Video of security guards attacking two Chinese women at an LGBTQ event in Beijing has sparked outrage online.
This past Sunday, LGBTQ people and supporters gathered at the 798 district in Beijing, which is known for its art. At the time, people were gathering to hand out rainbow badges to celebrate the International Day Against Homophobia. Unfortunately, that would then incite a homophobic attack of its own.
Two security guards stopped the organizer of the event from walking further down district 798 saying that the badges weren’t allowed in the district. An argument ensued and quickly escalated to the point of multiple security guards ganging up on two women in the street.
Piaoquanjun, the online alias of the organizer of the event, told Chinese state media Global Times that the two women were sent to the hospital.
Later, a video of the fight found its way online and the hashtag 798 beating started trending. Unfortunately, both the video and hashtag were later blocked on social media sites like Weibo (which itself has had problems with LGBTQ people).
In response to this situation, the Guangzhou gender Education Centre published an open letter online saying, “This is not only a violation of the dignity and rights of the LGBT community, but also a naked trampling of the basic rights of citizens prescribed by the constitution.”
Homosexuality is not illegal in China, but the Chinese government has a spotty record of how it treats LGBTQ people. It seems that China officials will acknowledge and accept LGBTQ people as long as they aren’t out in the open.
As Lu Pin, the founder of the blog The Feminist Voices said concerning the incident and the political climate, “The public space for diverse expressions is collapsing. People are realizing that they must stand up for their rights, but the situation is so difficult now.”