Police Halted the Mr. Gay China Pageant

An hour before the show and what would have been the first evah Mr. Gay China, police came and halted the male beauty pageant for reasons, as they say, “not following procedures.”

Whatever that means, we all know how to decipher those words between the lines.

“Not following procedures” is such a classic phrase that it has become cliche for policemen in China.

Emilio and Steven patiently answered questions from members of the media

When I arrived at LAN Club, I was greeted with international media correspondents who were recording and interviewing this and that.

I heard a Spanish news reporter who blurted out the word cancelar and I understood right away what everyone was buzzing about.

I snaked my way through the crowded room with a lot of members from mostly, international media carrying their microphone an heavy equipment cameras.

Photographers abounded everywhere and cam flashes were like glittering the whole posh venue designed by Philip Starck. It was like an Oscar Awards show sans the red carpet.

“I’m not surprised, but it’s kinda disappointing,” says J, a Spanish amigo of mine.


That’s the word of the night that everyone I talked to said.

“I’m very disappointed. I’m very sad. A lot of people have prepared for this and they put a lot of efforts. And also it’s (the pageant) a very good opportunity for people to see the gay community in China and they realize that gays exist,” says Xiao Jie, who wrote China’s first and second gay novel, about the cancellation of the pageant. 

He is, however, hopeful that someday soon, the pageant will happen.

The cancellation also prompted Sexy Beijing host to say “that it might be cancelled because GAY is too sexy for Beijing.”  

But, why was it really canceled? 

Ben Zhang, the event organizer announced that:

“They said, the content, meaning homosexuality, there’s nothing wrong with that, but you did not do things according to procedures.”

He did not elaborate further if the show will go on some other time but the audience were hoping that they will issue a statement about the event in their website.

Emilio, a contestant from Inner Mongolia, told me that he felt released that the pageant was off. But, he didn’t mean it in a bad way.

“I feel released now because I don’t have to be on a diet anymore. I could finally start eating a whole bunch of food. I only had two strawberries tonight and I’m gonna have my big dinner later. And I hope that they’re not gonna tell me that the pageant will be on in a week because I’m really gonna be fat!,” he playfully said.

Left to right: Xiao Dai, Emilio, Simon and Steven

On the other hand, Stjin Deklerck, a Belgian producer and on-location host of Queer Comrades and who I met for the first time (we’ve been emailing stuff) said that he’s “sad because this pageant is a good opportunity for the gay community in China to be recognized and accepted as they are.”

With or without, the event itself has gone a long way when it comes awareness and promoting it. It might be too hot to handle for the police and lessons have been learned.

Just like first times (whatever they are), things have to be subtle as not to shock both parties.

As what Simon Wang said, a contestant from Harbin, “It’s too much for them (gay people) to live in a lie in their whole life.”

That’s not only for every gay individuals, but that’s also aptly applied to the society.

Well, what happens next?

This post from the Greeting Wall undoubtedly summarize the audience’ feelings about the cancellation.


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5 Responses to “Police Halted the Mr. Gay China Pageant”

  1. Leo
    January 16, 2010 at 6:11 AM #

    Hi there,
    Do you have any idea if the tickets are to be refunded?
    The pageant website is gone and I can’t comment on their entries. Thanks.

  2. Dave
    January 17, 2010 at 12:59 AM #

    I have the same question.
    Any answers?

  3. alainsojourner
    January 17, 2010 at 1:27 AM #

    Leo and Dave,
    I sent an email to one of the organizers. I’ll forward his answers to you once I got a response.

  4. alainsojourner
    January 17, 2010 at 4:15 AM #

    Leo and Dave,
    Just got the message from Ben and he said he’ll refund everyone. He might post it on their website.

  5. alainsojourner
    January 17, 2010 at 9:37 AM #

    Ben said you can get your refund (bring the tix, of course) at Lantung or Mesh this Thursday!

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