We met and spoke with one of each of the city's L, G, B and T members to get in on some of this awareness action. Here's what we found out.
Venus is a 26-year old born-and-raised Shanghai citizen, and guess what, ladies and gentlemen -- she's still on the market.
Venus: Four years ago, it was when I was about 22. You know, I was in an all-female college. There are no boys there, and I just found out about this girl. I thought she was very soft. Very feminine.
Venus: Yup. Actually, one of my girlfriends lives with me, and my mom really likes her. She’s very good at housework stuff [laughs], so I’m thinking… maybe my mom already thinks girls are better than boys. My dad, he just keeps his mouth shut on this. I think he thinks that one day, I’ll still get married and everything.
Venus: I said nothing -– they just knew, once I brought my girlfriend over. It wasn’t even romantic, but I think maybe they also took my college experience into consideration.
Venus: Emotionally, girls are better than boys. They are soft and they treat you really well. For men, my first boyfriend, he was good to me. But my second relationship, we were in two different places, so that wasn’t very smooth.
Venus: A bisexual has chemistry with both girls and boys. I like both of them. What attracts me is that they have a sense of strong will and ability, a sense of patience and tolerance with me when it comes to relationship matters. That has nothing to do with gender.
Venus: The greedy part depends on your desire. If you date many people at one time, that makes you greedy. But for me, I kinda just want to stick to one for a relationship.
Venus: I’ve met some homophobia in my college, because they came from smaller places. They thought it was bad. I had some bad memories during that time. Like, they never talked to you. For me, I’m the more tolerant person. Everyone needs a long way to recognize who they are. Before they are accepted by the people around them, by society, they should have self-acceptance first, although it is hard. If you get the chance, you have to try. We are equal in front of love.
Venus: Basically, they just think it’s a friendship. It’s very common in the streets of Shanghai now, to see females holding hands while walking. After they find out it’s a relationship, for men like 40 or above, it’s hard for them to accept. But for women, like my mom, I think it’s easier for them to accept. Shanghai is a more accepting community, especially for girl and girl. Men have to lead the society. They are more pressured about this. It is hard to come out for them.
Venus: I’ve been an open person ever since I was young. I think it’s because I grew up in Shanghai. It’s a very open city. In Shanghai, there are many divorces here. You cannot measure what is happening. We’ve seen a lot of divorces here, and a lot of small things about marriage here, I think it affects our thinking.
As for now, we are raising the awareness of the lesbians and gays. So, the bisexual is more hidden. I only told some of my girlfriends about it. One of my friends, who I grew up with, I’ve been trying to persuade her about my orientation. She accepted what I said. We just need to take the time to tell people who we are.
Sexy chicas performing at last year's Shanghai Pride
Venus: To hunt. Or to get hunted. Right? [Laughs] I only really go out for events, like for Pride. For me, I care more about relationships and actual connections. For me, I’m really very passive, so I think I can only be hunted. Even if I saw some people that look good, I just stand there.
Venus: There are, in the lesbian group. It really depends on the chemistry. I am the more girly part in the relationship, so really it depends on the opposite part to hunt someone. The bisexual girl is always hunted, at least, in my mind.
In my mind, if there’s a girl bisexual, like me, I prefer a manly man and a manly girl. If there’s a bisexual, they will go for a T, or L or G. They won’t really go for another bisexual, to my knowledge. Some, they just look girly. It doesn’t mean they behave girly. And she prefers a girly girl.
Venus: Um, I don’t think so. I know of one in Taiwan, called Bi the Way. But we do have like, women’s NGOs here.
Venus: Boys are very oriented on the sexual things. Flirting with a girl is less explicit on it. It’s a bit, more… attracting to have more interactions. You will have more actual interaction with the girl. But, really, it’s very difficult to find a girl that you really have chemistry with. I can only discover that a girl is gay through eye contact. I never tell them [that I'm into girls]. I haven’t even told my friends. Even the ones who had their college abroad, they might have some negative influences on this.
Venus: Actually, I get confused about my relationship. Even the lesbians want to get married. They really know what they want. For me, I just get confused about my future relationship. That’s what I get really worried about. When I think about growing older, maybe when I’m 30, I think I will be very anxious about it.
Venus: If you cannot communicate with someone, it’s just not good. I just mean, I want someone who knows a lot. Most of the Shanghai guys here, they only focus on… on … the housework [laughs], or their job. They’re… they’re not funny! They’re too realistic.
In Shanghai, people care about money A LOT. I mean, even if you get married, it’s still caring about the money. So, the divorces. There are a lot of them. I see pictures of my friends abroad, on Instagram. And the couples, they go skiing, they take pictures, smiling together and so carefree. They look so happy! I don’t think Shanghainese can do that.
And, I’m picky. Someone who I can communicate with is the most important thing. Tall. 180 plus. Likes sports. Artsy. The tall thing is only just for the guys. I’m a high-heeler.
Venus: Tall. [Laughs] Logical. Someone who can help me in my normal life… because… um… [laughs] I’m not very good at housework.
Pride5 starts this Saturday the 15th with a Pride5 run, picnic and opening party later in the night. For the full schedule of week-long events, click here.
Portraits by Marc Ressang at the Jade on 36 bar in Pudong Shangri-La.