Utopia Guide to Gay and Lesbian China (first gay and lesbian guide to China)
January 5, 2011 – Modern Express
Google translation Chinese to English
Suzhou: Homosexual Prostitution Ring Exposed in Three Provinces
by Liu Chun-Yu Zhou, Feng Jiang and Simon Blake-Wilson
"This case does not know, one office surprised, gay men and AIDS patients the original so much." After months of tracking through the line, Nantong, inter-provincial police destroyed a large homosexual prostitution ring, the success in Nantong, Suzhou and Zhejiang Hangzhou, the three provinces captured Lee, Shimou, Xiamou three organizers, the destruction of prostitution dens 6, cracked network more than 400 cases from the same-sex prostitution.
Allow investigators unexpected, three organizers not only suffering from AIDS, involved dozens of "little brother" who is also in 3 AIDS patients. In addition, the staff suspected of prostitution, both civil servants, business executives, there are private owners and rickshaw drivers and so on.
Currently, Lee and other 3 people on suspicion of organizing prostitution offenses have been released on bail, has been captured in the "technicians" and teach clients to be received. In the case is under further investigation.
1. Disguise club website
Last February, Nantong City Public Security Bureau Online supervisor patrol detachment found in the net, "Nantong boy next door club" an astonishingly high click-through rates. After months of undercover investigation, police found a "hill of Nantong Club", "Suzhou still love clubs" and other similar situations in several sites. The virtual "club" claimed to have the surface of many professional "technician" for the urban male high tension stresses of life and the resulting physical, mental and skin unhealthy state to Aromatherapy SPA, deep facial care, to save men’s beer belly, prostate care a series of services such as health clubs, in fact it is the organization of young "male" gay men secretly to provide prostitution services, "Yinwo."
As the case material, a great social harm, the case will soon be listed as a Provincial Public Security Department the case. An Nantong Branch of Municipal Public Security Bureau Chongchuan Gong and Zhong Xiu brigade deployed security police station set up task force to start careful investigation.
2. Investigation: It took seven months
After 7 months of investigation, in the grasp "club" a lot of organizing prostitution crime after the fact, the afternoon of Sept. 8 last year, the police captured through technical means "boy next door Nantong Club" two "technicians", after Tushen, the panel That evening, "raid" is located in Nantong City North Ho Tung’s "boy next door Nantong Club" "technician" centralized settlements, was arrested suspected of illegal activities engaged in prostitution of young men 6.
It has captured the "technicians" who explained that they are employed by the "boy next door Nantong Club" website, described by the boss Shimou out "pick up" to engage in homosexual prostitution. The evening of Sept. 8 last year, the panel immediately instructed the urban rich park in Nantong district will Shimou captured. Police handling the case said at the time, Shimou working with the two men smoked ice. "The two men were originally clients, and Shi Moucheng a lover."
Police investigations found that 25-year-old Shimou Xuzhou, and last year took over in February from a friend in charge of the "boy next door Nantong Club" website. Grasp of the situation, last September 13 and 15, police handling the case has in Suzhou City, Zhejiang Hangzhou will start in the local virtual "clubs", the organization who provide sexual services to the website of the same sex, "the helm" Xiamou and Lee captured and arrested more than "technicians."
3. It is also prostitution
In people’s minds, women and men who have been identified as the sex trade prostitution. Transactions between the same sex, is suspected of prostitution, has been more controversial. Some scholars argue that the traditional perception of prostitution occurs only in heterosexual. Women because the relevant regulations for the purpose of profit or receive goods, men having sex with prostitutes, is prostitution. Man with payment of property as a means to have sexual relations with women in prostitution is prostitution behavior. In short, heterosexual sex is called "prostitution."
This case, the police will be involved in Nantong, "technician" and "customer" behavior identified as prostitution. For this finds is reasonable, Nantong City Public Security Bureau police station Chongchuan Branch, deputy director of GE Hong Sau Chung told reporters, gay sex between consenting, it is legal. "If the gay for money for the purpose of an improper sexual relationship, which heterosexual men and women, like prostitution, is illegal."
According to reports, Ministry of Public Security as early as January 28 2001, Kusakabe issued "on the money as a medium between same-sex sexual behavior Determine the Nature of approval" on the states: not specific between heterosexual or homosexual with money, property in an improper sexual relationship between the media behaviors, including: Kouyin, masturbation, sodomy and other acts of prostitution are all acts of this act shall be according to law.
19 January, 2011 – CNN
China announces high-speed rail link to Singapore via Vietnam – Construction of a section of railway linking Nanning to Vietnam will China has announced plans to build a high-speed railway linking the southern Chinese Guangxi Zhaung autonomous region with Singapore via Vietnam, according to China Daily.
The first stage of construction will link the Chinese city of Nanning with Pingxiang, a city near China’s border with Vietnam. Work on this section will commence in the second half of 2011, China Daily reported, citing the regional government’s development and reform commission. The construction of the high-speed rail will be the Nanning government’s main priority in the next five years. The line is meant to increase commerce and various trade between China and ASEAN nations.
"We will invest 15.6 billion yuan (US$3.05 billion) to build the railway linking Nanning and Singapore via Vietnam," said Long Li, director of the region’s transportation department. "This is extremely important for the construction of the Nanning-Singapore Economic Corridor." The corridor refers to the economic link between China and ASEAN nations, starting at Nanning in Guangxi and passing through Hanoi in Vietnam, Vientiane in Laos, Cambodia’s Phnom Penh, Thailand’s Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia on its way to Singapore. China Daily referred to Guangxi as the country’s main foreign-trade center, with ASEAN being its largest bloc trading partner.begin later this year
May 2011 Update
12 May, 2011 – CNN
Shanghai-Beijing high-speed train trial begins – As the official launch date for one of China’s most anticipated new train lines nears, cutting travel time between Shanghai and Beijing in half, the new service tests the tracks
by Jessica Beaton
Flying between Beijing and Shanghai might soon be a thing of the past. The Shanghai-Beijing high-speed train began its one-month trial yesterday, testing the 1,318-kilometer route for the official late June opening, according to state media reports. The first train left Shanghai at 8:45 a.m. on Wednesday, according to Shanghai government-run news portal EastDay.com, although it didn’t carry any passengers. The line is opening ahead of schedule; it was originally set to begin operations in early 2012.
The train will connect two of China’s economic powerhouses with only one stop between them in Nanjing. The whole trip will take just under five hours — more than twice the flying time between the two cities — with average speeds of 300 kilometers per hour. The average train trip between the two cities is currently about 10 hours. "The initially planned operation speed was 350 kilometers per hour but we decided to reduce it due to safety concerns and prices," said Wang Yongping, spokesman for the Ministry of Railways, to state media reporters.
Currently the fastest train line in China connects Beijing with Tianjin, running at 350 kilometers per hour. Ticket prices have been yet to be released, although China.org.cn reports that the train will use an ID-based ticket booking system starting June 1 in an attempt to prevent ticket scalping. Shanghai may implement the system as early as May 22, due to its policy of releasing tickets 11 days before a trip.
The construction of the 1,318-kilometer line was started in April 2008 with total investment estimated at RMB 220.9 billion. The new line is part of China’s increased investment in its high-speed rail network, which reached 8,358 kilometers at the end of 2010 and is expected to exceed 16,000 kilometers by 2020.
January 24, 2011 – China.Org.cn
Gay men ‘marry’ in Beijing
Shanghai Daily – When Da Wen said "I do" to Xiao Qiang at their wedding in a Beijing restaurant on Saturday it was a union aimed not only at the joining of two people in love but also a bid to strengthen the fight against AIDS. The two men, knowing that gay marriage is not recognized under Chinese law, still wanted to declare their union in public as an example to other gay couples in China. Although their marriage cannot be officially registered, the couple received a certificate, complete with pictures of both men and the seal of "China’s Happy Marriage Committee," an organization that doesn’t exist.
Xiao Dong, director of a Beijing AIDS prevention voluntary team, said such gay marriages would help people in the gay community prevent AIDS. He said marriage could seal relationships and avoid rapid changes in sex partners. Xiao said the lack of a law to regulate same-sex marriages in China made it difficult for gay couples to maintain their relationships.
People in gay communities would often have several sex partners due to the absence of law, thus dramatically increasing the risk of them getting AIDS, Xiao said. "Each attempt to fight the spread of AIDS is worth trying, including getting married," Xiao said in an interview with Beijing Times.
The couple only invited their friends in the gay community in Beijing to the ceremony. It seemed a pleasant and moving moment when the two men hugged each other at the wedding, promising they would love each other always, but behind the event lay a sad story.
Da Wen, a Beijing native, only came to the realization that he was homosexual three years ago after he had married and become a father. Knowing he couldn’t keep his secret forever, he confessed to his wife and asked for a divorce but she refused, not wishing her child to be the product of a broken home. However, Da then met Xiao Qiang, from Henan Province, at a party and it was love at first sight. Da’s "second marriage" does not qualify as bigamy because Chinese law doesn’t mention gay marriage.
There was at least one dissenting voice after the ceremony that criticized its aim of AIDS prevention. Tony Zhen, director of Shanghai Leyi, an organization which provides help for sex workers, said: "It’s hard to understand the relation linking marriage and AIDS prevention." Zhen said gay people might still have other sex partners even after marriage, and if a spouse found out about a love affair, there was no marriage law to protect him. Zhen said he had been in love with another man for more than 10 years, but would not consider marriage before more Chinese people learned to accept the gay community.
31 January 2011 – Fridae
China’s Sports Illustrated features gay sportsmanship in cover story
by News Editor
The cover story of the latest issue of China’s Sports Illustrated features openly gay sportspeople and interviews with five Chinese LGBTs who represented China at international sports events.
Queer Comrades, China’s only independent long-running LGBT webcast, reports: "The Chinese edition of Sports Illustrated made sure that 2011 started off fabulously for China’s LGBT community. The words ‘Go Gays!’ are on the cover of its 21 January edition, which includes a special report on international gay sports events. It’s the first time a Chinese sports magazine pays full attention to world gay sports events and informs society about the relationship between LGBT and sports."
The video explains how what was originally meant to be a short report became a nine double-page story which includes a photo spread and interviews with five Chinese LGBTs who represented China at international sports events; and renowned sexologist and LGBT rights activist Prof. Li Yinhe; as well as a write-up about openly gay athletes.
16 February, 2011 – CNN
Shanghai’s ‘fake marriage’ market: Gay men and women try to fit in
Many gay men and women in Shanghai are seeking out heterosexual marriages to please their families Shanghai, more so than most cities in China, has made strides in supporting — okay, tolerating — the local LGBT scene here, with events like this year’s ShanghaiPRIDE week run with relatively little interference. Nevertheless reports have surfaced, among them one from Slate, of a “fake marriage market” where gay and lesbian Shanghaining marry someone of the opposite sex to fit social conventions.
“I’m here to find a lesbian, to be with me and to build a home,” says one gay man at the meet-up. Although it will fulfill their family’s wishes, and fit into the acceptable “straight” lifestyle, the article highlights the predicament of men and women trapped in such situations. “In my view, a 30-year-old man should start thinking about having a family, but two men can’t hold each other’s hands in the street,” continues the man to the Slate reporter. We’re not allowed to be a family,” he says.
Even though many gay and lesbian couples in Shanghai say they face little obvious discrimination among their peers, homosexuality is still taboo with China’s older generations. One lesbian couple featured on CNNGo, Meredith and Celine, say that although they visit each others’ homes, their families assume they’re just friends, and although their parents may suspect their relationship, they try to set them up with men. “If I decide to get married one day, maybe I’d go abroad,” Meredith explains.
Celine, too, worries about the impact of marrying a woman on her family. “I think my parents would eventually be happy for me, but I don’t want them to take pressure from the rest of society,” she says. “The big hurdle in our relationship is our families.” The Slate article goes on to quote sexologist Li Yinhe, saying that 80 percent of China’s gay population marries straight people.
With family and societal pressure like this, it’s of little surprise that a recent survey of singles in China reported that 70 percent of them experience depression due to their single status. The pressure to marry someone of the opposite sex has also given rise to institutions like Lailai Dance Hall, one of the oldest gay clubs in Shanghai where generations of gay men meet once a week to ball room dance together, and take in the odd drag show, without their official spouses.
4 March 2011 – PinkNews
Chinese news website sparks fierce debate over gay marriage
by Christopher Brocklebank
A debate between one of China’s leading pro-gay advocates and the editor of an influential national newspaper has erupted on the one of the country’s most popular and comprehensive news websites. As reported by SameSame, a popular Australian LGBT website, Professor Li Yinhe, a long-standing advocate of same-sex marriage, was asked to discuss the issue on the website NetEase.
One outcome of the discussion was an opinion piece by Li Tie, editor of southern China’s influential The Times Weekly. While the article reportedly acknowledges the right of gay men and lesbians to love and live together, Li Tie’s statements soon veered off in an entirely different direction, saying that treading carefully on the issue was “not an act of discrimination” because “conditions usually apply when protecting minorities’ rights.”
He continued: “The impacts of same-sex marriage include the ‘domino effect’ that it may bring upon the marriage system. Once same-sex marriage is legalised, it may lead to the debates on legalising ‘multi-partner marriage’ and ‘human-animal marriage’. If the law recognizes same-sex marriage, what about the ‘rights’ to adultery, incest or pedophilia? Does this bring a challenge to the bottom line of civilization?”
The article brought forth comments from both pro- and anti-gay readers. Some were downright hostile, including one which stated: “Gays should be buried alive so that their gay disease won’t infect more people.” Another reader took the author to task, saying: “Do your homework well before you start to write an article like this as people will see how ignorant you are. And don’t bring up those ‘human-animal’, ‘three-people marriage’ or stories of incest again, as the attempt to represent a far vaster group with some extreme cases is clearly an act of discrimination.”
China only decriminalised homosexuality in 1997 and it remained classified as a mental illness until 2001.
21 March 2011 – PinkNews
32 Chinese women arrested for writing gay erotica
by Jessica Geen
Police in China have arrested 32 women for allegedly writing erotica for a gay website. The women, include one 17-year-old, were arrested in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan Province, ShanghaiDaily.com reports. They were reportedly arrested for spreading obscene material.
Police said the website contained 80,000 erotic stories and had 600,000 registered members. The site’s owner reportedly said that his workers were young women in their twenties in cities like Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing. Last September, reports said that 80 gay men had been detained by police at a cruising spot in woods near Beijing. They were apparently released after being photographed, although one report claimed they had been finger-printed and blood-tested.
China only decriminalised homosexuality in 1997 and it was seen as a mental illness until 2001.
2011 March 21 – Aibai
"Guangdong-Hong Kong gay parents meeting" held in Guangzhou
China News Agency
March 19,20, by the gay relatives and friends with Association of Hong Kong jointly organized the "Guangdong-Hong Kong gay parents meeting" held in Guangzhou from Hong Kong gay parents, social workers, volunteers and parents shared their comrades in Guangdong received children "out of the closet" process ("out of the closet" refers to the public his homosexual orientation.) Gay parents have said that only through communication can slowly understand homosexual children. The conference, Hong Kong, more than 60-year-old father said Huang, has been proud of the son of a doctor and learned that over 30 when his son is gay like a bolt from the blue, many quarrels with his son, his son and even wanted to leave their parents.To keep his son, Huang father slowly to make concessions, but the thought of his son, "nothing less nothing to keep out of the old" the fact is still very sad.
Dad’s story of Huang resonance caused by the presence of their parents, said Ms Tsui in Hong Kong, she received 13 years and the fact that his son is gay. Like to see her son and parents began to understand the helplessness and pain and tolerance, Ms. Xu said she was more worried about his son homosexuals in society, discrimination and stress. Huizhou Liang mother is deeply felt, she noted that the children of gay parents should be honest as early as possible to allow sufficient time for the parents, in fact, parents worry that children Gengrang later life path will be very difficult.
Gay Fung said that the difficulties of gay children to understand their parents often worry that their parents do not dare to confess it difficult to accept, or endure in silence, or they dare not face, recognition, growth process is very lonely. Creation of gay friends and relatives will be president of the Wuyou Jian told reporters that homosexuals themselves are not wrong, I hope children of gay parents to understand and eliminate each other’s sense of loneliness and helplessness, understand each other.
Clubs Association of Hong Kong social workers Xu Meishan analysis, parents and children at different times have different ideas, parents opposed to the traditional, you gay parents understand their children need time to digest and accept, and the majority of comrades of their children alone and helpless, after The road will be very difficult, I hope parents inclusive. (Guangzhou, Hong Kong China News Agency March 20 Reuters)
"China Daily" reported that gay parents proud Roundtable and the Shanghai Festival Family Day
Comrades in Beijing parents Roundtable: tears, laughter and heartache
How to deal with children like same-sex parents?
Gay parents Roundtable held in Beijing, China, parents learn to accept children of homosexual orientation
2011 March – PubMed.gov
Sexual patterns among social networks of HIV+ & HIV- MSM in Beijing
Ruan Y, Pan SW, Chamot E, Qian HZ, Li D, Li QC, Liang HY, Spittal P, Shao Y, Kristensen S. – State Key Laboratory for Infectious Disease Prevention and Control, and National Center for AIDS/STD Control and Prevention (NCAIDS), Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC), Beijing, China.
Men who have sex with men (MSM) are of immediate concern in China’s HIV epidemic. In 2008, approximately 2.5-6.5% of China’s eight million MSM were HIV positive, while MSM represented 11% of all new HIV cases. Two factors that will in-part determine HIV-transmission dynamics among MSM, are sexual mixing patterns and the social networks which shape them. Sexual mixing patterns and social networks of Chinese MSM, however, remain poorly understood with little refined data available. One reason is that stigma discourages disclosure of names and identifiers to researchers. Using an alternative network-mapping approach, matched case-control design, and snowball sampling, this pilot study sought to compare characteristics of social networks of HIV-positive and HIV-negative Beijing MSM at the individual, dyad, and network levels.
First, HIV-negative MSM controls were matched to HIV-positive MSM cases based on age, education, residency, and ethnicity. Then, each case or control and their MSM social network convened at a specific time and location with study investigators. Venues included health clinics, karaoke clubs, brothels, and community centers. Then, using arbitrarily assigned numbers in lieu of actual names, all participants simultaneously completed self-administered surveys regarding their sexual relationships with other participants of the same social network.
These new findings indicate that cross-generational sex (anal or oral sex between men with =10 years age difference) was more prevalent among social networks of HIV-positive MSM, and was due to older age structure of the social network, rather than behavioral differences in sex-partner selection. Members of social networks of HIV-positive MSM were also less likely to have ever disclosed their MSM identity to non-MSM. Future studies should partner with MSM advocacy groups to explore behavioral and structural interventions as possible means of reducing the cross-generational sex and sexual identity-development issues elevating HIV risk for young Chinese MSM.
4 April 2011 – PinkNews
60 arrested in Shanghai gay bar raid
by Jessica Geen
More than 60 people were arrested this weekend when police raided a gay bar in Shanghai. According to AFP, police in the Chinese city said that patrons at Q bar were watching “pornographic” shows. Police arrived in the early hours of Sunday morning and arrested staff, DJs and patrons, detaining some for 12 hours. All were released on Sunday.
A report in the Shanghai Daily said police had not given details of the complaints against the bar. But it quoted migrant workers who live in a shelter on the bar’s roof as saying that they sometimes saw naked men sitting on the roof and sometimes having sex. One of the bar’s DJs, Steven Bao, wrote on his blog that he believed a rival gay bar had set them up. Last month, 32 Chinese women were arrested for allegedly writing erotica for a gay website.
The women, include one 17-year-old, were arrested in Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan Province, for spreading obscene material. In September, a reported 80 gay men were detained at an outdoor cruising site in Beijing. China only decriminalised homosexuality in 1997 and it was seen as a mental illness until 2001.
5 April 2011 – Fridae
Shanghai police rebut "rumours" surrounding gay bar raid as one detainee plans to sue
by Kenneth Tan
Although a local newspaper reported that Huangpu police acted after receiving complaints that the bar was staging sex shows, the claim has been vehemently refuted by everyone present on the day, according to the Shanghaiist blog. While most of the party-goers detained in the raid of Q Bar, a new gay bar on the Bund, have already been released, the story has only just begun. Here’s what happened in a nutshell: Early Sunday morning, police stormed into Q Bar in the middle of a gogo boy performance, turned the lights on, and shoved about 70 bar employees and patrons (save the foreigners) batch by batch into a minivan that whittled them away to the Xiaodongmen police station, just a stone’s throw away from the bar.
At the station, they were locked up in three rooms, where they were left in the cold without food or water, unattended to and uninformed of what was happening next. It was not until noon the next day when questioning began, and police attempted to make them sign off on statements that were in some instances contrary to what they had said. At least three people remain under police custody — the owner of the bar, Tony Li; the DJ for the evening, Steven Bao; and the gogo dancer, "KK". It remains unclear how long more they will be locked up for, but word on the street has it that Tony, the proprietor, will only regain his freedom after 15 days.
Local media reports mostly lopsided
Shanghai Daily reports that Huangpu police acted after receiving complaints that the bar was staging sex shows — a claim vehemently refuted by everyone present on the day that Shanghaiist spoke to. The paper also quotes anonymous migrant workers as saying that naked, intoxicated men have been seen having sex on the roof. Meanwhile, according to Chinese language portals Xinmin and Eastday, Huangpu Police rejected online "rumours" of detainees not being given food and drink as "false". They also claimed that they provided all detainees with tea and food, and because the weather was cold, the police went so far as to turn on the heating just for them.
Huangpu Police went on to assure Xinmin and Eastday that they had only acted because the bar was staging obscene shows, though no evidence was submitted for the media’s perusal. The bar patrons were only brought to the Xiaodongmen station, they said, to "assist with investigations", and that everything had been done in full accordance with the law, and there was strict compliance with due process.
None of the party goers were interviewed in any of the above-mentioned reports, but this was somewhat remedied by the report by International Channel Shanghai (ICS). The story of the Q-Bar raid headlined ICS’ 9.30pm "Shanghai Live" news bulletin last evening, and interviewed two bar patrons. One of them, Lin Jian, a fashion editor, confirmed that an erotic dance was taking place that evening but the performer had his brief on throughout the entire show. Another party-goer, also surnamed Liu, told ICS that if the show was indeed pornographic, then such shows should not be allowed anywhere in Shanghai, whether it was a gay bar or straight.
2011 May – PubMed.gov
Public health challenges of the emerging HIV epidemic among men who have sex with men in China.
by Lau JT, Lin C, Hao C, Wu X, Gu J.
Centre for Health Behaviours Research, School of Public Health and Primary Care, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China; Centre for Medical Anthropology and Behavioural Health, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China.
A large-scale national survey was conducted in 2008 across 61 cities throughout China, covering over 18,000 men who have sex with men (MSM). The prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was 4.9% and incidence ranged from 2.6 to 5.4 per 100 person-years. The prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases ranged from 2.0% to 29.9% among MSM in different parts of China. Syphilis status, recruitment of sexual partners mainly from gay saunas, duration of MSM experience, and unprotected sex with regular male sex partners and multiple male sex partners predicted HIV seroconversion. The prevalence of consistent condom use was low during anal sex, ranging from 29.4% to 37.3%. Within this context, this paper considers the factors surrounding HIV prevention activity, and identifies a number of public health challenges which need to be considered if optimum outcomes are to be achieved. HIV prevention targeting MSM is a delayed response. The high risk associated with gay saunas and the need for steady condom supply at these venues needs urgent consideration. In addition, approximately one-third of MSM in China reported bisexual behavior, which may be attributed to sociocultural reasons and stigma against MSM. Female sex partners of MSM are seldom aware of their exposure to high risk of HIV transmission. Finally, the primitive nature of non-government organizations for HIV prevention and issues around their sustainability pose another serious challenge for the future of HIV prevention campaigns targeting MSM in China.
May 17, 2011 – IGLHRC
The Courage Unfolds Campaign
The Courage Unfolds Campaign calls for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people to be protected by law, respected by society, and accepted by family. It is a call for the use of the Yogyakarta Principles as a tool to ensure the respect, protection and promotion by governments of the human rights of all people – including LGBT people. This set of international legal principles addresses the application of international law to human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
To achieve this goal, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) is asking activists, LGBT groups, human rights defenders, and concerned citizens to join the campaign. As central to this campaign, IGLHRC’s Asia Program has produced a documentary film – Courage Unfolds – highlighting the issues faced by LGBT people in Asia and how the Yogyakarta Principles are a relevant and effective tool that LGBT activists can use in their advocacy for human rights.
Learn: Learn more about the Yogyakarta Principles and LGBT activism in Asia by watching the Courage Unfolds documentary
Share: Tell your friends and community about this Campaign and how they can join you. Share your actions with us and others on IGLHRC’s Courage Unfolds Map.
Act: Screen Courage Unfolds, hold a rally, a training or a community event, write about using the Yogyakarta Principles, or petition your government to address violence and discrimination against LGBT people.
2011 May 17 – UNAIDS
International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO) 2011: Coming Together to Eliminate Discrimination
May 17th is celebrated by communities worldwide as the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO). The day celebrates the anniversary of the World Health Organization (WHO)’s decision to remove non-heterosexual sexual orientations (homosexuality and bisexuality) from the 10th Edition of the International Classification of Diseases, published in 1990. However, despite this positive development, efforts still need to be stepped up, both at the national and global levels to eliminate discrimination against men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender people (TG).
Phobia and Discrimination: Critical Obstacles to the Response to HIV
Although China is not one of the 85 countries which criminalize consensual same-sex behaviors among consenting adults, and homosexuality is no longer considered as a mental illness in China, since the publication of the 3rd Edition of the Chinese Classification of Mental Diseases 10 years ago, homophobia and transphobia still contribute to discrimination against sexual minorities. Fear and shame can drive MSM and transgender people underground, increasing their vulnerability to HIV infection and preventing them from seeking HIV-related information and services. What is more, there are no laws in China specifically protecting the rights of MSM and TG people. It is not surprising therefore that HIV prevalence is increasing most rapidly among these highly stigmatized and vulnerable groups. HIV prevalence estimate among MSM was at 5 percent in 2009, 88 times higher than the overall national prevalence, and in some areas, HIV prevalence among MSM was approaching 20 percent. What is more, almost one third of new HIV infections are amongst MSM, and this figure has continued to increase in recent years.
China has an emerging MSM community. The latest country-wide estimates put the number of MSM and TG in China was estimated at between 5 and 10 million., and there are approximately 300 community based organisations (CBOs) and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) which work actively with MSM. According to Professor Li Yinhe, China’s most prominent expert in sex and gender studies is based at the Institute of Sociology of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Professor Li believes that homosexual and transgender people hide their sexual orientation because they know the severe consequences of being a minority in Chinese society. ‘It is an unspoken social rule that everybody must do the same thing as other people do at the same stage in their lives. Being different, choosing different lifestyles means paying a high price. For example, people who are still single in their 30s. People who have non-heterosexual orientations feel huge pressure from family, friends, and even the whole society. The power of gossip is no weaker than punitive laws,’ Professor Li said.
Some people blame MSM and transgender people because they believe they are responsible for spreading HIV. Professor Li Yinhe points out that MSM and TG people should not be considered as criminals who cause and exacerbate the HIV epidemic. ‘It is the risky, unprotected sexual behaviours, not homosexual and transgender people, that responsible for sexual transmission of HIV.’ Li says, ‘HIV-related discrimination against some groups, based on their sexual orientation, is totally ungrounded.’
26 May, 2011 – MSM Global Forum
10 significant Gay Events in China
1. Hundreds of gay men have been rounded up and taken away in an ongoing police operation at Mudanyuan ( Peony Garden ), an outdoor gay venue, Beijing . The Mudanyuan Event is the most serious violation of gay human rights in China . It affects the harmonious society establishment in China in various aspects as following: the police operation without legal authority demonstrates the setback of Chinese process of ruling by law, credibility of the government among minority populations has been greatly humiliated, more misinterpretation about Chinese human rights condition has been caused in the international society, and national HIV/AIDS prevention strategy and action will probably be more fiercely doubted or resisted by gay community.
The serious consequence of misbehavior of few governmental departments reminds us that a government serving for the people must recognize the people as the owner of the country, no matter what their sex orientations are.
2. Dr. Li Yinhe submits the proposal about homosexual marriage again to National People’s Congress (NPC) and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Committee (CPPCC). Dr. Li Yinhe’s continuous attempt deserves our respect since each of us may benefit from it. On the other hand, it provokes our self-reflection that where is the voice from gay community when Dr. Li fights for our right and benefit bravely? It is probably that just because of our silence, Dr. Li’s fight looks like “a Dan Quixote’s fight”. Therefore, CMTHF advocates that gay CBO and gay men should unite together to collect, research and discuss our own issues in order to submit proposals by ourselves to the conference of NPC and CPPCC in the next year.
3. Tongge, the president of China Male Tongzhi Health Forum (CMTHF) and gay scholar has been invited as a member of HIV/AIDS and STI Prevention Consultant Committee, Ministry of Health. It is the first time that Chinese government invites an open gay man to take an official position. This event indicates that eventually there is a legal and orderly channel for the appeals of 30 million gay men to Chinese government policy-making. This progress in public health field will bring chain reactions in other fields. Gay men in China are with steady steps to make themselves be an organic constituent part of the country gradually.
4. China rejects the application of IGLHRC to ECOSOC for consulting membership again. It becomes a regrettable tradition for China to dissent in bill voting about gay rights and interests. This kind of standpoint seems untimeliness which may cause more misreading from the international community and be made use of by some force with an axe to grind, especially in the event that real human rights of gays in China have been remarkably improved. It is a common task for the Chinese government and gay organizations and gay community of China to show real living state of Chinese gay men to international community. Only if real China is shown to international community can we obtain better international environment for our reform and opening and for the establishment of harmonious society.
5. The open transgender Liu Zhu participated in an influential TV show in China, arousing a strong echo in the public. Diverse thoughts are gradually accepted by the public, which marks a significant change in China .The notion "each of us has our own value" embodied in some entertainment shows is becoming mainstream in Chinese society .The open transgender walks into the public eyes, taking an oath: "We are here, we are human beings." Meanwhile, although Liu Zhu dropped out of the show in early period under some certain pressure, the public voice has not been in the hands of the pressure. Instead, Chinese have begun to stick to their own opinions, such as "If I love it, no one can ban it."
22 June 2011 – Fridae
Police harrassment forces Beijing Queer Film Festival to return underground
by Kenneth Tan
The 5th Beijing Queer Film Festival was held from June 15-19 at different locations after the festival, which was scheduled to take place at an undisclosed location in the capital’s Xicheng District, was forced to be cancelled. The 5th Beijing Queer Film Festival, China’s first full-fledged LGBT film festival founded 10 years ago, has concluded but not before demands by officials to shut down the event sparked off yet another round of cat-and-mouse which gay community organisers in China are by now so used to.
Previously held in the Songzhuang artist commune outside of Beijing, the festival was moved into the city by organisers because they wanted to make the event more accessible to people living downtown. Originally unsure if this would open the festival to a greater risk of getting shut down, organisers were given the final push when DOChina, an independent documentary film festival scheduled to take place in Songzhuang in May, was forced to be cancelled. Organisers eventually decided to host the festival at the Dongjen Book Club, located in the capital’s Xicheng District but decided they would not officially announce the venue until the last minute to lower the risk of a premature shutdown. This strategy was similarly adopted by ShanghaiPRIDE in 2010 after the police demanded the cancellation of several events during the inaugural festival a year earlier.
Three days before the start of the festival, however, on June 12, district police as well as officers from the Bureau of Industry and Trade, as well as the Culture Bureau, showed up at the book club, and demanded to meet with the organisers. At this meeting, the police informed organisers that the festival was illegal and had to be cancelled. The book club was also threatened with "harsh consequences" if it decided to go ahead with the hosting of the festival. Organisers, till this day, remain in the dark as to how government authorities found out where they were hosting the event, as the venue was very much a tight secret kept among themselves.
Eventually, organisers decided they would go ahead with the festival, but host each night’s screenings at a different location, and close the event only to invited guests. To the general public though, they gave the impression that the festival was indeed cancelled — people who had booked seats were informed that the event would not be taking place.
Notable Taiwanese gay filmmaker Mickey Chen, on his very first trip to mainland China, told Shanghaiist how organisers were still scrambling to finalise the venue for his screening on the day itself. Other guests invited to the festival from outside of mainland China include queer cinema pioneer Barbara Hammer, Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival organizer Sridhar Rangayan, and Chinese-Canadian video artist Wayne Yung. They presented their films alongside about 15 mainland Chinese filmmakers. A grand total of 500 people attended the five day festival.
Read the Beijing Queer Film Festival organisers’ statement (in English and Chinese) here.
22 June, 2011 – MSM Global Forum
China. Stigma of HIV imperils hard-won strides in saving lives.
by Qiu J.
Beijing—Encouraged by last month’s news that AIDS mortality has plummeted in China, authorities here are embarking on a new 5-year plan for tackling the epidemic that includes ambitious targets for case detection and access to treatment. But further gains are jeopardized, critics warn, by rampant discrimination against HIV-infected individuals and the entrenched stigma of homosexuality in China. “HIV/AIDS prevention is not just a clinical matter,” says Joseph Lau, a public health expert at Chinese University of Hong Kong. “There are serious social and culture barriers to overcome to ultimately win the battle against the disease.”
By the end of 2010, China had recorded 379,348 cases of HIV infection, including 138,288 people who had developed AIDS, and 72,616 deaths, according to Wu Zunyou, director of the National Center for AIDS/STDControl and Prevention of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) here. After years of virtually ignoring the epidemic, China introduced antiretroviral therapy to treat HIV-infected people in 2002. That move made a huge difference: In The Lancet Infectious Diseases on 19 May, Chinese CDC researchers reported that AIDS mortality in China declined 64% between 2002 and 2009. Mortality rose slightly last year. But for thousands of Chinese, interventions are coming too late, or not at all. CDC estimates that there are 740,000 HIV-infected people—twice the reported number. ManyAIDS patients in China are gravely ill by the time they are fi rst tested for HIV, says Hao Yang, deputy director of disease prevention and control at China’s health ministry. In 2010, a quarter of those who tested positive had already developed AIDS, and nearly half of the partners of HIV-infected people were infected; among fatalities, 82.4% died before getting treated. “Early detection remains the biggest challenge,” Wu says.
In the new 5-year action plan, China aims to reduce new infections by 25% and the fatality rate by 30% by 2015, Wu says. To achieve those targets, the government will expand detection programs, aiming to diagnose 75,000 cases this year, up 16.6% from 2010, and put more than 40,000 more people on treatment; by the end of last year, 108,800 people were on antiretroviral drugs. Hospitals in regions with high infection rates intend toimpose mandatory HIV testing for patients and for high-risk populations, including sex workers, injecting drug users, and men who have sex with men (MSM). Many experts warn that the strategy is likely to backfi re. “Mandatory HIV testing may pose threats to individuals’ rights,” says Zhang Konglai, an epidemiologist here at the Institute of Basic Medical Sciences of the ChineseAcademy of Medical Sciences (CAMS).
“There are reasons why people don’t want to go and get tested.” The chief fear is the black mark that HIV infection represents in Chinese society. “The consequence can be disastrous for people with HIV and their families if their HIV status becomes known,” says Guy Taylor, an advocacy expert in the Beijing offi ce of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). China’s top leaders have sought to ease the stigma. On World AIDS Day, state media have given prominent coverage to Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visits with AIDS patients. Hoping to reach out to more HIV-infected people, CDC has set up a network of some 9500 clinics that offer free and voluntary HIV/AIDS counseling and testing over the past decade.
However, few people avail themselves of these services. Many fear that a positive HIV status will not be kept confi dential, Taylor says. According to a 2009 UNAIDS survey, nearly a third of HIV-infected individuals reported a breach of confi dentiality by employers, friends, family members, and health care workers. The survey revealed that 12% of infected individuals had been denied treatment because of their HIV status, 7% had been forced to move home, and over threequarters said that family members had experienced discrimination. More than one-third claimed that they had been refused a job, had been denied a promotion, or had their job duties changed as a result of their HIV status—despite a 2007 national law that guarantees HIV carriers the right to work. Undermining that law are national regulations that prohibit people with HIV/AIDS from working in the civil service, or in hotels, cafes, and beauty salons, for example. Last August, a 22-year-old college graduate sued Anhui Province education bureau for rejecting his job application after he tested positive for HIV in a mandatory civil service blood test. He lost his case and the appeal. “This has sent a very bad signal and will encourage more employers to turn down people with HIV/AIDS,” says Zhai Xiaomei, director of CAMS’s Center for Bioethics here. With livelihoods at stake, few HIV-infected individuals are likely to submit to testing until they have full-blown AIDS.
View original article here
July 01, 2011 – Advocate.com
Chinese LGBT Groups Protest Online Censorship
By Andrew Harmon
The Chinese social networking website Douban may be waning in popularity with LGBT people due to apparent censorship, Time’s Jessie Jiang reports. Some LGBT groups have recently reported that their posts for events on the website have been disappearing, sparking a boycott. "It’s better than a month ago when they basically wouldn’t publish any of our messages. Now they are letting through a selected few,” said Wang Qing, a spokeswoman for the Beijing LGBT Center.
But some groups have moved to smaller websites to communicate their messages. "We all know that LGBT groups love Douban," wrote one Beijing gay rights group in a letter to Douban. "You once aspired to freedom, independence and equality, but now you have broken our hearts."
Read Jiang’s full report here.
2011 July 4 – UNAIDS
Being Together in a World with HIV – Movie “Love for Life” and Documentary “Together”
by Xia Yubing, UNAIDS China Office
In May 2011, the film “Love for Life” and the documentary “Together”, both of which deal with topics relating to HIV, hit the screens in China, attracting much public attention.
“Love for Life” tells the story of a Chinese village in the 1990s, where a young man and woman infected with HIV through selling blood meet, fall in love and marry. The film follows their joys and sorrows, until their eventual deaths from AIDS. The film shows in stark detail the various difficulties faced by people living with HIV at the time: poverty, pain, fear, despair, loneliness, discrimination, and the loss of dignity, a future and intimacy.
The story depicted in “Love for Life” takes place during the first ten years of the HIV epidemic. At that time, the world’s reaction to HIV was slow, and medical science had no answers to the disease. Countries across the world gave insufficient political attention and commitment to the problem, and there were no international or community-based civil society organisations providing care and support for those infected. This year is the 30th year of the HIV epidemic and compared with the past, the situation both in China and globally is very different. Starting in 2003, China launched its “Four Frees, One Care” policy, increasing the number of people receiving treatment from virtually zero in 2003, to over 86,000 in 2010. More and more people living with HIV are enjoying the benefits of highly effective treatments, which make HIV into a manageable condition, and allow people living with HIV to lead long, fulfilled lives.
Despite this huge progress however, the discrimination seen in the film is still present. The documentary “Together” showed how the production crew of “Love for Life” tried to get people living with HIV involved as film extras and members of the production crew. Through the whole process – from searching for candidates online, to face to face interviews, to finally finding three people living with HIV willing to participate in the film – we see the negative impacts of stigma and discrimination on those living with HIV.
In reality, changes are taking place. In its first week in cinemas, “Love for Life” took in over 58 million RMB at the box office. Gu Changwei and Zhang Ziyi won awards at the 20th Shanghai Film Critics Prize for best director and best female actress. “Together” was screened at the Berlin Film Festival, and received standing ovations from audiences. On the popular film review website, Douban, “Together” received ratings of 8.9 and netizens’ comments were full of tears, understanding and emotion. Some spent time educating others about how HIV can be transmitted, how transmission can be prevented between mothers and children, and other key facts. One netizen, calling herself “Fox in the Shadows” said “I’d never seen a film about HIV before because I really didn’t want to know anything about it. But after having the opportunity to see “Love for Life”, a lot of my misconceptions have been overturned and I plan to really try to learn more about these people and get to know them. If I see a person with HIV on the street one day looking for a hug, I will go and hug them without hesitation.”
2011 July 4 – PubMed.gov
Use of the Internet for sex partnership in men who have sex with men before HIV infection.
by Lee SS, Tam DK, Mak DW, Wong KH.
Stanley Ho Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, Hong Kong.
Over half (58.4%) of 77 recently diagnosed Chinese HIV infected men having sex with men (MSM) had networked sex partners through Internet in the year prior to their infections. Internet using MSM were younger (29.6y vs 38.7y; t = -4.77, P < 0.01), better educated, more likely to have a regular sex partner, and have undergone regular HIV testing (Chi square = 5.57, P < 0.05). These characteristics could be used for planning public health interventions.
5 July 2011 – Fridae
Earth-shattering: CCTV slams Lü Liping for stoking homophobia, gives nod to China’s gay community
by Kenneth Tan
Gays and lesbians across China were left pleasantly stunned last evening by an unexpected report from national broadcaster CCTV which not only slammed award-winning actress Lü Liping for stoking homophobia, but also assured members of the LGBT community of their place in society. Lü, winner of the Golden Horse Best Actress Award in 2010 and a born-again evangelical, had enthusiastically retweeted the homophobic comments on Sina Weibo by a Chinese pastor in Rochester, New York decrying the passage of same-sex marriage in the state.
This sparked off an intense debate that began with a call by gay activists for the boycott of Lü’s movies and has hogged headlines across greater China in the subsequent week. As celebrities, writers and academics alike joined in the whirlwind of debate, the Golden Horse Awards decided to rescind its invitation to Lü to present this year’s awards. In the report on the programme "24 Hours" on the CCTV News channel, host Qiu Qiming held out unusually harsh words for Lü Liping, urging her to "reconsider her ways". He said, "We respect the faith of individual celebrities, and we allow them to have their own point of view on issues. But, that does not mean that we agree that a person of such influence should have the power to openly discriminate against certain communities in China."
”There is no doubt," Qiu added, "that the sexual orientation of certain people in our midst are different from the rest of us. But they are also diligently contributing to society. Gay people, like us, have the right to exist and develop themselves in society, and this right should not be overtaken by any other concept.“ And in a reference to Voltaire’s famous aphorism, Qiu said in closing, "We’d like to say a word to the gay community — and it’s something we’ve all heard many times over — I may not agree with the way you live, but I will defend your right to be different from me."
The state-owned broadcaster’s slapping down of Lü Liping for crossing the line may be indicative of the government’s wariness of the potential rise of political Christianity in China and the import of cultural clashes from the west. Within the gay community, while many are understandably euphoric over the unexpected turn of events from the most unexpected source, there are others who remain unimpressed that this will bring about any real change. For starters, China’s nascent gay movement continues to be too fragmented and impoverished to pose any real challenge to the government on policy matters. And it will continue to remain so for the foreseeable future as it struggles to find its voice on the public square.
This article was first published by Shanghaiis on Jun 22, 2011.
2011-July-11 – China Daily
Gay men hit hard by HIV/AIDS
by Shan Juan (China Daily)
Beijing – Gay and bisexual men account for around one in every three new cases of HIV in China, according to the latest official statistics released by the Ministry of Health. About 5 percent of the group – officially termed men who have sex with men, or MSM – are living with the virus, which is a rate that is 88 times higher than the national HIV prevalence rate of 0.057 percent. The problem is particularly acute in large urban centers, with the prevalence rate in some southwestern cities reaching almost 20 percent. However, the statistics also show that less than half of all gay and bisexual men have access to HIV screening, while about 15 percent of those who are infected are not receiving treatment.
"Cities are at the heart of China’s development and progress and must remain at the forefront of its HIV response," said Michel Sidibe, executive director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), during a workshop about the HIV impact on MSM on Saturday in Chengdu, capital of Southwest China’s Sichuan province. "Through bold action cities can lead the way to achieving the UNAIDS vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths," he said, according to a UNAIDS news release. "We hope that over the next year, many more Chinese cities will implement MSM strategies."
Almost 10 percent of gay and bisexual men in Chengdu are HIV-positive, according to Yang Xiaoguang, director of the city’s health bureau. He agreed with Sidibe that cities have a crucial role to play in AIDS prevention and added: "By working to build a strong, multi-sector response in Chengdu, with meaningful community participation, we can scale-up coverage of prevention, treatment and care services among MSM and halt the spread of HIV." During the workshop, senior Chinese health officials, representatives from civil societies and other delegates discussed a new five-year strategy that increases coverage of HIV prevention and treatment for the MSM population and promotes the participation of community organizations.
Government estimates put China’s population of gay men at between 5 and 10 million, although Zhang Beichuan, a leading expert on HIV at Qingdao University, puts the number closer to 30 million. Tong Ge, coordinator of China’s MSM Health Forum, noted the importance of ensuring strong cooperation between the government and society. "By building on the experiences of cities like Chengdu, which already have well developed AIDS responses, we can help promote multi-sector collaboration on an equal, orderly basis and strengthen the response to HIV nationwide," he said. "The next step will be to implement similar strategies in other cities nationwide."
Chengdu’s new strategy underscores the critical role community organizations can play in reaching MSM and other populations at a higher risk of infection, experts at the workshop said. In 2009, China had an estimated 740,000 people living with HIV/AIDS, according to UNAIDS statistics.
13 July 2011 – Fridae
Gay and bisexual men account for about 1 in every 3 new cases of HIV in China
by News Editor
As China’s gay population is hardest hit by HIV/AIDS, senior Chinese health officials, representatives from civil societies and other delegates met to discuss a new five-year strategy to scale-up HIV prevention programmes and treatment, and promote community-based organisation participation. Gay and bisexual men account for around one in every three new cases of HIV in China, according to an UN report citing official statistics released by China’s Ministry of Health. However, according to government figures, less than half of the MSM population has access to HIV testing services and less than 15% of HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) who need treatment are receiving it.
Approximately 5% of men who have sex with men in China are living with HIV – 88 times higher than the national HIV prevalence of 0.057%. In the city of Chengdu, more than 10% of the MSM population is living with HIV. Across China, HIV prevalence is generally higher in cities and urban areas, reaching almost 20% in some south-western cities.
Government officials, civil society and UN representatives met a workshop held in Chengdu, China, last Thursday, July 9, and discussed a new five-year strategy that calls for a "dramatic scale-up in the coverage of HIV prevention and treatment for the MSM population" in Chengdu and promotes the participation of community-based organisations in the city’s response to HIV. Participants included senior officials from China’s Ministry of Health, government officials from Sichuan Provincial Health Bureau, representatives from civil society and Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).
“Cities have a critical role to play in the AIDS response,” said Mr Yang Xiaoguang, Director of Chengdu Health Bureau, speaking at the workshop. “By working to build a strong, multi-sectoral response in Chengdu, with meaningful community participation, we can scale up coverage of prevention, treatment and care services among MSM and halt the spread of HIV in our city,” he added.
Tong Ge, Coordinator of China’s MSM Health Forum and a participant in the Chengdu workshop, noted the importance of ensuring strong cooperation between government and civil society. “By building on the experiences of cities like Chengdu, which already have well developed AIDS responses, we can help to promote multi-sectoral collaboration on an equal, orderly basis and strengthen the response to HIV nationwide,” said Mr Tong. “The next step will be to implement similar strategies in other cities nationwide,” he added.
2011 July 22 – PubMed.gov
Online Sex-Seeking Behaviors Among Men Who have Sex with Men: Implications for Investigation and Intervention.
by Li Q, Liu Y, Zhou Z, Li S, Luo F, Li D, Shi W, Jiang S, Yang Y, Jia Y, Xing H, Xiao D, Ruan Y, Shao Y. – State Key Laboratory for Infectious Disease Prevention and Control, and National Center for AIDS/STD Control and Prevention (NCAIDS), Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing, 100050, People’s Republic of China.
To investigate factors associated with online sex-seeking behaviors among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Beijing, China. MSM participants were recruited from two cohort studies with multiple enrollment methods from November 2006 to February 2007 and from March to June 2008, respectively. Data collected included demographics and sexual behaviors. Of the 901 participants, 68.1% were single; 69.3% were non-Beijing residents; 94.4% considered themselves to be homosexual; 65.2% received college or higher levels of education; the median age was 26 years; 73.0% sought male sex partners via the Internet in the past 3 months; 66.2% had =2 sex partners. Younger age, higher levels of education and having had =2 male sex partners in the past 3 months were independently associated with seeking sex partners on the Internet. These findings indicate that Internet-based intervention programs could encourage younger high-risk MSM to use condoms and reduce their numbers of sexual partners.
10 August 2011 – Fridae
Curtain comes down on Shanghai gay club before official opening
by J.W. Ken
Club Angel, said to be the largest gay club in Shanghai which opened its doors in June, announced that it will be closed temporarily until further notice due to licensing issues and complaints alleging that pornographic activities were taking place in the club. An exciting megaclub in downtown Shanghai promised to be different when it held its soft opening in June. Club Angel was featured in the Time Out Shanghai magazine and its popularity also spread quickly via word-of-mouth. A boys’ club being discussed among the gay girls means one thing – even the women want to elbow their way past the swarm of sweaty bodies in a nightspot surely to be jammed packed with mostly men. In the thick of the buzz, the 800-square-metre club at Wulumuqi, near Hengshan Road, announced it would be closed temporarily from July 28 until further notice.
Owner Ricky Lu, who is behind the now-defunct Pinkhome club, told Fridae he was in discussions with the authorities over licensing issues and hopes the club may re-open in a month. The bar had received an “environmental license” and still needed to navigate around other rule and regulations, he said, without elaborating.
“Soft” launches are mysterious periods of time when friends and old-patrons come by because licenses are not fully granted or an establishment has not passed food and safety inspections or arranged for payment facilities. It may also be a period when rules and regulations are being negotiated. Some bars and restaurants continue to operate in this halfway zone for months. Local media suggested that the Shanghai authorities had received a barrage of complaints about the new venue. There were claims of sexual and pornographic activities at the club. Club Angel denied this in an announcement online branding the accusations “an attack on the gay community.” The bar uploaded video clips and photos on its official microblog on Weibo, China’s Twitter, to prove it was just like any other bar. The club had also reportedly stated that they had enough reasons to believe the complaints originated from competitors – other gay clubs in town.
A government official was quoted by the Shanghai Daily, a state-run English language newspaper, saying the closure of Club Angel had nothing to do with it being a gay venue. “The club was temporarily closed because it illegally started trial operations without a business license. The crackdown had nothing to do with discrimination against the gay community,” said an official with the Xuhui Cultural Law Enforcement Team. “When it has all the necessary and legal licenses and permissions, it may be reopened again.” But on the web, netizens voiced their concerns about what the shutdown could mean for the future of openly gay venues in the city. Q Bar, a popular gay bar near the famous Bund on Shanghai’s revitalised waterfront, was raided in April and remains closed.
“Even if the gay pubs have been allowed to open, the supervising authorities can shut them down at any time by finding problems with safety issues,” said a blogger, nicknamed Xili, nothing that gay venues were always being watched by the authorities. Homosexuality was decriminalised in 1997 and officially removed from a list of mental disorders in 2001 but remains largely invisible in China.
August 12, 2011 – PubMed
The Relationship Between Intercourse Preference Positions and Personality Traits Among Gay Men in China.
by Zheng L, Hart TA, Zheng Y. – Key Laboratory of Cognition and Personality (Southwest University), Ministry of Education, Chongqing, 400715, China.
Distinctions are commonly made regarding preferences for insertive or receptive anal intercourse within the gay male community. Three sexual self-labels are typically specified: "top," meaning a man who prefers the insertive position, "bottom," meaning a man who prefers the receptive position, and "versatile," meaning a man willing to perform either position. The aim of this study was to examine personality differences among these three groups in gay men in China. We sampled 220 Internet-obtained Chinese gay men on instrumentality, expressiveness, gender-related interests, self-ascribed masculinity- femininity (Self-MF), and Big Five personality traits. Significant differences were found among sexual self-label groups in sexual behavior and in gendered traits and interests. Tops scored higher than the bottoms on instrumentality, gender-related interests, and self-ascribed masculinity-femininity (Self-MF) and bottoms scored higher than tops on expressiveness. Versatiles’ scores in gender-related traits were intermediate between that of tops and bottoms. There were no significant differences in Big Five traits among the three groups. Sexual self-labels appear not only to distinguish sexual behavior patterns but may also suggest gender role differences among Chinese gay men.
August 21st, 2011 – China Hush
The first gay wedding in Shenzhen
by DongXia He
"I take him for my wedded mate. I will love, honor, comfort, and cherish him from this day forward, forsaking all others, keeping only unto him for as long as we both shall live." There was a special wedding in a hotel of Luohu district, Shenzhen on August 19. There was no bride, but two bridegrooms: the 25-year-old Mark and 23-year-old An An. This is the first gay wedding made public in Shenzhen. They shared the cake, bowed to heaven and earth, exchanged the rings and kissed each other like other couples. They hope that they can get blessings and understanding from the society.
Friends and relatives refused to show up
The hotel posted a red paper at the entrance as the custom does. It wrote congratulations to the wedding of Mr. Mark and Mr. An An. Many passers-by reminded the staff that it shall be Mr. and Miss. The waiter and waitress explained that it was not a typo. There were only 5 friends and relatives attended the wedding. "They still don’t understand us" Mark said. Before the wedding, he and An sent invitation cards and made phone calls to dozens of friends and relatives. They invited them to be their love witness. But most of them declined with all kinds of reasons. Or they received the replies like "An, you must be crazy. Go and see the mental doctor please." "Mark, you must be kidding. I’ll present next time when you marry a girl." Mark and An booked 5 tables originally. Only 2 were full that day. They didn’t invite their parents, "We dare not to tell them. They will be furious to death if they know it".
Aunt witnessed their love
3 of Mark’s female friends and 1 of An’s male friend (groomsman) came. "I’m gay too. I know it’s hard for them to be together. I come to give my best wishes." the groomsman said. He told the journalist that most of gay people hide their love to avoid discrimination. He admires Mark and An’s courage, that they dare to make the wedding public . Another guest was An’s aunt Yu. She gave two rainbow wrist ribbons to the couple, because rainbow was seen as a symbol as love of the same-sex. Yu burst into tears several times during the wedding and said sorry to her elder brother. "My nephew doesn’t dare to tell their parents. And I don’t dare to tell my brother and sister in law. But I can feel my nephew’s happiness, so I hope that they remain a devoted couple for good and all" she said. An grew up with Yu. Yu is aunt as well as good friend.
When An told his aunt he was gay, Yu couldn’t understand him and blamed him for that. But An went down on his knees at the door of Yu’s room for 3 days to ask blessing from her. Finally, Yu promised to go to their wedding. "We are gay. Maybe we are not accepted by the society, but we love each other and marry each other. We will accompany each other day and night, will not abandon and leave" in front of Yu, Mark and An spoke out their love oath. They burst into tears and kissed deeply.
They fell in love with each other at the first sight
Mark is from Hebei. Last year he went to work in Qingdao. He met An in a gay bar and fell in love with each other at the first sight. Mark had twice love affairs (with girls) in his middle school. After college, he found himself interested in the handsome boys rather than girls. He was annoyed. "I always have sleepless night. I felt that I am abnormal. I didn’t dare to communicate with other people." Mark recalled. When he was a sophomore, he watched the film Lan yu, which was about two gay men. He began to be sure that he was gay. Then he found there were a lot of gay people in this society. Through gay bars and websites, he met many friends.
An has the same experience. He moved out of college to live with Mark in March last year.
They hope to restrain each other by wedding
"There’s no right and wrong in love. If you like one, love this person in your heart, no matter your partner is male or female…" Mark sang this song to An in the wedding. The tune of it was written by An and the lyric by Mark. This is the sound of their souls and for all the love of homosexuality. They came to Shenzhen this year after An’s graduation from college. They found this city very modern and open. Mark explained many gay people had an indulge life. It will be easy for them to get HIV. They hope to have marriage, because it can offer a stable and trustworthy feeling. And making the wedding public can restrain each other. "We hope this wedding can let the society highlight the best of us. And I hope to get the lawful marriage certificate." Mark said.
03 September 2011 – ILGA Asia
Pub owner in China jailed for gay shows
A pub owner in China who organised gay performances has been sentenced to five months in prison and fined 5,000 yuan ($783). The Huangpu district people’s court jailed Wang Bing for pornography, the Shanghai Daily reported. The 47-year-old owns a pub in the downtown area and is also a marketing director of a local arts venue. When he opened his pub, it failed to do good business, and he tried to organise gay performances to woo customers.
Wang invited Xiao Hui, a bar dancer, to perform at his pub. But police raided the pub on neighbours’ complaints. Wang pleaded guilty and was later jailed. The gay performer’s fate couldn’t be known.
September 08, 2011 – Xtra!
Behind the policy 5.45 battle lines
Natasha Barsotti in Vancouver
Charter Lau lets the gender of his gay sibling slip in conversation but doesn’t want it revealed — to protect his relative’s identity, he says. So we talk in generalities: the sibling, the person, they. He found out about the sibling’s sexuality through his mother, who wrote about it in a letter to her other children. Lau doesn’t know how she found out, but she wasn’t thrilled. “We told my mom, ‘Look, we’re all grown up. What’s the big deal?”
“She wasn’t happy because she wants offspring,” Lau elaborates. “It’s not a right or wrong thing; it’s a preference thing. If someone wants offspring from her offspring, the person does not give her the offspring, she’s not happy,” he continues with a chuckle. “It’s a culture thing: this is how humans sustain, right?” Lau says his parents never brought up sexuality, let alone homosexuality. “Because they didn’t mention it, we figure it might not totally be a good thing. Otherwise they will say, This is good, this is bad, right? This is the hot button.”
“Anything that is not normal is not okay in Chinese society,” asserts Hong Kong–born Heinel Wong, who recently shared an account of losing his anal virginity with Xtra readers. “And normal is really, really normal,” he emphasizes. “No sex until married, guys should be providers, they should be tough; females should be gentle, more nurturing, stay at home, cook, take care of the kids. They should fit a certain mould in such a way that the family can continue on.” As things stand, there’s no estrangement between Lau’s family and the sibling, who is still welcome at family gatherings and brings a partner, who is referred to as a friend.
“We solve the problem. We love the sibling, we have dinner, everything that a normal sibling will do in the family, except we don’t talk about sexuality,” Lau says, describing a kind of détente where no one forces anybody to accept a particular point of view. “My sibling appreciates the fact that we accept the sibling. ‘Accept’ meaning we tolerate it. We don’t make a big fuss, we pretend that nothing happened and then everybody is happy.” That said, Lau and his family feel homosexual sex will lead to ill health. He cites a recent study that shows more than half of all new HIV infections in BC are occurring in men who have sex with men. Lau, who was born in Hong Kong in 1958 and moved to Vancouver in 1991, says Chinese people are not enthusiastic about discussing sexuality, straight or gay.
18 October 2010 – GayTravel.com
The Gayest Little City in China
by GayTravel Member
Editor’s Note: We called out for articles from the LGBT community and Sean Santiago answered. This is a man who truly can write some awesome for gaytravel.com.
Chengdu, China has a reputation for being the gayest little city in the country, a comfortable spot outside of the twin mega-metropolises of Beijing and Shanghai for the same-sex inclined. I determined to visit the city to find out first-hand if it deserved the reputation that preceded it, much to the horror of a Chinese friend who exclaimed that she knew a guy who went there and “became a gay.” Was there something in the water? Would I feel it in the air? It was time for some reconnaissance. Unlike U.S. cities with a gay-friendly reputation, there is no “gay” neighborhood in Chengdu. Homosexuality is very much taboo in socially conservative China, so I didn’t have my breath held for a Castro Street or Chelsea equivalent (although wouldn’t that have been a pleasant surprise?).
The scene was limited – I had four bars to choose from in total. The oldest gay club in the city is Bianzou, formerly 1+1 club, which features cabaret performances and is noted for its drag shows. Preferring instead to shake my groove thing, I proceeded to what I thought would be an alternative, Mu Di Di (Destination). The online write-up declared it a “beautifully designed gay bar and karaoke club,” so I was surprised to find the small space bathed in cheesy red light, although the blow-up dolphins dangling from the ceiling annulled any sex-district connotations.
I arrived in the middle of a fast-paced drag show and saw no other foreigners around. I took a stand across from the performances and watched as the more traditionally clothed queens (think Beijing opera get-ups) basked in their popularity, proven by an audience that voted for its favorites with flowers – much sweeter than dollars in the waistband. The show came to a conclusion a little before one in the morning and that’s when I called it quits as well, entertained but frustrated. Was this the “scene”? How was a foreigner supposed to get in on the action? The next night I headed out a little later in the evening to MC bar, the city’s most recently opened gay institution and its most popular. I was discouraged to find it set up in what I’ve come to consider a uniquely Chinese style. Tables crowded the limited floor space and a small stage, surrounded by the bar, served as a performance area. Chinese sit at the tables and order fruit plates and French fries, then play dice games and shout to each other over music played at a volume only acceptable for the most aggressive of raves.
I weaved in and out of groups of guys speaking only Chinese and found my way to a bartender. After pointing to a bottle and shouting “One of these!” about ten times, I realized that, despite being behind the bar, I was in fact harassing a random stranger. Around the time the lip-synching mock-violinist took to the stage to mime Cotton-Eye Joe, I threw in the towel. The music was dated and more than once brought to mind my mother’s “Fired Up!” workout tapes. To wind up the evening I ventured hesitatingly into MC sauna next door. Having only heard tell of such places I feared the worst, – an open-air orgy? – but found only lockers, showers and a menu of treatments. The action, if any, would have to take place behind closed doors in the VIP section. I suppose it’s nice to know that kind of thing is available in Chengdu if you’re interested, but I wasn’t, so I turned around and left.
There isn’t gay juice coming out of the taps and the sky doesn’t have a mysterious biological penchant for conjuring up rainbows, but by Chinese standards, Chengdu is the gayest little city (of 10 million) in the country. It is a place Chinese men can comfortably reach out to each other and it was nice to find that there is also an LGBT resource center in the city, although the LGBT community is itself too much of a pressurized issue to offer the kind of experience a Western traveler might expect. If you want an outrageous story to tell, visit Bangkok. If you want a peek into growing up gay in China, visit Chengdu.
24 October 2011 – Fridae
Great firewall of China comes down on Shanghai Pride website
by J. W. Ken
As Shanghai’s week-long pride festival kicked off over the weekend, the festival website with details of the events – shanghaipride.com – has been effectively blocked by a firewall. Internet censorship and survelliance are common complaints in China and the gay community are no strangers to it. As Shanghai’s week-long pride festival kicked off over the weekend, the festival website with details of the events – shanghaipride.com – has been effectively blocked by a firewall.
Shanghai’s City Weekend magazine had only said last week to look out for venue details, exact times and location to be released a day or two before each event. The strategy of the organisers was targeted to avoid complications. The government forced some events to be dropped at short notice during the first pride festival launched in the city in 2009.
Thus the opening party which flagged off the festival, the only one of its kind for LGBT in China, took place without much razzle dazzle on Saturday night. A small crowd mingled outside the Mexican restaurant in Yongjia Road in Shanghai’s former French Concession. Inside the entrance was a small poster with the word “Pride”, if one looked for it hard enough. The reception counter had a few flyers indicating there was a party going on but there were no rainbow colours or flags of any sort to mark the event. The only clue was perhaps the level of chic at the party. Men were dressed in signature tight shirts and pants and some women were androgynous, clad in jackets and hats. Except for a short drag performance, the low-key event could have been mistaken for a regular private party anywhere in the city.
Read complete article here
November 2011 – Words without Borders
The Story of a Homosexual: An Interview with Ni Dongxue
I met Ni Dongxue in 2006, in a quiet and nicely decorated gay bar through two musician friends who played in a band there. The bar is located in the city’s Moziqiao region, a popular nightlife spot. A pioneer and recognized leader in Chengdu’s gay community, the then-thirty-six-year-old Ni graduated from Beijing Teachers’ University with a master’s degree in psychology. Ni wore heavy makeup and a bright yellow shirt. He said he visited the place every week to socialize with his friends and fans. According to the owner, Ni is known within the circle for his prettiness and his knowledge of and outspokenness about gay issues.
Liao: This is my first time here. Actually, I’ve never been in a gay bar. I used to hear so much about these underground gay bars. I have to admit it is not as secretive and mysterious as I expected. I don’t see anyone posted outside to watch for police. I don’t hear any disco music or see any rowdy dancers. People talk quietly. Classical music wafts through the air, blending nicely with the dimly lit surroundings. It’s great for conversation. I’m really impressed with the atmosphere inside this club.
Ni Dongxue: Please don’t use the word “club.” Unlike the West, we don’t have any openly gay clubs in China. All we have is a place where gay people meet regularly. Nowadays, the police pretty much leave us alone. We feel safe here. Of course, we always welcome new friends to join us.
Liao: But I’m not gay.
Ni: It doesn’t matter. Now, hold my hands and look me in the eye. Do I look like a woman? I don’t have a single trace of a man’s look. At this very moment, I don’t feel any part of me is male. So, don’t be afraid. Just hold my hands tightly. I won’t force you to kiss me or do anything. That would hurt both of us. This is a public place anyway.
Anyhow, why do you want to interview me? Do you feel sorry for me?
Liao: No, I want to write about you because I’m very sympathetic to the situation facing gay people in China, and I want more people to know about and understand the community.
Ni: For gay people, their love begins with mutual sympathy. We are certainly a minority in China. For me, it is essential for two vulnerable human beings to hold on to each other and find strength in each other. In many ways, the desire and the need to hold on to each other is like a religion in our community and has been encoded in our genes.
Read complete article here
2011 December – PubMed.gov
HIV, Sex Work, and Civil Society in China
by Kaufman J.
Schneider Institutes for Health Policy, Heller School, Brandeis University, Waltham.
Harm reduction programs for sex workers have been hampered by the prioritization of law enforcement over AIDS prevention. For example, the April 2010 "strike-hard" campaign against prostitution in Beijing, during which bars, nightclubs, saunas, and karaoke bars were raided, created an atmosphere that critically impeded human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) outreach activities for sex workers. In China, criminalization has limited the growth of a coherent and cohesive set of nongovernmental organization (NGO) actors working with sex workers to prevent HIV infection. Compared with other risk groups for HIV sexual transmission, such as men who have sex with men, the NGO community for sex workers is fragmented and poorly coordinated with government efforts, and basic rights for sex workers are often violated. This article examines civil society groups working on AIDS prevention and care for female sex workers in China and reviews constraints to their operations. China’s HIV prevention programs for sex workers are compared with sex worker HIV prevention in other Asian states where more well-developed NGOs exist and criminalization has been better balanced with harm reduction approaches, and recommendations are offered on improving China’s policies and programs.