Shanghai's best queer community groups

Looking for something more than the next big party? Get these great LGBTQ+ community groups on your radar

Photograph: courtesy ShanghaiPRIDE via WeChat
While there’s certainly nothing wrong with going to the club for a good time, there’s so much more to the queer experience than a big night out. And from film festivals to hikes and brunch, Shanghai covers so many facets beyond the nightlife scene. For those who are looking for more inspiration, connection and maybe even a little education, here’s where to make it happen.
Queer Talks

Queer Talks

Queer Talks is a discussion-based event that takes place every two weeks. Generally held at LBT bar Roxie, the laid-back, bilingual talks create a safe space for any and all members of the LGBTQIA+ community to share their experiences and discuss queer-related topics. Each two-hour session is free and focuses on a theme like trans rights, drag culture or allyship. 

Add WeChat ID ‘lilianshen92’ for more info.

CINEMQ

CINEMQ

Founded in 2014, CINEMQ is a volunteer-run, not-for-profit cinema collective that creates an alternative space for the queer community to meet through events and film screenings that focus on Chinese and East Asian queer screen culture. Aside from its film-related goings-on, CINEMQ also has its own bilingual magazine, which serves as an online publication that covers East Asian perspectives on global queer cinema.

Follow WeChat ID ‘CINEMQ’ or visit cinemq.com for more info.

Qmmunity

Qmmunity

What started out as a WeChat group for LGBTQ+ individuals to socialise and connect back in 2014, Qmmunity is aptly named, having transformed into a veritable community of over 10,000 members spanning all corners of the queer spectrum and half a dozen cities in China. The group is committed to empowering queer-identifying people in many ways, whether through creating an app that shows queer-friendly venues around Shanghai, hosting events to celebrate queer identity or offering corporate training on queer inclusion and equality in the workplace.

Follow WeChat ID ‘Qmmunity’ for more info.

PFLAG

PFLAG

PFLAG China has existed for over a decade, and now has over 5,000 volunteers and 200,000 registered members spread over 75 cities throughout the country. One of the organisation’s many missions is to facilitate understanding between LGBT individuals and their loved ones through training sessions, seminars, film festivals and other events. PFLAG frequently partners with orgs like ShanghaiPRIDE and Qmmunity to further its reach.

Follow WeChat ID ‘PFLAG-SH’ or visit pflag.org.cn for more information.

Open Doors

Open Doors

Open Doors got its start in Arizona, USA nearly a decade ago, making its way to Shanghai in 2013. The group’s aim is to allow queer individuals a space to meet and make friends outside of the bar and nightclub scene. Weekly events are run by volunteers and include everything from hikes and brunches to group outings to the theatre or cinema. 


Add WeChat ID 'ashainker' for more information.

ShanghaiPRIDE

ShanghaiPRIDE

This community platform is entirely run by volunteers with the support of queer-friendly media outlets, businesses and foreign consulates. The group promotes queer acceptance and visibility not only locally but globally as well, organising everything from forums and film festivals to brunches and art exhibits every year during Pride month. 

Follow WeChat ID ‘Shanghai-PRIDE’ or visit shpride.com for more info. 

Shanghai NvAi

Shanghai NvAi

Taking its name from the Chinese 女爱 (female love), NvAi is the only non-profit organisation in Shanghai that caters specifically to lesbians. Since its establishment in 2005, Shanghai NvAi has advocated for diversity and equality with the goal of eliminating discrimination based on gender and sexuality. From speaking at college courses on homosexuality to compiling an oral history book on lesbian love in Shanghai, this group takes on projects that promote public recognition of lesbians.

Follow WeChat ID ‘shanghainvai’ for more information.

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