Strike the set: Simon Wang, left, a participant in the Mr. Gay China pageant, reacts as workers pack up after the event was canceled by authorities in Beijing on Friday.
Chinese police dashed the hopes of eight contestants who would have vied for the title of Mr. Gay China in Beijing on Friday by shutting down the show right before it was set to start, claiming that event officials hadn’t followed the correct protocol in putting on the pageant. —KA
It had been hoped that the competition would mark a big step toward greater awareness of homosexuals in a country where gays are frequently discriminated against and ostracised.
Eight men were competing for the title and a place in the Worldwide Mr Gay pageant, to be held next month in Oslo, Norway.
Some of China’s most prominent gays had been due to attend the event among a carefully invited audience at the black-walled club designed by Philippe Starck.
The eight contestants were in make-up when the group of uniformed police marched into the club.
The pageant organiser Ben Zhang tried in vain to negotiate a reprieve.