Hongkongers aged 18 to 40 are mostly supportive of LGBTQ+ equality, a recent survey has revealed. However, nearly half of respondents said they have experienced or learned of discriminatory acts against the LGBTQ+ community.

lgbt gay Pride Parade 2019.
Hong Kong Pride Parade 2019. File photo: Hong Kong Pride Parade 2019.

Commissioned by the LGBT+ rights group Pink Alliance, the Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute interviewed 2,120 residents aged between 18 and 40 in August. The survey’s findings were released on Monday.

Eighty-six per cent said they agreed that LGBTQ+ people should be treated fairly and should not be discriminated against.

In addition, 63 per cent said Hong Kong should implement legislation to prohibit discrimination against the community, while around 75 per cent said same-sex marriage should be allowed in the city.

Suen Yiu-tung, the founding director of the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Sexualities Research Programme said in a statement on Monday that the study showed that Hong Kong’s younger population “increasingly find unfair treatment of LGBT+ people in society unacceptable.”

Suen said possible reasons behind the trend could be the increasing contact between the general public and the LGBTQ+ community, as well as the rise in media representation of LGBTQ+ people in recent years.

Discrimination still common

Nevertheless, almost half of the interviewees said they have experienced, witnessed, or heard about discriminatory behaviour against the LGBTQ+ community.

Hong Kong Public Opinion Research Institute. File Photo: Kelly Ho/HKFP.

Nearly 60 per cent of the discriminatory acts reported by respondents were in the form of verbal abuse, with three per cent involving physical violence.

Meanwhile, 39 per cent said they thought their employers or institutions had not “properly” handled these cases of discrimination.

The chief executive of Pink Alliance, Jerome Yau, said in the same statement that the result was “disturbing,” and these discriminatory behaviours were “totally unacceptable.”

“We will double up our efforts to work with stakeholders and the government to combat and prevent such anti-social behaviour, which is damaging to individuals and society at large,” Yau said.

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Peter Lee is a reporter for HKFP. He was previously a freelance journalist at Initium, covering political and court news. He holds a Global Communication bachelor degree from CUHK.