For a conservative city, Beijing has a remarkable gay nightlife

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10/24/2019

By day edmund yang is an accountant at a multinational firm. At night he can sometimes be found quietly sipping a cocktail at Destination, his club-cum-cultural centre. On China’s most popular navigation app, Baidu Maps, the venue is listed as a “comrade bar”. That does not mean it is a watering hole for Marxists. Comrade is Chinese slang for gay. Since Mr Yang opened the club in 2004, just three years after China ceased to classify homosexuality as a mental disorder, the venue has become a beacon for gay Chinese across the country. Destination was one of the first places to aim explicitly to attract gay customers. Today there are several such venues in Beijing as well as in other big cities. But Destination is unusual for being open every day. It also stands out for its longevity and enormous size. Time Out Beijing, a listings magazine, calls it the “granddaddy of Beijing’s gay clubs”.

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