In June, the Hong Kong Social Welfare Department sponsored a seminar for social service workers that was presented by Hong Kwai-wah, a psychiatrist who says he specializes in "ex-gay" reparative therapy. These conversion programs, where gay or bisexual people seek to repress their same-sex attractions, have been proven to be extremely dangerous, condemned by the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association. Hong Kwai-wah's specific programs assert that same-sex attraction can be eliminated through sexual abstinence, prayer, and cold showers.
The doctor has connections with Canadian group Exodus Global Alliance and the United States group Exodus International, the organizations that have been discredited for their attempts at changing the sexual orientation of gays.
LGBT advocates in Hong Kong protested the government-sponsored seminar in June, but in recent weeks, the spotlight has intensified as activists look to further discourage the practice of "ex-gay" conversion therapy in China.
This weekend in New York City, a coalition of LGBT organizations arranged a demonstration to oppose the Hong Kong government's sanctioning of the conversion therapy. The organizations - the Gay Asian & Pacific Men of New York (GAPIMNY), Queer, Asian, Visible, Empowered (Q-WAVE, a queer women and trans org), and the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission - staged a "shower-in," pointing out the particular ridiculousness of the "cold shower cure."