This academic article examines the factors that influence the success of gay and lesbian activism in Asia. The article looks specifically at the jurisdictions of Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Taiwan and Malaysia. The article assesses the role of the political, religious and cultural contexts of each jurisdiction to examine how these factors impact the success of gay and lesbian activism. The article concludes that success is often influenced by activists ability to use incidents that will create public empathy towards gay and lesbian people.
The article begins by providing an overview of the legal status of gay and lesbian people in each of the five jurisdictions. The article then compares the similarities and differences between the jurisdictions to highlight which factors may help or hinder gay and lesbian activism. Factors that commonly lead to success for gay and lesbian activists, including the strategic use of key events and the ability to frame equal rights as a cause that affects everyone, are then discussed. The article concludes with four key recommendations for activists who are promoting the human rights of sexual minorities.