always been good friends. We have very different values, but we have found some common ground. We don’t have a lot of social interactions. The best way for us to communicate is through music.
We are doing the second part of our anniversary concert in mid-August. This time, it will be around the same time as the Legco election. [In the United States,] there is a campaign named “Rock the Vote” in which rock artists try to mobilize the younger generation to exercise their political rights. I hope that we can get people to prepare for the elections.
If all Hongkongers exercised their political rights and “rocked the vote,” we would fare so much better.
The second part of Tat Ming Pair’s 25th anniversary concert will be held at Asia World-Expo on August 18-19. Tickets are on sale at www.urbtix.hk.