Date
8 December 2016
Organizers of the LGBT event hope to attract domestic helpers with different ethnicities, as well as local residents. Photo: Reuters
Organizers of the LGBT event hope to attract domestic helpers with different ethnicities, as well as local residents. Photo: Reuters

Domestic helpers set LGBT rally, eye local participants

A group of Hong Kong domestic helpers is organizing a protest on Sunday to drive public awareness about discrimination against sexual minorities.

Organizers hope to attract domestic helpers with different ethnicities, as well as local residents, the standnews.com reports.

The protest, now in its second year, is exploring collaboration with the LGBT (lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgender) community.

“Only by working together can we achieve our goals,” said Shiela Tebia, who heads Gabriela Hong Kong, a women’s rights group.

Sunday’s protest is organized by several groups, including Gabriela Hong Kong and Filipino Lesbian Organization.

A domestic helper named Ivan, who is a transgender, said he was warned repeatedly by placement agencies to dress more femininely in order to get employed.

Ivan was fired by a conservative employer who found out that he wore men’s underpants.

He said his employer once told him she feared her daughter would behave like him when she grows up.

“My ex-employer saw being a transgender as a form of sickness,” Ivan said.

Ivan is among many LGBT domestic helpers who consider legislation necessary to protect the rights of sexual minorities.

Hong Kong Pride Parade, a local annual march in support of LGBT rights, will be held on the eve of Sunday’s event.

Tebia said she hopes active participation in LGBT events by helpers will help bring awareness of sexual minorities in their home countries.

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