China's first government-sponsored online gay forum has attracted few visitors in its first two months of existence, ShanghaiDaily.com reports.
The site, called Forum for Comrades--"comrades" is a slang term for gay in China--was created to provide health and AIDS prevention knowledge. A message board was set up to connect gay visitors with health professionals but has only received 10 postings and a total of a 1,000 clicks as of Monday.
Many believe that strict Chinese society, which frowns on homosexuality, is keeping visitors away.
"I've found this Web site only today," wrote one visitor. "I hope the government and society will understand us: We '"comrades" are as good, faithful, and law-abiding as anyone else. Please do not discriminate against us or treat us only as AIDS patients."
Government officials are hoping to use marketing to get more visitors to the site. "We'll be very careful because it's a sensitive and touchy issue," government health official Fu Qingyuan told ShanghaiDaily.com. (The Advocate)