In this age of technology, it seems that teens navigating hormones and sexual orientation have found a way to avoid those awkward parent-teen conversations by communicating with parents via the internet. Check out this expat teen in Shanghai who used Skype to come out to his mom and shared his coming out experience with the rest of the world on youtube.com.
Homosexuality has only been legal for 11 years in China, and while it’s still a taboo topic for most Chinese people, it seems there is growing tolerance for homosexuality in China with the number of homosexuals in China exceeding five million. In 2001, China removed homosexuality from the list of psychiatric disorders.
However, public displays of homosexuality in Beijing seem to shock people who take it as normal behavior in any other big city in the West. Former Beijinger editor Alice Xin Liu writes about this phenomenon, asking, “Does the fact that this happened in Beijing make it more shocking, because of the conservatism and strict social control in China?” Read more about her reaction to the gawk factor in Beijing. As Beijing becomes more modern, perhaps incidents like the 2005 police halt on China’s first gay cultural festival at 798 art district will cease to occur.
Western medievalist John Boswell advances the notion that homosexuality has always existed everywhere and cites selections from Chinese literature pertaining to homosexuality . For some statistics, such as how many people in China support gay marriage, check out Li Yinhe’s China homosexual survey. Li, an activist who encourages people to re-examine the traditional attitudes towards homosexuality, has submitted proposals to legalize same-sex marriage in China three times to the China People’s Political Consultative Conference, although none of her attempts have been successful yet.