BEIJING, June 10 (RIA Novosti) - China's first gay pride event got underway in Shanghai earlier this week amid an apparent partial media blackout, the China Daily reported on Wednesday.
Shanghai Pride was launched on Sunday and is due to end on Saturday with a major party in one of the city's night clubs. Organizers expect more than 2,000 people to attend the event.
However, reports on the weeklong festival appeared in national media only three days after the opening night.
The festival, the first such event since China removed homosexuality from its list of crimes in 1997, is not a traditional gay pride parade, but will instead host cultural and educational activities.
Organizers plan to hold exhibitions, film screenings, seminars, lectures aimed at making the country's gay community "more visible," the newspaper said.
"Shanghai Pride is a community-building exercise. We hope to raise awareness of issues surrounding homosexuality, raise the visibility of the gay community, help people within our community to come out, and build bridges between the gay and straight communities," said a U.S. co-organizer, Tiffany Lemay.
China's gay community is estimated at 30 million of the 1.3 billion population, while officials put the figure at between 5 and 10 million.