The Tokyo Olympics, which happened last year, are duly remembered for a lot of reasons. They continued to hold the event in the middle of the Japanese capital, even after declaring a state of calamity due to an upsurge in COVID-19 cases. Events took place with a few people to no audiences to cheer for athletes.
The Games held historical records as well. They acknowledge numerous LGBTQ+ participants—more than any previous Olympics.
According to a sports blog, around 186 Olympians identified as LGBTQ of the 11,000 competing in Tokyo. For marginalized sexualities and gender identities, this was a pioneering moment in the sporting world.
The Beijing Games, on the other hand, has 35 out athletes for the Winter Games. However, those participants may be competing in the shadow of the increasing trials confronting sexual minorities and their Chinese supporters.
While back in 2001, the country pulled out homosexuality from its official mental health disorders list, the LGBTQ community in China remains confronted by official harassments, and same-sex marriage continues to be illegal all throughout the nation.
The Chinese government has hastened its pressure on LGBTQ+ rights and spaces in recent years. Chinese authorities prohibited sharing content on online video platforms that comprised the portrayal of “abnormal sexual behaviors” in 2017. Same-sex relationships are included, says authorities.
Messaging and calling app WeChat ceased over a dozen of LGBTQ+ accounts operated by university students in July of 2021 and triggered extensive concern over the suppression of gender and sexual minorities.
In 2020, China’s long-standing Pride event visited by over thousands of LGBTQ+ people all throughout the country called Shanghai Pride suddenly called off all the activities scheduled because of the scaling pressure from local government, said a source.
The organizers uploaded an online open letter called “The End of the Rainbow” and stated that they would be recusing themselves from arranging all future events.
They have not disclosed the reason for the cancellation, however a source told media outlets that the team composed of all volunteers had been confronted by scaling pressure from the local government, and it may have impacted their day jobs and everyday lives.