Who started the group? What's the story behind it?
In May, I found myself newly single after I broke up with my boyfriend of two-and-a-half-years. I returned to my first love of outdoor activities in Hong Kong, like long distance trail running, hiking, surfing and camping.
However, most people on social apps like Meetup are straight and I missed the social element of meeting other LGBT people. So I started looking for LGBT people who have the same love for social outdoor activities.
After a week on Grinder, I was soon bored and fed up with all the “fun” requests that I decided to start a group that would connect active LGBT people with a passion for healthy living. As a trial in June, I organized a hike and stand-up paddling event in Stanley by posting the event on different existing Facebook groups.
Ten people showed up, of whom I only knew one! So I knew there were others looking for the same thing I was. On 12th August, I met up with my friends Victor Chau, a yoga teacher, and Alvin, a designer, and we officially started “Out in HK”. The group now has more than 650 members. We organize weekly weekend events and an easier Urban Jungle Run every Wednesday.
The first event we organized was a hike on Dragon’s Back with 42 people. After the hike, we did yoga on the beach (led by Victor) followed by lunch. It was really impressive to see 42 guys on the beach doing yoga together! Most of them had never done yoga before so it was really a great “out of your comfort zone” experience.
What's the goal of the group? What do you offer the community?
The goal of “Out in HK” is to connect LGBT people who want to maintain a fit & healthy lifestyle with other like-minded people. It’s our goal to organize active & social outdoor events that combine fun with a bit of sweat as well as workshops about healthy living & nutrition.
“Out in HK” has quickly become its own community. It’s also great to see many more women joining our events. The Facebook group is also becoming an open platform to help people start organizing their own events. For example, somebody asked on our page, “Any tennis players?” and within a couple of hours several people replied. Now thanks to the ‘Out in HK’ page, they are playing tennis together every week. How exciting!
What's your favorite thing about Out in HK?
I really enjoy organizing and connecting people. I’m so grateful to meet people with the same passion for a fit, healthy lifestyle, watch as new friendships are made, and help people get out of their comfort zone and try new things together. Recently, we went to RyZe trampoline park with 35 people which was a lot of fun! In October, we’ll go kayaking with 50 people and in November, we’ve planned a weekend camping in Sai Kung with hiking, BBQ, yoga on the beach and surfing. We have a lot of great events coming up.
What's something that you wish you knew when you were younger?
Firstly, I’m a big believer in meditation so I would tell my younger “me” to start meditating sooner. People often think that meditation is sitting in a pose for hours and always tied to religion or spirituality. It’s actually proven by science that consistently meditating daily for 5 minutes or longer will calm down your mind, give you better focus, a bigger brain and increase creativity.
How well do you know your way around Hong Kong? Put your local knowledge to test by taking part in "Amazing Race Out in HK"!Joining a group of teammates for a full day of adventure, you are to challenge yourself physically, mentally, socially - and even spiritually - to seek out some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, as well as some best known secrets.
50 spots only - given out on a first-sign-up basis! You may have to come head to head with your phobias, push your physical limit and deal with unexpected situations, but you will come out of it a stronger person, knowing Hong Kong better and having met new friends!
Click here for more information and to sign up https://www.facebook.com/groups/outinhk/
"Out in HK” is a non-commercial FaceBook community group that welcomes and connects all LGBT ’s in HK (including their friends) with an interest in a fit & healthy lifestyle to organise together active & social events with fun and a bit of sweat, like hiking, running, rock climbing, beach, swimming, yoga, sailing, kayaking, trampoline jumping, camping.