Chinese pop star Anthony Wong, a fixture of Hong Kong nightlife and Chinese pop-culture since the 80s, put rumors to rest by coming out at the end of a massive recent concert.
The singer, who has handled gay rumors for decades with grace, made his homosexuality official in the most dramatic way possible: coming out at the end of an emotional concert at the Hong Kong Coliseum, a single spotlight shining on his announcement. “People don’t need to guess whether or not I’m a tongzhi [Chinese slang for gay] anymore. I’m saying, I’m gay. I’m a homosexual. G-A-Y.”
“I’m sorry, members of the media. For the next 20 years, I’ll keep singing songs, but you don’t need to ask me this question any longer,” he added to cheers and applause from fans.
The Wall Street Journal highlighted the importance of Anthony Wong's coming out moment:
Mr. Wong’s announcement might not have shocked Hong Kong’s entertainment industry, which has long speculated about the singer’s sexual orientation, but the boldness of his announcement was still unusual. Mr. Wong, who first gained popularity in the 80s as a music icon as part of the duo Tat Ming Pair, is only the second high-profile Hong Kong performer to publicly come out, says Waiwai Yeo of the Women Coalition of Hong Kong, a nonprofit gay-rights organization. The first, says Ms. Yeo, was Cantopop giant Leslie Cheung, the beloved singer who featured in hit films such as Farewell My Concubine but struggled with depression for years. In 2003, Mr. Cheung jumped to his death from the 24th floor of Hong Kong’s Mandarin Hotel.
“It’s been nine years we’ve seen a singer announce publicly that he’s openly gay or openly bisexual,” says Ms. Yeo. “So Mr. Wong’s announcement is a good sign.”