Following seven successful years as mainland China’s biggest pride festival, Shanghai Pride is back with a new theme and an exciting events lineup.
Scheduled for June 17-26, Pride8 features the theme “生为平常 I Am Me,” referring to the LGBTQ struggle for the right to live a “normal” life, being fully oneself with nothing to hide.
“Today, people seek special or unique lifestyles; all the voices on social media platforms engage people to live differently,” Shanghai Pride organizer Hans Ibrahim explained in a statement.
“To be normal is boring and meaningless for them. But for LGBTQ individuals, the situation is opposite. How can we live normally – to kiss, to dress, to walk with a loved one on the street, to work, to not be slandered, to not be noticed … to enjoy the ordinary happiness that others take for granted every day?”
Shanghai Pride will host 10 days of cultural, social and educational events aimed at creating awareness and promoting tolerance and acceptance. For the first time, the ALMA (Asia LGBT Milestone Awards) will join the festival, NGOs from around Asia will be invited to attend.
In addition, PFLAG China’s annual conference is slated to take place in Shanghai this year, with an expected attendance of around 800 LGBTQ individuals and their families.
Pride8 also sees the return of ShanghaiPRIDE Film Festival (ShPFF), which will host screenings June 19-26 in addition to its second annual short film competition, with the theme of “Gender.”
Through April 14, ShPFF will accept short-film submissions from filmmakers of all backgrounds that tell LGBTQ Chinese stories. Last year’s inaugural competition received more than 30 entries, and this year’s participants will again have the opportunity to win a spot at the UK’s prestigious Iris Prize Festival and compete for Iris’ £30,000 top award.
The festival’s dramatic arts component, ShanghaiPRIDE Theatre Festival (ShPTF), continues to expand its Chinese- and English-language offerings with a show from well-known Shanghai production company Urban Aphrodite, bilingual improv and a pre-Pride production of The Vagina Monologues in May.
Also on the schedule for this year’s festival are the Art & Photo Exhibition, Trivia Night, Panel Discussions and a pan-China LGBT Groups Open Day hosting NGOs from around the country at Andaz Xintiandi, Shanghai.
The annual Pride Run will once again bring runners from The Langham, Shanghai, Xintiandi to the Bund and back for a rooftop BBQ. The always-popular Opening Party, Closing Party and Ladies Party will add exciting nightlife elements to the festival, with performances, prizes and more.