- Shanghai Pride promises to obey ‘all required safety guidelines’.
China will celebrate Pride in Shanghai in June – at a time when most major Pride events around the world are cancelling or postponing.
It comes as the country has eased its tough coronavirus lockdown. Chinese people are getting back to work to repair an economy that has just reported its first contraction since 1979.
Shanghai Pride will celebrate its 12th year from 12 to 21 June, organizers announced today.
They have chosen the theme ‘Raise the Pride’.
Shanghai Pride said: ‘As we move through an especially uncertain year, the importance of shining a light on our communities, promoting acceptance and celebrating diversity has only increased.
‘Raise the Pride reflects our commitment to asserting our identities and daring to let our true colors fly free.
‘In a time when our world can feel increasingly divided, we hope to focus on what unites us — love, friendship, community, and Pride.’
No parade but plenty of Pride
Shanghai Pride is China’s longest-running annual Pride Festival. But because it is in China, where the authorities don’t support marches, it doesn’t hold a western-style Pride parade.
Instead it is a series of events to bring the city’s LGBT+ community together.
Pre-Pride festivities will start on 17 May. On that day a Rainbow Bike Ride will be held as part of the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT).
Six teams, each representing one color of the Pride rainbow flag, will set off on bikes from six different points of the city before joining together at the finish line.
Pride then starts officially on 12 June with a Pride Art opening night showcasing painting and photography.
Then 13 June, is the major festival day. It includes a morning Pride Run followed by a Pink Brunch. Later there will be a job fair and diversity and inclusion workplace event.
Meanwhile festival-goers can discover China’s LGBT+ organizations at the Pride Open Day. And discussions will look at topics including marriage equality and mental health.
Interestingly the Chinese government now appears sympathetic to same-sex marriage. An official survey in the country found it may achieve popular support.
The festival will raise money for the communities attending the Pride Open Day and for the Marriage Alliance.
The next day, 14 June, will see the opening of the Shanghai Pride Film Festival. It will showcase LGBT+ stories from around China, Asia and the world until 21 June.
Queer women will celebrate with a dedicated Ladies Party on 18 June. And the Pink Party, Pride’s most jubilant dance party, will be on 20 June, offering liver performances.
The festival will then close with a Pride Talk on 21 June. It will be ‘an intimate community event in which LGBTQ individuals share personal stories of growth and love, hardship, and triumph’.
Safe and joyful
So far, more than 300 Pride events around the world have cancelled or postponed their 2020 festivals due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
And Shanghai Pride bosses say there may still be restrictions on some of their events to make them safe. This could include limiting entry to some of the events or moving others online.
But they said: ‘ShanghaiPRIDE has overcome countless obstacles throughout our 12 year history, and we are confident that we’ll succeed in bringing a joyful celebration of community and diversity within all required safety guidelines.’