Mr Gay China is no. 04 | Helen Roxburgh/Guardian | 16288ga
In a smoky, strobe-lit nightclub in south Shanghai, Meng Fanyu strides out on stage wearing a theatrical get-up of top hat, bow tie and black eyeliner. To the delight of a roaring crowd and their waiting smartphones, he strips down to just black underwear and suspenders to the rousing soundtrack of Nina Simone’s Feeling Good.
But this is no underground club. This is the final in the Mr Gay China competition, a franchise from the international pageant Mr Gay World, and Meng has just been voted as China’s first ever Mr Gay,
pants Helen Roxburgh in the Guardian.
There were huge outpourings of sympathy from netizens for victims of the Orlando shootings in a gay nightclub, and very vocal online support for the US gay marriage bill. And now the LGBT community in China has started to be visible, says Fan Popo, they can hardly be hidden away again.
For Meng, his new Mr Gay China colours will be worn with pride. “Next I want to go to Mr Gay World,” he says. “ I want to stand on the world stage and say to people, ‘I’m gay, and I’m from China,’ and show them that the LGBT movement in China is vibrant and active.”