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ADDED ON: 07/09/2021

China’s LGBTQ community is fading from rainbow to gray

07/09/2021 | CNN

During this year’s Pride Month, soccer star Li Ying made history as China’s first female athlete to come out publicly as gay, in a candid series of celebratory photos posted on social media, showing her posing happily alongside her partner. It’s increasingly common worldwide for celebrities and high-profile sports stars to come out, often to widespread public support. But in China, Li’s announcement received a very different reaction. Her post, uploaded on June 22 onto Weibo, China’s heavily censored version of Twitter, immediately went viral, becoming one of the top trending topics on the platform. And while much of the reaction was positive, with people sending their congratulations, Li’s account was also inundated with a wave of homophobic abuse. The post was later deleted without explanation.
Li has not posted on Weibo since. Chinese state-run media, meanwhile, did not report on Li’s announcement, nor the subsequent reaction it generated. Li’s experience is just the tip of what for many was something of a grim Pride Month in China. In years past, June was filled with LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) events in major cities such as Shanghai and Beijing, during which China’s sexual minorities could semi-openly celebrate their identity.

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