The Shanghai Gayborhood

Shanghai Gayborhood

Hey there, queermosexuals! If the number of housewarming parties in the past month or so is any indication, it’s time to upgrade your place of residence. While every neighborhood in the city has its perks and downsides (lots of sex shops but no street food, or plenty of cute boutiques but no eye candy — serious dilemmas like that), there’s one area to which we feel particularly attached: the gayborhood.

A “gayborhood” is typically defined as an area with a large concentration of queer establishments and/or residents. Some of you are no doubt familiar with gayborhoods in other cities around the world: Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C., Soho in London, Le Village in Montreal to name a few. But did you know that Shanghai has its own version?

So it doesn’t have a catchy name (yet), but Shanghai’s gayborhood is generally said to comprise the slice of rainbow land in Changning District that surrounds popular gay bars 390 (Pan-yu Lu, near Fahuazhen Lu), Eddy’s & Shanghai Studio (Huaihai Zhong Lu, near Xingguo Lu), Rice Bar (Fahuazhen Lu, near Dingxi Lu) and Asia Blue (Huashan Lu, near Taian Lu, pictured in the headline photo). A good number of high-profile local and expat queers live in the area, including a Shanghai drag-queen icon, several ShanghaiPRIDE organizers and maybe even a Powerpufffgrrl or two.

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