First Mr. Gay China pageant forced to close

January 15, 2010 4:38:36 AM PST
Organizers of China first gay pageant say police forced them to cancel the event just one hour before it was to start. Event organizer Ben Zhang said Friday he was told by police that the event could not take place because he had not applied to stage the event "according to procedures."

The Mr. Gay China pageant, featuring a fashion show and a host in drag, was set to take place in an upscale nightclub in Beijing.

Zhang had said he hoped it would mark another step toward greater awareness of homosexuals in a country where gays are frequently discriminated against and ostracized. Eight men were set to compete for the title and a spot in the Worldwide Mr. Gay pageant, to be held next month in Oslo, Norway.