Cover Pop superstar A-mei is an advocate of the LGBTQ+ community and same-sex marriage.

These LGBTQ+ heroes and allies are pushing for positive change by lending their powerful voices

An art patron, a pop diva, and an internet superstar on Asia’s Most Influential list are among the bright lights who are working toward more acceptance and greater understanding of the LGBTQ+ community. Through their diverse platforms, they are creating positive change, helping pass landmark laws, and giving hope to LGBTQ+ people who need to see more of themselves in the world. 

A-mei, Taiwan

In May 2019, Taiwan passed its same-sex marriage law, becoming the first in Asia to do so. On the same day, Mandopop superstar A-mei posted an image of a rainbow flag with the note on Facebook: “I cried when I saw the news... It's come a long way and you can finally be proud of yourselves! My dearest heroes, I really want to hug you one by one. After the rain in the morning, our rainbow is complete.”

The Taiwanese singer has long been a supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. A-mei was one of the first celebrities to sign a petition for same-sex marriage in the country and led a benefit concert for the cause. She has highlighted equality in many of her songs, with the music video for “Love Is The Only Way” featuring a marriage ceremony between men, and “Rainbow” becoming an anthem for same-sex relationships. 

In April 2022, the singer held a 12-day concert at the Taipei Arena. Proving her enduring popularity, the concert’s 130,000 tickets were sold out in nine minutes. Her performances reportedly produced tremors near the arena. 

Read A-mei’s full profile here.

Bretman Rock Laforga, Philippines

Perhaps the biggest contribution of Bretman Rock Laforga to the LGBTQ+ community is his unapologetic presentation of himself as a queer person, who wears makeup and enjoys genderfluid fashion, on social media (where he has 18.3 million followers on Instagram, 14.1 million on TikTok, and 8.9 million on YouTube) and everywhere else. 

The viral sensation from the Philippines (who is, however, based in Hawaii), has been known to speak about the importance of representation in his many media appearances, from his MTV reality show to magazine cover features in Teen Vogue and Nylon Manila. In 2021, Laforga became the first openly gay man to appear on the cover of Playboy. “For Playboy to have a male on the cover is a huge deal for the LGBT community… And I’m so pretty,” he says in a tweet shared by the online magazine.

In an interview with E! for 2021 Pride Month, Laforga calls for more compassion in the LGBTQ+ community, saying “…[w]e need to move on and be more compassionate to one another, be more understanding with one another with each other's cultures, feelings, identities, and self-expression.”

Read Bretman Rock Laforga’s full profile here.

Patrick Sun, Hong Kong

Patrick Sun has collected a trove of artworks by LGBTQ+ artists or with LGBTQ+ themes and, through the Sunpride Foundation, is sharing the creativity of the community with the world. He debuted the Spectrosynthesis I exhibit, which is the first major LGBTQ+ art show in Asia, at Taipei’s Museum of Contemporary Art in 2017 and its second edition at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre in 2019. 

Through paintings, installations, photographs and video works, he advocates for diversity, acceptance, and equal rights. In a Living Marketing podcast, Sun further explained why it is important to present gay art in public institutions, sharing how a museum can reach the general public: “That has been very helpful. It does raise visibility and respect for the artist and the gay community”. For him, the goal is to build a “more equitable world” for LGBTQ+ people through art.

Read Patrick Sun’s full profile here.

Discover the changemakers, industry titans and powerful individuals who are making a positive impact on the region in the Asia’s Most Influential list from Tatler.

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