Chinese police shut down the country’s first gay pageant Friday night, just one hour before the event was due to begin.
From the Guardian:
Participants hoped the contest would help challenge domestic stereotypes about homosexuality, classified as a mental illness until 2001, and show the rest of the world that gay people could be accepted in China.
But officers arrived at a Beijing nightclub shortly before the Mr. Gay China competition started and told organizers it was not properly licensed. They are understood to have told the venue’s owners that it was “a sensitive issue”.
The organizers had hoped the contest would be acceptable to officials because of other recent events.
Last year, activists in Beijing held a gay film festival for the first time; previous attempts in 2001 and 2005 were shut down. Shanghai saw the first gay pride festival on the mainland, although some events were cancelled, despite attempts to keep it low-key.
Previously, the Guardian had produced this video segment about the event: