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


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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