Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Explains unravels the ideas and context behind the headlines to help you understand news about China.
Being LGBTQ in China is complicated.
In many ways, Chinese society at large represses the culture – coming out can lead to severe professional and personal consequences. And yet, gay communities are allowed to exist openly in many places without repercussions.
China is a place where authorities routinely censor homosexual acts in movies and television, but it is also home to the world’s largest gay dating app.
Social and political forces continue to shape the development of LGBTQ rights in the world’s most populous country.
With rising LGBTQ acceptance am
It took years – and a move to New Zealand – before Cui Le felt ready to tell his story.
Cui was working as a linguistics lecturer at the Guangdong University of Foreign Studies in the southern Chinese province of Guangzhou when he publicly identified as gay in 2015.
In August of that year a student named Qiubai, at Sun Yat-sen University, sued the Chinese education ministry over textbooks that described homosexuality as a “disease.”
The school counselor informed Qiubai’s parents of her sexuality and they, in turn, took her to the hospital for an examination.
Cui, along with the rest of the country’s LGBT community, was outraged. Until that moment he had remained silent, fearful that being g
Every Tuesday and Thursday, China Trends takes the pulse of the Chinese social media to keep you in the loop of what the world’s biggest internet population is talking about.
A lesbian wedding
A wedding of two women has caught the eyes of many Chinese internet users this week.
Although online support for LGBT rights appears on the rise, the government does not recognize same-sex marriage. Chinese authorities often censor depictions of homosexuality in films and television.
That’s why the wedding photos of a dancer who goes by the name Shui Yue went viral on social media.
Shui Yue, whose name literally translates to “water moon,” is not a household name. She’s known as an apprentice of a f
A new ad from the Chinese shopping site Tmall featuring a same-sex couple has been hailed as a small but significant win by China’s LGBT community.
The 20-second clip released this week, promoting the site’s annual pre-Lunar New Year shopping event, features a gay man introducing his partner to his family.
In the clip, the gay man brought his boyfriend to his home. On the dinner table, the boyfriend called his partner’s father “dad,” in a way married people in China address their in-laws.
The clip had racked up thousands of views and a wave of support on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter, suggesting young Chinese audiences are increasingly accepting of the LGBT community.
Chinese LGBT a
Viewers in China say a new reality TV show in the country bears a striking resemblance to the popular Queer Eye series on Netflix. Just without the gay Fab Five.
The reality show You are so Beautiful premiered on state-owned streaming service Mango TV in December.
Like the Emmy-winning American show, the Chinese program depicts makeovers masterminded by five experts in charge of fashion, grooming, food, home design and lifestyle.
However, none of the five experts on You are so Beautiful is openly gay. The show, which has streamed three episodes so far, has also made no effort to promote LGBTQ acceptance like Queer Eye.
Mentions of LGBTQ issues are often censored in Chinese media. Although
A transgender woman in China is suing her former employer in a landmark case that many hope will uphold equal employment rights for sexual minorities.
Earlier this year, shortly after the woman, surnamed Yang, returned to work at a media company from gender-reassignment surgery, she was advised to quit. She didn’t. Within a month, she was fired.
The woman is suing in the eastern city of Hangzhou under a new legal provision added to Chinese law in December 2018 mandating equal employment rights. Yang is seeking a public apology and modest compensation.
The employer said the woman was fired due to lateness.
Legal experts say Yang’s case, which was heard in court last week, has blazed a trai
Nearly 200,000 people have appealed to the Chinese authorities to recognize same-sex marriage, in a month-long push sparked by a review of the country’s civil law provisions.
The country’s LGBT community and its supporters have been writing to legislators and leaving comments in favor of a change to China’s marriage laws during a public comment period which ended on Friday with more than 190,000 people responding.
Among them is Ling Gu, a lesbian from Wuhan in the central Chinese province of Hubei. All she wants is a marriage certificate. Ling and her partner have had their wedding photos taken and together run a real estate business. In all but the eyes of the law, they are a married couple
Etta Ng, the estranged daughter of international movie star Jackie Chan, has married her Canadian girlfriend.
The couple married in Toronto in early November 2018, but they only shared the news on social media weeks later.
“There is nothing greater than true love found,” Ng, who came out a year before, said in an Instagram post. “Love always wins.”
Ng has returned to Hong Kong with her wife, 31-year-old social media influencer Andi Autumn.
The marriage has attracted extensive media coverage, which will have come as no surprise to the 19-year-old. She’s been living under the limelight ever since she was born.
Jackie Chan is a stranger
The teenager was raised alone by her mother Elaine Ng, a