In a recent survey of 100 cities across the globe with active LGBT communities, Beijing came in 100th in terms of quality of life for its LGBT residents.
The survey conducted by Nestpick, a Berlin-based online housing platform, weighed a variety of factors in ranking the world’s most LGBT-friendly destinations, including if the city has a vibrant gay dating scene, a lively alternative night, open-minded citizens and low levels of hate crime. They also took into account how national laws treat LGBT rights.
Considering all these factors, it’s perhaps not all that surprising that Beijing ranks at the rock bottom of all the cities surveyed, falling behind Eastern European cities like Belgrade, Bratislava, Sofia and Zagreb. The city rates poorly on every one of the survey’s metics, receiving its lowest score in safety.
Meanwhile, China is the only country in the survey to receive a 1 (out of 5) in LGBT rights. Shanghai ranks at #89 on the list, despite much-improved nightlife and safety scores compared with Beijing, while Hong Kong is a bit further up at #83 with an excellent safety score.
While homosexuality was taken off China’s official list of psychiatric disorders in 2001 and attitudes have improved in recent years, it is still far from easy to be gay in the PRC.
Last month, police in Shanghai kicked a group of mothers of gay children out of People’s Park after they gatecrashed the city’s popular “marriage market” to raise awareness. Meanwhile, police in Xi’an detained nine LGBT activists to prevent them from holding a conference in the city, reportedly telling the activists that “Xi’an does not welcome LGBT events.”
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