Denise Ho is an award-winning Hong Kong-based singer, and actress, as well as a pro-democracy and LGBTQ rights activist. Ho is an accomplished musician who entered the music industry in the 90s at age 19. She publicly announced that she was gay in 2012, making her the first mainstream female singer in Hong Kong to come out of the closet. Since then, she has advocated for LGBTQ rights in Hong Kong and around the world. Ho was also a staunch supporter of the 2014 Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong and was arrested for taking part in the nonviolent pro-democracy protests. Since then, the Chinese government has banned her from performing in China where she has enjoyed popularity as a singer.
In 2016, following Ho’s meeting with the Dalai Lama, French cosmetics brand Lancôme cancelled a promotional concert featuring her performance. In response, Ho started crowdfunding her concerts to avoid corporate censorship. Despite facing pressure from the Chinese government, Ho continues to speak out for democracy in Hong Kong and LGBTQ rights globally and was featured in an extensive profile in The New Yorker.
In July 2019, Ho spoke on behalf of UN Watch at the UN Human Rights Council, where she was interrupted twice by China’s delegation who claimed that she was “defaming” China for speaking against its interference in Hong Kong. Click here to watch her testimony.