Dispatches from an ally of China’s LGBT movement – Xiaoyu Lu
The phone call came in at seven or eight in the night. After saying hello, the voice paused. As I was about to hang up, the voice asked whether I worked for the UN. Yes, I answered. He explained that he was calling from the hotel which we booked for the conference participants. He hesitated again. Is there anything wrong? I asked.
There had been a group of strangely dressed people at the reception, he said, and the hotel would like to confirm whether I had really invited them. I could have started a lengthy lecture about the term “strangely dressed people,” but I did not. Yes, we invited them, I confirmed. I detected a tone of embarrassment in his next question. He asked what kind of conference we were holding, and whether it had been registered with the Public Security Bureau. I raised my voice, and in a solemn manner said it was a UN conference on public health, and there was neither need nor obligation to register. He couldn’t come up with a reply, and hung up.