This piece initially ran on Advocate.com. Read the original here.
A new LGBTQ+ reality show in Hong Kong is hoping to help turn the tide on being LGBTQ+ in Chinese society.
Described as part dating show and part documentary by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the series, Boyscation, will feature follow 10 men in their 20s and 30s who are comfortable with their sexuality.
"I want to portray the thinking of these gay men and what society thinks of them," Vinci Wong, the show’s producer, told the outlet.
"What are the hardships they are facing? How do they face their own gay identity within the family, at work or within friends, and in the Chinese society?"
LGBTQ+ people are still not fully recognized by the special administrative region of China that’s home to 7 million people.
Hong Kong hasn’t legalized same-sex marriage or civil unions. However, TRF notes that people are more accepting of LGBTQ+ people than elsewhere in China.
Wong, one of the few out LGBTQ+ public figures in Hong Kong, came out in 2013 and married his partner three years later.
“I hope after watching, they can realize this is the reality, these young gay men are living in the same city as us, so we should be more accepting,” Wong said.
One of the participants, Louis Ng, 26, told TRF that the show helped his relationship with this father.
"I have a better relationship with my dad because of the show," Ng said. "It's a great way to let people think about how to coexist with minorities in society."
He said that though Boyscation is advertised as a dating show, it also shows the gay men going about their everyday lives.
“After watching the show, straight people will think, 'They're the same as us'. Dating, love, relationships – it's the same as for straight people as well. Love is love,” he said.
Boyscation is set to air on Hong Kong’s TVB TV network in late 2021 or early 2022.
Plenty of time for the series to make inroads that will help pave the way for a friendly welcome to the queer athletes arriving in the city for GayGames 11 Hong Kong 2023.