The last few months have been ALL about London haven’t they. Whether it’s been the political maelstrom of the election, the horrors of Grenfell Tower and the bloody slew of terror attacks, or the joys of Pride and the dozens of glitter-spattered summer day festivals, our city has dominated the world stage.
London has a habit of taking over and demanding attention: the Beyonce of the UK. It decides how we present to the world as a nation. And as a London-based, London-centric magazine, our editorial voice naturally reflects that. It’s our job to live, breathe, eat, sleep and, most of all, DRINK this city.
But sometimes it’s good to explore other things. If you’re too inward-looking, you lose context and perspective, in terms of your place in the world. Believe it or not, things do exist outside of Zone 3. Allegedly, Burnt Oak is an actual place, and Sussex just got its first Wagamama!
So after all our markedly, almost aggressively London-focused content over the last few weeks, we wanted to try something a little different. In fact, not just a little different, VERY different. As different as possible. As different as it gets.
Which is why we settled on Hong Kong. Arcane, arresting and aromatic, it’s a culture and civilization about which most of us know very little. A sparklingly unique island of cocktails and commerce, skyscrapers and seahorses, jungles and jewels.
As a former British colony, it has intriguing and complicated links with the UK, as well as an equally abstruse relationship with neighbouring China. In fact, as we speak, they’re marking twenty years since the handover from British to Chinese rule. The celebrations are proving contentious, with sparks of conflict from pro-democracy protesters ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s much-lauded state visit.
Hong Kong has a modest, but thriving LGBTQ community. But its laws and social attitudes surrounding LGBTQ issues still have a way to go. In this issue, we speak to a range of LBGTQ people – some Hong Kong natives, some travelers – about their experiences in Hong Kong. Club kid and photographer Karen Stanley gives a sparkling account of the six months she spent there as part of her degree. And in our ‘Queer In Hong Kong’ segment, we speak to everyone from drag queens to recruitment consultants, about how Hong Kong’s culture sees queer people.
So sit back, get yourself a drink, and take in an exotic, exciting and divertingly unique society. In the words of Monty Python…now for something completely different!