Organizers cancel LGBT event in Chengdu

By Zhao Yusha Source:Global Times Published: 2017/7/18 21:18:40

The organizers of an LGBT conference in Chengdu, capital of Southwest China's Sichuan Province, claimed that they were forced to cancel the event after the conference venue cancelled their booking, and that they will suspend holding such events for now.

The conference, organized by Speak Out, a Chinese LGBT organization, was supposed to start on Sunday. However, it was cancelled after Jinsha theatre cancelled the group's booking, giving the reason that "other official activities were scheduled to be held at the venue," the Chinese founder of the organization, who called himself Matthew, told the Global Times.

An employee from the theater told the Global Times that they "knew little about the situation" and refused to comment on the matter.

The activity was aimed at eliminating discrimination against LGBT groups and spread the group's message among more people, according to a release from the organization's website.

The group has organized similar events in different cities since 2014, including in Xi'an in 2015.

"It is confirmed that the 2017 Chengdu event is cancelled. Please don't go near Jinsha theater," the organization said on its WeChat account.

The organization had faced several roadblocks in holding this conference lately.

In May, the event was "cancelled" after a warning was issued by the local government of Xi'an, capital of Northwest China's Shaanxi Province, Matthew told the Global Times previously.

Prior to that, their bookings of venues in Xi'an were cancelled several times for various reasons.

"But this time in Chengdu, we did not try a second time. And we'll stop holding similar events in the next few years," Matthew said.

More than 300 people had paid to join the conference, who will get refunds, said Matthew.

A survey entitled Being LGBTI in China - A National Survey on Social Attitudes toward Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression showed that many LGBT people in China live in the shadows, with only 5 percent willing to come out. The survey was conducted in 2016.

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