LGBT in the PRC

Earlier this summer the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, marking a huge victory for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community. It left many wondering if China would ever see gay marriage legalized. At the moment, it seems far-fetched. LGBT events and venues are routinely shut down by authorities and the country lacks even an anti-discrimination law. For a society that prides itself on being scientifically-minded and secular, why does the LGBT community ruffle so many feathers in the government and in the greater public?

To help answer that question and others related to LGBT issues in China, we’ve invited two guests from the Beijing LGBT Center into the Popup Chinese Studios. Stephen Leonelli became the center’s director in 2012 after years of working with social justice and sexuality/gender issues in China and the United States. And the center’s program director, Iron, is a Wuhan-native who you may have seen in the Occupy Men’s Toilet movement or attempting to marry another girl at the Beijing marriage registry office this past February.

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