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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Government-sponsored gay bar in China


China's got a gay bar in it!

It probably has several if the truth could be known, and it will be a very long time before we know the truth from over there.

Being a homo in China was illegal until 1997, and it was considered a mental disease until 2001. The reports are that the general public has about the same comfort with gayness as we would find in lovely downtown Smithfield, and that ain't much.

That tells me that only the bravest of Chinese gay souls are going to venture out of their closets anytime soon.

Nonetheless, the government put down almost $20,000 dollars to start this bar. Of course, they postponed the opening three weeks so that the media hoopla could subside. That meant that the bar did not open on World Aids Day.

And of course, attendance at the bar has been week. Imagine that. TV cameras all over the place, and you're trying to decide about taking a baby step out of the closet. And then there's that lack of historical trust.

It hasn't been all that long that being homo got you a long prison term or an extended confinement in a mental hospital. A recent past like that is enough to give the strongest peep reason to stop and think.

Regardless, let's hope this is a step forward for the Chinese government and people. We see some hope there in the stated objective for supporting the opening of the bar: The government wanted to give gay people a place to meet one another and to learn about HIV/AIDS prevention.

Hay! It's a start.

-- text tapped from a virtual keyboard.

Location:Westgrove St,Raleigh,United States

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