China crowned its first Mr Gay
Meng Fanyu was voted the winner of Mr Gay China, the country’s first franchise from the international Mr Gay World competition.
The LGBT community in China took a step toward visibility and awareness this weekend when it held its first Mr Gay pageant.
Meng Fanyu, 27, won the competition by a landslide after four weeks of performances.
The first Mr Gay China was set to be held in 2010 but was shut down by police for apparently not following the correct procedures.
This year the event met with zero resistance as China’s LGBT community gains more acceptance in society.
Kate Sun, from event organisers Tontou, said they avoided censure by focusing on values of “being healthy, positive and energetic,” and offered free HIV tests at the club where the pageant was held.
She added that the competition had “no links to politics, we just focus on creating fun events.”
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The winner, Mr Fanyu, said the event “is a great platform to raise awareness of the LGBT community.
“Many people don’t really know what LGBT is, and coming out can still be difficult, so you really have to prove yourself to be an upstanding person.”
While the community has started to gain more visibility, most LGBT people continue to live with their sexuality hidden – even few of the Mr Gay China contestants are out.
A survey of the 27 million users of the country’s biggest gay dating app, Blued, suggested that less than 5% were visibly out.
In March, any content featuring LGBT couples or romance was banned from television in China along with extramarital affairs and incest.
These regulations were put in place just a week after the popular gay web series Addicted was removed from streaming sites without warning.