17 August 2020 - CHINA: ShanghaiPRIDE cancelled indefinitely

The end of the Rainbow

China’s oldest Pride organisation, ShanghaiPRIDE has announced that it is cancelling all events, and taking a break from scheduling future ones. The organisation has been running since 2009.

“ShanghaiPRIDE regrets to announce that we are cancelling all upcoming activities and taking a break from scheduling any future events. We love our community, and we are grateful for the experiences we’ve shared together. No matter what, we will always be proud – and you should be, too.”

Without elaborating on the reason behind the cancellation, ShanghaiPRIDE co-founder Charlene Liu is quoted saying: “This decision was difficult to make, but we have to protect the safety of all involved.”

Homosexuality was decriminalized in China in 1997, and removed from official psychiatric diagnostic manuals in 2001. But the growing change in attitude seems to come from a conservative attitude to sexuality under the indefinite rule of Communist Party general secretary Xi Jinping, and partly from a fear that civil organizations are a threat to party rule.

Government censors have carried out a number of crackdowns on LGBTQ representation on social media, in books, comics, TV and film. One example is an education guidance including the view of homosexuality as “corrupt behavior imported from the West [that is] inconsistent with core socialist values.”

How many Chinese identify as LGBTQ is unknown. The country’s health and family planning ministry has estimated that there are between five and 10 million gay men in China, but activists say the actual number is far higher.

Source: Gaytimes, RFA