LGBTQ in China

LGBTQ in China

He kissed a man, lost his job. Now he is suing China’s biggest airline for unjust firing
An unlawful firing lawsuit is gaining a lot of attention in China because it might be able to open the Overton window a little bit wider for the LGBT community. The case stems from a surveillance video last autumn, which showed a man passionately kissing a male colleague in an elevator of the apartment building he lived in. The video leaked online and became a sensation in China.  The reaction to the video was mixed in China. False information fanned a negative reaction and a complicated love triangle muddied the waters. That being said, some people said it should not be controversial, asking, “what if they just loved each other?” The man was quickly identified as a flight attendant surname
China’s mandatory sex ed classes are first step on a long road
China has made sex education mandatory for schoolchildren, as growing awareness of sexual harassment and gender inequality prompts calls from parents to improve the country’s sexual literacy.  For the first time, a revised law on protecting minors, passed by the top legislative body on October 17, requires schools and kindergartens to conduct “age-appropriate sex education” for children. It is unclear how the government plans to implement mandatory “sex education.” The law, which comes into effect on the International Children’s Day of June 1 next year, only mentions sexual abuse prevention.  Issues like LGBT rights – a topic that often triggers censorship – will have a slim chance of gettin
China Trends: China’s first lesbian custody case, and a parapolice officer detained
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. Same-sex family in China A lesbian couple’s child custody case set a legal precedent in China and ignited a robust discussion about the rights of same-sex partners.  Using in vitro fertilization (IVF) and donor sperm, a woman in the southern city of Xiamen gave birth to a child, with her partner providing the egg. In February, three months after the woman gave birth, she left her partner, taking the daughter with her and preventing her partner from seeing the girl. The woman who provided the egg sued the birth mother, i
Another LGBT festival cancelled in China
When Xiaomi, a member of the LGBT community, heard that Shanghai Pride week was halting all future events, they felt as if “a building had collapsed to the ground.” “No more, there are no more public large-scale LGBT activities on the Chinese mainland,” they said. The annual festival in Shanghai started in 2009, when it was organized by a few volunteers. It was modeled on the Pride events that have long been a part of the social calendar in many Western countries. Over the past 11 years, the event has grown significantly to become a showcase for art, theater and film, job fairs, discussions and even bicycle rides. Xiaomi took part in last year’s activities and was surprised at the scale and
What is it like to be gay in China?
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
A teacher came out as gay in China, and paid a price
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
China Trends: a lesbian wedding and the comeback of street vendors
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
Rare advert featuring same-sex couple goes viral in China
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
The Chinese TV show accused of copying Queer Eye has no openly gay stars
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