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:


China: Progress on LGBTI rights. But more to do

Public opinion shifting to accept LGBTI people & equal rights Peter Tatchell, Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation, writes: LGBTI rights in China are moving in the right direction, slowly. The country’s ancient history and literature is scattered with references to gay men, such as Emperor Ai who, legend has it, cut off his sleeve… Read more »

China ‘bans Lady Gaga’ after Dalai Lama meeting

Communist party’s propaganda department reportedly issues ‘important instruction’ blocking singer’s entire repertoire from mainland Lady Gaga has reportedly been added to a list of hostile foreign forces banned by China’s Communist party after she met with the Dalai Lama to discuss yoga. The American pop singer, who has sold more than 27m albums, met the… Read more »

Increasing the visibility of LGBTS in China

Beijing – With the growth of social media, there is much more information on the community today, but they are still fighting for their legal rights. When his fellow playmates wrote love letters to girls, Devin Ji Guangyu, then 12 or 13, did the same, but also found boys to be attractive. He looked up… Read more »

Being LGBTI in China: A National Survey on Social Attitudes towards Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression

With great support from dozens of national and local community, business and media organizations, nearly 30,000 copies of valid questionnaires were received from all provinces of China. The survey reflects the life experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex (LGBTI) people, and people with other non-conforming sexual orientation, gender identities and expressions, in regards to… Read more »

China rights: Gay people pledge not to enter into sham marriages

A social media campaign has taken off among China’s lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) community which sees members pledging not to enter into sham marriages with straight people. Since last week, a number of users on popular microblogging network Sina Weibo have been posting selfies of themselves with the hashtag #I’m gay and won’t… Read more »

Judge in China Rules Gay Couple Cannot Marry

Beijing — A judge ruled on Wednesday against a gay couple who had sought the right to marry, in China’s first court case addressing the issue of same-sex unions. The couple, Sun Wenlin and Hu Mingliang, filed a lawsuit against a civil affairs bureau in Changsha, Hunan Province, in southern China, after the office refused… Read more »

Watch The Trailer for China’s ‘First Gay-Themed Film’

The country’s censors have historically taken a dim view of homosexuality It is not a secret that the Chinese government remains uncomfortable on the subject of homosexuality. True, the world’s most populous nation decriminalized gay sex in 1997 and homosexuality was removed from the official list of mental disorders four years later. But the treatment… Read more »

China bans depictions of gay people on television

Content that ‘exaggerates dark side of society’ is banned from TV – from homosexuality to adultery, showing cleavage and even reincarnation The Chinese government has banned all depictions of gay people on television, as part of a cultural crackdown on “vulgar, immoral and unhealthy content”. Chinese censors have released new regulations for content that “exaggerates… Read more »

China removes gay high school drama from streaming sites

China’s first gay web series has been removed from streaming sites. Addicted – a 15-episode series about a gay high school couple – vanished from the internet without warning on Monday (February 22), leaving angry fans in the country unable to watch the last three episodes. According to local media reports, censors took issue with… Read more »

Social workers in Singapore not trained to deal with LGBT issues

Reports reveal that three quarters of social workers in Singapore said they have not had any training on LGBT issues. But one group is doing something to change that. Social workers in Singapore feel ill-equipped to attend to clients with LGBT-related issues according to Straits Times. In November 2015, a study published in the International… Read more »

Couple’s Lawsuit Is First Test for Same-Sex Marriage in China

Changsha, China — The two young men met through an online chat group. They began seeing each other every day. Long walks in the park. Movies and barhopping. Dinner with grandparents. On their first anniversary, in June, the men, Sun Wenlin and Hu Mingliang, tried to register to marry at a local civil affairs bureau… Read more »

First Chinese same-sex marriage lawsuit gets hearing next week

The first lawsuit to challenge China’s ban on same-sex marriage will go to court next week. Filed by a gay man in Changsha, the lawsuit names a civil affairs bureau in the capital of the Hunan Province, for refusing to receive his marriage registration application. The lawsuit is believed to be the first to challenge… Read more »

China passes first domestic violence law, gay couples excluded

China’s largely rubber stamp parliament on Sunday passed the country’s first law against domestic violence, which covers unmarried people who cohabit but does not protect gay couples, a senior lawmaker said. China previously did not have a special law covering violence in the family, an issue often ignored to avoid bringing shame upon the family… Read more »

First lawsuit challenges Chinese same-sex marriage ban

What is believed to be the first lawsuit of its kind has been filed, challenging China’s ban on same-sex marriage. Filed by a gay man in Changsha, the lawsuit names a civil affairs bureau in the capital of the Hunan Province, for refusing to receive his marriage registration application. The lawsuit is believed to be… Read more »

Gay rights activists in China challenge homophobic textbooks

LGBT student activists have met with government officials from the Ministry of Education to remove textbooks which identify homosexuality as a mental disorder. LGBT activist Chen Qiuyuan has been lobbying the Ministry of Education in Beijing to remove textbooks from schools and universities that classify homosexuality as a mental disorder. In May Chen, a 20… Read more »

‘An important step’ for gay rights in China

Before she became enmeshed in a potentially groundbreaking lawsuit against the Chinese government, Chen Qiuyan was an ordinary college student struggling to come to terms with her sexuality. Early this year, the 20-year-old college junior was beginning to realize that she was a lesbian — her male classmates at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou didn’t… Read more »

Male rape now a crime in China

Chinese law previously only recognised sexual assault as a crime against women. Male rape is now officially a crime in China and will carry a minimum sentence of five years imprisonment. In the past, Chinese law only recognised sexual assault as an act against women, thus making it impossible for male rape victims to seek… Read more »

In China, Gay Marriage Is Between A Man And A Woman

In China there’s been a surge in xinghun, variously translated as “cooperative marriage” or “marriage-for-show”—that is, weddings between gay men and lesbian women. A young gay man in Beijing says that right now probably 50 percent of gays choose xinghun in order to assimilate into China’s conservative, family-oriented society. When gay men marry lesbian women,… Read more »

China’s censors approve first gay love story for theatrical release

A love story featuring a gay couple has become the first to get approval from China’s film regulators. The 2014 film ‘Seek McCartney’ was directed by Wang Chao. The announcement that the regulators had approved the film for a theatrical release was made by Wang on his blog. He said it was “a small step… Read more »

Chinese Expat Pens A Personal Story

Auckland, New Zealand – a Chinese expat, Dave Yan, who possesses a personal story of dedication, perseverance and ingenuity, released a biographical fiction novel, Over A Year, to celebrate being granted his New Zealand residency. Set in Auckland, the story surrounds the life of an international student, Dave, for the time period of over a… Read more »

For China’s gay men, Dongdan Park in Beijing offers haven

In 1984, Ning Guofeng, a.k.a. “Lady Paris,” was arrested by police officers after visiting Dongdan Park in Beijing — the third time he was charged with “hooliganism” in seven years. Sent to a labor camp for three years, Ning, now 77 and known as “Granny Paris,” still keeps returning to the scene of his alleged… Read more »

Many Chinese Cheer For U.S. Marriage Equality, But What Would Confucius Say?

When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to extend legal marriage nationwide to LGBT couples, it set Chinese social media abuzz with celebratory messages and rainbow flags. Chinese law does not recognize gay marriage, but recent years have seen the beginnings of an LGBT rights movement and broader public acceptance of it in the country. But… Read more »

Alibaba Helps Chinese LGBT Couples Say ‘We Do’ in West Hollywood

Beijing – It took a trip across the Pacific, but this week seven Chinese same-sex couples finally had the chance to say “I do” in West Hollywood. In an event co-sponsored by Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and the Chinese gay dating app Blued, the lucky couples won the chance for a destination wedding and star… Read more »

West Hollywood marries seven contest-winning gay couples from China

West Hollywood, Calif. Seven gay and lesbian couples from China were married in the Southern California gay capital of West Hollywood on Tuesday after winning a contest sponsored by a pair of Chinese Internet companies. The seven couples were selected from among more than 2,000 based on videos they submitted detailing their love stories, after… Read more »

China’s Impressive Performance on HIV/AIDS

With a unique model of cooperation, the country has achieved a remarkable turnaround in its response to the disease Sex is a controversial yet evolving issue in China. In this field, like many others, the country’s economic boom and opening to the world are clashing with traditional values. China has become a destination for international… Read more »

Which China provinces are most gay friendly?

Tibet ranks among the least accepting Economically developed cities and China’s southeastern coastal provinces are the most gay friendly, a new survey has found. A WeChat user conducted the poll on attitudes towards homosexuality in different Chinese provinces on the mobile messaging. Marvel Studios on 24 April posted a heat map of the results that… Read more »

Online activists spur change in Middle East, China, world

Online LGBT activism and community-building are the focus of this week’s video in the “Quorum” series of 11 discussions of international LGBTI issues. Moderator for the latest discussion is Andre Banks, executive director of, the U.S.-based advocacy organization that has enlisted 2 million people worldwide to take action online for LGBTI rights. Panelists /… Read more »

China’s “homowives” are becoming unlikely champions for gay rights

After her marriage was over, just looking at a wedding photo would make Qiu Xuan feel awful. The 29-year-old, a video editor at a communications company in Guangzhou, could tell by the picture that she wasn’t half of a happy couple that day, even though she was the one wearing a white veil. The photo… Read more »

Families must end LGBTI violence and improve rights in Asia

Bangkok (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Some of those most guilty of violence and discrimination against gays, lesbians and transgender people in Asia are their families, which must instead play a key role in improving LGBTI rights, activists from the region said. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people (LGBTI) in Asia face the threat of… Read more »

American firm invests $30 million in Chinese gay dating app

Billing itself as the first of its kind in China, Blued, a popular gay dating app, is anything but with news that a group of American venture capitalists will be investing 30 million dollars in the start-up. The app combines the immediacy and locality-based functionality of similar applications like Grindr and Scruff, but also enables… Read more »

WHO: ‘China is witnessing an evolving HIV epidemic’

With an estimated 800,000 people living in China with HIV/AIDS, the WHO’s country representative Bernhard Schwartlaender tells DW the nation needs to do more to prevent infection and eliminate stigma and discrimination. Around the world, there were around 35 million people living with HIV in 2013, and 2.1 million people becoming newly infected, according to… Read more »

Being gay in China: Does the rainbow flag fly free?

Editor’s note: In this month’s episode of On China join Kristie Lu Stout for a revealing conversation with China’s leading gay rights advocates. The show premieres at 5:30pm Hong Kong time on Thursday. For other air times please click here. Beijing (CNN) — In this narrow Beijing hutong, the rainbow flag flies free. I’m in… Read more »

Gay-dating app finds financial boost

A former policeman who founded a dating app for gay men said he wanted to liberate fellow homosexuals across the world after the app pulled in $30 million in third-round financing. Geng Le, founder of Blued, made the high-profile announcement after Apple CEO Tim Cook acknowledged his homosexuality, which Geng said was a great encouragement.… Read more »

China: Gay rights activists in Macau demand domestic violence bill includes gay couples

Gay rights activists in Macau have delivered a letter to the government headquarters, demanding same-sex couples to be re-introduced into the domestic violence bill. Rainbow of Macau – the city’s first gay rights group – was founded after gay couples were dropped from the legislation in November 2012. In the letter addressed to Justice Secretary… Read more »

Chinese HIV vaccine finishes safety testing

A new HIV/AIDS vaccine, developed by Chinese scientists, has completed its safety testing stage, the results of which will soon be submitted to the Chinese authorities, experts said during the 2014 National Conference on HIV/AIDS held in Beijing on Tuesday. Shao Yiming, AIDS expert at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told the… Read more »

Gay rights storm in Beijing as senior British diplomat marries boyfriend at ambassador’s residence

It had all the hallmarks of a traditional British wedding with a three-tier cake, bagpipes, a garden party and even “Keep Calm and Marry On” orders of service, but the Beijing wedding ceremony of a senior British diplomat to his male partner has sparked a fierce debate over gay rights in China. On Saturday Brian… Read more »

Chinese man sues gay ‘cure’ clinic after electric shock treatments

A man hopes to have the practice of gay “cure” therapy banned in China, as he is suing a clinic which performed electroshock treatment on him. The 30-year-old man who has only been identified by his pseudonym Xiao Zhen, filed his lawsuit back in July. It is the first of its kind, and is hoped… Read more »

Chinese society still far from accepting gays, lesbians

China: Despite the LGBT community beginning to be more active in China, society is still far from accepting them without discrimination says activists and social surveys “It’s a lot of pressure for gays to hide their real identity,” says Geng Le, founder of China’s largest dating app for Chinese gay guys. “Once you reach a… Read more »

Peaches and Sleeves: A History of Homosexuality in China

June is gay pride month, with worldwide festivities of parades, parties and remembrance marking the occasion. Major cities in China, including Shanghai and Beijing, are celebrating gay pride month in their own unique ways. The issue of human rights, and the contemporary struggle of homosexuals the world over for acceptance and integration, is a central… Read more »

China: students vulnerable to HIV/AIDS

China’s gay students aged 15 to 24 are increasingly vulnerable to HIV/AIDS and hence in need of a more targeted approach to curb the spread of infection, says a senior health official. “To contain the spread of HIV among youths, more forceful and targeted approaches are urgently needed, such as large-scale screening projects — like… Read more »