Mainland China's first large-scale Gay
Pride celebration, Shanghai Pride, had a shaky debut last year, but
this year organizers promise a bigger and longer festival.
Several of last year's events were
canceled at the prompting of officials.
A screening of the lesbian-themed film
Lost in You and a staging of The Laramie Project
were forced to close. 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.
Other events –
art exhibits, food events and panel discussions – went off without
year's celebration has been moved from June to October and will take
place over 3 weeks. The festival gets started on October 16 with
its official party. Added this year is a queer film festival that
will take place over 5 days.
Shanghai Pride spokesman Kenneth Tan told Time Out Shanghai
that the Internet has fostered the burgeoning gay community in
“Pride took so
long to get here because everyone was still in the closet, but the
Internet has changed all of that,” he said. “A certain
'ecosystem' has to develop before the elements are in place for Pride
to happen. This process took a while here in China.”