One of China’s Most Popular LGBT Organizations Halts Activities

One of China’s most active LGBT communities is ceasing public activities, just over a decade after its founding.

The organizers of ShanghaiPRIDE said in a statement posted on the organization’s website and to WeChat that it was canceling all upcoming activities and taking a break from scheduling any future events, without elaborating.

“We love our community, and we are grateful for the experiences we’ve shared together,” the statement said. “No matter what, we will always be proud -- and you should be, too.”

ShanghaiPRIDE didn’t say why it was halting events, but a report by the website Radii cited co-founder Charlene Liu as saying the decision was made to “protect the safety of all involved.” The organization began in 2009.

Liu could not be immediately reached for comment. Co-founder Raymond Phang declined to comment.

China decriminalized homosexuality in 1997 and removed it from an official list of mental disorders in 2001, though gay, lesbian, and transsexual individuals still live in a gray area.

“Pride has a lot of different meanings for different people -- for us, it has always been about showing our community that not only is there nothing wrong with who we are, but that our identities and the people that we love are worth celebrating,” the WeChat post said.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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