China, Asia

China, is the largest country in East Asia and the most populous in the world with over 1.3 billion people, approximately a fifth of the world's population. It is a socialist republic ruled by the Communist Party of China under a single-party system. Since the introduction of market-based economic reforms in 1978, the poverty rate in the PRC has decreased from 53% in 1981 to 8% in 2001. Censorship of political speech and information is openly and routinely used to silence criticism of government and the ruling Chinese Communist Party. A number of foreign governments and NGOs routinely criticize the PRC, alleging widespread civil rights violations including systematic use of lengthy detention without trial, forced confessions, torture, mistreatment of prisoners, restrictions of freedom of speech, assembly, association, religion, the press, and labor rights. Regarding homosexuality, sodomy was decriminalized in 1997, and the new Chinese Classification and Diagnostic Criteria of Mental Disorders removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses in 2001. The situation has continued to evolve. There is no explicit law against homosexuality, neither are there laws protecting gays from discrimination, nor are there any gay rights organizations in China. It is believed that the Chinese policy towards gay issues remains the "Three nos": no approval, no disapproval, and no promotion. An Internet survey in 2000 showed that Chinese people are becoming more tolerant towards homosexuals. 

 

News & Reports:

 

A queer state

This midsummer’s weekend, hundreds of Beijingers enjoyed ales and pies at the second annual craft-beer festival. The Beijing LGBT Centre, a non-profit organisation (for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people), had a stall there too, where they handed out T-shirts and answered questions (pictured to the right). This in itself was a small victory—the venue… Read more »

ideo of biggest gay pride parade in China released

Queer Comrades congratulate Changsha Pride for ‘courage’ after the biggest LGBT pride march in China Queer Comrades website, China’s ‘LGBT TV channel’, has released a video about last month’s pride march in Changsha, Henan province. It was the biggest LGBT pride parade in China so far, after Changsha Pride debuted on a much smaller scale… Read more »

China: 81-year-old inspired by Pride march to appeal rape conviction

An 81-year-old war veteran charged with raping 11 of his fellow workers during the rise of Mao Zedong says he has been inspired by a Pride march to defend himself for having had consensual sex with men. The man, known only by his surname, Li, said he read in the news about a Pride march… Read more »

Human rights in China

On May 14, the Information Office of the State Council—China’s cabinet—published Progress in China’s Human Rights in 2012. The cabinet’s white paper assesses human rights achievements through the lens of development: “Development is the key to solving all existing problems and facilitating progress of human rights in China.” The report reviews economic and social achievements… Read more »

Queer fest screens films from ‘homophobic’ China

Queer films from China, made under strict censorship and fear of reprisal from a “homophobic government”, will play in the city over the next few days as part of the fourth edition of the Kashish International Queer Film Festival that kicked off on Wednesday. This year, the festival’s country focus is on China, with two… Read more »

Gay rights activist arrested after protest in Changsha

Police in Changsha have detained a young gay rights activist after he organised a protest in the capital of Hunan province to mark International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. A 19-year-old man, identified only as Xiang, was arrested on Saturday and will be in administrative detention for 12 days for organising an “illegal protest”,… Read more »

China arrests gay activists during IDAHO events

LGBT rights advocates have been detained in at least two cities in China while engaging in IDAHO activities LGBT rights advocates were detained in at least two Chinese cities when celebrating the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHO). Officers detained about a dozen LGBT advocates who were handing flyers about IDAHO in a… Read more »

Gay Activists Press for Rights in China

Beijing — While the United States Supreme Court considers whether gay men and women have the right to marry, debate on the issue also is growing in China. Gay rights activists in that nation increasingly are vocal about the right to marry and live free from discrimination. Xiao Tie works at Beijing’s LGBT [Lesbian, Gay,… Read more »

Same-sex behaviour in ancient China differs from modern understanding: Richard Burger

Richard Burger, author of Behind the Red Door: Sex in China, explains in an interview that same-sex behaviour in ancient China differs from the modern understanding of homosexuality. China View reports: “The Chinese history of homosexuality has undergone a dramatic trajectory. In contemporary China, homosexuality wasn’t decriminalized until 1997. And in 2001, it was removed… Read more »

China’s Gays and Lesbians Join the Global Debate on Same-Sex Marriage

In a country where homosexuality was illegal until just 16 years ago and classed as a mental illness until 2001, advocates for gay rights in China complain that attitudes toward their community are years behind those in Western countries. But like their counterparts everywhere, Chinese gays and lesbians are fired up by the growing global… Read more »

Iceland PM’s visit inspires China lesbian couple to ‘marry’

Beijing: Busy shoppers in Guangzhou city of South China were surprised on Wednesday to see a lesbian couple seeking their blessings as they held their wedding. The couple said they were inspired by this week’s China visit of Iceland Prime Minister Johanna Sigurdardottir, a self-proclaimed lesbian who is engaged in a same-sex marriage. The girl… Read more »

Male-On-Male Intimate Partner Violence And Sexual Risk Behaviors Among Money Boys And Other MSM In Shanghai, China

Abstract Background: Intimate partner violence (IPV) is known to increase HIV risk among heterosexual women, but less is known about IPV and HIV among men who have sex with men (MSM), with almost no data from non-Western countries. This study examined the prevalence of IPV and links between IPV and HIV risks among MSM in… Read more »

Iceland PM asked to meet with gay rights activists in Chinese visit

Iceland’s prime minister has been asked to meet with the parents of gay children during her visit to China. Johanna Sigurdardottir, the world’s first openly gay prime minister, is due in the country next week. The Xinhua news agency reports Sigurdardottir and her wife Jonina Leosdottir have been asked to meet with members of PFLAG… Read more »

Gay sex to blame for 1,700 new HIV infections among Chinese students, experts say

Senior health experts say that sex between men is the main cause HIV infections among Chinese college students rose by 25% last year Gay sex is to blame for most of 2,000 new HIV infections in China last year, according to health experts. Over 1,700 college students were infected with HIV in 2012, approximately 65%… Read more »

Dating Violence Among Gay Men in China.

Abstract This is the first study on the prevalence of dating violence and threats of being forced to “come out of the closet” among Chinese gay men. Data on social demographic information and the experience of dating violence, including types of abuse, threats of “outing,” and the gender of abusers were collected from 418 gay… Read more »

Chinese Parents Fight for Gay Children’s Marriage Rights

Parents of Gays and Lesbians in China Demand Their Children Be Allowed to Marry Of all the ways a son can be disrespectful to his parents, argued the ancient Chinese philosopher Mencius, the worst is to have no offspring. Now, in a bold challenge to this centuries-old tradition, nearly 200 parents of gays and lesbians… Read more »

Emerging Chinese Leaders Head Home After Extensive Training

Emerging Chinese Leaders Head Home After Extensive Training Political economists have long noted the growing importance of the Pacific Rim. In 2011, for instance, the Brookings Institute noted that “the Asia-Pacific accounts for about 50 percent of trade and 60 percent of global GDP and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that by 2030, the… Read more »

Gay couple distraught after son obstructs online wedding

A gay couple has told of their disappointment after their wedding ceremony, which was being broadcast live online, was interrupted by the son of one of the couple. “We feel so upset and disgraced because the ceremony was interrupted by the son. He even beat the guests away. We are too upset to accept any… Read more »

A Proposal for Unwitting Wives of Gay Men in China

A few months after Americans approved gay marriage at the ballot box for the first time, a Chinese court has stirred controversy by recommending China making it easier for women to escape marriages to gay men. The First Intermediate Court of Beijing recently submitted a report calling for legislation that would allow people who discover… Read more »

Being gay in China

In both Chinese history and literature, homosexuality was open and tolerated. Has social acceptance come full cycle as China increasingly engages the international community? Is there a place for same-sex relationships now? The China Daily Sunday team of Han Bingbin, Gan Tian, Shi Yingying and Xu Lin file the reports. Pederasty, the erotic relationship between… Read more »

New study shows Chinese tolerance for homosexuality over thousands of years

A new study by a Chinese sociologist has documented tolerance of homosexuality and same-sex relationships going back thousands of years in China Chinese sociologist Pan Guangdan has documented acceptance of same-sex relationships in China going back thousands of years, suggesting that tolerance for LGBTs may be coming full circle in the People’s Republic of China.… Read more »

In China, Grass-Roots Groups Take On H.I.V./AIDS Outreach Work

Guangzhou, China — As he waited to give blood for an H.I.V. test one recent afternoon, Le, a 25-year-old marketing professional, explained why he was there. “I was aware of the consequences” of not using a condom, he said, “but somehow I didn’t know how to say no.” Le, a gay man who would give… Read more »

LGBT Issues in China

This semester I have been working at the Beijing LGBT Center. Before going to the center I was getting extremely excited to see how the LGBT community is thriving in Beijing. Not going to lie, I was not expecting much. Having learned about China’s reaction to the rise of the LGBT community and how it… Read more »

Activists march for gay rights in Macau

Gay rights march planned for former Portuguese colony near Hong Kong Activists in Macau are planning a march for gay rights on Thursday in response to the government not including same-sex partners in drafted cohabitation law. Jason Chao, who started a Facebook page urging the government to include gay couples in the domestic partnership law,… Read more »

Lesbians hold wedding in east China

Gay women openly hold a wedding ceremony in Wuhu, Anhui province, China Two lesbians held a wedding ceremony openly in Wuhu in China’s eastern Anhui province on Saturday 27 October, according to Xinhua news agency. It is the first public lesbian marriage ceremony in Wuhu, despite the fact that the Chinese government does not recognize… Read more »

PFLAG China confronts national adoption agency ban on gay couples

Message on China Center of Adoption’s website says homosexuality is a mental illness The director of PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) China has confronted the national adoption agency about a message on their website that says they don’t allow gay couples to adopt because homosexuality is a ‘mental illness’. Homosexuality was removed… Read more »

Coming out

More gay teenagers are gaining acceptance by their parents Homosexuality was declassified as a mental illness in China a decade ago, but prejudice remains deep. So when an editor at the government education department in the city of Hangzhou was compiling a pamphlet recently to help parents guide their children through puberty, she included a… Read more »

Mothers of LGBTs protest sexuality education textbook in Hangzhou

Following complaints from 18 mothers of gay children and gay groups over a sexuality education booklet targeted at parents of teenagers that describes homosexuality as a type of “sexual deviance”, the publisher has agreed to revise the sections about homosexuality in its second edition. About 50,000 copies of Parents, Please Walk Your Children Through Puberty… Read more »

First AIDS Walk planned for China

China will have it’s first AIDS Walk in October, along the Great Wall near Beijing Beijing Gender and Health Education Institute is planning the first AIDS walk in China. Organizers hope that around 150 people will walk together along the Great Wall of China just north of Beijing on Saturday 13 October to raise money… Read more »

First national LGBT conference in China draws 80 LGBT activists

More than 80 LGBT activists, representing 53 organisations and over 23 different regions in China attended the first ever national China LGBT Community Leader Conference in June. Watch Video here. On 16 and 17 June 2012, more than 80 LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) activists, representing 53 organisations and over 23 different regions from as… Read more »

New Chinese Dictionary Leaves Out Colloquial Term for ‘Gay’

A new edition of a Chinese dictionary omits the definition of a word that is commonly used to describe homosexuals, reports China’s state-run news agency Xinhua. The sixth edition of the Contemporary Chinese Dictionary does not define the word tongzhi (‘comrade’ in English), which is the colloquial term widely used in China to refer to… Read more »

Chinese dictionary leaves out popular word for ‘gay’

The Chinese gay community’s most popular word to refer to themselves has been left out of a new Chinese dictionary, sparking criticism A new edition of a modern Chinese language dictionary has been criticized for leaving out the most popular term used by Chinese gays to refer to themselves. The compilers of the Contemporary Chinese… Read more »

China lifts ban on lesbians donating blood

Lesbians in China can now legally give blood – although the ban on sexually active gay and bisexual men remains. The Ministry of Health announced last week that the ban on lesbians donating blood would be lifted immediately. State media suggested that celibate gay men would also be able to donate blood, as the wording… Read more »

China LGBT Community Leader Conference debates Future of LGBT Movement

On June 16 to 17, 2012, the China Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender (LGBT) Community Leader Conference successfully took place in Beijing. In a historic first, the conference managed to gather a varied selection of Chinese LGBT movement leaders. Emphasizing the participation of communities whose voice remains largely underrepresented in China’s LGBT movement, representatives of… Read more »

Homoerotic traditions in pre-modern Asian & Pacific Island societies

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer identities are commonly thought of as relatively recent, western, social constructs… but what do we know about non-heteronormative expressions of sexuality in historical Chinese, Korean, South Asian and Southeast Asian cultures? There is a very wide misconception that ‘lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender’ (LGBT) constitutes a purely modern phenomenon… Read more »

Discomfort over homosexuality helps spread HIV in China

Stigmas about homosexuality have kept people from seeking HIV testing, leading to a dramatic increase in the number of cases among gay men China’s discomfort over discussing sex, and especially homosexuality, is a major problem when it comes to HIV, according to a scientific journal. A consortium of six researchers in China point out in… Read more »

Gay and out in China

As society in China modernizes, its gay community is less mysterious and increasingly part of the country’s fabric, pursuing dreams and happiness like other citizens. Before setting out to document this story, I had a somewhat stereotypical image of gay Chinese – that they lived colorful and comfortable lives, with prominent members often active in… Read more »

Shanghai Pride Tshirt design revealed

We love the design of the new Shanghai Pride Tshirts The design of the new Shanghai Pride Tshirts were revealed today, ahead of the festival in early June. We love the use of Shanghai landmarks – the Jin Mao tower, the Expo’s China Pavilion, Shinmao International Plaza, the Oriental Pearl Tower and the Shanghai World… Read more »

Chinese erotic gay fiction site shut down

Founder of homoerotic fiction site imprisoned and fined, case reveals that most stories were written by young women around 20 years old The Chinese government has shut down a website that published homoerotic fantasy stories and imprisoned and fined its founder. A surprising aspect of the case was that most of the writers of the… Read more »

Over three-quarters of Chinese gay students bullied at school

New survey says 77% respondents were victims of school bullying based on sexual orientation or gender identity in China A new survey released for IDAHO (International Day Against Homophobia) has shown that over three-quarters of gay students in China were victims of bullying at school. The survey with 421 gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and straight… Read more »