孟凡宇 冠军照片

Risqué business: first Mr Gay China shows new, more public face of LGBT

孟凡宇 冠军照片

来自 the guardian 报道

Meng Fanyu has been voted China’s first ever Mr Gay, after a previous attempt to hold the competition in 2010 was shut down.

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Meng Fanyu won the inaugural Mr Gay China in a landslide, and sees it as a way ‘to raise awareness of the LGBT community’. Photo: Tantou/Mr Gay China.

In a smoky, strobe-lit nightclub in south Shanghai, Meng Fanyu strides out on stage wearing a theatrical get-up of top hat, bow tie and black eyeliner. To the delight of a roaring crowd and their waiting smartphones, he strips down to just black underwear and suspenders to the rousing soundtrack of Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good.”
But this is no underground club. This is the final in the Mr Gay China competition, a franchise from the international pageant Mr Gay World, and Meng has just been voted as China’s first ever Mr Gay.

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Crowd displays LGBT flag at Mr Gay China final. Photo: Helen Roxburgh/Guardian.


In a smoky, strobe-lit nightclub in south Shanghai, Meng Fanyu strides out on stage wearing a theatrical get-up of top hat, bow tie and black eyeliner. To the delight of a roaring crowd and their waiting smartphones, he strips down to just black underwear and suspenders to the rousing soundtrack of Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good.”
But this is no underground club. This is the final in the Mr Gay China competition, a franchise from the international pageant Mr Gay World, and Meng has just been voted as China’s first ever Mr Gay.
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Meng Fanyu (centre), winner of the first ever Mr Gay China, surrounded by his co-finalists. Photo: Helen Roxburg/Guardian.


“Here in China many companies are starting to see LGBT people as a new market opportunity, without feeling obliged to invest in their welfare,” says Steven Paul Bielinski, founder of China based non-profit platform WorkForLGBT. “Whereas just a few years ago anything related to LGBT was viewed as potentially destabilising, the growing number of firms targeting the Pink Market today is something much more understandable to officialdom. Now it’s become a business issue – and business is something the government understands.”
When it transgresses from a business issue, activists face tightening restrictions. Filmmaker Fan Popo sued the government in 2015 after his film Mama Rainbow was removed from online sites. “In recent years the gay community has developed a lot on an economic level, but on a human rights level there has not been much improvement,” he says. Campaigners also face restriction under new NGO laws.
New state guidelines list homosexuality as an example of “immoral” content, alongside extramarital affairs and incest. Programmes to fall foul of the rules include the hugely popular internet TV show Addicted, which revolved around a gay relationship between two teenage boys.
Regardless of official sanctions, support for LGBT people among China’s younger generations is growing.
There were huge outpourings of sympathy from netizens for victims of the Orlando shootings in a gay nightclub, and very vocal online support for the US gay marriage bill. And now the LGBT community in China has started to be visible, says Fan Popo, they can hardly be hidden away again.
For Meng, his new Mr Gay China colours will be worn with pride. “Next I want to go to Mr Gay World,” he says. “ I want to stand on the world stage and say to people, ‘I’m gay, and I’m from China,’ and show them that the LGBT movement in China is vibrant and active.”
Source: The Guardian

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