Cantonese pop star Denise Ho, like many high-profile celebrities, has hid her sexual orientation from the public eye for some time. But during Hong Kong's fourth annual LGBT Pride Parade this weekend, the singer officially came out, calling herself "tongzhi," a Chinese slang word for gay.
"As a celebrity, I think I have an obligation, a duty to stand forward for the sake of love and equality," the 35-year-old singer told the crowd, according to Shanghaiist.
The announcement is particularly significant since Ho is the first mainstream female singer in Hong Kong to come out of the closet, according to several Hong Kong media outlets.
"For many years, when I faced questions from the media, I always felt that sexual orientation is a personal matter, that there is no need to label yourself or tell the public," Ho said to great applause, according to Fridae. "But in 2012 when one would expect more acceptance and progress (in terms of gay equality), I find that there is still discrimination and prejudice. I feel that silence is no longer an option."
While Ho admitted that she should have come out a few years ago, she explained that she didn't have the right chance.
See the crowd's reaction to Ho's announcement in the video above, and check out the gallery below to read other celebrity coming out stories.