This year’s festival will run under the theme “Love Is Our Future” (爱予未来 ai yu weilai), referring to love in the form of connections among LGBTQ individuals; same-sex marriage; and supportand tolerance from family, friends, colleagues and allies regardless of lifestyle, gender or sexual orientation.
“Last year, our theme Better Together was chosen to bring LGBTQ people and allies together,” said cofounder and organizer Charlene Liu. “This year, we want to move forward to start thinking about the future of the LGBTQ community.
”Pride7’s theme sounds like "love and future” in its Chinese translation, with the usual character for “and” (与 yu) replaced by the character “予 yu,” meaning to "give, grant, or build." This clever wordplay implies the meaning “love builds the future,” signifying that promoting love in all forms will lead to a future in which LGBTQ-focused organizations and Pride movements are only one small part of a more equal and accepting culture.
This year’s festival seeks to place the focus on arts and cultural events, promoting the creative side of theLGBTQ community and highlighting the work of queer artists and speakers who help to open up the conversation around LGBTQ issues. An expanded theater series, organized in conjunction with both Chinese and English-language production companies, will feature a special addition to this year’s lineup with Rent, the Broadway musical.
Pride7 is proud to present the very first Shanghai PRIDE Film Festival (ShPFF) competition, aimed at highlighting innovative new voices in queer cinema. Through April 15th, ShPFF will accept short-film submissions from filmmakers of all backgrounds that tell LGBTQ Chinese stories, to be screened at venues around the city in the months leading up to Pride week. In addition, this year’s exciting partnership with the UK’s Iris Prize Festival – one of the world’s most prominent LGBTQ film festivals – will give the winning film from ShPFF the unprecedented opportunity to represent Shanghai at Iris and compete for the £30,000 top prize.
Building on last year’s single-gallery show, the Pride7 art exhibition will feature an expanded format showcasing the work of numerous artists at locations around the city.
The Pride Sports portion of this year’s festival continues with its popular annual Pride Run and post-RunBBQ, and will also pioneer a brand-new nighttime Rainbow Bike Ride. Six teams, each representing a different color of the rainbow flag, will ride along six different routes to join together at a common endpoint, reuniting the colors and symbolizing the formation of a brilliant rainbow.
Following past years’ talks on hot-button topics like marriage equality, sexual health, workplace diversity, family acceptance and transgender issues, a fresh series of panel discussions on current issues affecting the LGBTQ community are also in the works for Pride7, with topics including LGBTQ families andHIV/AIDS.
Additional events include Pride’s Trivia Night and a new professional ladies’ networking night that will give ladies the opportunity to connect with other queer professional women.
Wildly popular Pride nightlife events like the annual Opening Party, Closing Party and Ladies’ Night will return with exciting new themes and spectacular performances, prize giveaways and more. Venues for these and other events will be announced closer to the festival dates.
In the lead-up to Pride week, numerous fundraisers and other unique events will showcase everything from speed-dating to dance classes to a rollicking outdoor Zumba party. CINEMQ holds monthly queer film nights, while Queer Talks will hold discussions in both English and Chinese on gender, sexuality, race, and other topics important to the queer community.
Stay tuned for more information on fundraising events leading up to Pride week, proceeds from which will be put toward the organizing costs of the weeklong festival.
Pride7 attendees will be able to show their support by purchasing festival merchandise, including a newly designed rainbow mug and Pride7-themed T-shirts, sponsored by American Apparel, that will feature the winning designs from this year’s T-shirt design competition. Other Pride week sponsors include international boutique hotel Andaz Xintiandi, Shanghai; the Dutch, UK, US, and Swiss consulates; and queer dating apps Blued, Jack’d, LesDo, theL, and Zank.
ShanghaiPRIDE is a non-profit, volunteer-led event, and planning for this year’s festival has been underway since last August. For updates on upcoming Pride7 events, visit shpride.com or follow ShanghaiPRIDE’s social media channels, including WeChat (Shanghai-PRIDE), Weibo (weibo.com/shanghaipride), Facebook (facebook.com/ShanghaiPride), and Instagram (@Shanghaipride).