ShanghaiPRIDE commenced with a bang and, thankfully, not a bust. Mainland China’s 1st Gay Pride event kicked-off yesterday with over 200 people cramming into Vargas Grill. Attendees of the inaugural event were a mix of gay, straight, local Chinese, expats, and a lovely drag queen named Anita.
With standing room only, the film portion of the evening opened with Gays.com’s impressive IDAHO video and the short film Autopsy from Singapore. Next up was Queer China, a feature documentary from veteran filmmaker Cui Zi’en. The film is a fascinating overview of LGBT issues in China over the past 80 years. The culmination of the movie was a submission of a Same-sex Marriage Bill to the Legislative Affairs Commission of the National People’s Congress, which, unfortunately, failed. (Although it won’t be legal marriage, Shanghai Pride will still be celebrating gay weddings on Saturday, June 13th, Pride Day.). Queer China was described by viewers as “extremely informational” and many wanted to own a copy; and if you do to, you can purchase a copyrighted version right here.
Following the films, participants drank copious amounts of Shanghai Pride’s special Ice Vodka cocktails before digging in for dinner. Eduardo Vargas himself was replenishing plates on the buffet all night long in order to ensure everyone was well fed. The food was delicious and some were still grabbing desserts on their way out the door.
Commemorative t-shirts featuring Pride’s sponsor, Lelo, sold out by the end of the evening, but don’t worry, there are more are being printed!
NEXT UP: Today, Shanghai Pride’s second day of events, will feature a Panel Discussion: Blossom in the Little Garden: Evolution of Gay Shanghai. Speakers include Prof. Gao from Fudan University (known for his class on homosexuality) and Prof. Wei from East China Normal University. Both were also featured in the film ‘Queer China’ as VIPs in China’s LGBT movement. Come with your burning questions!
7:30pm, Tonight, June 8th
Location: Kathleen’s Five 325 Nanjing Xi Lu, near Huangpi Bei Lu, Shanghai Art Museum 南京西路325号5楼， 近黄陂北路 6327-2221
Other links to Shanghai Pride articles:
BBC: Shanghai to show pride with gay festival
Wikepedia: Shanghai Pride
Eye on Gay Shanghai: Mainland China’s 1st Pride event
(Full disclosure: Shanghai Fag Hag, as an organizer of Pride, hopes tonight will be just as successful as yesterday.)
Photo by Grant-Oh! Buchwald