LGBT at the 29 anniversary for The June Fourth Incident

The participants of the LGBT event waited in the line at the Beijing American Center. (Photo courtesy of CNA)

by Anne Huang

Beijing, June 4 –  The June Fourth Incident 29 anniversary is a very sensitive date. A LGBT related event happened in the night at the Beijing American Center. When the attendees were interviewed, they expressed their hope that China’s LGBT group can receive protection and  respect as well.

This LGBT symposium initiated a very heated discussion. Aside from LGBT topic already being a taboo in China, instigating such an event on the sensitive date of the 29th anniversary for The June Fourth Incident will further peak foreign interest, with possible coloquies such as “sarcastic implications”, “human rights and government interference”, and more.

In the event’s beginning 30 minutes,  the Beijing U.S Embassy started to have a very visible surrounding crowd. Regarding to the thoughts initiated by this event, a male student who is a Beijing native but is currently studying abroad at Macao when interviewed about this subject, stated how this is his first time attending an event like this. From his view, he said he believed that LGBT is currently no longer a taboo topic in China.

To exemplify his point, he talked about how a while ago, Weibo, a social media platform expressed how they would be deleting any pictures, videos, and articles relating to homosexuality. But after the strong reaction by enraged internet users, Weibo decided to revoke the decision. This means that China is no longer as interdict on this subject as before.

Whether or not if the attendees were aware that today was the 29 anniversary for The June Fourth Incident, the student only replied “I know what day is today”.

A Chinese man stands alone to block a line of tanks heading east on Beijing’s Cangan Blvd. in Tiananmen Square on June 5, 1989. The man, calling for an end to the recent violence and bloodshed against pro-democracy demonstrators, was pulled away by bystanders, and the tanks continued on their way. The Chinese government crushed a student-led demonstration for democratic reform and against government corruption, killing hundreds, or perhaps thousands of demonstrators in the strongest anti-government protest since the 1949 revolution. Ironically, the name Tiananmen means “Gate of Heavenly Peace”. (AP Photo/Jeff Widener)

However, a lot of interviewees still agreed that the topic of LGBT could still count as taboo, which can be clearly seen though how unhappy the officials are with the appearance of such topics on the internet. “Supporting U.S by hosting an event like this, hope that the interest of this group can finally be protected and valued”.

When the topic of The June Fourth Incident was mentioned again, this interviewee had similar reaction to the previous college student: wasn’t willing to express explicit opinions.

FILE – In this Wednesday, May 24, 2017, file photo, a protester of same-sex marriage holds a sign reading: “Same-sex marriage is unwelcome in Taiwan” after Taiwan’s Constitutional Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage on Wednesday outside of the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, Taiwan. The court ruling Wednesday affirmed the right of same-sex couples to register their marriages, a first in Asia and one that will likely give encouragement to China’s burgeoning gay rights movement, given the cultural ties between the two. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying, File)

The American Embassy in Beijing had made a statement in Weibo stating: “ in order to commemorate LGBT Pride Month, please join us in the U.S Beijing Embassy Center for a panel discussion”. The event would invite 5 individuals coming from all religious backgrounds such as Mormons, Catholics, non-Christians, Jews, and atheists. All here to discuss their personal experiences and provide out-of-house experiences for these specific community members.

The Beijing American Center is sponsored by the News and Culture Division of the U.S Embassy in China.

Because this event was announced on such a controversial date, after the information regarding this event was released, large number of Chinese internet users swarmed in to comment, sarcastically saying how the organizers were “so good at picking dates”.