Sandeep’s Story of Dating in Hong Kong
By Sandeep Sharma
I came to Hong Kong with someone on my mind. Back home in India, I had the chance to meet an extremely sexy blue collared Indian pilot who worked in Hong Kong. He messaged me up on Grindr and even though there was a significant age gap we managed to hit it off. We spoke daily and met before he left for Hong Kong and I continued studying in India. There was chemistry and I thought I had found the guy I wanted.
When I came to Hong Kong, after talking to him everyday for four months, there was something strange. I met him randomly in LKF once after an intense night out with his friend and was invited for a post-party kebab. He acted strangely and continuously boasted of his sexual conquests of Asian and white women to his friend while being, for lack of better words, an asshole to me. I ended going home with him where he told me that he had decided to “turn” bisexual at the age of 30 because of family pressure. We slept on separate couches and I left the next morning before he woke up. He later told me that he had decided to make his life easier by turning bisexual (after being gay for 30 years) and that it would not work out as I was young and new to Hong Kong (it’s only when I look back now that I realize I was too immature to date anyone. I still had a lot to learn about myself).
It was then that I realized a trend in Hong Kong – Homosexuality was still a taboo and the people here were very conservative in that regard. Societal pressures and taboo were hindering the society. Over time, through numerous dates and random encounters I learnt about the societal hierarchy in the homosexual community in Hong Kong. This dense congested city played host to a small, dynamic and rather structured society where Grindr and Tinder were the norm and bars had become a play to socialize, not meet someone. The numerous active societies like “Out in Hong Kong’ shows that Hong Kong is trying to move towards being liberal though still being somewhat repressed.
As a gay expat “outsider” in the city it fascinates me to watch how the culture works. The psychology of the people – their love for rules, for hierarchy, their compliance, their fears and their joys – is something I love to delve into. The dates I’ve been on, the friends I made and the nights I found myself waking up at 8 am in someone’s house have had a significant impact on my life. If only I didn’t feel like a sampling platter – being the first Indian that most people have “been with.
The “Gay Scene” in Hong Kong is vibrant enough that you would know it existed after Googling “Gay Men Hong Kong”, but it neither has the courage or even the passion to match the standards set by London or New York. Maybe it’s just my narrow-sight but one can’t help but feel that the gay community in Hong Kong is a small, hierarchy filled society where the white males dominated the twinky Asian boys. I never really had a lot of gay friends, or any for that matter back home and that resulted in me being the only openly gay student amongst all my straight friends. Perhaps, it’s for that reason that I am not really able to mingle with the gay society in Hong Kong which results in my being alienated by the gay community of Hong Kong and I had came with the belief that Hong Kong boasted many more attractive blue collared gay single men who wanted nothing more than to date and/or hookup with a tall pretty Indian boy.
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