First Mr Gay China 'coming out' in Beijing

Updated: 2010-01-15 13:22
Large Medium Small

BEIJING: The first Mr Gay China pageant will be held in Beijing's Lan Club Friday night.

Related readings:
First Mr Gay China 'coming out' in Beijing Gay pageant contestants want acceptance, not hype
First Mr Gay China 'coming out' in Beijing Gay marriage case highlights emotions
First Mr Gay China 'coming out' in Beijing Chengdu gay couple wed in public
First Mr Gay China 'coming out' in Beijing First Mr Gay China pageant unveils contestants

Once selected, Mr Gay China will represent China in the Worldwide Mr Gay Competition (February 10 to 14) in Oslo.

An audience of around 200 will gather in the 250-seat venue.

More than 50 media agencies from around the world would cover the event, including AP, Reuters, Agence France Press, BBC, CNN and other media from Spain, Swiss, Poland and etc, said organizer and host Ben Zhang.

"The pageant will let people know more about gays and help our society to understand them better," said renowned scholar Zhang Beichuan.

Surveys have shown that people who know gays in person have much greater acceptance of the gay community, he added.

"Gays have the right to showcase their culture. It is a right to be respected by society," Zhang Beichuan said.

An American Chinese named Michael will co-host the pageant with Ben Zhang.

"The contestants are preparing in the club. They all seem a bit nervous and very excited." Ben Zhang said, declining to let the contestants be interviewed.

The Mr Gay China Pageant will consist of three rounds: the freestyle round, the fashion show, and the underwear questions and answer round.

The judge's panel includes Xiao Jie, author of China's first published gay novel Courage, movie critique Bi Chenggong, Xiao Gang founder of gay community organization Queer Comrades, Da Zhinan an organizer of the pageant and a famous "fan girl" of gay.

Renowned sociologist Li Yinhe with Chinese Academy of Social Sciences will attend the pageant as an honorable guest.

Li has estimated that there are 36 to 48 million homosexuals in the country.

The organizers experienced no government interference, Ben Zhang said.