Monday, July 3, 2023

Official shut down on LGBTQ activism in China

While celebrations were held around the world for Pride month, there were no major LGBTQ events in China, and crackdown is growing.

The country's largest Pride event has been suspended since 2021. The organiser, a group named ShanghaiPride, did not give a reason for the move, saying at the time it was "cancelling all upcoming activities and taking a break from scheduling any future events."

Instead of parades, ShanghaiPride had organised dance parties, community runs and film screenings in the city. But, in recent years, several activities have had to shut down, raising fears of a crackdown on activism.

Hundreds of accounts dealing with LGBTQ topics on the popular Chinese messaging app WeChat were reportedly deleted in 2021. And last month, the Beijing LGBT Center became the latest group to stop operations "due to forces beyond our control".

Homosexuality was decriminalised in China in 1997 and the Chinese Society of Psychiatry stopped classifying it as a mental disorder in 2001, but people taking part in human rights protests in China often face punishment, and spaces for LGBTQ advocacy have shrunk in recent years. 

Being gay cannot be banned

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