On Hong Kong’s gay scene If you compare it to other parts of the world, Hong Kong isn’t as progressive. It’s kinda slow and I feel like the scene is very segregated between the expats and the locals. I feel like there needs to be more collaboration if the scene is to be successful.
On coming out You just have to step out and be proud of yourself – and you might be surprised how supportive people can be. If you’re happy about being gay, people will accept that being gay is normal. If you hide or feel ashamed, this is the energy you’re feeding people who are not educated about the LGBT community. Gay people have a responsibility too about how people see you.
On the media You know recently that Anthony Wong came out, right? (Oh yes – see Time Out, Issue 105…) And then there was a magazine cover [Ming Pao] of him looking like crap? The thing is, mass media has always been setting such a negative image of the LGBT community and they don’t know the first thing about it. The media has such an influence – but really it’s only the opinions of a small group of people.
On homophobic bullying When I was in school there was this other guy in another class who was a little more camp than me and he always got unwelcoming remarks from other people. He was never assaulted physically – but, instead, emotionally. People treated him as an inferior and, in the worst case, like a disease.
On how to combat homophobic bullying It starts with education. Teachers need to be educated that there are gay people in the world. Gay remarks do not just come from students – they come from teachers as well and they need to be sensitive about what they say.
On Obama supporting gay marriage It’s amazing! For someone who’s heterosexual, who has such influential power internationally and someone who is so vulnerable to criticism to actually stand out and support our community – that’s quite a remarkable step towards equality, really.
On gay rights in Asia I hope someone in Asia will step out and say the same thing as Obama because I don’t want the Chinese in Hong Kong and China to have an excuse and say it’s only a ‘Western thing’. I want someone with political influence or power in Asia to say the same thing, so the Chinese and Asians have someone to look up to who supports gay rights.
On the Mr Gay World competitions A lot of people say ‘oooh, it’s a pageant, people will be really catty and bitchy’. But, no, everybody is so friendly! They’re really supportive – but gentle. When I was in the grand finale, my costume was quite complicated and some contestants actually helped me with it – or helped me do my makeup. During the competition we always cheered for each other.
On Madonna I don’t like Madonna’s recent work but I liked her Confessions tour because she did a lot of things that were politically provocative – using her power to challenge politics around the world, which is a step higher than being glamorous.
On his worst feature Do you know what bunions are? I hate the bunions on my right foot.
On happiness It’s when I finish dance class rehearsal or work and I can just go home, do nothing and drink a bottle of beer.
Interview: Arthur Tam
Keep up with Jimmy’s comings and goings at www.facebook.com/mrgayhongkong.