Mr. Gay China cancelled

China will not send a delegate to
the Worldwide Mr. Gay pageant next month, an organiser said.

Police shut down the first-ever Mr.
Gay China pageant just before the event started Friday, but organizers had
planned to privately select a candidate from the eight contestants. They have
now reversed their decision, so no one from China will compete at the pageant
in Oslo, Norway.

“This was a very carefully
considered decision,” said Ben Zhang, a pageant organiser. “We just
cannot send anyone; the organisers and competitors came to this decision
together.”

Zhang declined to elaborate on the
reasons for not sending a delegate.

Worldwide Mr. Gay Executive
Producer Tore Aasheim told The Associated Press that he was “saddened and
surprised that the Chinese authorities took such steps.”

“China once again shows that
they don’t honour human rights,” he said.

Homosexuality remains a sensitive
topic in China. Gays are frequently discriminated against and ostracized, and
any Chinese national who competes at the Norway pageant would likely be the
target of uncomfortable scrutiny, especially after police cancelled Mr. Gay
China.

Police cited a lack of permits for
cancelling the pageant at a swanky Beijing club. Chinese authorities frequently
cite procedural reasons for closing down gatherings deemed politically
sensitive.

The pageant would have featured a
fashion show and a host in drag.

Aasheim said that the Mr. Gay China
organizers told him that they decided not to participate in the worldwide
competition in Oslo next month after Chinese officials threatened to strip any
attendees of citizenship.

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