Asia-Pacific

Oct 12, 2012

Beijing’s gays have a Destination, government doesn’t care

It is easy to assume China's notorious authoritarian streak includes cracking down on homosexuality. A visit to a Beijing gay club says otherwise, writes freelance journalist Kway Teow.

It’s Saturday night in Beijing and Destination is packed. The city’s biggest gay venue is a warren of rooms, with a loud central dance floor and an abundance of differently themed areas on either side. Some are noisy. Some are not. All are crowded to the point of overflowing onto the streets, where pockets of people more youthful than young huddle in the autumn chill.

It’s easy to assume China’s notorious authoritarian streak extends just as far into culture as it does into politics. After all, a government that vigorously and vigilantly scours the internet for dissidence is just as likely to crack down on the LGBT scene, right? Wrong, says Destination’s owner Edmund Yang.

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