Can Douyin, China’s Version of TikTok, Help China’s LGBT Community?

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07/15/2020

The Beijing LGBT Center recently opened an account on Douyin, the domestic version of TikTok, attracting over 2,400 followers and featuring short videos that address misconceptions about the LGBTQ+ community. Center staff members are optimistic that they can inform more people about the true stories of China’s LGBTQ+ community by using creative videos. In an interview with the Global Times, Xin Ying, director of the Center, said that they hope to “tell the life stories of the LGBTQ+ community” and “provide an interactive platform for the community to get information as well as support.” She also expressed her concern that widely popular BL (“boy’s love”) web novels promote a fantasy narrative of LGBTQ+ people that appeals to mostly young female readers. Her plans include producing more creative content such as mini-plays in order to boost the Center’s influence on social media and to correct stereotypes. Although the LGBTQ+ community is slowly gaining broader acceptance in China, it still has a long way to go.

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