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When a number of gay API men and women started showering with a fire hydrant in front of the Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office in New York last Sunday, they weren’t looking for a way to beat the heat. The group was getting wet to protest Hong Kong’s recent decision to hold an “ex-gay” conversion workshop for its social workers. Similar to the scared straight programs here in the United States, the Chinese government thinks it can “cure” gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender citizens through intensive prayer, aversion therapy and torturous cold showers.

Locking lips in their own cold showers, the demonstrators, organized by the Gay Asian Pacific Islander Men of New York, stood in “solidarity with [their] queer brethren in Hong Kong.” With smiles, pride, soap and water, it’s clear that their celebration of love is as beautiful as their signs were hilarious.

In a break from the good times for a great cause, they made the following statement:

Today, we stand in solidarity with our queer brethren in Hong Kong. It is unfortunate that in a time in which LGBT rights and issues are starting to gain momentum, there are those who feel the need to deny our intrinsic identity and lock it away. These so-called “ex-gay” conversion programs have been disproven by medical and psychological organizations, yet religious fundamentalist groups still hold on to the belief that gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals can be “cured.” Perhaps we should hold a mirror for them for it is they who need to be cured of their ignorance, bigotry, and strife-mongering.

As we hold and participate in this shower-in, let us keep in mind that policies regarding LGBT rights and issues affect not only our immediate community but far-reaching populations in many different areas. Let’s stop the export of hate and prejudice. Instead, let us build communities and strengthen solidarity.

NO WAY EX-GAY!

STAY GAY HK!

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Read this online at http://colorlines.com/archives/2011/08/gay_api_community_celebrate_love_and_solidarity_in_new_york.html


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