This week on Sinica, Jeremy Goldkorn and David Moser are joined by Fan Popo for a discussion of the way life works for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) community in China. For those who have not heard of him, Fan is an accomplished film-maker and social activist, best known as author of the book Happy Together, a complete record of 100 queer films, as well as the director of the China Queer Film Festival.

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 said on
September 22, 2014
Another good podcast on LGBT China here:

And Jeremy, are you able to link to the work of the two researchers enthused over by David Moser and Fan Popo in your final segment?
 said on
September 22, 2014
Seems the link above may not work. Try searching 'China Hang Up' for the recommended podcast.

 said on
November 6, 2014
I'm a little disappointed by your comments about asexuality, although it is clear in the podcast that this mainly comes from having never even heard the term before.

Maybe the main issue is that Popo didn't explain this sexual orientation all that well. He described it as "not wanting to have sex" to which Jeremy replied by saying that those people could "just live [their] life" but it's not that simple. Asexuality is the lack of any sexual attraction. Saying not "wanting" to have sex makes is seem to much like you have a choice.

I don't go around and just say, "nah, i'm good. today I don't want to have sex with anyone". I have never felt the need/attraction.

Many asexuals felt like there was something wrong with them before they became aware of the community. Like they were broken in some strange way, since everybody around them experiences sexual attraction and society places such a high focus on sex.

This is exactly why the inclusion in the LGBTQIA community is so important. To give ace people a platform, a forum for others to discover themselves and to feel like they are not alone.

I'm sorry for going on this long rant here. I just listened to the podcast and was a bit bummed out by those short remarks.
 said on
May 30, 2015
Interesting discussion, although I agree with the above comment that the treatment of asexuality was poor and missed the fact that the same pressures that intervene in the lives of other queer people--gays, lesbians, bisexuals, etc.--also pressure asexuals to marry and have children (I won't comment on the suggestion that China's queer organizations and movements strategically axe less marketable groupings, one that could have come straight from the U.S. Human Rights Campaign's dirty playbook).That said, it's a complex topic and difficult to cover in its entirety. Whether "LGBTQ(IA)+" even translates into the Chinese context fully is hard to say, but obviously Western countries' discourses on sex(uality) and gender have, for better or worse, influenced the treatment of Chinese queer people and the strategies they use to resist the party-state, medical authorities, and restrictive family norms. Some other reading and viewing suggestions:

1) Travis Kong's Chinese Male Homosexualities. This book brings the topic of male same-sex love up to date from Hinsch's more historically distant (but excellent) account and examines the ways in which local contexts and global forces have differentially shaped how queer identities are expressed and experienced in mainland China, Hong Kong, and disaporic Chinese communities in Britain.

2) Lisa Rofel's Desiring China situates modern queer Chinese identities in broader context of changes in governance, society, and economics.

3) Any number of mainland Chinese,Taiwanese, and Hong Kong films: Farewell My Concubine, Happy Together, Blue Gate Crossing, Three Times, Butterfly, East Palace West Palace, Lanyu, Let's Love Hong Kong, etc. Some, such as Farewell My Concubine and Happy Together, are periodically available on Netflix; others are available for streaming and download elsewhere.

4) To supplement the films, Song Hwee Lim's Celluloid Comrades is a fascinating look at transnational queer Chinese cinemas (and the very concept of "Chinese cinemas" for that matter) while Shi-Yan Chao's dissertation Processing Tongzhi Imaginaries can be found online for free. (An excerpt from the text on two lesbian documentaries also appears in a recent collection of essays entitled The New Chinese Documentary Film Movement.)

Processing Tongzhi Imaginaries link: <a href=""></a>

Other books can be accessed on less law-abiding sites by those interested in the topic.
Mark Lesson Studied