Chinese officials are taking steps to
censor parts of China's first Gay Pride, the BBC reported.
Shanghai Pride is mainland China's
first large-scale Gay Pride celebration but it does not include a
march or parade. Instead organizers are holding a series of cultural
events to take place at privately-owned venues.
But that's not stopping the Chinese
government from banning certain events. Officials have ordered
certain owners to cancel events or face “severe consequences.”
the event's official website, a blog post simply titled Sorry
alerts readers that the film screening of the lesbian-themed Lost
in You has been canceled. The post does indicate that the event
will be re-scheduled.
The BBC reports that a second event
appears to be in trouble. Officials have targeted the staging of The
Laramie Project for closure. The play reconstructs the gruesome
1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, the University of Wyoming student
beaten, shackled to a post and left to die in a field by two men he
had met in a gay bar.
Organizers had hoped the low-key events
would escape the eyes of Chinese officials.
“The advantage of that is it doesn't
draw so much attention, or make it sound like we are trying to get
people involved in gay rights or in any sort of protest,”
co-organizer Hannah Miller, an openly lesbian American living in
China since 2001, said.
“Basically we were told that if we
framed it as a party for foreigners, as entertainment, then we would
have more chance of success,” she added.
Other events to be held throughout the
week – art exhibits, food events and panel discussions – appear
to remain on track. The official Gay Pride party takes place
Saturday, June 13.
While being gay or lesbian is not
illegal in China, gay culture remains underground in this