China LGBTQ community hangs tough in dissent amid repression


In a scene like many played out in theaters around the world, last month a smiling dance performance director emerged from the wings after a show to thunderous applause, taking a bow with a rainbow flag bearing the slogan “Love is love, love and gender are unrelated.” But this scene was in China, and the director was Jin Xing, the country’s best-known transgender celebrity. For international human rights watchers and censors alike, it symbolized the dozens of lower-profile acts of dissent that data show persist in the Chinese LGBTQ community despite rigid government restrictions. Photos and videos of the January 2024 event featuring Jin at a theater in Shanxi province’s Tayuan quickly spread across Chinese social media before censors scrubbed the image from the Weibo social network. Chinese nationalists quickly attacked Jin for “poisoning children and destroying the traditions of marriage.”

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