In 1842, Homosexuality is criminalised when Hong Kong becomes a British colony, mirroring laws of the United Kingdom.
In 1861, Offences against the Person Act is introduced, including “unnatural offences” such as sodomy and bestiality, and criminalises sex between men but not between women.
In 1901, Sodomy between two men is made punishable by a maximum life sentence.
In 1979, A petition with 424 signatures is presented to the government urging decriminalisation of sex between two consenting same-sex adults.
Governor Murray MacLehose commissions a report to look into whether homosexuality laws should be changed. Gay Hong Kong policeman John MacLennan is found dead aged 29 with gunshot wounds in what’s said to be a suicide on the morning he is due to be arrested by the police unit charged with investigating gay men. The investigation concluded that MacLennan killed himself because he feared arrest.
The Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film festival is held for the first time. To date, it is the longest-running LGBT film festival in Asia.
In 1990, AIDS Concern was established.
In 1991, homosexual behaviors are decriminalised by the voting of the Legislative Council. Sex between consenting males over the age of 21 is decriminalised, 24 years after the UK and one year after the World Health Organization removed homosexuality from its International Classification of Diseases.
In 1992, Famous actor and singer Leslie Cheung Kwok Wing comes out as bisexual, saying, “It’s easy for me to love a woman. It’s also easy for me to love a man too.” (Five years later, he announced his relationship with Daffy Tong Hok-tak, despite local prejudices towards the LGBT community persisting.)
In 2006, The unequal ages of consent (16 for heterosexual relationships and 21 for men in gay relationships) was found unconstitutional, and the age of consent for homosexual relationships was amended to also be 16.
In 2008, the first Pride Parade in Hong Kong is held, with close to 1,000 participants walking from Great George Street in Causeway Bay to Southorn Playground in Wan Chai. The theme is “Celebrate Love”.
In 2009, same-sex cohabitation is protected within the Domestic and Cohabitation Relationships Violence Ordinance Cap.189.
In 2012, At the Pride Parade, pop singer Denise Ho Wan-Sze becomes the first mainstream female musician in Hong Kong to come out, and Ray Chan Chi-Chuen is the first openly gay lawmaker to be elected in Hong Hong.
In 2014, the government officially promotes to amend the legal consent age of anal sex to 16 years old in the Crimes Ordinance, the amendment is passed in the same year.