A disturbing video of security guards hitting and knocking down two Chinese women at an LGBT event in Beijing is causing outrage among China’s LGBT community.
On Sunday, May 13, during an International Day Against Homophobia gathering, district security guards attempted to shut down organizers distributing rainbow badges and blocked participants wearing them from entering Beijing’s 798 art district. According to witness accounts posted online, guards blocked the two women in the video from entering the district, punched them, and knocked them to the ground.
The organizer, who only gave an online alias, Piaoquanjun, told Chinese state media Global Times that the two women were hospitalized.
Footage of the incident quickly went viral on Chinese social media inspiring the hashtag #798beating.
The hashtag and video have been blocked.
“No individual should be subject to violence,” activist Ripley Wang, told Sixth Tone. “We should demand that law enforcement officials investigate this matter and hold those who’ve broken the law accountable.”
Homosexuality is not illegal in China, but conservative attitudes still linger and gay content and activities are routinely blocked. Last year, China released new regulations banning the display of “abnormal sexual behaviors,” including homosexuality, in online video and audio content. Last month, the Beijing International Film Festival dropped the critically acclaimed gay drama Call Me By Your Name from its lineup. And just last week, a Chinese broadcaster censored LGBT elements from the Eurovision song contest.