Ho, Denise

Denise Ho Wan-see, also known as HOCC (born 10 May 1977), is a Hong Kong-based Cantopop singer and actress, as well as a pro-democracy and LGBT 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, becoming 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 previously enjoyed popularity as a singer. In 2016, following Ho’s meeting with the Dalai Lama, French cosmetics brand Lancôme was pressured into cancelling a promotional concert featuring her performance. In response, Ho started crowdfunding her concerts to avoid corporate censorship. Despite pressure from the Chinese government, Ho continues to speak out for democracy in Hong Kong and LGBTQ rights globally, and was featured in a recent profile in The New Yorker.

The New York Times: For Hong Kong Celebrities, Supporting Protests Comes With a Cost