LGBT rights still have a ways to go in many Asian countries, but that did not stop the CEO of HSBC Bank, John Li, from walking one of his employees down the aisle in Taiwan.
Jennifer, the Taiwanese HSBC employee, and her girlfriend of 11 years, Sam, decided to tie the knot, but her homophobic parents disapproved of their relationship and refused to go to their own daughter’s wedding.
So her boss, Li, escorted her down the aisle instead of her father.
“My parents are strongly against it,” Jennifer said in a video put together by HSBC. “Whenever my father sees Sam, he will push her out and tell her to get lost.”
Jennifer also thought she would face discrimination at work if she came out.
“I was concerned that it would stop clients banking with [us],” she said. “So I considered it very carefully.”
Fortunately, Jennifer was showered with an outpouring of support from her colleagues, including Li, who told the pair “not to be nervous and to walk slowly.”
“We cried because we never thought we would make it this far,” she said in tears.
Same-sex marriage still isn’t recognized in Taiwan, so the couple can’t officially register their marriage.
But the two say their wedding really goes out to the LGBT community with the hope that it will inspire others around the country.
“We hope our actions will encourage people and create respect among different communities,” said Jennifer.
This is not the first time HSBC has shown support for LGBT couples.
In December, a pair of multi-colored lions were unveiled outside of the bank’s Hong Kong office as part of its “Celebrate Pride, Celebrate Unity” campaign, according to Mashable.
“This campaign demonstrates our commitment to achieving a truly open and diverse working environment,” said HSBC Group general Kevin Martin in a statement.