Beijing Police shut down what would have been China’s first gay pageant on Friday an hour before it was set to begin, highlighting the enduring sensitivity surrounding homosexuality and the struggle by gays to find mainstream acceptance.
Organizers said they were not surprised when eight police officers turned up at the upscale club in central Beijing where the pageant, featuring a fashion show and a host in drag, was set to take place.
“They said the content, meaning homosexuality, there’s nothing wrong with that, but you did not do things according to procedures,” Ben Zhang said. Police told him he needed official approval for events that included performances, in this case a stage show.
“I kind of saw that coming,” Zhang said.