The opening of one “AIDS education” gay bar does not a tolerant place the country make. Q Bar, a new nightspot that opened in Shanghai’s gay district The Bund, was raided early this morning and some 50 patrons were detained and then locked up in a local jail, including the bar’s two owners (both named Tony) and the DJ. Two foreigners were released early. While there was no forced urine drug test, the men and women, who have since been (mostly?) released, were booked with the photos taken and national ID card numbers recorded, effectively placing them on the government’s master list of queers.
Shanghaist relays the story of one detained patron: “I was asked for my name, address, work details, why I went to this gay bar, how I got to know of this bar, was I there just to watch the sexy gogo boy performance. Then he told me, you know, we’ve invited you here to be a witness. This is not against you. You need to cooperate with us. Once you’re done cooperating, you can go home and rest, and won’t have to stay here any longer. Later, he asked me about the details of the two dance performances — was he wearing a transparent brief, was anyone inserting money into his underwear, etc. This went on for a while, and then he began typing. For most other people, he would type as the answers came to his questions, but in my case, he started typing only after he was done asking questions. When the computer printout finally came, it was just as I expected. The details related to the second dance performance were not what I said at all. I had said, I was drinking with friends, with my back towards the bar, so I didn’t notice what was going on. I said, I’m unable to sign this. Then the policeman told me to go back to the room and continue waiting.
[photos via Q Bar]