Dr Travis S K Kong

Associate Professor

+852 3917 2055

9.17, 9/F., The Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus


(1)       Research and scholarship

My key research questions address who human beings are and how we are to live with a diversity of sexualities and genders in a rapidly changing world. Using people with non-normative (often stigmatized) identities and behaviours as examples, I examine how their lives are affected under specific historical and social circumstances with the ultimate aim of promoting their well-being and enhancing social inclusion. I have created a new path to understanding the complex interplay between socio-historical changes and individual lives, challenging Western-centric knowledge while building a transnational, cross-generational dialogue. My work has broad implications for identity, gender, sexuality, intimacy, family, community and health in today’s globalized world.

My research can be characterized as: (1) pioneering, in breaking cultural taboos, accessing hidden populations and foregrounding subject matter marginalized in the discipline of sociology; (2) methodologically significant, in combining qualitative empirical data with critical analysis to articulate the nuances of lived experiences to complement quantitative sociology’s overview of social patterns; (3) interdisciplinary, in seeking dialogue between mainstream sociology and other disciplines (e.g. cultural studies, criminology, medicine, public health) to understand human sexualities; and (4) impactful, in being action-oriented with strong community impact and significant policy implications for well-being and public health.

(1) Sociology of homosexuality: Building on my first book (Kong 2011a), I have drawn on and fully developed the notion of “generational sexualities” by examining older gay men in Hong Kong, work that serves as a model for studying ageing sexualities in Hong Kong and beyond (Kong 2012a, 2014b, 2019a) and enables cross-generational dialogue (Kong 2021a). I proposed a new theoretical approach, “transnational queer sociology” (Kong 2019c, 2020b), which allows transnational comparative cultural analysis of sexuality. My Duke book (Kong 2023b) combines these two strands in examining 90 life stories of young gay men in Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland China.

(2) Sociology of prostitution/sex work: Building on my earlier work on female (Kong and Zi Teng 2003; Kong 2006e) and male sex workers in Hong Kong (Kong 2005c, 2009a), I have pioneered sociological research on male sex workers (or “money boys”) in mainland China (Kong 2008, 2010a, 2011c, 2012c, 2012d, 2014a, 2017) and Hong Kong men who buy sex (Kong 2015b, 2015c, 2016a). I offer sociological insights that go beyond the public health paradigm by situating my research subjects in a broader social context, with policy implications for migration, public health and well-being.

(3) Sociology of praxis: I was the first sociologist in Hong Kong to transform an academic study of older gay men (Kong 2012a, 2014b, 2019a) into action research with strong societal impact (Kong 2018b): I founded Grey & Pride (2014-), the only NGO looking after the well-being of older LGBTQ citizens; my book (Kong 2014b) inspired the multi-award-winning movie Suk Suk (dir Ray Yeung 2019); and my work has put the concerns and rights of older LGBTQ onto the public agenda.

Editorship and editorial board membership

  1. Co-editor-in-chief (together with Feona Attwood and Roisin Ryan-Flood), Sexualities: Studies of Culture and Society (London: SAGE) 2012-present; international advisory editorial board member, 2009-2012.
    Established in 1998, Sexualities is the world’s leading journal on human sexualities using multidisciplinary, theory-driven, and research-based qualitative approaches within a global framework. It presents cutting-edge debates on both the empirical nature of contemporary sexualities and theoretical/critical analysis of them. My unique contribution is to promote research publications and dialogues that go beyond the UK-North America-Australasia intellectual region.
  2. International Editorial Advisory Board Member, Families, Relationships, Societies, 2019-present
  3. International Advisory Board Member, Sociology, 2016-2021
  4. International Editorial Board Member, Journal of Sociology, 2014-2017
  5. Editorial Board Member, Journal of Homosexuality, 2014-present
  6. International Advisory Board Member, darkmatters, 2009-present

(2)       Teaching and Learning

My teaching philosophy is to be passionate about my teaching subjects and engage with students. Learning is for understanding, not for reproduction. Making use of my training in sociology and my research expertise in gender and sexuality, I emphasize a learner-centered approach that is interactive and multi-media based with a special focus on everyday life experiences in order to nurture critical thinking, appreciation of difference, integration of theory with practice, and creativity. As a recipient of the 2013 Social Sciences Outstanding Teaching Award, I continue to play a leadership role in curriculum development and reform as well as promoting teaching excellence, innovations and experiential learning.

(3)       Knowledge Exchange

I am committed to KE and social impact. I have served on NGOs and government bodies. My most recognised achievement in this area is my scholarly work on older gay men, which has had four major social impacts: (1) educating the LGBT+ community and general public; (2) empowering older LGBT+; (3) educating social service providers on the specific needs of older LGBT+; and (4) helping the government and private sector formulate non-discrimination initiatives/policies.

Courses taught


University of Essex (UK)

Research interests

Gender and sexuality studies
Cultural and media studies
Contemporary social theory
Qualitative research methods

Current research

  1. Kong, Travis S.K. PI, “Out to the Family: Changing Family Dynamics in Hong Kong after Gay Men’s Sexual Orientation Disclosure,” General Research Fund (2021-2024).
  2. Kong, Travis S.K. Co-PI, “Pathways to Harm Reduction Drug Policy in Hong Kong and East & Southeast Asia: Principles, Process and Practices,” Research Impact Fund, PI: Karen Joe-Laidler (2022-2025).
  3. Kong, Travis S.K. Co-I. “An Intersectional Lens on Drug use and Stigma among Hard-to-Reach Populations in Hong Kong,” General Research Fund, PI: Prof. Karen Laidler (2022-2024).
  4. Kong, Travis S.K. PI. “A Study on Development and Utilisation of an Electronic Sex Diary to Measure HIV Behavioural Risk in Hong Kong,” Department of Health, HKSAR (2023-2025).

Honours and recognitions

LGBT+ Advocacy award, Community Business (2020): Recognition of my leadership role in LGBTQ community in Hong Kong

Social Sciences Knowledge Exchange Award, HKU (2015): Recognition of my knowledge exchange project on older gay men in Hong Kong

Prism Award, Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival (2014): Recognition of my long term service to and research on LGBTQ community in Hong Kong

HKU-Kings Fellowship, HKU (2013-2014): To explore research and teaching possibilities between the two institutions, resulting in a public talk and a photo exhibition in London in 2014.

Social Sciences Outstanding Teaching Award, HKU (2013): Recognition of my engaging, interactive and creative teaching methods and innovation with consistent high evaluation scores and positive students’ feedbacks.

Selected publications

Kaneko, H., and Travis S.K. Kong. In press. “East Asian Sexualities”. In The SAGE Encyclopedia of LGBTQ Studies, edited by Abbie Goldberg. London: SAGE.

Lee, Barry M.W., and Travis S.K. Kong. In press. “Doing Complex Intimacy in the Later Life of Chinese Gay Men in Hong Kong.” In Later Life Sex and Intimacy in the Majority World, edited by Krystal Nandini Ghisyawan, Debra A. Harley, Shanon Shah, and Paul Simpson. Bristol, UK: Bristol University Press (Policy Press).

Kong, Travis S. K. 2023a. “Generational Masculinities: Two Generations of Chinese Gay Men in Hong Kong.” In Ageing, Men and Social Relations, edited by Paul Willis, Ilkka Pietilä, and Marjaana Seppänen, 35–50. Bristol: The Bristol University Press.

Kong, Travis S.K. 2023b. Sexuality and the Rise of China: The Post-1990s Gay Generation in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Mainland China. Durham: Duke University Press. (xviii, 237 pp.)

Kong, Travis S.K., and Arlene Stein, eds. 2023. Special Issue: Ken Plummer. Sexualities 26 (4). (iv, 306pp)

Stein, Arlene and Travis S.K. Kong. 2023. “A Very Risky Queer Thing to Do: In Conversation with Ken Plummer.” Sexualities 26 (4): 419–42. https://doi.org/10.1177/13634607231171387

Lee, Barry M.W., and Travis S. K. Kong. 2022. “Toward Social Inclusion: Participatory Action Research (PAR) with Older Gay Men in Hong Kong.” In Handbook of Social Inclusion, Research and Practices in Health and Social Sciences, edited by Pranee Liamputtong, 1645–61. Cham: Springer.

Kong, Travis S. K. 2021a. “Be a Responsible and Respectable Man: Two Generations of Chinese Gay Men Accomplishing Masculinity in Hong Kong.” Men and Masculinities 24 (1): 64–83.

Kong, Travis S.K. 2021b. “Interview with Professor Stevi Jackson.” Sexualities 24 (3): 491–511. https://doi.org/10.1177/1363460720931333.

Kong, Travis S. K., Hsiao-wei Kuan, Sky H. L. Lau, and Sara L. Friedman. 2021. “LGBT Movements in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China.” In Oxford Encyclopedia of LGBT Politics and Policy, edited by D. Haider-Markel and C. Rimmerman. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Yau, A. C. H., and Travis S. K. Kong. 2021. “One Country, Two Men: The Making of Occupational Masculinities by Male-Male Sex Workers in Hong Kong and Mainland China.” In The Routledge Handbook of Male Sex Work, Culture and Society, edited by John Scott, Christian Grov, and Victor Minichiello, 555–570. London: Routledge.

Kong, Travis S.K. 2020a. “The Pursuit of Masculinity by Young Gay Men in Neoliberal Hong Kong and Shanghai.” Journal of Youth Studies 23 (8): 1004–21.

Kong, Travis S. K. 2020b. “Toward a Transnational Queer Sociology: Historical Formation of Tongzhi Identities and Cultures in Hong Kong and Taiwan (1980s-1990s) and China (Late 1990s-Early 2000s).” Journal of Homosexuality 69 (3): 474–98. https://doi.org/10.1080/00918369.2020.1826835.

Kong, Travis S. K., and Karen Joe Laidler. 2020. “The Paradox for Chem-Fun and Gay Men: A Neoliberal Analysis of Drugs and HIV/AIDS Policies in Hong Kong.” Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 52 (1): 77–85.

Kong, Travis S.K. 2019a. Oral Histories of Older Gay Men in Hong Kong: Unspoken but Unforgotten. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. (ix, 189 pp)

Kong, Travis S.K. 2019b. Review of Bao Hongwei (2018), Queer Comrades: Gay Identity and Tongzhi Activism in Postsocialist China. Copenhagen: NIAS Press, International Institute for Asian Studies, Newsletter, Summer 2019.

Kong, Travis S. K. 2019c. “Transnational Queer Sociological Analysis of Sexual Identity and Civic‐political Activism in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mainland China.” The British Journal of Sociology 70 (5): 1904–25.

Kong, Travis S. K., Sky H. L. Lau, and Amory H. W. Ho. 2019. “Tongzhi.” In Global Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) History, edited by Howard Chiang, Anjali Arondekar, Marc Eppr1echt, Jennifer Evans, Ross G. Forman, and Hanadi Al-Samman. 1603–1609. Farmington Hills, MI: Charles Scribner’s Sons.

Kong Shiu-ki 江紹祺. 2018a.《華人男同志跨地域研究》[Chinese Male Homosexualities: Memba, Tongzhi and Golden Boy] (In Chinese). 香港:香港中文大學出版社 [Hong Kong: The Chinese University of Hong Kong Press]. (xxxvi, 405 pp)

Kong, Travis S.K. 2018b. “Gay and Grey: Participatory Action Research in Hong Kong.” Qualitative Research 18 (3): 257–72.

Kong, Travis S.K. 2018c. “Tracking Gay and Lesbian/Queer Studies in Sexualities.” Sexualities 21 (8): 1216–23.

Kong, Travis S.K. 2017. “Sex and Work on the Move: Money Boys in Post-Socialist China.” Urban Studies 54 (3): 678–94.

Kong, Travis S.K. 2016a. “Buying Sex as Edgework: Hong Kong Male Clients in Commercial Sex.” British Journal of Criminology 56 (1): 105–22.

Kong, Travis S.K. 2016b. “The Sexual in Chinese Sociology: Homosexuality Studies in Contemporary China.” The Sociological Review 64 (3): 495–514.

Kong, Travis S. K., Sky H. L. Lau, and Eva C. Y. Li. 2016. “Sexual Cultures in Asia.” In The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology, edited by George Ritzer. London: Blackwell.

Kong Shiu-ki 江紹祺. 2015a. “導讀:身體政治與性/別再現” [Introduction: Body Politics and Gender/Sex] in 《性/別政治與本土起義》Gender/Sexual Politics in Hong Kong, edited by Wong Wai-ching 黃慧貞 and Choi Po King 蔡寶瓊, 130–136. Hong Kong: Commercial Press.

Kong, Travis S.K. 2015b. Purchasing Sex, Consuming Love? A Qualitative Study of Hong Kong Men Who Buy Sex. [Full report]. Centre for Criminology, The University of Hong Kong (online).

Kong, Travis S. K. 2015c. “Romancing the Boundary: Client Masculinities in the Chinese Sex Industry.” Culture, Health & Sexuality 17 (7): 810–24.

Kong, Travis S. K., Sky H. L. Lau, and Eva C. Y. Li. 2015. “The Fourth Wave? A Critical Reflection on Tongzhi Movement in Hong Kong.” In The Routledge Handbook of Sexuality Studies in East Asia, edited by Mark McLelland and Vera Mackie, 188–201. London: Routledge.

Kong, Travis S. K. 2014a. “Male Sex Work in China.” In Male Sex Work and Society, edited by Victor Minichiello and John Scott, 314–41. New York: Harrington Press.

Kong Shiu-ki 江紹祺. 2014b.《男男正傳:香港年長男同志口述史》 [Oral History of Older Gay Men in Hong Kong] (In Chinese), 香港:進一步 [Hong Kong: Stepforward Multimedia, Ltd.]. (233 pp)

Kong, Travis S.K. 2012a. “A Fading Queer Heterotopia: Hong Kong Older Gay Men’s Queer Use of Spaces.” Sexualities 15 (8): 896–916.

Kong, Travis S. K. 2012b. “Chinese Male Bodies: A Transnational Study of Masculinity and Sexuality.” In Routledge Handbook of Body Studies, edited by Bryan Turner, 289–306. London: Routledge.

Kong, Travis S.K. 2012c. “Reinventing the Self under Socialism: The Case of Migrant Male Sex Workers in China.” Critical Asian Studies 44 (2): 283–308.

Kong, Travis S.K. 2012d. “Sex Entrepreneurs in the New China.” Contexts 11 (3): 28–33.

Altman, Dennis, Peter Aggleton, Michael Williams, Travis Kong, Vasu Reddy, David Harrad, Toni Reis, and Richard Parker. 2012. “Men Who Have Sex with Men: Stigma and Discrimination.” The Lancet 380 (9839): 439–45. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0140-6736(12)60920-9.

Kong, Travis S.K. 2011a. Chinese Male Homosexualities: Memba, Tongzhi and Golden Boy. London: Routledge. (xxiv, 296 pp)

Kong, Travis S. K. 2011b. “Sexualizing Asian Male Bodies.” In Introducing the New Sexuality Studies (2nd edition), edited by Steven Seidman, Nancy Fischer, and Chet Meeks, 84–88. New York: Routledge.

Kong, Travis. 2011c. “Transnational Queer Labour: The “Circuits of Desire” of Money boys in China.” English Language Notes 49 (1): 139–44.

Kong, Travis S.K., Karen Joe Laidler, and Herbert Pang. 2011. “Relationship Type, Condom Use and HIV/AIDS Risks among Men Who Have Sex with Men in Six Chinese Cities.” AIDS Care 24 (4): 517–28.

Kong, Travis S. K. 2010a. “Outcast Bodies: Money, Sex and Desire of Money Boys in Mainland China.” In As Normal as Possible: Negotiating Sexuality and Gender in Mainland China and Hong Kong, edited by Ching Yau, 17–35. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.

Kong, Travis S.K. 2010b. Review of Loretta Wing Wah Ho (2010), Gay and Lesbian Subculture in Urban China (London: Routledge). Pacific Affairs 83 (4): 66–67.

Kong, Travis S.K. 2009a. “More than a Sex Machine: Accomplishing Masculinity among Chinese Male Sex Workers in the Hong Kong Sex Industry.” Deviant Behavior 30 (8): 715–45.

Kong, Travis S.K. 2009b. “Where is My Brokeback Mountain?” Doing Families in Hong Kong, Special issue, Social Transformations in Chinese Societies, 135–59.

Kong, T. S. K. 2008. “Risk Factors Affecting Condom Use among Male Sex Workers Who Serve Men in China: A Qualitative Study.” Sexually Transmitted Infections 84 (6): 444–48.

Wong, W. C., and T. S. Kong. 2007. “To Determine Factors in an Initiation of a Same-sex Relationship in Rural China: Using Ethnographic Decision Model.” AIDS Care 19 (7): 850–57.

Kong, Travis S. K. 2006a. “Asian Sexual Cultures.” In Encyclopedia of Sociology, edited by George Ritzer, 4213–18. London: Blackwell.

Kong, Travis S. K. 2006b. “Multiple Entries [22].” In Routledge International Encyclopedia of Queer Culture, edited by David A. Gerstner. New York: Routledge.

Kong Shiu-ki 江紹祺. 2006c. “基出我天地: 邊緣、社群與香港男同志” [Queering the City: Marginality, Community and Hong Kong Male Tongzhi]. In《性政治》 [Sexual Politics], edited by 游靜 Yau Ching, 182–205. Hong Kong: Cosmosbooks.

Kong, Travis S. K. 2006d. “Sexualizing Asian Male Bodies.” In Introducing The New Sexuality Studies (1st edition), edited by Steven Seidman, Nancy Fischer, and Chet Meeks, 90-95. New York: Routledge.

Kong, Travis S. K. 2006e. “What It Feels Like for a Whore: The Body Politics of Women Performing Erotic Labour in Hong Kong.” Gender, Work and Organization 13 (5): 409–34.

Wong, W. C., J. Zhang, S. C. Wu, T. S. Kong, and D. C. Ling. 2006. “The HIV-related Risks among Men Having Sex with Men in Rural Yunnan, China: A Qualitative study.” Sexually Transmitted Infections 82 (2): 127–30.

Kong, Travis S. K. 2005a. “Queering Masculinity in Hong Kong Movies.” In Masculinities and Hong Kong Cinema, edited by L. K. Pang and D. Wong, 57–80. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.

Kong, Travis S.K. 2015b. Purchasing Sex, Consuming Love? A Qualitative Study of Hong Kong Men Who Buy Sex. [Full report]. Centre for Criminology, The University of Hong Kong (online).

Kong, Travis S.K. 2005c. The Hidden Voice: The Sexual Politics of Hong Kong Male Sex Workers. [Research Report Series No.10]. Hong Kong: Centre for Social Policy Studies, Department of Applied Social Sciences, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Tam, May 譚若梅, Ku, Hok-bun 古學斌, and Travis Kong 江紹祺, eds. 2005. 《公民身份的再思與打造: 華人社會的社會排斥與邊緣性》 [Rethinking and Recasting Citizenship: Social Exclusion and Marginality in Chinese Societies.] 香港理工大學應用社會科學系社會政策研究中心 Hong Kong: Centre for Social Policy Studies, Department of Applied Social Sciences, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Kong, Travis S.K. 2004. “Queer at Your Own Risk: Marginality, Community and Hong Kong Gay Male Bodies.” Sexualities 7 (1): 5–30. https://doi.org/10.1177/1363460704040136.

Kong, Travis S.K. 2003. Review of James Farrer (2002), Opening Up: Youth Sex Culture and Market Reform in Shanghai (Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press). Sexualities 6 (3–4): 489–91.

Kong, Travis S.K., and Zi Teng. 2003. A Research Report on the Working Experiences of Hong Kong’s Female Sex Workers. [Research Report Series No. 8]. Hong Kong: Centre for Social Policy Studies, Department of Applied Social Sciences, the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Zi Teng.

Kong, Travis S.K. 2002. “The Seduction of the Golden Boy: The Body Politics of Hong Kong Gay Men.” Body & Society 8 (1): 29–48. https://doi.org/10.1177/1357034×02008001002.

Kong, Travis S. K., K. Plummer, and D. Mahoney. 2002. “Queering the Interview.” In Handbook of Interview Research: Context & Method, edited by Jaber F. Gubrium and James A. Holstein, 239–58. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

See all publications in HKU Scholars Hub →