Contestants in the first Mr Gay China pageant.
Eight brave men aged between 24 and 30 are set to compete for the first ever Mr Gay China title in a pageant that will be held in Beijing on Friday.
The event is being organised by Gayographica gay PR, an event management company.
“We hope to send out a message to the Chinese public that the gay community is here and it’s healthy, sexy, trendy,” Ben Zhang, co-founder and managing director of Gayographic, told China Daily.
Zhang said that he had received only twelve applications to take part in the event. The pageant will consist of a fashion show and an underwear segment featuring the contestants as well as a Q&A round.
According to the pageant’s website, “The Mr. Gay China competition is much more than a beauty contest. While physical beauty will be part of the judges’ considerations, it is a young man’s character and personality that will make a difference in the selection”.
The winner will represent Mainland China in the Mr Gay World Pageant in Oslo, Norway in February.
In June last year, China’s first Pride celebration was held over a week in Shanghai, despite the authorities placing numerous restrictions on the event. A parade was also not allowed to take place.
Homosexuality was decriminalised in 1997 in China and was removed from the official Chinese list of mental disorders in 2001. It is thought that there could be at least 30 million gay and lesbians in China.