Tag Archives: China

China Introduces LGBT Issues To Sex Education

When people think of “liberal, progressive” societies, they rarely think of China first. After all, the country is known for communism. Closeted Chinese women and men sometimes use apps to hide their queer sexuality through arranged marriages.

But some of China’s scandalous new textbooks are causing a stir.

In many primary schools – second through sixth grade – illustrated textbooks are teaching children about gender identities, career gender equality, sexually transmitted diseases, pregnancy and even homosexuality.

Not everyone in China is happy. One mother wrote on China’s Facebook-equivalent, “Is it reasonable for a textbook to be compiled like this? I myself blush just looking at it.”

However, some Chinese parents were pleased – even proud and relieved. One said, “Giving our children more knowledge about sex will help them better protect themselves in the future,” while another gushed, “Finally, sex education in China has caught up with the rest of the world!”

Releasing these textbooks was no easy decision. The publisher, The Beijing Normal University Publishing Group, assures the press that the content underwent strict scrutiny and editing in order to be appropriate.

Ignoring sexuality was no longer an option. China’s sizable gay population, particularly the gay men, has had a sharp incline in STDs since more people feel comfortable coming out of the closet and exploring their sexuality. This exploration, coupled with a lack of knowledge, can be deadly. In 2015, a report revealed that male-to-male HIV cases among Chinese youth had increased more than 20 points, from 58.5 percent to 81.6 percent.

Of course, sexual education in China has a long way to go – just as it does in the US and other parts of the world. But the introduction of these textbooks is a major leap forward and will go a long way toward helping students accept themselves.

If more LGBT youth in the US had access to these resources in school, suicide might not be a leading cause of death among them.

Read more here.

Meet The Hottest New Boy Band From China That’s Actually Made Up Of Five Androgynous Women

One of China’s hottest new boy bands, FFC-Acrush has just revealed its five members are all female.

The androgynous group is made up of five women – Lu Keran, An Jun Xi, Peng Xi Chen, Min Jun Qian and Lin Fan – who are all in their early 20s and were launched last year after a competition.

Their debut video isn’t out until the end of April

FFC-Acrush fills an unusual niche in China’s homegrown boy or girl bands scene, where girl bands have been shaped by the influence of J-pop, which can involve knee socks, pony tails and other symbols of girlish cuteness.

The letter “A” in the name stands for Adonis, a god in Greek mythology known as the epitome of male beauty, says the group’s agent Zhou Xiaobai in a phone interview with Quartz.

“A group advocating freedom, not bounded by frames” is Acrush’s distinguishing concept, Zhou says.

In China, women dressing up like men has become a more common sight and more accepted by society in recent years. That’s in part thanks to pop idol Li Yuchun, dubbed the mother of the unisex look in China. After Li won the nationwide talent show “Super Girl” in 2005, more boyish girls popped up on TV, but none of them became superstars like Li.

China’s talent agents have been talking about forming an androgynous band for years ever since Li’s success, Zhou says, but few women wanted to take the risk. Zhou’s search for unisex stars across the country began last March. In

The Acrush members won’t use words like boy or girl when referring to themselves. Rather they prefer the gender-free title meishaonian or handsome youths.

Most of the groups fans are girls who refer to the Acrush members as ‘husbands’, a term usually reserved for male pop stars.

Occasionally they are sent love letters from adoring female fans but Acrush leader Lu Keran, 21, said they never reply.

‘Of course I won’t write back,’ she told Quartz.

The group’s management forbids them from talking about their sexuality.

Not everyone is supportive of FFC-Acrush’s gender bending. About 15% of their followers are ‘anti-fans’ and troll the group for their boyish attire.

China Released An App To Make Your Family Believe You’re Straight

There’s an app for everything, from calculating the best times to use the bathroom, to hunting ghosts and locating potential cuddle buddies. And in China, there’s an app to make your parents think you’re straight.

In China, it’s not illegal to be gay, but it’s not socially acceptable, either. Many young women feel pressured to be married by a certain age. These women have two choices: force themselves into a heterosexual lifestyle to please their parents, or defy their families by continuing to live as a lesbian.

iHomo offers a third option. Gay men and women can use the app to arrange heterosexual marriages of convenience (xinghun) with each other. These marriages are based on mutual agreement: A gay man and a lesbian get married in front of both of their families and then, having satisfied their parents, the gay man and the lesbian return to their respective partners in secret.


Xinghun operate like business contracts. Couples decide in advance whether they will cohabitate, have children, visit each other’s parents and even get a divorce.

Ou Xiaobai, a thirty-two-year-old lesbian, designed iHomo, which has arranged over one hundred marriages to date. Xiobai married a man in 2012 in order to placate her mother, and is currently helping her girlfriend find a “husband” as well.

Says Xiobai:

We want to use marriages of convenience as a pragmatic way to ease the conflict so that homosexuals can live the life they want. We know how extremely difficult it will be, but we will fight for what we believe in and keep going forward.”

iHomo is not the first service of this kind. ChinaGayLes.com is a xinghun dating website that has arranged over 20,000 marriages since 2005. The dating app Queers, which does the same, currently has over 10,000 users. International Business Times estimates that there are over 100,000 gay and lesbian Chinese citizens currently seeking an arranged marriage.

As for Xiobai, she is currently expanding the app into in-person networking, socializing and match-making events.

Poignant Series Of Portraits Show What It Means To Be Young And Gay In China

Italian photographer Teo Butturini has captured images of young LGBTQ people living in Beijing in the places that are important to them as part of his latest project, which attempts to tackle stigma in China.

Homosexuality was deemed both a criminal offence and a mental illness in China as recently as two decades ago, and enormous stigma remains with many Chinese psychologists believe homosexuality can be “treated” and offer programmes to “turn youths back to heterosexuality”.

Thirty years of single-child policy created an even more difficult situation for LGBTQ people. In a country where the young are expected to provide for their parents and having a son is considered a must, parents often cannot accept that their child is gay, even if they can accept the general idea of homosexuality.

Many young LGBTQ people move from their own villages to big cities, in order to escape ostracism – often those who remain hide their sexuality or are forced into marriages by their parents. Recently the Chinese government issued a document forbidding the airing and publishing of any content related to violence, drug and alcohol abuse, adultery, smoking, reincarnation, homosexuality and any form of behaviour that “exaggerates the dark side of society”.

imrs-1 imrs lgbt-china-12

imrs-2 lgbt-china-18 lgbt-china-2 lgbt-china-3


Incredibly Poignant Graduation Day Wedding Proposal Spoiled By Homophobic Backlash

When, Huang Yang asked Wang Xiaoyu to marry her following a graduation ceremony at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies in China, didn’t expect the move to cause her university to threaten her with disciplinary action.

Following the proposal, onlookers cheered and filmed the couple as they shared a kiss, and the proposal was quickly covered by an LGBT group online.



Xiaoyu told BBC News.,

The proposal is proof of love. And also this action could make people aware that there are sexual minorities on the campus as well.

Last year, the university held a group wedding ceremony for 50 graduates and celebrated their love. But same-sex love was treated differently.”

However, when her university became aware of the video, officials demanded the it be removed from social media, before Xiaoyu was pulled in for questioning by the university’s party secretary.

Chinese-proposal-causes-social-media-outrage (1)

She also says they searched her room, withheld her diploma and contacted her parents.

The incident has divided public opinion on Chinese social media, with some criticising the pair and other’s voicing their support.


Xiaoyu adds,

We want to get married but this incident still has an impact on both of us and on our families as well,”

Homosexuality was removed from China’s official list of mental disorders in 2001 but remains a taboo subject, and earlier this year, a series of adverts urging people to be more accepting of gay people were launched across the country.

New Documentary Uncovers The Sham Marriages In China’s LGBT Community (Trailer)

Inside the Chinese Closet  is a documentary that examines the rising phenomenon of fake straight marriages between LGBT men and women in China.


Directed by Italian filmmaker Sophia Luvarà,  the film follows a lesbian named Cherry and a gay man named Andy on a quest to find, not love, but their ‘other half’ for a sham marriage.

In China, such unions between lesbian women and gay men are often called xinghun, which means cooperative marriage. For many, it’s the only way for them to fulfil their duty of continuing the family’s name, as well as to evade the social stigmas of being gay or being ‘left on the shelf.’

It’s estimated that there are around 20 million men are either gay or bisexual, and 80% of them have married a straight woman.

In the film, shows a ‘wedding fair’ where gay men and women come together to ‘speed date’ and to openly negotiate their terms for marriage e.g. freedom to have their own same-sex partner, possibility of living separately, whether to have baby through IVF, so on and so forth.


Based in Shanghai, the project had taken Luvarà two years of research and a great deal of effort finding the right people to star in the film.

With film, Luvarà and her team hope to reach out to Chinese LGBTs and their families, and to raise awareness about homosexuality in the rural areas as well.

Even though homosexuality was decriminalized in 1997, and in 2001, it was declassified as a mental illness, being gay still carries significant stigma in the mostly conservative Chinese society. In certain parts, there are clinics that offer conversion therapies.

Portrayals of same-sex relationships are also widely prohibited in the mainstream and online media.

The documentary is currently showing at the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in London, 9-18 March.

Check out the trailer here:

Student Bravely Wears Rainbow Flag and Comes Out at her Graduation Ceremony in China

Wan Qing made sure her graduations was a big occasion, and brought the fight for equal rights to her academic ceremony.

Pictures show 22-year-old Wan hugging the university president, with both of them holding up fists in solidarity with the LGBT community, reports Shanghaiist.

Wan Qing 01 Wan-Qing 02 Wan-Qing 03

Wan Qing, who was graduating from Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, Guangdong, China, took the opportunity to come out as a lesbian, draped in a rainbow flag.

Wan said on her Weibo account:

I’m a lesbian and I hope the legalisation of gay marriage will not be the end but a starting point for equal rights.

Those who don’t want to get married receive respect too.”

Her emotional post was shared more than 3,500 times.

Inspired by the US Supreme Court ruling legalising same-sex marriage, she said:

The dean of media and entertainment studies shook my hand and complimented my action. Many other professors didn’t even know what the rainbow flag stands for! I had to explain.”

A journalist with the university newspaper alleged that Communist Youth League Committee professors at the school asked for pictures of Wan’s rainbow flag to be pulled from their WeChat account, but Wan says she has only received positive messages.

Lesbian Couple Marry in China to Push for Same-Sex Marriage in the Country

A prominent Chinese lesbian couple held a simple ceremony on Thursday to announce their informal marriage in their latest effort to push for the legalisation of same-sex unions in China.

Dressed in white bridal gowns, they held an informal wedding in front of two dozen friends at a restaurant in Beijing.



They had planned to try and make it official at their local registry office but were warned against “making a scene” by police.

Talking to CNN, Li said before the wedding banquet

I feel like this is the right time. We’ve been together for so long.”

In their push to get same-sex unions recognised in China, Li and her partner said they were partly inspired by last week’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court decision to extend same-sex marriage rights across all 50 states.

The ruling has provoked a national conversation in China about gay rights, not least because the court’s majority decision quoted the Chinese sage Confucius – “Marriage lies at the foundation of government.”

The passage has been shared widely on Chinese social media; mainly drawing supportive comments.

Li, a well-known women’s rights campaigner, was among five feminists detained in China in early March for 37 days in a crackdown on social activism.

During that time, she wasn’t allowed to see her partner because same-sex unions aren’t recognised, she said.

I hope by doing this, we’re married no matter whether it’s legal or not. We’re married women now!”

Li said her parents didn’t attend the wedding, which was attended by two dozen of her friends. She said they were ashamed of her.

But they will spend their honeymoon in Harbin, northern China – Xu’s hometown – as her parents are more supportive.

China’s ‘Homowives’ Are Leading the Gay Rights Movement

Being married to someone who isn’t truly in love with you can be a miserable thing, but what can you do when it’s not in your best interests to leave? You’re miserable yes, but without your other half you’d lose your livelihood and would be criticised for getting a divorce.

This is the reality that many women in China are facing. Referred to as ‘homowives’ (which is the Chinese language equivalent of the phrase ‘beard’) these women get married – unknowingly to gay men – and find themselves stuck in loveless, sexless partnerships. The men are forced to do this to hide their sexualities and to stick to the social belief that people should get married and have children and the women are innocent bystanders in it all.

Yet despite the fact that the wives have to suffer, they don’t hold it against their husbands. Speaking to Quartz, one such ‘homowife’ named Qiu Xuan explained that being “homosexual isn’t wrong” but “what’s wrong is to marry a heterosexual to make a tragedy” and it’s one of the reasons why she’s campaigning for gay rights.

Maybe if there wasn’t such a stigma surrounding homosexuality, less people would be forced into a similar situation as her. Xuan explained to the publication that it’s incredibly difficult for ‘homowives’ to get a divorce and when she was granted one (though court mediation) she was forced to accept just $114 in alimony a month as her husband’s family threatened to stop her from seeing her 9 month old daughter if she didn’t agree. Later, when she tried to appeal for more money, she was denied as she couldn’t prove that her husband was having an extramarital affair; China’s judicial system only deems it adultery when it’s being committed with a member of the opposite sex.

Part of the homowive’s campaigning involves running a support group for other women in their situation. They run groups on QQ (a popular Chinese instant messaging service) and hold regular meetups. Other forms of campaigning are more vocal and involve protests (such as the one at Hong Kong’s annual gay rights parade, which attracted thousands) and one member of a QQ chat group is even translating two books (My Husband Is Gay and When Your Spouse Comes Out) into Chinese in order to raise awareness.

Sadly, although their work is gaining traction, China’s legislator are unwilling to address the topic of gay rights. Efforts to get marriage equality legalised have failed on several occasions as the government feels that the topic of LGBT equality is ahead of its time.

It’s estimated that millions of people across China have these sorts of marriages though, so hopefully the law will change sooner rather than later so that they can be freed.

Stunning Buddhist Cave Temples

After seeing these stunning Buddhist temples located inside caves, we want to drop everything that we are currently doing and visit them. The isolation of these sites serves to intensify the spiritual connection experienced by visitors. While some places of worship use architectural height to draw attention up to the heavens, these cave temples highlight the value of spiritual treasures that lie within.

See – http://500px.com/lisajdelaney