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Chinese contestant afraid to go home after pageant
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Chinese contestant afraid to go home after pageant

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Xiao Dai, the Chinese entry in the Mr. Gay World contest in Oslo, said on February 17 that he was afraid to go home.

'I'm scared to go back to Urumqi, not for myself, but I'm scared that it will impact my organization. If the organization can't continue its work, that will be no good,' he told AFP news service by phone from Beijing, where he is currently staying.

'It's very possible that will happen,' he added.

Xiao runs an AIDS prevention agency in Urumqi, the capital of China's troubled Xinjiang province. He was due to return there on February 18.

Xinjiang has recently seen ethnic violence between the native Uyghur people and Han Chinese settlers. A number of people were reportedly executed by the Chinese government for their part in the riots.

Xiao flew to Oslo on February 9 with the assistance of the Norwegian embassy to participate in the 2nd Annual Mr. Gay World pageant.

He had been one of eight contestants in the Mr. Gay China event scheduled for January 15. Chinese police shut the pageant down only an hour before it was scheduled to begin.

While pageant organizers told reporters they were canceling their participation in the international event in Oslo, they had, in fact, voted to send Xiao.

"We didn't want any media to publicize this, as after Mr. Gay China was cancelled, we were really scared we would be stopped from going," Xiao said.

"So we said we weren't sending anyone, and it was only after I stepped on the plane that it was publicized."

When the pageant concluded on February 14, Xiao had placed fourth out of 24 contestants.

Xiao told AFP that he hoped his participation would encourage other Gay people in China.

"I also hope that this will grab the attention of officials and will help change their views on homosexuality," he said.

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