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China just had its first LGBTI choir concert and it was beautiful

China just had its first LGBTI choir concert and it was beautiful

a group of people in formal matching attire are standing on a stage, smiling and waving. some are holding rainbow flags that say 'pride' on them

China’s has held its first ever LGBTI choir concert as part of the celebrations of the 10th ShanghaiPRIDE festival.

The Queer Choir Festival featured performances from seven queer and LGBTQ-friendly choirs from across China.

The choirs included the Shanghai Hyperbolic Singers, Beijing Queer Chorus, Woozeal Chamber Singers, Blue Voice Chorus, Blue Voice Chorus, Shanxilandian Tongsheng Chorus and Nanjing New Jump Chorus.

Popular gay dating app, Blued, live streamed the concert so people all over the world could watch. The live stream attracted more than 87,000 viewers.

Not only did the concert attract a lot of virtual viewers, it also was completely sold out. Many many people resorted to trying to find tickets on social media.

‘Well, I’ve been processing ticket payments for two hours, and the tickets for in all the price points are already sold out,’ one of the concert organizers on micro blogging site, Weibo, in May.

‘I didn’t expect everyone to be so keen to see our first performance.’

The tide is turning for the better

China has decriminalized homosexuality, but LGBTI people still face discrimination and stigma. LGBTI content is banned on film and TV in China, but in July last year it also banned gay content from appearing on the internet, labelling it abnormal.

ShanghaiPRIDE is one of the most popular Asian pride festivals. Organizers said a lot has changed in China since it started 10 years ago.

‘The city’s queer scene has grown exponentially, becoming more diverse and more open every day,’ the said.

‘Queer identities have transformed in the last decade, too, with greater awareness and acceptance of the infinite possibilities for gender and sexual identification.’

For the first time organizers are helping launch CNPride, an attempt to host Pride events nationwide.

‘Our pride has never burned brighter. The countless challenges we’ve faced over the past 10 years have only built a stronger, tighter team of volunteers.

‘We’ve also had the opportunity to share our experiences and our pride with other queer groups across Mainland China. This year, ShanghaiPRIDE will join LGBTQ organizations in other Chinese cities to hold events throughout the month of June in conjunction with CnPRIDE.’